It’s time to put on your short sleeves, get out the sunglasses and pick up your shopping baskets. It’s time to tell all of those bland, wintry hothouse fruit and veggies to step aside. There’s a new tomato in town: fresh, delicious and straight off the vine!
Wellington Farmer’s Market 243 Main St., Saturdays from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving
Looking for a bit of everything? Head straight for Prince Edward County and Wellington Farmers’ Market, where you’re sure to find “must-have” items you didn’t even know you needed! From the traditional to the avant-garde, this eclectic shoppers’ paradise has it all. Over 40 vendors offer everything from high end jewellery crafted by talented local artists to fresh County produce. Looking for those awesome crocheted dishcloths Grandma used to make? Browsing for antiques? What about some sweet smelling encaustic art made from beeswax? Visit this picturesque market and revel in gorgeous views of Lake Ontario while your kids play at adjacent Wellington Park.
Hillier Night Market at The Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards, Friday nights in July and August
Wine aficionados take note: the brand new, 10-vendor Hillier Market opens this summer and it’s located at fabulous winery The Grange of Prince Edward. Do a little wine tasting, check out Primal Foods fine vinegars and take a gander at some lovely natural bath and beauty items straight from Melody’s Garden. Family friendly, this spot offers picnic tables, fire pits and an entire farm to explore. Dangle your bare feet in the creek or try to catch some minnows. And did I mention the wine tasting…..?
Milford Market 2179 County Rd., Saturdays from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving
Before you leave the County altogether, slide on over to Milford and check out the wide range of goods on offer in this charming community. Housed in the same vintage shed the Milford Fall Fair calls home, this wonderful market hosts about a dozen vendors, all offering a fantastic selection of goods. Expect to find everything from organic vegetables and meat to pottery. Looking for a quaint souvenir from the County? What about a picture postcard created from photographs taken by local artists? Popular with both tourists and locals alike, this cozy and personable market encourages small talk. Sip a coffee, grab a snack and sidle up to a table to socialize.
Belleville Farmer’s Market Market Square, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, Year Round
Back across the bridge in downtown Belleville, going to market takes on a historic air. Located in the square just outside City Hall, year round Belleville Farmers’ Market has been on the go since 1816. From fresh baked breads to local maple syrup to hand-made perogies, this awesome shopping spot offers a little something to please everyone. Business peaks during growing season, when more than 35 vendors pack the place with fresh, local fruit, vegetables and flowers. But don’t forget to visit around Christmas time, too. Shoppers on the look out for unique presents will find a wealth of lovely gift ideas amongst all the beautiful arts and crafts.
Front Street Farmers’ Market Quinte West, Thursdays and Saturdays, early May to November
You can check out more than twenty vendor stalls at bustling Front Street Farmers’ Market, located right on the Trent River in Quinte West. Adjacent to the city’s recently developed RiverFront Square, this market attracts customers from near and far. They come for the apples, the strawberries, the tarts and countless other treats. And who could resist the lovely riverside setting?
Stirling Farmer’s Market North Street, Saturdays, seasonal
Marmora Farmer’s Market Saturdays, May through Thanksgiving
Madoc Farmer’s Market Saturdays, seasonal
Still in the mood to shop? Point the car north to Comfort Country, where seasonal markets flourish in the charming rural communities of Stirling, Madoc, and Marmora. Vendors often include home bakers, farmers and talented crafters. Look for the white awnings next to Stirling’s refurbished Grand Trunk Railway Station and right beside Marmora’s Tourism Information Centre. To check out market happenings in Madoc, go straight downtown and head for the Village Square.
Even non-shoppers will find the marketplaces an appealing weekend hangout. Most venues offer live entertainment and special events. Enjoy listening to local musicians play some tunes at Wellington or snap up a free seedling when Stirling-Rawdon Market celebrates opening weekend in May. Soak up a little atmosphere, take in some sun and enjoy the beautiful Bay of Quinte scenery.