Local Love for Farmers Markets by Catherine Switzer

One of my favourite things about living in downtown Hamilton is being in walking distance to the Hamilton Farmers Market.


Coming into the warm weather I instantly get excited about the abundance of fresh and local foods that will soon be on market stands and you should too. It has become a joke in our home that I want to be the unofficial queen of the market because I love the social aspect of visiting the people that literally grow my food. But what I love more is seeing the hustle and bustle, the options, the local foods, the surprise when you forgot that it was all of a sudden blueberry season. It’s a mindful practice that I cherish. Not only does local produce taste exceptional there are many reasons to benefit from taking the time each week to select and enjoy your food.

Nutrient Density

When you choose locally grown, vine ripened foods you are obtaining the utmost nutrient content from them. You see, the longer a fruit or vegetable has to ripen on the vine, the more nutrient dense it becomes. Once picked from a garden, a piece of produce slowly starts to lose its nutrient content. Combine that with imported produce that is harvested unripe and “ripens” on its way to a final destination, the beneficial nutrients are somewhat depleted.

Now don’t get me wrong, you can still benefit from fresh foods, but when you live in an area like southern Ontario why wouldn’t you want to reap the benefits while you can. Not to mention we all know how delicious that Grimsby Peach is when you sink your teeth in.

Here are some nutrients you may receive from fresh local produce:

  • Antioxidants

  • Calcium

  • Fiber

  • Folate

  • Iron

  • Magnesium

  • Potassium

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin Bs

  • Vitamin C

Should you buy Organic?

I think it is important to understand why we choose organic foods. To narrow it down, conventional farming and grown produce lives in environments that use hormones, antibiotics, pesticides or are GMOs to ward off disease, insects and protect against environmental factors. Even though these practices have been deemed safe for human consumption, they are also known to put tremendous pressure on the natural detoxification processes in the body.

Shopping purely organic can be costly. There are a few things that I follow that can help ease the pressure on your wallet while nourishing your body.

  • Follow the Dirty Dozen & Clean 15!

  • Get to know your local farmers practices, as some are not certified but may practice sustainable farming

  • In peak season eat, preserve & freeze

  • Frozen foods in off season are a great choice as they are frozen during peak ripeness

Healthy Economy & Ecosystem

By supporting local farmers you not only are supporting the economical impact on your small community businesses, but it enriches the ecosystem that surrounds us. Healthy soil has a domino effect in providing nutrient dense foods, safe habitat for birds, critters & more. Preventing erosion of the land and healthy water for us all.


Local Markets

I love checking out all the different markets in Hamilton and surrounding area. I encourage you to check them out too. Here is a list of our local markets! *please note that most markets are seasonal

Hamilton Farmers Market

35 York Blvd, Jackson Square

Tues, Thurs & Fri 8am-6pm, Sat 7am-5pm

Ancaster Farmers Market

37 Halson St

Wednesday 3-7pm

Durand Market

165 Charlton Ave W

Wednesday 3-7pm

Dundas Farmers Market


Hatt St & Millers Ln

Thursday 3-7pm

Heritage Green Farmers Market

360 Isaac Brock Drive (the Family Church)

Thursdays 3-7pm

Ottawa Street Farmers Market

204 Ottawa St. N

Saturday 8am-2pm

Waterdown Farmers Market

79 Hamilton St N

Saturday 8am-1pm

More About Catherine

Catherine is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Labor & Postpartum Doula, 200Hr Certified Yoga Instructor (with IFF!) and owner of BabyBeets. You can find out more about Catherine at www.babybeets.ca or on her Instagram here. You can also find her teaching at IFF occasionally and hosting many yoga programs in the community.