Can you really buy local food in the depths of a Manitoba winter? We put on our sleuthing hats and discovered that the answer is a resounding YES! Did you read our local food guide from the summer? While we featured a few year-round options, now we’re compiled a winter-only guide. We encourage you to do your own research and consider how these sources and retailers align with your priorities and values; this guide is just to get you started! Why not try to have a “100-mile” or local food holiday feast? Or give the gift of a CSA subscription to your favourite foodie friend? And don’t forget to compost your scraps when you’re done!
- Local food supports small farmers
- Buying local keeps money in our communities and supports the economy
- Small-scale farmers may use more sustainable practices
- Less shipping distance often means higher-quality produce
- Knowing your farmer means you know how they treat their workers, animals, and land
- If you buy seasonally/in bulk, some items may cost the same or less than at the grocery store!
Winnipeg Winter Farmer’s Markets
|Name||Location||When is it on?|
|Farm Fresh Food Hub||421 Mulvey (South Osborne Exchange)||December 7, 3:30-7:30 p.m.|
|St. Norbert Farmer’s Market (winter edition)||The Eagles Club, 3459 Pembina Highway||December 3, 17, 31; January 14, 28; February 11, 25; March 11, 25; April 8, 22; May 6; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.|
|Downtown Farmer’s Market||Manitoba Hydro Place, 360 Portage Ave||December 1st and December 15th, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.|
|West Broadway Community Organization Good Food Club MiniMarket||Gymnasium inside Broadway Neighbourhood Centre, 185 Young Street.||Every second Wednesday, October 26 to mid-June, 3-6 p.m.|
For more information: www.fmam.ca : Farmer’s Markets Association of Manitoba Co-op Inc
Local Food Storefront Retailers in Winnipeg
|Grand Central Market||The Forks Market||Offers Manitoba raised wild meat|
|The Fresh Carrot (formerly Organza)
(some local, mostly organic)
|2-230 Osborne Street||Offers bakery, deli (meats and premade food items), produce, vegan items, full range of dairy and non-dairy products, dry goods, pet foods, household cleaners, some books/magazines, snacks, and more.|
(some local, all organic, some direct and fair trade)
|167 Lilac St.||Some local and/or organic food, also carries fair trade type clothing, blankets, household goods, cleaning supplies. Children’s toys, as well as beauty supplies.|
|Vita Health Fresh Market||2188 McPhillips St;
Suite 1-166 Osborne St;
Suite 46-11 Reenders Dr.;
Suite 19-845 Dakota St.;
Suite 180-2025 Corydon Ave;
3500 Portage Ave
|A “health food store” offering “specialized natural products and services in order to promote optimum health for our customers. In-store and online we offer a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, supplements, herbals, health books, organics, natural food items, equipment, and much more”|
|Vic’s Fruit Market||A-1038 Pembina Highway
also: Schriemers Market Centre
|Features quality produce, much of it organic, and local when possible and in season.|
|St. Vital Market||1633 St. Mary’s Road||A grocery store providing local and non-location options, but working with several local vendors, including for meat, produce, baked goods, and dry goods/grocery.|
|Neechi Commons||865 Main Street||Supermarket and restaurant (as well as arts center). Offers a variety of grocery products including traditional foods such as bannock, Manitoba pickerel, wild blueberries, and wild rice. Also sells local fruits and vegetables, and aboriginal arts and crafts. Has a farmer’s market in the parking lot (Main Street market)|
|Organic Planet Worker Co-op||877 Westminster Ave||Tries to source from local producers and other co-ops. Lots of organic options. Also has home and body care, and a deli and coffee.|
|Tall Grass Prairie Bread Co. & Deli; Grass Roots Prairie Kitchen||859 Westminster Ave
The Forks Market
|Bread, baking, local organic cold-pressed sunflower oil, and other food products sourced as locally as possible.|
West Broadway Good Food Club: http://www.westbroadway.mb.ca/wbco-programs/good-food-club
This is your more affordable “good food” option right in West Broadway! They’ve partnered with Winnipeg FoodShare Co-op to bring fresh healthy food, bought in bulk, to you twice a month in boxes of three different sizes at affordable prices. Still out of reach? You can volunteer for them and earn “sweat equity points” to put towards the cost of food from them. This ties in with the mini-market listed above under “Farmer’s Markets”
Harvest Moon Local Food Initiative: http://www.localfoodmarketplace.com/harvestmoon/
Mostly organic, all local.
Monthly online orders and deliveries to set points within the city. Products include meats, honey, grains, vegetables and fruit, and a couple of non-food items.
My Farmer’s Market: http://www.myfarmersmarket.com/
Organic and/or local
Offers weekly free delivery (on purchases over $80) of local, healthy, affordable food. This one goes beyond food, including pet-related, home care, and health and beauty products beyond the standard produce, bakery, dairy, beverage, and meat categories. Open 24/7/365 (except for bakery). Pay online, or cash on delivery.
Fresh Option Organic Delivery: http://www.freshoption.ca/
Organic food, with an effort to support local growers.
Similar to My Farmer’s Market but with a set of “box subscription” type options as well. Either sign up for produce to your home or place, knowing you can modify the basket and add on extra groceries free of additional delivery charge; or just order your groceries without a subscription.
Community Supported Agriculture: http://csamanitoba.org/
There are a few CSAs which offer protein shares (meat only, or meat/produce mix) that are available through the winter. It may be too late for this year for most, but think about it for next year! Crampton’s Market and Food Ethos Farm both have winter food options available and if you look around you may find others!
Also don’t forget, many CSAs start signing up subscribers for Summer 2017 while it’s still winter to help with purchasing and planning. Giving the gift of a CSA that will bear fruit all summer could be a popular gift this Christmas!
Small Farms Manitoba: https://www.smallfarmsmanitoba.com/
Find small farms, local food, and food skills workshops throughout Manitoba. Plenty of these have farmgate or even online and delivery sales available through winter! Your main offerings this time of year will be preserves, eggs, and frozen meats.
Dairy Fairy: http://www.dairyfairy.ca/
Products made from Manitoba cows, made at the UofM, and available through multiple local retailers as listed on their website.
Fair Trade Manitoba Directory: http://fairtrademanitoba.ca/buy
Looking for fair trade products? These aren’t produced locally but if you want tea, coffee, chocolate, citrus, flowers, or spices, you’ll need to go with imported in most cases. Fair trade standards ensure environmental and labour standards are met, help ensure fair wages are paid to the workers, and gives money back to be reinvested into the community.
Do you know any other resources that we forgot to include but should? Comment below or get in touch at Teresa@greenactioncentre.ca.