By Sophia Savva
The Lance – Arts Intern Reporter
For one more month, students are still able to enjoy a local farmer’s market near campus.
The Downtown Windsor Farmers’ Market (DWFM) wraps up for the year on Oct. 11. The non-profit run project of the Downtown Residents Association operates every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and sells locally grown produce, hand-made products and prepared foods. The Market is located at Charles Clark Square, between Chatham St. East and University Ave. East—just a short bus ride away from the University.
Over the past six years, the DWFM has swelled in attendance and popularity, largely due to its relocation two years ago and the accessibility and visibility that came with it. The DWFM features a myriad of vendors from all over Windsor and Essex County with products such as Eco-friendly and organic personal care products, coffee, meats, flowers and baked goods. The Market also includes café tables to sit with friends adding to a unique “market vibe” that students can’t find anywhere else.
“I think coming to the Downtown Windsor Farmers Market immerses you in the whole of Windsor-Essex all in one spot,” said Steve Green, general manager of the Downtown Windsor Farmers’ Market.
The DWFM is also a great way for students to stock up on fresh and organic food for the week without having to venture out of the downtown area. The Market goes against the myth that local, organic food is not affordable or accessible to all; students can still buy a nice-sized amount of food to keep in a dorm-sized fridge for a good price.
Green added that it is more important than ever for young people to be aware of their food due to the increasing abundance of processed food, imported food, fast food and other unhealthy foods that they are consuming.
“Now is the time for young people to see where their food comes from and talk to the people who grow and produce it,” said Green.
Not only does the Market offer healthier produce options, it also helps small local businesses grow into big ones. Our Farm Organics, one of the many produce vendors at the DWFM, started out growing only three different crops and now has over 50. Since last year, the number of vendors itself has doubled to 45—some days, that number can even reach 60.
“Buying food from a grocery store is really supporting another economy,” said Lesley Labbe from Our Farm Organics.
Labbe stresses the importance of buying from local farmers and artisans, to support the local economy and community, as opposed to imported food from other places around the world.
The Downtown Windsor Farmers’ Market is a great place for University of Windsor students—whether first year or last—to build healthier habits and reinforce the local economy, all for a student-friendly price.