Eco-Farmers’ Market in Dalston is the Pick of the Crop
here’s nothing better than the freshness of locally produced food. And North Simcoe residents have the pick of the crop at the Eco-Farmers’ Market, held weekly in Dalston from late June to Thanksgiving. The Eco Market is special – not only for the variety of food but also for how it helps build a community of consumers and farmers. The idea is simple. A group of local ecological farmers got together five years ago to create a market that would feature the foods of Simcoe County, sold direct by the farmers who produce them. No middlemen involved, customers get to know their farmers, and the market exists solely for the purpose of getting local food into the hands of local residents. That also benefits the farmers, who keep more of the retail price than if they’d sold their products as commodities. The market is solely peopled by organic and ecological farmers – it’s all about Need help with your journey through life? the food, not about propping up a downtown business area, or promoting someone Want to learn more about self-empowerment, else’s event or flogging crafts. positive thinking, self healing, inner peace and enlightenment? And what food there is! Anyone who has read about local food – The 100-Mile Meditation and Spiritual Development Classes Diet, or Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma – may despair about finding enough starting on Monday 7th April 1pm to 3pm groceries from local sources to really fill their plate. There are loads of fresh produce Thursday 10th April 7pm to 9pm in season, from peas and onions to the summer bounty of greens, tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, and more. Come fall, customers get their pick of such hearty winter Don't delay book today 705 835 0361 vegetables as potatoes, squash, leeks and garlic. Scrumptious fruits may include strawberries, raspberries and apples. Moonstone Healing Yet there’s more to life than veggies. Market customers love being able to source Holistic Medicine truly local meats, such as free-range pork, grass-fed beef and poultry. Plus there’s honey, maple syrup, dried and fresh herbs, and pickles and preserves. Customers can be anyone from your next door neighbours to a former Governor –General of Canada. Some customers use the market as a way of linking up with area farmers to arrange for year-round supplies of food for their larders. Local food? This is more like hyper-local. Many farmers are located right here in Oro-Medonte. They include: Terridale’s Herbals, in the old Clowes School on Oro Line 2 North with fresh and dried herbs; Pratts’ Farm from Penetanguishene Road south of Craighurst with vegetables, pickles and honey all season long; Hillbilly Heaven, Line 3 Oro, with onions, peas, carrots, potatoes; Wing and a Prayer Farm, Woods Road, Tiny, with baking, pastured pork and vegetables; Heritage Hill Organics on Line 2 with strawberries, raspberries, maple syrup; Rivendell Fold on Line 5 Medonte with grass-fed beef, pork, goat, organic flour and pasta; Stephen’s Market Garden from Orillia with unusual perennials, seasonal herbs and vegetables; Lover’s Creek Farm, Grenfel Road, Springwater, with grassfed beef, free-range pork, poultry and vegetables; Cindy Pearson from Waverly with baking and preserves; Cindy Talking about fresh local food right out of the MacKenzie from Penetanguishene with organic apples; soil may seem a little irrelevant while there is and Dan Legault from Hillsdale with organic baking. still a lot of snow covering everything. Other vendors come occasionally with shorter season Jim Harris, Manager of the Orillia Farmers’ Market, sat in crops. on two days of this kind of talk recently, when he attended the More vendors are being sought for this year’s market. annual conference of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Interested farmers should call 730-0405. Association, at Brock University in St. Catharines. The Eco-Farmers’ Market is located on the grounds of Hempola Farm at the corner of Highway 93 and Forbes Road, in Amid sessions on crops and farm management for farmers, Dalston. It operates Friday afternoons from 3:30 pm until dusk. The 2008 season runs from late June until Thanksgiving Farmers’ Markets Ontario held workshops for people who run and weekend. It’s sponsored by the Simcoe County branch of the Ecological Farmers’ Association of Ontario. staff many of the 130 farmers’ markets around Ontario. Sessions addressed new labeling requirements for foods, food-handling —photos by Laura Proctor safety, effective selling, and marketing. The Niagara location also provided an opportunity for the growing vineyard industry in that area to showcase its productivity. About 125 exhibitors from agricultural, technology and service industries held a trade show that ran throughout the conference. All in all it was an enjoyable and educational get together. Jim learned many new things and you can watch them being put to good use at the Orillia Farmers’ Market every Saturday morning behind the Opera House in Orillia.