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Column: There's never been a better time to enjoy locally grown food

Eat Local Sudbury has you covered with food, seeds and The Market 
Thanks, in part, to the efforts of Eat Local Sudbury, finding food grown close to home has never been easier. (File)

By Colleen Burns and Allison Muckle

Eat Local Sudbury is known as Sudbury’s not-for-profit co-operative local food grocery store.

However, Eat Local Sudbury staff can be found throughout the community, participating in local festivals, offering barbecues outside their downtown headquarters, and for the second year, the co-op has secured the management contract for the Greater Sudbury Market.

This year marks the sixth year for Eat Local Sudbury’s Annual Seedling Swap and Sale, taking place May 27 as part of the Sudbury Gardening Festival. Gardeners can bring their extra vegetable seedlings to swap for an equal number of seedlings of another variety. Don’t have any seedlings to swap? No problem — seedlings donated by local farmers can be purchased for $3 to $6 each. 

All proceeds raised by the Seedling Swap and Sale go toward supporting Eat Local Sudbury. The seedlings offered vary from year to year, but you can expect to find tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, herbs, sunflowers, marigolds, peppers and squash. Big thanks go out to Leisure Farms (Sturgeon Falls), Three Forks Farms (Warren) and Rowantree Farms (Wanup) for donating seedlings for the event.

The Market is gearing up for another wonderful season starting at 8 a.m. on June 3. This year, the Market is boasting Fresh Ideas: Grow It, Bake It, Raise It, Make It! With an increasing focus on locally grown and made items, there has never been a better way to support local agriculture and the local economy. Supplementing our shorter growing season is a roster of growers from other areas, offering items not grown in quantity in the North.

This year, The Market will run on Saturdays from June 3 to Oct. 28 at the Elgin Street site outside the former Via Rail Station, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (with some vendors staying open until 3 p.m.). This year sees the addition of a pilot York Street Market on Thursday evenings from 3-7 p.m., running from July 6 to Sept. 21, located in the municipally owned York Street parking lot. 

There is hope that this weekday evening time and location will attract new groups to The Market, including those who head out of town most weekends of the summer. The option also benefits local farmers who can have fresh-picked produce available on both Thursdays and Saturdays, allowing them to pick at the peak of freshness—which clearly benefits shoppers as well.

This year will see the return of many well-known vendors, such as Three Forks Farm, McGrows Farm & Gardens, Old Soul Soap Company, Dare 2 Dream Alpaca Farm, Devaline Creations, CJ Pies, Applegarth Embroidery, Honeylink Meats, Superior Meats, Françoise Kemayi, and more. There are also vendors such as Made by Mindy and others who will be adding their energy and wares to the Market for the first time this year. New and returning vendors are welcome to apply.

The Market kicks off the season on June 3 with tie-ins with the Greater Sudbury Earth Day Festival, including the launch of the Greater Sudbury Food Policy Council’s Draft Food Strategy. The rest of the season is shaping up, with community partners to offer a slate of activities, from story mobs to urban hikes, postcard contests to sunflower competitions. There is sure to be something for everyone. 

The Market would not be complete without an array of musical guests. This year, we already have confirmations from the Northern Brass Choir, and Sudbury Guitar Trio, as well as the always-popular Afro Madness Drum Troupe. Visit Greater Sudbury Market on Facebook to get updates as activities and musical guests are confirmed. 

Anyone with questions is welcome to contact Colleen Burns, Market Manager by email at or by calling 705-521-6717 ext. 104.

The Market, established in 1914, is a firmly rooted part of Sudbury’s culture. Longtime Sudbury residents tell stories of its origins on Borgia Street, while younger Sudburians recall its years on Shaugnessy Street and its most recent home at Elgin and Elm streets. But despite the changes, The Market retains its values of supporting local farmers and craftspeople, and bringing people together for a good time in the summer. We hope to see you there!


Colleen Burns is the Market Manager for the Greater Sudbury Market and has a decade of experience volunteering with food security groups in Toronto, Ottawa and Sudbury, and has managed the Good Food Box host site at St. Andrew’s for more than three years. Allison Muckle is the owner of Rowantree Farms located in Wanup, Ontario and is a producer-member of the Eat Local Sudbury Food Co-Op.