photos by Carole Elliott

By Jessica Duncan

Here it is again - September. The final month of the James Bay Community Market 2016 season, and the time when children are heading back to school. As the children join their classroom communities, they will learn to read and write and add and subtract. They will be taught to interact in an acceptable way with their peers. They will probably even learn the much lauded skill of coding. All of these subjects leave little time for our young to learn what might be the most important lesson of all - the story of food.

You’re never too young (or too old) to learn about food. Where does it come from? How is it grown or made? Who grows it, harvests it, prepares it and sells it so that we can consume it? What does it look like before being cooked or processed? All of these questions can be answered when you visit the James Bay Community Market. September is an excellent month to truly celebrate the harvest with your children by teaching them about the food that is in full abundance.

For those of you who have been visiting the market all summer, you will know that it is a family-friendly environment. Children love seeing the farmers’ tables transform over the season as more and more produce comes into fruition. The vendors are always happy to interact with children and talk about their wares. The market also hosts a children’s area placed near the music tent.

September 10 will be a particularly fine day to bring the family to the James Bay Community Market when we will be enjoying our annual Harvest Festival. At this time, when the harvest is at its most abundant we will be recognizing the amazing work the farmers do on this Farmer Appreciation Day. Be sure to come enjoy the annual corn roast and load your bags with fresh locally grown produce. Don’t forget to thank your favourite farmers for keeping you and your family well-fed!

It’s important to feed your child’s tummy with healthy food, and mind with useful information, but, it is equally important to feed their souls with all things beautiful. This year, be sure to bring the children along to the annual James Bay Art Walk, taking place on September 10 and 11. Members of this group will be at the James Bay Market both days with information and flyers to help guide you on your tour of the neighbourhood’s finest artists. Yes, both days. The James Bay Market will host a mini market on Sunday September 11 in conjunction with the James Bay Art Walk. Though the market vendors will be packing up and heading home at 3:00pm on both days, the Art Walk members will remain on site until 5pm daily.

September is always a busy month for most of us, but is it especially busy for families with children heading back to the classroom. The children will be tired from classroom learning, but be sure to bring them to our farmers’ market on the weekends to teach them the story of food. It might be the most important lesson they learn all year.