Story and Photos by Carolyn Wong TBFM Farmers Market Manager and filmmaker
Farmers’ market season is here and as the summer progresses, they will be swinging into their element. With the cool spring past us, our local Ontario produce is growing and it’s marvellous to see what lovely fruits and vegetables begin to show up in the stalls. Within the next few months till end of October, the bounty is upon us!
Nothing is more loved by organizers of local farmers’ markets than having patrons arrive on foot and by bicycle. It supports their overall vision of reducing individual carbon footprints, healthy living and helping the environment. And nothing is more enjoyable than riding free with the wind in your hair, carting home delicious locally produced food to cook up at hearth and home.
As a polite pedaller, it is prudent to be thoughtful to the logistics of shopping at a farmers market. The stalls tend to be fairly close to each other and there are lots of other people vying to approach the vendor’s stall. Not to mention parents with small children (in and out of strollers) and pet owners (on leash please).
On behalf of all farmers’ markets and their managers, we thought it would be helpful to share some tips for shopping at the market to make the experience enjoyable for all patrons and vendors alike.
Please DO ride your bicycle to market and laden your baskets and panniers with locally produced food!
Please DO walk your bike through the market area proper.
Please lock your bike away from stalls. Not enough racks? Simply lay it down or lean against a mature tree and lock it to itself. Never lock it to young trees; it can damage them and potentially jeopardize their survival.
Polite pedallers do NOT bring their bike with them up to the stall. We all know it’s super convenient, but it is not considerate to other shoppers or the vendor’s who have taken care to create an attractive stall layout. Using your kickstand to stand it beside you is an unsafe solution, as it can block and fall over on an unsuspecting person or rambunctious child.
Would the polite pedaller approve? Check out some of these 'do's and dont's' below and remember: Don't block the stalls at farmers markets with your bike and if you are going to use the kickstand, make sure you are on firm ground.
To find out more about local food production and markets check out these links:
Visit Toronto Farmers Market Network for a complete list of farmers markets in the GTA.
Visit Greenbelt Farmers Market to find out more about their markets.
Visit Toronto Region Conservation Authority to learn more about sustainable local food production.
Visit Community Food Centres Canada to learn more about healthy food systems in Canada.
Our new issue of dandyhorse has arrived! dandyhorse is available for FREE at Urbane Cyclist, Bikes on Wheels, Cycle Couture, Sweet Pete's, Hoopdriver, Batemans, Velofix, and Steamwhistle. Our new issue of dandyhorse includes cover art by Kent Monkman, interviews with Catherine McKenna and the women behind Toronto's first feminist bike zine, lots of news and views on Bloor, Under Gardiner and the West Toronto Railpath and much, much more! Get dandy at your door or at better bike and book shops in Toronto.
Related on the dandyBLOG: