Uncategorized Archives | Memorial Centre Farmers' Market

Zucchini 500 races happen at dozens (if not, hundreds) of farmers’ markets across the continent. Board member Sharon Freeman got wind of the idea in 2014 via Farmers Markets Ontario and set it in motion. 2022 is our seventh race year!

Some fun snaps from races over the years – Click to see full size.

We did minimal research, deciding how to make this zany concept our own. We improvised the rules based on what we thought they should be. To this day we (at least I,) have no idea what the Zucchini 500 rules are at other markets….nor how they spell zucchini!

As you may know, Kingston is blessed with a talented pool of community artists and volunteers….

Our friends at Minotaur Games & Gifts thought it was a riot and offered up much of the early sweat and elbow grease. The (sadly no more) Kingston Makerspace agreed that “making stuff with tools” is always an excellent time.

We were all very lucky to capture the imagination of Bill Racz at Loyalist Scouting who agreed that their specialized KubKar track was a great fit for the event too, and could prevent the potential disappointment of squash with wayard wheels! Kingston Community Credit Union had an outreach table that first year, and we thought it would be a lark for them to do the “paperwork” at the registration table. With the exception of Kingston Makerspace, those roles remain unchanged!

Those of us who were around the table that first year, came up with this:

  • This is about silly fun and self-expression
  • Must have a building party the day before
  • Must be non-competitive
  • Prize Draws for everyone!
  • Fastest Car wins bragging rights and wears the super-glitzy Zucchini 500 Champion Belt for the remainder of their visit at market.

This is the belt.

We try to add a little something more to it each year.

The race was an instant hit. We are in awe each year of the creativity and ingenuity of our participants!

Over the years, we’ve learned that the exact aerodynamic properties of any given garden zucchini are infinitely varied and therefore unknowable. We are surprised each year by who wins. In 2015, everyone was stunned when the winner was a 3 year old who had made minimal (no) alterations to their vegemobile, save a Playmobil passenger. Folks who try to take this race too seriously, or are “in it to win it” are the most likely to leave disappointed.

Snaps from the 2018 car-making party at Minotaur. Click to see full size.

The Family Survival Kit

Despite (and because of) all the excitement and anticipation that comes with being part of the races, we’ve collected some helpful tips for everyone looking to get the most out of their experience:

  1. Know that it’s happening. We’re doing our best to get the word out and encourage folks to plan to be there rather than stumble across it. Because…
  2. It’s WAY easier to make the car in advance! It reduces the overall amount of time spent at market (especially if your wee’uns can only manage a 20-45min stay) and frees up table space for those who truly stumble across it. Pick up a KubKar kit (or old kubkar) from a (thrift) shop, online, or from market starting July 7th.
  3. Use colourful stuff out of the recycling bin to decorate! Get creative! No need to buy stuff, though we’ll have a great stash of donated supplies to work with at Minotaur & at market.
  4. There will be hot glue guns and sharp things at our crafting tables. We have plenty of volunteers available, but we ultimately look to parents and caregivers to help out and assess what they are comfortable with their kids using.
  5. You can always just watch the first year. If you don’t have the time to stay for the whole event, make a point to arrive between 11:00 and 12:00 to admire the artwork and cheer on the racers!
  6. We offer test runs on the track at 10:30am before the races begin. This is the best time to make any last minute adjustments before the races begin in earnest.
  7. The winning heat might run as late as 12:00, which is still a long time to be at market on a hot day… which is another reason to register in advance and make a car at home or at the car-making party the day before.
  8. Plan to have snacks or eat lunch beforehand. As the races run late morning through lunch time, it’s best to prevent hangry racers by having an early lunch or snacks on hand.
  9. Try to manage your expectations. You never know who is going to win. We take 1 car from each heat into the next round. This means if you happen to share a heat with the winning car, you may be eliminated long before you thought you should be. Be cool, like a cucumber corvette!
  10. Please return the car base. Our die-hard families re-use the same bases each year, but if you aren’t sure from year to year, it’s also easy to return it for someone else to use next year. In turn, we are committed to offering a free event for years to come!

Thank you for reading. Here’s to many more startlingly stunning examples of vegeful vehicular expression!

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We created this giveaway to say THANK YOU to all of you out there making great content about the market, and to inspire market goers of all ages to share their creativity & voice with the wider community.

Throughout the rest of September, we’re giving away over $1500 in prizes. Tag us in your social media posts about market or submit market-inspired original artwork to enter!

