“Homegrown, Handcrafted, and Handpicked” at the Sudbury Farmers Market

Every Thursday at the York Street parking lot, and Saturdays at the Via Rail Station on Elgin, the market offers unbeatable local products. Come check out what is currently in season!

Jumbled heaps of vegetables, the tantalizing aroma of fresh sesame bagels, vibrant dream catchers floating in the wind: welcome to the Sudbury Market.

Bigger and better than ever, the 2019 market is back in full swing, running two days a week from June until October.

For the third year in a row, the market is running Thursday evenings from 2-7 pm at the York Street parking lot across from Bell Park, and the Saturday market runs 8 am - 2 pm at the CP/VIA Rail Station on Elgin.

At this true farmers’ market, shoppers can look forward to a huge array of locally grown produce each week. There’s everything from the more familiar options—carrots, corn, and pungent garlic from McGrow’s Farms, for example—to more adventurous selections—like kohlrabi (a crunchy vegetable that tastes a little like the inside of a broccoli stem) and collard greens from Three Forks Farms, or gourmet mushrooms from The Ugly Barn Farm.

There are other kinds of farmers too, though. Take the alpaca farmers from Dare2Dream,  who trek in with hand-knitted socks and mittens, or the bison farmers from Graywalk  Buffalo Ranch. Even the beekeepers who sell their honey are farmers of a sort.

The market is more than just farmers, though, it’s also folks serving up delicious baked goods, pickles and preserves, and other prepared foods. From the previously mentioned bagels (handcrafted by Salty Dog Bagels), to healthy vegan snacks by The BUSY V, to dog treats by Give a Dog a Bone: there’s something for everyone (Rex included).

True to their motto of “homegrown, handcrafted, and handpicked,” the market has also welcomed an array of local artists and artisans. Mona from Mona’s Native Crafts makes handcrafted dreamcatchers, The Old Soul Soap Company brings an array of deliciously scented soaps and natural body products, and others sell pottery, paintings, photography, and jewellery.

While many of the vendors have been coming to the Sudbury Market for years, others are newer. For new farmers, small businesses, and young entrepreneurs, it’s an easy way to test the waters with their product, and get a taste for what running a business involves.

The number of regular vendors grew from 23 on Thursdays and 28 on Saturdays in 2018 to 26 and 30 respectively this year, but there are plenty of others who set up shop for a weekend here and there.

Along with its promising growth, the market has undergone some changes recently, and this year marked the introduction of Market Bucks. The wooden tokens can be purchased in $5 denominations from a no-fee ATM onsite at either location, and used to buy market products, and vendors are able to give cash as change.

2019 also marks the first year the Sudbury Market is operating as an independent not-for-profit.

The new board hopes the shift will support the market’s long term sustainability, and allow for a little more flexibility when supporting their vendors.

If you’re already lamenting the end of the summer 2019 season, or if you’re visiting town after the market closes (the last day is October 26), don’t fret: It looks like the Winter Market will be back for another season.

Keep an eye out for just when and where, but rest assured, locals and visitors alike can access homegrown goodies beyond the growing season.

In the meantime, make the most of the short season and hit up the market for the widest selection of the freshest produce in town: the corn tastes more like corn, the peaches are just made for pie, and the garlic is good enough to kill a whole army of vampires.

Local flavour can’t be beat.

About Ella Jane Myers

Ella Jane Myers is a freelance writer and editor living in Sudbury, Ontario who thrives on good food, and loves exploring new communities and the great outdoors.

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