Masonville Farmer’s Market

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The Masonville Farmers’ Market is opening for the season this Friday, May 8, bright and early at 8:00am and will be there until 2:00pm.

The Market is located in the Masonville Place Sears parking lot, off Richmond Street north, just south of Fanshawe Park Road.

The Masonville Farmers’ Market features farmers, bakers, and artisans from London and the surrounding area. This is a delicious opportunity to meet the people who actually farm your food and learn from them how it is grown, where it is grown, and to support them directly. While you’re there, treat yourself to a coffee at the mobile Fire Roasted Coffee truck, buy a sweet treat at one of the bakeries, pick up some specialty bread and some specialty jam to go with it, fresh bacon for breakfast, organic seedlings for your own garden, and of course all of the seasonal fruits and vegetables you can fit in your arms!

IF YOU GO

Remember that this is a local farmers market – you will find the best of the season, not the best of the world. Banana’s, mangoes, and oranges will be imported to the grocery store, not here!

Bring your own reusable grocery bags to cut down on the plastic.

Stop at a bank machine on the way so that you have lots of cash. There is a TD Canada Trust across the street, a Royal Bank across Fanshawe by East Side Marios, and various bank machines in the mall.

There is lots of free parking in the parking lot beside the market.

The Masonville Farmers’ Market is open every FRIDAY until the end of September. Visit weekly to get the best of the season, all season!

Organic Vs. Conventional

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We just had Earth Hour last week and are now into April. With Earth Day coming up, this is a great time to open up a conversation with your children about the earth and caring for our planet. There are many hot topics when it comes to the environment and many views on what the real problem is (or is not!) with our planet. Regardless of your opinion or knowledge on the topics, we have some great little experiments that you can try with kids of all ages to get both you and them thinking. The first is to take a look at organic farming vs. conventional farming.

WHAT YOU NEED

This part is easy – go to the grocery store and buy two of the same fruits or vegetables, one organic and one not labelled organic. Try to get two pieces that appear to be the same quality, freshness, and age. If at all possible, try to get them from the same location (e.g. both from Canada, both from Mexico). We used apples.

WHAT TO DO

Absolutely nothing! Bring them home and put them side by side on your counter somewhere. Then wait a few days, weeks, or months depending on the produce you selected.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

At regular intervals, have your children take a look at the produce and see if they still look the same. Is one decomposing faster than the other? Does one smell different than the other? Do they feel different?

ENDING THE EXPERIMENT

When you have had enough of your observations, cut both pieces of produce in half and see if there are any differences happening inside.

WHAT WE  NOTICED

We kept our apples out for two months. The organic apple’s peel went wrinkly and soft, and the conventionally grown apple’s did not. When we cut them open, the organic apple had begun to rot inside, where the conventionally grown apple had not begun to visibly decompose.

QUESTIONS TO ASK (and perhaps Google!)

  1. What does it mean to be grown ‘organically’? What does ‘conventionally grown’ mean?
  2. Why does growing food organically seem like a good idea? Why does growing food conventionally seem like a good idea?
  3. What else could have made them decompose at different/same rates?
  4. Do you think they taste different from each other? Why or why not?
  5. What does GMO mean? How do you know if something is a GMO?
  6. Why does organic food cost more than conventionally grown food?
  7. What does ‘natural’ mean in reference to food? Do organic and natural mean the same thing?

 

Farm Boy

farmboy

It is the mantra of every healthy eater at the grocery store: shop the perimeter, skip the centre aisles. Sound familiar? Farm Boy takes that one step further by just removing the centre aisles. Instead of a grocery store full of processed, packaged, high-sodium, high-sugar, bags and boxes of things that make nutritionists cringe, they’ve removed all of that stuff and what is left is Farm Boy’s selection of fresh produce, fresh seafood and sushi, Ontario-raised, grain-fed meat, an extensive deli counter, salad bar, antipasto bar, breads, a large selection of cheeses and dairy/dairy-substitutes, and a whole bunch of store-made, ready to eat meals and snacks such as sandwiches, pizza, pasta, soups and desserts. There’s even a space for you to take your food and eat it there if you can’t wait until you get home ;)

In addition to all of the fresh food, Farm Boy also has their own private label dried goods, sauces, seasonings, tortilla chips, and the like, as well as a selection of packaged foods by other small brands. Think of it like shopping in the natural foods section of your traditional grocery store – you will find nuts, seeds, kale chips, dried fruits, bulk snacks, and the like, most with GMO-free, organic or other labels that set them apart from the big labels.

IF YOU GO

Farm Boy is now open in two locations in London:

1045 Wellington Road South

109 Fanshawe Park Road East

They will soon be opening:

1415 Beaverbrook Avenue