Go to the Farmer's Market

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When you’re shopping at a supermarket, the cashier probably won't know how long it took to grow the carrots you're buying or what kind of recipes you can make with bok choy.

Farmer's markets encourage curiosity and inquisitive learning. When purchasing from a vendor, customers can ask questions to learn more about where their food comes from.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, knowing where their food is grown and produced better equips people to make decisions that maximize quality, freshness, and nutritional value. Knowing where our food comes from bridges the gap between farm and table and helps support a healthy relationship with eating.

Shopping at the farmer's market also facilitates seasonal eating, which means choosing fruits and vegetables when they are in season locally—for example, buying Canadian tomatoes in August rather than imported ones in January. 

Not only is seasonal produce more sustainable because it isn’t shipped as far, but it also offers better nutrition and taste. Local fruits and vegetables don't have to be packed with pesticides to be ripe by the time they make the long journey to the supermarket. 

Seasonal eating can also be less expensive because providers don’t have to account for high transport costs. Grocery companies make huge profits by marking up the prices of produce, whereas buying directly from farmers helps avoid price gouging. 

Eating and shopping locally also keeps our money circulates in the local economy, in turn helping to support small businesses and people in the community. Students at Queen's are often out of touch with the greater Kingston community, as the people we see daily are others our age and often from elsewhere originally. 

The farmer's market is an opportunity for students to interact with Kingstonians living outside the University District. Families, elderly couples, students, and people from across Ontario all gather at the Memorial Center on Sundays to shop. The farmer’s market creates a sense of community within a town, as it brings so many kinds of different people together. 

The Memorial Centre Farmers Market in Kingston is available year-round and happens every Sunday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. You can find fresh produce vendors, bakeries, breweries, jewelers, and artisanal coffee baristas. There’s also a variety of freshly prepared food, including Japanese Okonomiyaki and churros. 

The variety at the farmer’s market is unmatched; it allows customers to try new foods outside they may not know how to prepare at home. 

We’re surrounding by knowledgeable people. Instead of Googling the answers, we should reach out to experts in the community. The farmer’s market is a place to practice this skill, as vendors have personal experience farming the produce and running their small businesses. 

Grocery shopping can be a mundane chore, often something that people dread each week. The farmer’s market gives students the opportunity to get excited about their groceries, engage with the Kingston community and learn more about where their produce comes from. 

There's something for everyone at the farmer's market—go see for yourself.  

Lilly is a second-year Politics student and The Journal’s Assistant Sports Editor.

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