By Diva Trista Russell
The Exeter Farmers’ Market has opened for the 2013 season and I’m looking forward to some getting my hands on some fresh food this summer. On opening day they had a variety of booths selling vegetables, fruit, baked goods, pork and beef, preserves, maple syrup, personalized signs, woodworking, plants, flowers, herbs, and more! I imagine as the growing season approaches, there will be even more products and vendors.
This year marks the 5th year for the Exeter Farmers’ Market, so they had a special deal for shoppers. If you said “happy birthday” to the Market’s Manager, Terri Barr, you received a free $1 market buck. Score! I only had $10 cash in my wallet, so I challenged myself to stick to the cash I had on hand.
For $10 (actually $9 with the market buck), I got four fresh tomatoes ($3), a loaf of homemade multi-grain bread ($3), and bunch of asparagus ($4). The bread and asparagus were from the Bayfield Berry Farm, and the tomatoes from Good Luck Gardens were actually grown in the dirt! Plus, for each purchase you make at the Market, you get a ballot to win some prizes.
I think that one of the biggest challenges for Farmers’ Markets is convincing budget-conscious customers why they should shop there. Yes, fresh food isn’t cheap, but there are many other reasons, aside from the cost, why local food is good for you. I learned this early on as I grew up on a farm. One of the biggest advantages is that you appreciate your food more. I find local food always seems to taste better, and you enjoy it more and waste it less. Shopping at the Farmers’ Market makes me feel good as I know I’m supporting local farmers, the rural community, as well as Exeter.
Without knowing it, I later realized I had actually taken part in the $10 challenge by Ontario Table. They say that if every household in Ontario spent $10 a week on local food, we’d have an additional $2.4 billion in our local economy at the end of the year. Keeping that money circulating grows those dollars to $3.6 billion and creates 10,000 new jobs!
The Exeter Farmers’ Market is held every Thursday from 2 – 6pm until October 17th. The Market is located on Baldwin Street, off of Main Street Exeter (Highway 4), beside Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church. Parking is available on Victoria, Gidley, and Andrew Streets.
For more information, contact the Market Manager at email@example.com
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