Groundhogs have made their predictions. Spring is here and Saturday is the season’s first Market Day at Western Fair Farmer’s Market.
Warmer temperatures – brought on by the dawn of springtime – are expected to breathe new life into the market’s weekly event as Londoners will be looking to start gardening again and also want the best ingredients.
“Definitely with spring coming up we see a lot more gardeners and a lot seed purchases – that kind of stuff,” said Brittany Coats who runs the main market at the Fairgrounds, as well as the market up at Masonville.
“Right now is when plants are being planted – your arugula, your spinach, any leafy vegetable needs to be planted now, ” Coats said.
More meat-eaters are also set to descend on the market tomorrow as they clear off their patios of their snow and more barbecues should be on the way.
Year-round, the market is a hub of a huge variety of produce, ingredients and seasonings that they would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
The Farmers and Artisans Market at The Western Fair brings local artisans and farmers together and it’s a popular hotspot for chefs, culinary aficionados and local eateries on the hunt for high-quality, farm-fresh goods “straight from the farmer who produced them. And that’s why I think we’ve been successful.”
— WesternFairFarmersM (@WFFarmerMkt) March 20, 2015
“Some of the guests who come in weekly mostly come in knowing already what they want. But guests from London come in and browse around and see what’s new and exciting.”
“We have over a hundred local vendors here setting up here,” Coats said. “We have people from all over the city, Stratford and even vendors from Niagara-on-the-Lake.”
She added that seasonal farmers are setting up shops offering their produce waiting to be added to Londoners’ next culinary delight.
“During the summer, we like to bring in our seasonal farmers, our corn vendors, our berry vendors because it all depends on their planting seasons.”
If you’re looking to ring in the season, check out the market at the corner of Dundas and Ontario streets at 8 a.m.
Additionally, craftlovers should stop by as entire second floor of the Western Fair market is dedicated to an eclectic roster of locally hand-crafted products, collectibles, vintage work and fine jewellery.
“We’re definitely a one-stop shop. We have everything from your fresh local produce to your baked goods to your breads, your dairy and cheese. And upstairs we have everything you need for unique gifting.”
Looking forward, on April 25, the market is hosting a event called “Beast in the East,” where five local bands are playing in a celebration of the Old East of London.