Hello there. It’s Big Red, your local lover of the finer things. When I throw a dinner party, guests often ask me what the secret to my delicious culinary creations. I don’t often reveal it, but for you I will make an exception. My big culinary secret is… farmer’s markets. It’s true. The fresh local ingredients found at farmers’ markets are the best. Fresh herbs, for example, take a meal to new levels of delight. Thankfully, York Durham Headwaters has markets everywhere from Uxbridge to Orangeville, and all places in-between. Get your baskets and cloth bags ready, here is a list of six must-visit farmers’ markets throughout York Durham Headwaters.
ps. We have shared our love of markets previously, check it out.
Durham Region Farmers’ Markets
Photo by: Central Counties Tourism
Every Saturday: Oshawa Legends Centre’s South Parking Lot (1661 Harmony Road North)
Second Sunday of the month: Durham College
Every Saturday, until October 28th, from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm
Second Sunday of the Month (Sept 10, Oct 08) from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
One of the best parts of farmers’ markets is that you can shake hands with the people that make your food. The North Oshawa Farmers’ Market is where the country and city meet. It is a great place to ask the growers and producers at the market any gardening questions you have Their advice have saved me countless times; because of them I might change my name to Big Green Thumb.
The market is more than veggies. There are woodcarvings, baking, maple syrup, apple cider, beef pies, and more. Say hi to Erik from Snowden Farms and pick up some naturally raised, grass-fed meat with no vaccines or antibiotics. They also boast entertaining theme days and events, like Western Day, an August Corn Roast, an Auto Show & Shine, in addition to live entertainment every week. If you have kids, pack a bathing suit for the splash pad at the Legends Centre. It is the perfect Saturday morning outing!
Photo by: Sunny Rose Soap
Where: Old Fire Hall, 201 Brock Street S., Downtown Whitby
When: May to October, Wednesdays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
The Whitby Farmers’ Market has a great mix of farmers and crafters. The market offers local produce, maple syrup, jams, fudge, baked goods, jewelry, and gifts. Everything is locally produced or handcrafted. My last visit yielded a basket full of apple cider, honey, herbs, strudel, bread, baby accessories (for Little Red), an apron, jewelry, soaps, sugar scrubs, and a gorgeous, handmade wooden bowl. What an amazing haul!
They have great summer events including: Strawberry-Maple Festival, Customer Appreciation Day, and a Corn Roast. The best part about these events is that the market gives all proceeds to their 2017 charity: The Denise House Emergency Shelter for Women & Children. The generosity of communities across York Durham Headwaters always warms my heart.
If you have someone in your life who is vegan or gluten-free, be sure to check out Zue’s Nutty Concoctions. They have coconut milk kefir, hummus, sweet and spicy jellies, pizza dough mix, natural deodorant, skincare ointment, dried herbs, and teas.
Photo By: Uxbridge Farmers’ Market
Where: The Second Wedge Brewing Company, 14 Victoria Street
When: May to October, Sundays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
Since the spring of 2002, the Uxbridge Farmers’ Market has offered a fine selection of farm-fresh produce, meats, honey, homemade preserves, plants, baking, handmade crafts, and artwork. With only local produce and craftspeople represented, you really get to taste and experience what makes Uxbridge unique. After filling your basket, make sure to stop by the brewery for a pint too!
Like I mentioned before, community spirit is a big part of farmers’ markets. The Uxbridge Farmers’ Market showed their community spirit with their Canada 150 initiative. They collected 150 pairs of socks to distribute to local shelters, food banks, and people in need. I tip my hat for their community support. Well done!
York Region Farmers’ Markets
Photo by: East Gwillimbury Farmers’ Market
Where: Market Square located in the Fieldgate Plaza, Yonge St. & Green Lane
When: Thursdays, until October 5, from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm
A lot has changed since the East Gwillimbury Farmers’ Market opened with five vendors back in 2010. They have a huge variety of vendors, selling a huge variety of items: local fruits, vegetables, perennials, eggs, meats, cheeses, baked goods, honey, sauces, preserves, soaps, artisanal crafts, and more. Each week they have great live music, plus lots of other activities, such as baking contests, special themed events, a giant community bake sale, and marquee events, such as Family Fest & Feast. Last time I visited the market, I picked up freshly baked coconut cardamom bread from Niemi Family Farms, heirloom carrots, and raw apple granola from Humble Roots Organic.
Photo By: Main Street Markham Farmers’ Market
Where: 132 Robinson Street, Markham
When: Saturdays, until October 7th, from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm
The Main Street Markham Farmers’ Market is like a little country oasis in the middle of the GTA. It’s enjoyable, relaxed, and local. It really does have that small-town community feel, where you can meet people and see some familiar faces. Not only can you enjoy the market, you can visit the unique shops, dining options, and experiences that Main Street Markham has been providing since 1872.
The market is a great place to enjoy amazing local products and live entertainment. They have fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables, baked goods, preserves, flowers, and more. Support your local producers and small businesses; make it a day trip to Markham!
Headwaters Region Farmers’ Markets
Photo by: Orangeville Farmers’ Market
Where: Downtown Orangeville, at the corner of Broadway and Second Street
When: May to October, Saturdays from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm
The Orangeville Farmers’ Market features fresh produce, fruits, locally raised meats, fish, flowers, home baked goods, and unique artisan crafts. Located in the heart of downtown Orangeville, this market is full of life, with free weekly draws, live entertainment, special events, and activities for the kids. Walking into the market from Broadway, you are always greeted with live music and an impressive number of vendors. Like all farmers’ markets, you can learn where your food is coming from, why you should be eating it, and how you can prepare it. If you love food as much as I do, you can really learn from the vendors’ passion!
There you have it, six farmers’ markets in York Durham Headwaters. Our region boasts an impressive amount of markets where you’ll find groceries, gifts, and good times! When you support the farmers’ market, you are truly supporting local. When you support local, we all win. Until our next culinary adventure, bon appétit!
Cheers from Big Red!