Never mind all the questions – where’s it grown, how’s it grown, is it grass-fed or corn? You can leave those at home for this trip to market. Entirely made up of local ecological farmers (many members of the Simcoe County Chapter of Ecological Farmers’ Association of Ontario) the annual Eco-Farmers’ Market is all organic and ecological, all the time.

Now in its fifth season, the market operates on the grounds of Hempola Farms, just north of Barrie (from Highway 400, take the Forbes Road exit or take Highway 93 north from the intersection with Highway 11, just past Barrie. Hempola is at the corner of Highway 93 and Forbes Road).

A bustling collection of health-conscious farmers and shoppers milling around food-laden tables, the market features fresh non-chemically treated vegetables pulled from the ground or plucked from their bushes as soon as they’re ready.

Start with radishes, greens, peas and strawberries or potted perennials ready to be planted and move into tomatoes, carrots, green onions and corn as the summer season moves along. Simcoe County meat farmers also sell healthy and hormone free animal products like grass-fed beef and free-range pork. Dandelion and lavender jellies, herbs, baked goods and cheeses round out this selection of fresh, local, healthy food.

Opening this Friday, June 13th at 3:30 p.m., the market runs until about dusk and continues all summer, until Thanksgiving weekend.

Photo by Julia Manzerova