SIMCOE, MARCH 11, 2011 – Residents all across Haldimand and Norfolk counties are anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring, and not just because they’ve grown tired of salt-stained vehicles and slippery parking lots.
The approaching warmer weather signals the start of another growing season for area farmers, and locals are looking forward to visiting outdoor farmer’s markets and roadside stands to sample some of the wide variety of produce, meats and other products that our area has to offer.
“March is nutrition month, and the theme this year is ‘celebrate food, from field to table’, noted Coraine Wray, Public Health Dietitian with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. “We are encouraging people to take the time to explore the variety of tasty and nutritious foods our area produces, and to appreciate the benefits of buying local.”
Those attempting to provide a healthy, well-balanced meal for themselves and their family don’t even have to venture outside of Norfolk or Haldimand’s borders. Locally grown, raised and produced foods and goods such as vegetables, fruits, milk, cheese and other dairy products, honey, eggs, maple syrup, and a variety of meats are readily available right in our own backyard.
Achieving the recommended daily intake of seven to ten vegetables and fruit is fairly easy to do when you consider that farmers within a short drive grow a wide array of produce such as sweet corn, apples, peppers, beans, tomatoes, zucchini, sweet potatoes, asparagus, berries, cucumbers, cabbage and many other crops.
Our proximity to Lake Erie also provides home cooks and restaurant chefs alike with a large bounty of fresh fish including perch, rainbow trout, carp, and bass. Canada’s Food Guide recommends that all Canadians have at least two servings of fish a week, as the high levels of omega-3 fats in fish are proven to improve cardiovascular health.
“From lycopene in tomatoes, to antioxidants in berries, to vitamin C in peppers, our local agriculture can greatly contribute to your overall health and vitality,” added Wray.
Local farmers’ markets operate on various days of the week in Simcoe, Hagersville, Jarvis, Dunnville, Caledonia and Port Dover. Information about the hours and location of a farmers’ market near you can be found at www.norfolkfarms.com or www.harvestsofhaldimand.ca.
Public Health Dietitian
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
Ext. 3237 at either 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623