Saturday, 8 September 2007

A Visit to Goderich Farmers' Market

We spent several days camping at Point Farms Provincial Park this week. On Saturday, we drove into Goderich to visit their Farmers' Market before heading back home.

Goderich is is famous for their unusual octagonal park, which also houses a handsome art-deco courthouse. On Saturdays from Victoria day to Thanksgiving, from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, there is a small farmers' market on the south side of the park.

A Stand at the Goderich Farmers MarketA stand with a good assortment of squashes, potatoes and gourds, as well as a few tomatoes and melons.

This farmer comes all the way from Harrow; a 3 hour drive! He says he likes the Goderich Market because the vendors are so friendly. We certainly found them very nice and chatty.

Lucknow Greenhouses Stand at the Goderich Farmers MarketA very well-stocked stand from Hillsview Greenhouses & Market Produce.

Meeting Place Organic Farm at the Goderich Farmers MarketOrganic produce from Meeting Place Organic Farm. I didn't realize they had a stand here, and was surprised but very pleased to see it. In addition to their own produce and apple butter, they have honey from one of their neighbours. You can also see the weekly Community Shared Agriculture baskets for a number of their customers waiting on the back of the trailer.

Apples and pears have been grown in this area for a long time - Point Farms was full of old orchards to walk through - and so I expected to find some apples and pears at the market. There were indeed some apple farmers there, although not as many as I expected. Still, a reasonable selection.

Cosmos and Zinnias at the Goderich Farmers MarketSome of my favourite late summer flowers: bright pink cosmos, and zinnias in a range of colours including an irresistable pale green.

Sunflowers, Zinnias and Gladiolas at the Goderich Farmers MarketSunflowers, zinnias and jewel-toned gladiolas.

We didn't buy a huge amount of stuff - our car was pretty packed with all our camping gear. (It's amazing how much going camping for three days is like moving out!) Nevertheless, we left with a nice range of goods: peaches, squash, a small red cabbage, a loaf of all-rye bread, ginormous shiitakes, zucchini, leeks, a selection of heritage tomatoes, and pears. (We also left with some cinnamon buns; so sorry, no picture. They didn't last that long.)

Overall I really liked the Goderich market. It isn't terribly large, but there is a good comprehensive selection of fruits and veggies, as well as baked goods. It does lack meat and cheese. The only meat I saw was a very small selection of cured sausages in a picnic type cooler. There was no fish either, which was a disappointment, since Goderich is right on the water. Prices seemed to vary a fair bit, but overall I thought they were quite reasonable.


Kevin said...

You have been going to a lot of different farmers markets this summer. It must be fun. I just started visiting the farmers market near me this summer. It is like "being a kid in a candy store". There are so many good things that I want to pick up.

Ferdzy said...

Yes, it's been great Kevin. I am lucky to be surrounded by farmers markets within relatively easy driving distance, and right now is probably the most frustrating yet exciting time of year - there is just so much more out there than I could ever possibly eat, but I try, I try...

Valli said...

I used to go to Girl Guide Camp in Goderich!!!Our farmer's market here needs to diversify. It is quite boring with the same old same old. I think the farmers have come to the conclusion that the ordinary sells best but what about us new food triers???

Ferdzy said...

Hey, Valli, I am doing the complete tour of your youth, it seems.

I have to say I am frequently a bit frustrated by how conservative farmers are about trying new produce to sell. Of course you don't want to give up on the tried-and-true, but it seems to me that one of the best ways to compete with imported produce is to have something that is a little different from the usual. Also to put a lot more emphasis on the particular variety of fruit or vegetable you are selling, so you can flog its' virtues. (Gosh, that sounds kinky.) That's why I have started doing the varietal reports.

I guess all we can do is ASK for this stuff and see what happens.