Where to Get Fresh Local Produce to Avoid Getting Scurvy this Winter!

We can all reflect back to centuries ago when scurvy (a lack of vitamin C) was taking out human kind left, right and center.  As the colder months are upon us, it’s important to keep ourselves well fed and watered! Especially with shorter and darker days, we could all do with a little bit of good old vitamin C!  

I don’t know about you, but in my three (going on four) years at Queen’s I’ve found it difficult to buy good produce at our local grocery stores like Metro or Food Basics. Thanks to those student discount days at Metro and Food Basics being generally busy, what does a girl gotta do to get some good fruits and vegetables up in here!? Here are some gems I found in my years at Queen’s that have kept me scurvy-free and haven’t failed to provide me with stellar produce! 

The Kingston Public Market - 216 Ontario Street

Open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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Contrary to popular belief, this farmers market is open well beyond the spring and summer months - it remains open all the way through November! During all three days of the market’s operating hours, you can find fresh locally grown produce. As quoted on the city of Kingston’s tourism page, the produce is some of “Canada’s finest!". A cool feature about this market besides supporting local farmers and businesses, is the market offers a much wider and extensive selection of fruits and vegetables. There are some really funky looking and tasty vegetables. Last year I discovered patty pans, which come from the squash family and mysteriously look like UFOs, in my opinion.  

                                                                 Patty Pans vs. UFO (I see no difference)  

The Grocery Basket – Two Locations

260 Princess Street, open Monday to Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.

172 Ontario Street, open Monday to Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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You know what’s freaking cool? Supporting a local Kingston business! The Grocery Basket acts as a smaller scale grocery store that promises fresh produce sourced from our local community. The Grocery Basket has a passion for food and where the food comes from. The GB coins themself as “your local outside aisle” and a “responsible outlet for local farms". I accidentally discovered the Grocery Basket a few years ago when I was looking for a new coffee shop to do homework in, and little did I know that I stumbled into a full-fledged grocery store with the most colourful variety of produce! Open year-round, both locations offer the same level of quality and selection.

Farm Boy - 940 Futures Gate

Open 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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Farm Boy, an emerging grocery store chain based out of Ottawa, specializes in selling fresh produce and food products with an emphasis on farm-to-table wholesale. Farm Boy is a great destination for produce, as well as a full-on grocery store. Farm Boy sends their buyers daily to visit local markets and farms looking for the best fresh produce. Although Farm Boy is a chain, it still offers some support to our local farms and businesses. Farm Boy is a little ways away from the Queen’s Campus bubble, however, it is easily accessible by taking the 502 bus from the downtown transfer point.

Tara Natural Foods – 81 Princess Street

Open Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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Tara Natural Foods is a local health food store that has been around for over 40 years in Kingston! Tara caters to health conscious individuals with a wide range of nourishing foods and fresh local produce. Along with produce, the store offers health supplements such as vitamin C tablets if you’re really concerned about scurvy! From September to October, Tara will often sell large bags of apples that were locally sourced from an apple farm nearby, which make for a great snack. Tara works hard to ensure that its produce throughout the remainder of the year maintains the same high quality.

Desert Lake Gardens - Produce Delivery Service (Online) 

Desert Lake Gardens is a producer and supplier of local foods. They deliver fresh, locally grown and healthy food to your door. If you are lazy like me in the winter and the thought of bundling up to walk to Metro or Food Basics has you thinking about just making another pot of Kraft Dinner, Desert Lake Gardens is here to help! Each product on their site is grown and produced locally in the Kingston area, or is carefully selected from organic growers if it can’t be sourced locally. Desert Lake Gardens also works with the National Farmers Union in Ontario to support our local farmers!

So, my friends, there are many options to get your fruit and veg intake this winter and remember to get plenty of vitamin C to keep you happy and healthy in the upcoming months!