It's Local Food Week here in Ontario this week, and I wanted to do something in Kingston that I hadn't done before that would also support locally sourced products. What transpired was an adventure to the Kingston Memorial Centre Farmers' Market this morning, and even though it was my first time visiting, I already know that I'll be going back very soon.

I headed out around 8:30 this morning for the twenty minute trek to the Memorial Centre. I was hoping for nicer weather today, and I'm sure the people at the market were as well, but regardless of that, the turnout at the market was superb. It became very clear to me that this is a popular Sunday activity for many families in Kingston.

One of my first stops was the Main Street Market! They had an eclectic collection of drinks, fresh produce, salsas, hummus dips, and more. Very friendly people who love what they do!

In the end, I ended up leaving with fresh spinach and salsa verde, which has just a hint of lime (not too much, which is what I prefer) and the perfect fusion of tomato and hot pepper.

Due to it being Local Food Week, the Market was hosting a contest for patrons who spent over $10 at any given vendor. I filled out a ballot to (hopefully) win a dinner downtown! The contest (and the ideology behind Local Food Week itself), is a great way to get the community out and purchasing their groceries from dedicated people.

My next stop was at the Goaty Girls, which offers their customers products made exclusively from goat's milk. I sampled some of their goat cheese (I had never tried it before) and found it rather tasty! I'm sure my mother would be proud of me since I was such a fussy eater growing up (sorry, mom). But you truly never know until you try!

To keep myself from buying the whole place out, I chose something that I don't ordinarily buy for myself, and took home a rhubarb buttermilk loaf. I can't wait to try it! Goaty Girls is also known for its cinnamon rolls and sweet potato buns (which were delicious paired with the goat's cheese). And, as an added bonus, the kefir found in goat's milk and cheese has traditionally been used as a European and Asian medicine to aid in an assortment of health issues.

My next stop was the Winding Path Organic Farm, and I definitely spent a lot of time here speaking to the farmers. Since 2011 they have specialized in producing lactose-free yogurts, fermented foods, sugar and starch-free baked goods, and processed foods free of pesticides or herbicides. I sampled a few things here, the most noteworthy being their spin on mumallaengi, a Korean specialty made of dried radish strips. Another new thing I had never tried before! It had the perfect kick of sweet and spicy flavours all wrapped within its crunchy texture. I tried the lactose-free yogurt and their beet brownies, and I've got to say... You haven't lived until you've had beet brownies. I normally dislike beets, but this tasty treat - made with pure cacao and coconut sugar - makes it difficult to remember you are eating something nutritious. Needless to say, I left with the brownie.

I made a few other stops to the vendors and tried an assortment of cheese and chocolate. The chocolate at Hannah's Maple, in particular, was astonishing. They had all kinds of locally sourced chocolate products: some made with strawberry, others with coconut, and the list literally goes on!

To save myself from going into foodie overload, I was sure to stop by Shiva's Delight to check out some of their natural handmade bath and body goods. They are all made of natural ingredients, such as plant extracts, clays, flowers, essential oils.


At the end of the day, I'm incredibly happy I chose to go to the Memorial Centre Farmers' Market and see what all of the amazing local farmers and creators have spent so much time and energy on. The flavour is unbeatable, and the owners themselves are all friendly people who are so keen on telling you all about their products and how they are made.

If you find yourself looking for a great way to support your local farmers, do some research and see if your town/city/area has a farmers' market. Visit it, and I'm sure you'll keep going back for more! I know I will be, and that's just another one of the great things I love about Kingston. You can't help but return to a welcoming environment that offers great food, conversation, and company.

Published by Ashley Newton