Terms & Conditions…

We will try to make this a brief as possible!

The “Giveaway Period” runs September 5th-30th 2021, inclusive.

Market goers of ALL AGES are invited to enter.


  • One of thirty (30) $25 Gift Certificates for Black Dog Hospitality Group (valid at Harpers’ Burger Bar, Atomica Kitchen + Cocktails, Black Dog Tavern, and Dianne’s Fish Shack & Smokehouse)
  • One of twenty-four (24) $20 Gift Certificates for The Mansion
  • One of ten (10) $10 Gift Certificates for market


  • Ten (10) Social Media & E-mail entries submitted within the previous seven (7) days will be randomly drawn on Sunday September 12th, 19th, 26th & October 3rd.
  • The remaining winners will be randomly drawn from the total pool of entries on Sunday October 3rd.

How to enter:

  1. Tag us in your photo or video post about market on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter anytime during the Giveaway Period. Not sure how to tag? Ask a friend for help.
  2. Not a photographer? You can still enter!
    • Tag us in your written testimonial about market on facebook, instagram, or twitter anytime during the Giveaway Period.
  3. Hate technology? You can still enter!
    • We’ll accept any original artwork dropped off during market hours, during the giveaway period. No minimum or maximum.
  4. If you are dropping off a physical item at market...
    • Please include your name, phone number, and whether or not you’d like the item returned afterwards.
  5. Multiple entries are welcome, but in the event a name is drawn twice, priority will be given to those who have not yet won a prize.
  6. Market vendors & staff are not eligible to enter.
  7. Market volunteers ARE eligible and encouraged to enter.

KIDS (13 and under) CAN WIN:

  • One of ten (10) Prizes from Minotaur Games & Gifts
  • One of ten (10) $10 Market Gift Certificates


  • All prizes will be randomly drawn on Sunday October 3rd.

How to enter:

  1. Drop off physical artwork (or even poetry or prose!) at market on September 12th, 19th, or 26th with the following information:
    • Your first name and age
    • A parent or guardian’s name and phone number
    • Please mention if you’d like your original work returned afterwards.
  2. Want some inspiration? Here are some ideas:
    • Who do you like seeing at market?
    • What is your favourite market food? Why?
    • How do you travel to and from market? Show us!
    • You meet another kid your age who has never been to market before, how would you describe it to them?
    • Who is your favourite market vendor? Why?
    • What does the market look like in the Spring? Summer? Fall? Winter?
  3. Multiple submissions are welcome, but in the event a name is drawn twice, priority will be given to those who have not yet won a prize.
  4. Children & young family members of market vendors, volunteers, & staff, are welcome and encouraged to enter.


Entering this giveaway confirms your agreement to the following:

  1. Permission is given to Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market to reproduce and use (or not use) part or all of your submitted work in future promotional materials.
  2. All promotional content using submitted work will be credited accordingly, and in turn made available for use globally under a Creative Commons Free Culture license.
    • What does this mean? Basically, because you are freely sharing your creative work with us, if we use it, anything we create with your work also becomes available must also be used freely by other artists globally, through the online Creative Commons. Any further work created using (y)our content, must also be credited and shared freely in the same way.
  3. Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market may choose to remove entries that are considered to be spam, or not relevant content.

Lastly, a note to professional artists & creators:

This giveaway was created to share and celebrate the voices of casual/hobby creators, market regulars, volunteers and families of the market community in an inclusive way. We are aware that contests like these are often thinly veiled attempts to seek professional services free of charge. In lieu of being able to offer on-site arts activities at market, we came up with this as a way to engage our community in a creative way.

As a small non-profit, we strive to offer professional artist fees whenever possible. In the past, we’ve paid professional artist fees for:

  • leading arts activities
  • on-site signage
  • videography
  • music performance
  • theatrical performance

If you are interested in doing paid professional creative work in support of the market, please let us know who you are and what you do! The past several years we’ve relied on word of mouth for artist referrals. A method has several obvious limitations.

To be added to our professional artist contact list, please write us at marketing@memorialcentremarket.ca with a short note about what type of services you’re interested in offering.

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Two weeks remain to order online until it goes on hiatus for the summer season.

