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Make Your Way to Market
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Getting to know the St. John’s Farmers Market
Summer might be coming to an end, but there’s still lots you can do to fight those pre-winter blues, like visiting the St. John’s Farmers Market!
Living a proactive life means more than staying active, so physiotherapists and owners Justin and Chris are here to talk about how eating well, buying local, and supporting your community can benefit your sense of wellbeing in any season.
When we think of a farmers market, we might think of warm summer days and fresh berries, but we should also think of autumn winds, braided garlic, and home-made scarfs. That’s right: the St. John’s Farmers Market is open all fall, right through December 23. From 9:00am-2:00pm every Saturday, the market is a great source of fresh food and family fun. Plus, it’s an easy way to ensure the whole family knows the benefits of getting outside and stocking a pantry the proactive way.
We’ve all gone to get groceries, fully intending to stock up on fruits and vegetables, but leave empty handed and disappointed after only finding bruised produce and wilting leafy greens. It’s true, living on an isolated island in the middle of the Atlantic doesn’t make transporting fresh food easy! But for at least seven months of the year, those in the St. John’s vicinity can ditch the chain supermarkets and get fresh produce that’s grown right here.
Access to healthy food is not a problem unique to Newfoundland, but Newfoundlanders are known to have the lowest fruit and vegetable intake in all of Canada, and we have the highest rates of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. So taking advantage of what fresh food we do have is extremely important. (Just ask our dieticians!)
Cost and Community
On top of limited amounts of appealing produce, Atlantic Canada has seen the price of produce rise dramatically over the last number of years. Research has shown that one of the main reasons people tend to eat unhealthily is the cost associated with more nutritious food. Produce grown locally, however, is often more cost-effective for a few reasons.
What you buy organic, locally grown food, you’re paying for the food, not the middleman. Prices are not inflated to account for shipping and transport fees, or excess staff. So not only is the food fresh, but it’s also more affordable! Plus, proceeds go right back into local farmers and help support their community growing efforts. Supporting the St. John’s Farmers Market is your way to eat good, and do good!
What to Buy, What to Do
How do you make the most out the market this fall? Knowing what’s in season is half the battle. Cabbage, tomatoes, turnip, garlic, brussel sprouts, beet, and potatoes are all harvestable from September onwards, and they all have something to offer for nutritional value! Other in-season fall vegetables include onion, beans, spinach, and celery.
Once you have your week’s veggies picked up, the St. John’s Farmers Market also provides lots to do for the whole family. Weekly vendors change, but you can usually find face painting, demo dance and Tai Chi classes, and local artisans selling art, jewelry, and crafts.
So what are your plans for this Saturday? If you’re looking to boost your intake of fresh, local food this fall, or just get out and about in the community, the St. John’s Farmers Market should be first on your list. Need more ideas on how to make local nutrition a part of your ProActive lifestyle? Our dietetics services are growing, so get in touch! And while you’re here, sign up for our newsletter and you could win a free massage!
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