By Laura Gregorini

It’s never been easier to jump aboard the local food bandwagon in Greater Sudbury. Longer days signal warmer temperatures and produce galore from nearby farms.

For a good selection of the region’s bounty visit Eat Local Sudbury where staff like store manager and farmer Eric Blondin (Les Jardins Blondin) are always more than happy to chat about the goodies behind the doors of the quaint downtown grocery store co-op.

One of the first signs of the produce season is the arrival of haskap berries, blue elongated berries that carry a powerful antioxidant punch. Haskap berries are grown at Boreal Berry Farm & Winery in Warren, the largest and oldest haskap berry orchard in eastern North America, also producing artisanal wines, ciders and syrups with the fruit.

McGrows Farms and Gardens in Garson is open to the public starting in the spring with heritage fruits and produce including some uncommon tomato varieties available at an on-site market stand.

Potatoes are a versatile food staple and grow especially well in our Northern climate. Harvesting spuds is a serious business for Don Poulin Potatoes of Azilda and Valley Growers of Blezard Valley. Both are multi-generational family operated businesses with potatoes sold in grocery stores across the city and Ontario.

Meat-eaters have plenty to choose from like lamb and beef from Penokean Hills Farms, a collective of five family operated farms in northeastern Ontario including Dowling.

Rowantree Farms in Wanup specializes in free-range heritage pork and fresh produce through a CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) program. Rowantree owners are long-time advocates of the eat local movement, and like many farmers in the region Allison Muckle and Aaron Dent practice sustainable agriculture and feed their livestock a hormone and antibiotic free diet.

For beverages try a cold beer from Stack Brewing in Sudbury or for little foodies, a glass of ice-cold milk from Farquhar’s Dairy in Espanola.

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