Fall is upon us and, believe it or not, so is prime time for farmers’ markets. Brussels sprouts and cabbage are just starting their season, whereas eggplant, peaches, and raspberries are on their way out. We’ve said so long to strawberries and it is too early for pumpkins just yet, but you can still get your hands on all kinds of produce – not to mention meats, eggs, pastries, and a plethora of handmade goods. If you’re looking for something in particular during the fall season at a farmers’ market, chances are you’ll find it. Nearly most everything is available – and if you are curious, The Ottawa Farmers’ Market has a great table on their website letting you know what is in season.
We are lucky to have so many farmers’ markets in Ottawa. Most of these markets operate through the end of October, if not all year long. There are also some noteworthy markets just outside the city limits. Seeing as there are so many great markets to visit, we’ve done you a favour and listed them all in one spot for you.
One of the largest and longest running markets in the country, nestled right in the heart of downtown, the Byward Market is open for business 363 days a year. While roaming about the market, you can find anything from fresh produce, maple syrup, and jewelry, to beautiful handmade mitts and scarves. Although not all products at this market are local, those that are, are easy to spot – just look for the “Savour Ottawa” logo!
Next in line is the Ottawa Farmers’ Market, which takes place every Sunday, all year long, in Aberdeen Square at Lansdowne. From pottery to pickles to cheeses, to meats, the Ottawa Farmers’ Market has such a range of vendors that you are sure to find what you are looking for (and, certainly, a few things that you were not). If you were worried about being outdoors during the winter months, don’t fret, once the cold sets in, the market makes itself cozy in the beautiful Aberdeen Pavilion.
The Ottawa Farmers’ Market’s little sister makes an appearance in Byron Linear Park, every Saturday through the end of October. Despite its smaller size, the Westboro market still boasts roughly 65 amazing vendors.
Tucked away in the Canada Care Medical Building, behind the Canadian Tire at Bank and Heron, is a farmers’ market that operates 50 weeks a year. Here you can find a variety of meats, vegetables, fruits, olive oils, and maple syrups, all of which are certified organic.
Now through the beginning of November, any day of the week, you can find a whole lot of vendors at the Parkdale Market, selling everything from produce to plants, mushrooms to meats. The Parkdale Market is also home to the Savour Ottawa Field House, where you can pick up personalised boxes of local produce – all you need to do to begin receiving your own is register an account with Savour Ottawa Online.
The Beechwood Farmers’ Market, which joined the Ottawa farmers’ market family this June, takes place every Saturday through to early October, at the corner of Beechwood and St Charles. Enjoy live acoustic music while you peruse the variety of meats, cheeses, produce, and baked goods that their vendors have to offer.
With seemingly endless construction on Main Street, the Main Farmers’ Market has traded spaces. It now takes place every Saturday morning on the front lawn of the Museum of Nature. All of the products you find at this market are grown or produced within 160kms of the city. One of the perks of this market’s change of location is the museum. Why not bring the kids and spend some time checking it out? This year, the Main Farmers’ Market runs until October 29th.
Out of town
These next few markets are a bit of a ways out of the city, but are totally worth the trip.They also happen to be in the cutest little towns, with plenty to explore outside of the markets, so you can make a day (or even a weekend) of it!
Every Saturday morning until Thanksgiving, the parking lot of the Almonte Public Library transforms into a farmers’ market. Here you can get some incredible pickled veggies from the folks at Whyte Family Farms, or buy some black angus beef from the Gableridge Farm (and that is only a tiny sliver of what you can find). If being surrounded by delicious produce and pastries makes you hungry, the North Market has you covered, they have breakfast and lunch options for all.
Over 25 years running, the Carp Farmers’ Market is held on the Carp Fairgrounds, every Saturday from 8am-1pm. With over 100 vendors – including Engine House Coffee, Back Forty Artisan Cheese, and Bearbrook Game Meats Inc. – there truly is a little bit of everything. All of the products sold at the market are produced by the vendors themselves, so you know that you are giving money to those whose goods are a labour of love. Although the weekly market closes for the season in October, it reopens for a special Christmas Market on the first Saturday of December.
If you are interested more in handmade goods – such as soaps, candles, jewelry, or socks – then the Cumberland Farmers’ Market is for you. While you can still find meats, produce, honey, and pastries at the market, the 60 vendors who work this market are predominantly makers.
Another artisan-heavy farmers’ market is the Metcalfe Farmers’ Market, which runs until mid-October on the Metcalfe Fairgrounds. You can also have coffee, or breakfast, at the Sunflower Cafe while you are there. They also host two Christmas Markets at the Greely Community Centre, on November 19th and December 17th.
Wakefield really doesn’t need a farmers’ market to make it worthy of a visit, but it certainly does add to the appeal. With a different live musical performance every weekend, the market takes place each Saturday at the corner of Legion and Riverside Road, now through mid-October. You can expect a variety of meats, veggies, handmade soaps, and pottery.
So there you have it, folks – the markets to visit during this prime harvest season! If you are looking for recipes ideas, to make use of your farmers’ market haul, be sure to check out the “Hello my name is…” series on the blog.