I’ve always hoped for a farmer’s market in downtown Burlington. My sister lives within walking distance of the infamous market in Hamilton – the one we’ve always pined for. So I’m thrilled that we FINALLY have our own! Why?
- The food just tastes better (I’d forgotten that real carrots don’t just taste like water).
- I’m passionate about supporting my community and local entrepreneurs
- I truly appreciate and value the many skills and vast expertise needed to grow and create delicious, natural and healthy food.
And it also feels great to support people who have a passion for what they do. And this passion also usually means that these people are way better at what they do than I am!
Case in point: Last year we enthusiastically decided to plant a vegetable garden, happily daydreaming about the bushels of veggies we would enjoy. Included in our ‘crop’ (ha!) was lettuce, and starting from seeds we diligently cared for them as they sprouted into small leaves. Upon the transition from pot to garden, we had great hopes (and visions of Caesar salad dancing in our heads). But we did have to admit they looked a bit weak (translation: pathetic). We could only hope that the plants would get stronger and grow bigger every day. Fingers crossed.
When we had to leave town for the weekend, all we could do was hope that the tiny, wilted leaves would survive a few days of neglect. So you can only imagine our surprise when we returned to find that the leaves had obviously thrived in their new environment! There they were. Bigger, fuller heads of lettuce were staring back at us. Incredible! We felt pretty darn good about ourselves and about our gardening skills.
We stood looking at our awesome garden, when my in-laws stopped by for a visit. We proudly told them of our success and showed them the proof (I’m ashamed to say we were practically gloating…). They looked at us with a bit of pity, and a lot of amusement. Smiles from ear to ear.
They had secretly replaced our sad and wilting lettuce with what we were now looking at.
Our pride came crashing down. And all I can tell you, is that this gardening gig ain’t as easy as it looks.
We now understand how much care and commitment it takes to produce a bountiful garden. While our gardening days aren’t completely over, our measly harvest is nothing like what we can get at the farmer’s market downtown.
And better yet, our Sunday morning ritual has become even more fun! I never would’ve guessed that we’d be doing yoga classes in Civic Square (such a great start to the morning), and then we’re off to the market of course, across the street, behind Centro.
I am happy to fully admit that:
1. I’m not a very talented farmer
2. our backyard seems to be a buffet for the local rabbits who aren’t the least bit scared of me
3. since I can barely keep my hanging flower baskets alive for a season, growing my own veggie garden does not look promising.
But this is all OK with me! Because the market now offers me a huge selection of seasonal homegrown and homemade tasty food that’s priced right… And it’s just a bonus that it also gives me a chance to run into neighbours, friends and acquaintances while I do some grocery shopping under the bright blue sky.
This is the life. (Next on my wish list: a butcher & cheese shop!)
Note: The Centro Garden Farm Market runs every Sunday morning from 9 am – noon through October.