Tuesday, September 21, 2010

At the farmers market in Elora

My friend Shivaun took me on my first trek out of Toronto. We went to the enchanting town of Elora, which is just outside of Guelph. While we were driving in, she spotted a farmers market and declared excitedly that we had to go. I was all for it. Although there was no need for me to buy anything, I've always been impressed by the idea of these informal gatherings of people who grow and make things for the purposes of selling.

One of the very exciting things that's been happening in North America recently, is a shift towards buying local produce. I think the idea is to buy fruit and vegetables that have been grown within 100 miles of where you live. And farmers markets are an ideal place for making such purchases. They seem to be run by people who are either farmers for real, or people who love to grow things. The market in Elora was nothing fancy - just a few temporary tents with about 10 to 15 people selling seasonal fruit and vegetables, honey, home made sausage and a variety of baked goods. Shoppers and their children browsed the stalls. Shivaun bought a huge selection of gorgeous looking fruit and vegetables.

It's the sort of thing I wish we could really get off the ground in Trinidad. Both because it's great to support the idea of local growing and consuming, and because we are such food lovers in this country. Although the Central Market, and other markets like it, continue to be huge hubs for the selling of fresh produce, it's becoming increasingly difficult to guarantee the provenance of a lot of it. Plus there's the problem of vast quantities of pesticides that many farmers here use. And while there are one or two places where it's possible to buy a limited amount of organic local stuff, it's prohibitively expensive, and remains, by and large, the realm of the upper middle class and ex-pat community.

So for now, I'll continue to buy veggies from my local stall and hope that one day the idea of the farmers market will truly take root here.

1 comment:

  1. Great pix! I haven't cooked those beets yet. Maybe today? Hmmm. Roast them for a beet & green bean salad with walnuts and herbed goat cheese (the latter because it needs to be used up).