6 Things to do at a Farmers’ Market

When the sun is shining on a bright Saturday morning and you have a need for fresh fruits and veggies, a quaint outdoor market like the one at Withrow Park can be your go-to place.

And while wandering the stalls in this beautiful park is great, why not do something different during your conventional outing? We talked with the organizers of the Withrow Park Farmers’ Market for a fresh take on this old-fashioned bazaar.

1. Discover Your Taste

Though you know a particular stall has the best carrots in the city, why not try something that you’ve yet to have the pleasure of tasting? As Constance Dykun of Monforte Dairy, a market vendor, says, “Quite often if I see something on someone’s table that I don’t recognize, I’ll wander over and ask, ‘What is that?’” Even if you discover that white carrots aren’t likely to be on next week’s grocery list, you had the courage to set out on a new food adventure.

2. Won’t you be my neighbour?

Because the Withrow market is an initiative created by local residents who wanted to provide their neighbours with healthy foodstuffs, the sense of community here is strong. So, why not intensify this neighbourliness and meet someone new? Laurel Fortin, owner of Small Potatoes, one of the many vendors at Withrow, explains that “it’s just a great place to meet people.” She adds, “It’s a real community-builder.”

3. Feast Like a King

After perusing the many stalls at this market, lay down a checkered blanket, plant yourself in the grass, and chomp on your recent purchases. The Withrow Park Farmers’ Market has it all –from fruits to breads to cheeses to sweets– everything you’ll need to indulge in a delectable feast. Another thing to make you feel good: In line with emergent green movements, all of the fare is locally-produced and locally-owned.

4. Make a Date

Whether you rendezvous with your beau or meet up with an old friend, Withrow is the perfect location for a gathering. As Roberta Stimac, one of the founding members of the market says, “People meet with friends and neighbours. People from all over the neighbourhood come to feel welcome.” After wandering the grounds, sit yourself on a charming bench and chat, gush, or gossip to your heart’s content!

5. Swap Recipes

“I’ve cooked all kinds of wonderful food at home after hearing about recipes from market attendees,” says Laurel. “I feel like I’ve got my own test kitchen!” And you can too. Just talk to vendors and other market-goers and you’ll go home with delicious fares, as well as the know-how to make them into a yummy masterpiece.

6. Make it Last

The gorgeous park setting is not only great for a wonderful bazaar, but there are many other events to take part in. “It’s nice to go out and really make a day of the market,” says Roberta. Bring a soccer ball, your bathing suit, and even your pup, and get involved in the other amazing activities that Withrow has to offer! But don’t forget the SPF if you’re going to spend a day in the sun!

The market is tentatively set to reopen May 21, 2011.

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