What You’ll Find at the St. Catharines Farmers Market

image001There are a number of great farmers markets in the Niagara region, and they all showcase the wealth and variety of fruits, berries, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and more that the area’s farmers produce.

The St. Catharines Farmers Market, located at the corner of James Street and King Street in the center of the town next to the Courthouse and City Hall, has been in operation since the early 1860s, and it has been an important part of the town’s social and economic life that entire time.

For residents and visitors to Niagara who want to get the freshest, local food and wares from area farmers and artisans, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays should include a visit to the St. Catharines Farmers Market. Here is a look at just some of what you can find at the market.

  • Fruit and Vegetables. From asparagus and eggplant to apricots and apples, Niagara is a fertile place. Here are a few of the farms you can find at the St. Catharines Farmers Market and a smattering of what they grow and sell:
    o Bartel Farms. A seasonal participant only, Bartel Farms specializes in organic produce, raspberries, and cut flowers.
    o Chez Nous Farms. A certified organic farm, Chez Nous grows everything from potatoes
    and kale to heirloom tomatoes. You can find them at the market all year long.
    o Porpiglia Farms. You’ll want to try their apples during the late summer and fall.
    o Bry-Anne Farms. A conventional farm that specializes in letting consumers pick their own fruit, this seasonal farm brings everything from pumpkins to strawberries to the market.
  • Baked Goods. Whether you need a loaf of bread, a dozen sweet rolls, croissants, cakes, or beaver tails, the St. Catharines Farmers Market boasts a wide selection from many of the area’s best bakeries. Bakeries that are usually in attendance all year long include:
    o de la terre bakery. This Vineland, Ontario bakery specializes in organic artisan bread and pastries.
    o Sweet Potato Johnny. If you’re looking for a baked good made out of sweet potatoes, they have it.
    o Vanessa’s Cupcakes and Confections. Makers of sweet treats, who spend the bulk of their image003efforts on cupcakes, Vanessa’s is at the market on Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • Meat and Cheese. From plucked, whole chickens to fresh-cured bacon and just-layed eggs, you can get locally raised meat from places like Bessy’s Poultry and Kasha’s Sow Farm at the market. There are also plenty of imported meats and cheeses available from places like Maria’s Deli.
  • International Cuisine. From Perogies to Middle Eastern food, there are a handful of vendors offering international prepared food for sale. Saturdays are the best days to catch this market fare.
  • VQA Wine Sales. It wouldn’t be a market in Niagara if there wasn’t high-quality, local wine for sale. There are about a dozen wineries on a weekly rotation at the market. Some of what you’ll see includes:
    o Cave Spring Cellars.
    o Creekside Estate Winery.
    o Chateau des Charmes Winery.
    o Pillitteri Estates Winery
    o Megalomaniac
    o And more!

Regardless of what brings you to the Niagara region, be sure to spend some time — preferably on a Saturday — perusing the many offerings at the St Catharines Farmers Market. Not only will it give you a hearty sampling of the fecundity of the region, but you’ll get plenty of chances to taste Niagara’s bounty as well.