With its wide variety of fresh, natural and seasonal foods, the Farmers’ Market in downtown Peterborough features all that’s good from the Kawarthas — but it’s more than just great food shopping.
You’ll also find arts and crafts, fresh-cut flowers and plants, and a wealth of knowledge amongst the purveyors of produce, hormone-free meats, artisanal breads and cheese, and baked goods.
“We are a producers-only market,” says manager Jillian T. Bishop. “That means we feature a wide and diverse selection of goods that are grown and produced right here in the Kawarthas. The market offers people a great opportunity to connect with the farmers, chefs, bakers, and craftspeople who are growing, producing and creating what you buy.”
Now in its fourth year, the Peterborough Downtown Farmers’ Market kicks off on Wednesday, May 1st in the Louis Street Parking Lot at the corner of Charlotte and Aylmer Streets.
“We’ve got 30 vendors and many of these are returning from last year,” Bishop explains. “It’s a great mix of producers who also buy from each other to create some of their products.”
For example, A Taste of Russia buys their potatoes from local growers to produce their famous perogies. Susan and Paula Houde, owners/chefs of Two Dishes Catering, buy fresh asparagus at the market for their gourmet breads and pizza.
“I love seeing the vendors connect and support one another,” says Bishop. “It really enhances the spirit of community that’s akin with the Farmers’ Market.”
Because it’s located in the heart of the city, the Farmers’ Market presents an ideal opportunity for local businesses to promote specials to people coming downtown.
“The market is accessible by transit and even walking distance for many people,” Bishop says. “Last year, we saw a lot of people meeting at the market for lunch dates and even tweet-ups.”
A new feature connected to last year’s market, the Downtown Culinary Tours — run by local foodie Donald Fraser — were so successful they’ll be taking place again this year, Bishop says.
An opportunity to meet with business owners and operators, the tours meet at the market prior to exploring the inventive and innovative ways local restaurants and merchants use and prepare locally produced ingredients.
Wednesday’s opening day includes a special celebration.
“We’ll be cooking a pancake breakfast,” says Bishop. “You can try samples of pancakes made with local ingredients like Merryland Farm’s Red Fife Wheat Flour, and topped with Batten’s Country Choice Maple Syrup and Deer Bay Farms strawberry preserves.”
Market-goers can look forward to other special events, demos, and more throughout the season — which will be longer this year.
“For the first time since we started, we’ll be extending the market until the end of October,” Bishop says. “We’re really excited for the upcoming season. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”