By Leslie Carbonneau
Finally, spring is at our door. The sun, at long last, is showing its face and nature is coming back to life. Farmers of the region have been active these past weeks, getting their seeds ready, preparing their plantations in their greenhouses and in their fields, while artisans have been busy with their processing workshops. Soon, we’ll be savouring their first spring crunchy vegetables and fresh from the oven breads while enjoying the scent of their beautiful flowers.
Eight Markets in Brome-Missisquoi
Did you know that there are eight markets in Brome-Missisquoi, of which one is open all year round? Indeed, from May until October, the municipalities of Cowansville, Dunham, Farnham, Frelighsburg, Brome-Lake and Sutton each welcome one or two markets. Most are held on Saturdays, but we can visit some of them late in the afternoon on Thursdays and Fridays as well. Go to the http://www.artisandelaterre.com/en/public-markets/ to learn more about the different markets’ schedules and locations.
Every year in Cowansville, the Marché de solidarité régionale brings together the products of 54 Eastern Township producers. How it works is simple. Every week, you can stop by to pick up the order you’ve placed by going on their Internet site at one of the pick-up points in the region. You can also go to the boutique in Cowansville which is open from Tuesday to Thursday.
A Complete and Diversified Food Offer
In these public markets, more than 80 local producers offer you a vast selection of fruits and vegetables, meats, breads and pastries, cheeses and processed products (pies, jams, condiments). You’ll find everything you need to check off the items on your grocery list while you shop in a festive, epicurean atmosphere!
Early in the season it’s possible to find seeds and plants for transplanting to enhance your garden. Why not let yourself be tempted by a few ancestral tomato plants for your vegetable garden? Or perhaps a few fine herbs to garnish your kitchen window sills?
Buying Local and Zero Waste
The region’s public markets are an excellent way to encourage buying locally and to promote zero waste. Products are often available without wrapping and you can also bring your own containers.
Furthermore, the direct contact with producers allows you to ask them about their practices. For many producers, it’s an important source of motivation to be able to exchange with consumers. It’s how they receive an immediate feedback for their work and it’s also how they can break the isolation that working on a farm sometimes represents.
Some markets also offer the possibility to pay with Brome-Missisquoi Chamber of Commerce dollars. This local currency is recognized by over 50 businesses. Visit the ccb-m.ca/en/ to learn more about this method of payment and to find where you can purchase these dollars.
A Gourmet Experience and a Gathering Place for the Community
So, whether you go to do your grocery shopping, to share a bite to eat and spend time with your family and friends, or to discover another region, public markets offer everything to please you!
Watch for musical performances and activity programs each market offers. Concerts, eggplant races, community soup, coffee and newspapers, mini-conference, crafts … there’s something for everyone! Without a doubt, this summer, public markets are where you’ll find all the action! See you there!
Leslie Carbonneau, Agri-food Consultant
CLD de Brome-Missisquoi