A Foreword by Doug Draper
Well, the weather is finally getting a little more seasonal and our farmers across the greater Niagara region are able to go out in their fields and, hopefully, salvage what is left of an overly cold and soggy growing season.
A few weeks back, The Buffalo News published a story on its front page, talking about how much more financially punishing this wet spring is for them, on top of rising fuel prices, foreign competition and everything lese they are trying to wrestle with. There was the suggestion that some of them may not survive these burdens and I would imagine the same burdens our facing our family farms on the Niagara, Ontario side of the border.
Just one more reason, along with not wanting to see ourselves become ever more dependent on foreign countries for something so vital to our survival as food, to support our local farms and our local farmers markets.
Posted below is a media release from the City of St. Catharines, Ontario and the farmers market in the downtown of that city. There are other markets you can support in municipalities across this greater region, including the Broadway Market in downtown Buffalo, New York, one in the colourful Elmwood Avenue district of that same city every Saturday morning, and others in Welland, Ontario (one of the great old ones) and other municipalities.
I won’t try to name all the markets here because I will probably leave some out, but I’m sure you can find them in your community if you care enough. There are also still some locally owned, independent stores in the greater region that make a point of supporting local farmers, including Pupos in Welland, Ontario, the Red Market in Thorold, Ontario, the Lexington Market in Buffalo, New York and a handful of others you can draw our attention to in the comment boxes below. There is also the very odd larger grocery store chain – the best one that comes to mind is Wegmans in the Buffalo/Rochester, New York area – that showcase the produce of local growers on their shelves, when and if they can.
For those of you out there who may say; “Well, that sounds nice but I’m on a fixed income and I find food from local growers costing more for me than food from a big box chain that imports it from sweat shops in China and other parts of the world,” just think of where we may be if we become totally dependent on foreign countries for our food. Think of how much control they would have over us at that point over something so fundamental as food. All they got to say is; ‘We can get these people to agree to anything if they want to eat’.
This, I’m sure, is more than a foreword than the good folks promoting the farmers market in St. Catharines, Ontario bargained for when they sent Niagara At Large their media release, but we’ve never claimed to be what now constitutes a mainstream media organization, so we hope they understand. Support our local farmers markets and those stores in our greater region that earnestly support our farmers by selling their food.
New attractions at farmers market
May 30, 2011 – The St. Catharines Farmers Market promises more than homegrown produce.
This summer, market goers can catch homegrown talent with Music in the Square.
The City of St. Catharines is partnering with Astral Media to host local live entertainment every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting June 4 with an oldies performance by Tim Atherton and Doug Ryckman. Other acts scheduled to hit the market stage this summer include James Brown and Mike Dixon, The Golden Hammers and the Lee Famelos Trio. Visit http://www.stcatharines.ca and click on Experience In for Music in the Square performance updates.
The St. Catharines Farmers Market will also welcome another new Saturday attraction with the Market Discovery Table. Each week, visitors can try their hands at a new farm-themed activity, including making butter, creating seed mosaics, honey tasting and a market search, similar to road trip bingo, for children.
“This season promises to be an exciting one with Music in the Square and the Market Discovery Table,” said Jan Bechard, market and event co-coordinator. “We are thrilled to have an event that brings music and activities for kids of all ages to every Saturday market.”
The market also features new summer vendors, proffering exotic preserves, handmade summer wear, vegan baking, ethnic vegetables, photography and organic produce.
The St. Catharines Farmers Market happens every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at Market Square from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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