Dear Market Customers, Friends, & Family,
As of June 6th, Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market will return to the front lawn Sundays 9am-2pm at 303 York St.
After much discussion, we decided it is not feasible to run the open and online markets at the same time… at least, not yet!
As an essential service, we will proceed with re-opening even if the current provincial stay-at-home order is extended.
We are working continuously with KFL&A Public Health to ensure all safety protocols are followed. Masks and distancing will still be required in our outdoor space.
Launching our first online market was an incredible achievement! It couldn’t have been done without your support. Thank you for helping us make market history!
We plan to return to the online-only model for the upcoming fall and winter season.
For customers unable to leave home, some vendors will independently be offering home delivery. Please stay tuned for more information about how to order from home.
We look forward to seeing (the top half of) your smiling faces once again!
Thank you for your dedication to local food and farmers!
– Farmers’ Market Association Kingston

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Originally published July 11th, 2020

All images on this page show the caption text superimposed on top of shaded images of market vendors and customers.
Dear Customers & Friends of the Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market:
After careful consideration and deliberation, the market has decided to remain online-only for the foreseeable future.
Kingston’s nail salon outbreak made us realize that we just don’t have the people-power to abide by all of the regulations required to keep everyone safe.
We wouldn’t be able to bring you the market experience you have come to know and love. There would be no music, no yoga, no events, no socializing, no kids activities; no fun!
We are in the business of selling the freshest, tastiest, locally-grown and produced food available in our area and we will continue to do so… online. We will continue to provide the safest and most convenient method of delivering it to you that we can.
We look forward to the day that we can return to the Memorial Centre lawn and gather with the community we have built together.
Thank you for choosing to support local!
-Your Market Vendors

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Thursday, August 13th, 2020

Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter to be notified when the store re-opens. As of mid-April, a $3 fee is applied to each order. For more information about this decision, please see the April 7th newsletter here.

We’ve launched a whole new online store..

Talk about mixed blessings folks….

As a result of the overwhelming support we’ve received, we’re took a little extra time to put the finishing touches on a whole new market store. Our new home with Local Food Marketplace is likely to continue operating after the open air market returns.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation over the last few weeks as we got all the logistical stuff sorted out. Please pat yourselves on the back! So many virtual hugs to one and all!

The online store is run by a dedicated team of farmers, supporters, volunteers and community members doing our best to keep the market alive through the COVID-19 shut downs.

Keeping everyone safe and healthy is crucial. We are proud to be keeping the market alive while also taking strict health & safety measures.

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Monday, March 23rd, 2020

KINGSTON, ON: The province of Ontario has ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses today as the number of COVID-19 cases in Canada surpasses 2,000. Over 500 families rely on the Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market for a significant portion of their weekly groceries.

CBC: “Premier Doug Ford… said the list of what constitutes essential and non-essential services and stores will be released Tuesday… he insisted residents will be able to buy food and medicine and other essential products”

Farmers markets are not currently listed as an essential service. Farmers markets provide a crucial service to farmers in providing a local distribution channel for their products – even if physical markets are not possible right now.

The Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market has already closed the open-air market and transitioned to an online ordering pick-up and delivery system to continue to deliver our member’s products.

Farmers Markets are essential components of local food systems. The State of New York recently declared farmers markets an essential service (LINK).

If you want to eat fresh local food this season, now is the time to act!

This is a narrow 12-hour window to ensure locally farmed food can continue to flow through this time. Once the list has been released, it will be up to the regional health authorities to interpret it.

What do I say? Some tips:

You may get a live person or need to leave a message. Explain who you are (consumer, farmer) and why it’s important to you that ALL food-based businesses and farms capable of safe delivery or pickup must be explicitly listed as essential services. Talk about the food sources that you, your family, and your community rely on. Feel free to jot down what you want to say in advance if that helps.

Please take a few moments to make a few calls and e-mails as soon as possible:

  1. Your most connected friends and family members
  2. Your MPP:
  4. Ministry of Health

Thank you for supporting local food and farmers!


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To our valued Farmers’ Market Customers:

Thank you for your patience! 

The city and the health unit have been doing a great job at helping us continue to offer stable, safe and healthy access to all your favourite local foods through the coming months.

With this continually changing situation, we’ve decided to go straight to an online ordering system. With possibly over 40 participating farms, kitchens, and artisans, it will truly be a major logistical achievement!

Which means for this Sunday only, March 22nd, market has been cancelled to give us the time to get it all ready. Please contact your favourite vendors directly (See the full vendor list on our website) to request pick-up or delivery of any must-have items.

All that said, we know the market is not *just* a place for food – it is a place of community and connection! We will continue to be available to all of you on Sundays to answer your questions, and keep the discussion going.

