Buy local and save
Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 10:08
Buying locally not only puts money back into the local economy, it keeps money in your pocket. For those who have never heard of, or been to, St. Catharines’ Market Square on King St. in the downtown core, it is a great place to buy produce, meats, cheeses, pastries and more from local producers for a fraction of retail costs. For budgeting students, it is absolutely worth a look.
The hours of operation are 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday every week year-round. The main benefit of farmer’s markets within any community is that it puts money back where it should be – in the community.
“They are economically keeping money within the Niagara region,” said Jan Bechard, Market and Event Coordinator for the City of St. Catharines. “It is my understanding that if you buy imported goods, it is only about a dollar that stays within the community as opposed to buying locally, which about two and a half times that stays,” she said adding that the food is fresher as it has not travelled as far, and there is better health benefits as no chemical preservatives are needed for long distance shipping.
There are also environmental benefits as well, as virtually no carbon footprint is left. Local farming is not factory produced in mass quantities or shipped a great distance for consumption.
The St. Catharines’ Market Square features a myriad of vendors to match anyone’s shopping needs.
“There are local farmers (produce including all in-season fruits and vegetables), cheese, deli and prepared food vendors (if you’re in the neighbourhood, stop by and grab a fresh and delicious lunch), as well as artisan jewelry, soaps and baked goods,” said Bechard.
Some of the vendors include: De Vries, Bry-anne Farms and Havelszky Family Farm for your fruits and vegetables; Chocolate Expressions, Venessa’s Cupcakes and Confectionary, No Dairy Diva and Johnny’s Fresh Bagels for your baked goods; Bessy’s Poultry, Cheesy Guys and Eva Derer Deli for your meats and cheeses; Truly Organic Foods and Live Sprouts for organic food; there are also specialty items such as Paws N Claws (organic dog treats) and many, many more.
Events at Market Square range from the Music in the Square line-up on Thursdays from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. during the summer featuring everything from jazz and blues and oldies to modern day music; to the Market Discovery Table, which participants enjoy hands-on experiences including making butter, creating seed mosaics, honey tasting, market searches, learning about honey and the importance of bees and more.
“[Market Discovery Table] introduces people to maybe a root vegetable they’ve never used before, there’s hands-on crafts for kids where they learn all about where their food comes from and more,” said Bechard.
Bechard noted that she would be very interested in having students volunteer at the Market Square this season. She said students could work at the information table communicating with patrons among other duties.
If students are interested in getting some exchangeable volunteer experience working at the Market Square they should contact Bechard at email@example.com.