Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Local Farmer's Markets

The summer solstice not only heralds the official start to the summer, but also the start of local market season. I have fond memories of markets from my childhood visits to relatives in England. Market day was always a big deal. It was the day my grandparents would go into town to pick up their groceries--fresh from the farmer's stall--and other household supplies.

The region around Montreal is not without its versions of 'market towns,' or perhaps towns with markets. Here are a few I've come across. I haven't visited them all, so please take this only as a listing, not an endorsement. If you're familiar with any of these markets, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Or, did I miss one? If so, let me know!

Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Market
Featuring about a dozen local growers and producers, the market takes place along the waterfront boardwalk every Saturday between 9am and 2pm from the end of May until the beginning of October. During the winter the market moves indoors to Ste- Georges church and is on a monthly schedule.

Finnegan's Market, Hudson
Well known to antique hunters and day-trippers alike, Finnegan's offers a wide variety of food merchandise, including produce, flowers, hand-crafted items and more. It's open Saturdays from 9am to 4pm just north of Hudson village off main street.

Alexandria Market, Ontario
A favourite of good friends of mine! Open 9am to 2pm every Saturday from June to October, this market located at Island Park in Alexandria features about 15 local farmers and producers from Eastern Ontario.

Marché public de Salaberry-de-Valleyfield
Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8am to 1pm in the centre of Valleyfield, this local market brings together small farmers and producers from across this rich agricultural region.

Marché public du Vieux-Saint-Jean
One of the oldest markets, the Marché publique du Saint-Jean has been running for over 150 years. It's open Wednesday and Saturday mornings over the summer and hosts about a dozen local producers. During July and August, they sometimes have artists and performers.

Marché du terroir d'Oka
Every Saturday from 9:30 am until 1pm starting mid-July in front of the Oka Abby.

L'Autre Marché (Rosemere)
Held weekly from mid-June to mid-October in the parking lot in front of the Rosemere municipal library.

Marché de la Gare de Ste-Therese
A community market held every Friday and Saturday at the Ste-Therese train station starting the end of June.

Marché Val David
A personal favourite of mine! Held every Saturday from 9am to 1pm in the centre of the town of Val David, this bustling market features over 50 local producers, including cheese-makers, bakeries, farms, coffee roasters, cider-producers, artisans and more. There are also cooking demonstrations and hot food vendors. The summer market is weekly starting mid-June. In October it moves indoors and switches to a monthly schedule.

Marché Mont Tremblant
This one starts a little later than most other markets, possibly because it caters more to tourists in the region. It kicks off the first Saturday in July opposite the BMR in Mont-Tremblant village and goes until September. About 30 local producers participate, as well as local restaurants who sometimes give cooking demonstrations.

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