By Jennifer Brignall-Strong

Asparagus, tomatoes, and kale, oh my!

With a long growing season and the highest concentration of greenhouses in Canada, Essex County is known for producing a bountiful harvest of fruits and vegetables. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg lettuce.

Between farmers’ markets and roadside stands, one needn’t go far to find everything you need to create a colourful, healthy meal. There aren’t many other regions in the country where you can find locally sourced seafood, honey, dairy, and more all in your own backyard. (Oh, and let’s not forget about the wineries…)

While eating “farm to table” isn’t exactly a new concept, it has definitely seen a resurgence in popularity amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, people are looking local for affordable, sustainable food options.

In fact, there’s even a word for people who actively try to choose locally produced food: locavore.

There are many benefits to becoming a “locavore”, the main one being of course, taste. Food harvested locally is generally given more time to ripen, resulting in a fresher flavour. Studies have shown that it may also carry a higher nutritional value for that same reason.
Not only is eating local good for you, it’s good for the environment and the economy. Since locally-grown food doesn’t have to travel far to get to your plate, it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also produces jobs and keeps money in your own community, supporting local farmers and other producers.

Whether you’re looking to “go green” or just save some green, eating local is a trend to get on board with that won’t soon go out of style.
Want to find out what Ontario produce is in season? Visit www.ontario.ca/foodland.