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Experience the harvest season at the Fall Food Fest

An illustration of people at a festival. Some are carrying fall related foods, such as a pumpkin, pie and apples.
Image Credit: Alissa Challis

Crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, a ripe apple fresh from the farm stand and sweet, earthy leeks in a creamy soup are some of the products and flavours people can experience on Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Covent Garden Market Fall Food Fest. The Fall Food Fest is a celebration honouring the richness of seasonal food and grains in a family friendly environment.

Covent Garden Market Events Coordinator and Farmers Market Manager, Sam Regier, said the annual event significantly impacts the city’s economy as it marks the start of the harvest for many London farmers.

“That deserves a celebration because it is the time of the year in which they can observe and experience the results of their labour in how well their crops have grown and are being sold,” Regier said.

Regier said Canadians have access to an abundance of seasonal food all year, but that food is always better when prepared with freshly harvested ingredients.

“There is no better time of the year to meet the farmers growing our food, learn new recipes from the chefs and support local products and vendors,” Regier said. “Our annual Fall Food Fest with Growing Chefs and local farmers is always one of our biggest hits.”

Covent Garden Market Marketing and Administrative Assistant Erika Tuljak said that people can also find apple tasting, interactive activities, pie competitions, live music and funny vegetable competitions. She added that customers love the Fall Food Fest and she has received positive feedback over the years.

“Overall, this event encourages people to learn about their food,” Tuljak said. “Understanding where the food comes from is important because it is easier to keep our body healthy by knowing what we give it. The Fall Food Fest gives that knowledge to people in a fun and interactive way.”

Tuljak stated that multiple chefs have showcased recipes of some of their best meals during past events.

“Some customers even take notes or video of the making of the dishes,” Tuljak said. “For those who cannot attend the event, all our cooking demo recipes are posted on our website so they can refer to them anytime.”

“There is no better time of the year to meet the farmers growing our food, learn new recipes from the chefs and support local products and vendors.”

Attendee Tatiana Cetino said she waits every year for Fall Food Fest to enjoy the food and thank all the farmers for the excellent harvest.

“I have been cooking for more than 10 years, but every time I go to the Fall Food Fest, I learn new ways of cooking,” Cetino said. “Every year is a fresh experience with fresh products that I usually find cheaper than elsewhere.”

Tuljak said that one of the event’s primary purposes is for people to understand how easy it is to support and buy locally. She added that when people buy locally, it means their food does not have to travel as far to get to their plates.

“Potatoes, corn, beets, salad mix, brassicas, carrots, kale, pies and fresh meats are some of the most popular products people look for during the season,” Tuljak said. “During the event, there are not many ready-to-eat options other than baked goods, but people can buy local ingredients to make their meals at home or check out one of many indoor food options.”

Tuljak said that during the Fall Food Fest, they also host a pumpkin patch event where they have pumpkins for sale, pumpkin bowling and face painting.

“There is a chance for people to judge and taste our heritage grain cooking competition and a free cooking workshop,” Tuljak said. “The Fall Food Fest is one of the city’s best events for selecting organic foods and products.”

Regier added that all events at Covent Garden Market are free and accessible to the public.

“We believe that having fun while learning does not have to come at a cost. We just ask for people to enjoy, learn and support local vendors,” Regier said. “Show up and have a great time!”