Please join market staff and volunteers on Sunday mornings on your social media platform of choice, or e-mail us at  memorialmarketchat@gmail.com with any questions or ideas about how market spirit can continue through these interesting times.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to local food and farmers!!

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Submitted by the market community! Pop by often as we add to the list throughout the colder months. Do you have a recipe to share? Submit it to marketing@memorialcentremarket.ca

2 pints brussel sprouts, halved
1-2 fennel bulbs, separated into leaves
½ cup walnuts, rough chopped
1 med. onion cut into wedges
2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. olive oil
3-4 chopped bacon slices or 1 tbsp. bacon fat
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4-6 garlic cloves, halved
– – –
Mix solids in large bowl. Combine liquid ingredients. Mix together & stir to coat. Spread evenly onto baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 30mins or so until edges brown. Stir every 10mins. Add 10min cook time for glass baking pan.
1 banana
1 apple, chopped
½ cup sunflower sprouts
1 cup baby spinach
1 tbsp. hemp seeds or ground flax
1/2 lemon, juiced
– – –
Combine ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
1 bulb kohlrabi, peeled
1-2 harukei turnips, thin sliced
1/2 small red onion, thin sliced
– – –
Juice of half a lime
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. sunflower or olive oil
1 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. minced fresh herbs
(cilantro, parsley, rosemary, mint or basil)
Salt, to taste.
– – –
Trim off ends & outer skin from kohlrabi. Grate, or cut into matchsticks. Add with onion & turnip into bowl. Prepare dressing and toss everything together. Refrigerate for 15 min. Taste to adjust seasoning, stir in herbs, and serve.
3 cups cabbage, shredded
1 apple, chopped
4 medium carrots, grated
2 tbsp. red onion, finely chopped
2 cups greens (arugula, kale, mustard, etc.)
3 tbsp. chopped nuts (almonds, seeds, pecans, etc.)
4 hakurei turnips, chopped
2 oz old cheddar cheese (optional, grated)
– – –
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. honey
sea salt & fresh-ground pepper to taste
– – –
Toss all of the ingredients together. Mix dressing and toss through.
6 large potatoes cut into wedges
¼ cup sunflower seed or olive oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
3 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1 tsp. paprika
⅔ cup grated parmesan, set aside
2 tbsp. chopped parsley, set aside
– – –
Mix & pour seasoning over potatoes. Toss to coat. Lay wedges skin side down on large baking tray. Sprinkle on half the parm & bake at 390°F for 35 mins. Turn half way. Check with fork to ensure crisp & cooked through. Sprinkle remaining parm & parsley to finish. Also great with sweet potatoes!

Stay tuned – – more recipes are on the way!

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Download a copy of the poster for your fridge, home, or workplace (PNG)

November 10th

  • Music: the Cork Sniffers
  • Art Activity: Paper chains & Flags (10-1)

November 17th

  • Music: Chris Morris
  • Art Activity: Pine Swags & Garland (10-1)

November 24th

  • Music: Not the Office
  • Art Activity: Pine Swags & Garland (10-1)


Sunday November 24th – 3:30-5:30pm 

December 1st

  • Music 10-12: Haley Sarfeld & Anthea Feaver
  • Music 12-2: Barb MacDougall
  • Art Activity: DIY Upcycled Gift wrap & Tags

December 8th

  • Music 10-12: Mellow Lily
  • Music 12-2: Celtic Bards
  • Art Activity: DIY Upcycled Gift Wrap & Tags

December 15th

  • Music 10-12: Craig Jones
  • Music 12-2: Andrew Mack
  • Art Activity: Take-home Ornaments & Decor


Thursday December 19th – 4-8pm

  • Complimentary cookies & hot apple cider by The Churro Girl, Knifey Spooney, & Halls Apples
  • Music 4-6: TBA
  • Music 12-2: Fiddle Earth
  • Special Activity: Story Nook by KFPL
  • Get warm by the outdoor fire!

December 22nd – – Decoration Giveaway Day!

  • We’re taking down the barn decorations and sharing them with the community! First come, First Served.
  • Music 10-12: TBA
  • Music 12-2: Fiddle Earth
  • Art Activity: Take-home Ornaments & Decor
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Wear Flowers to Market Day

Sunday May 5th – 9:00am-2:00pm

Market finally moves back outside for the summer season! Visitors are encouraged to celebrate by wearing flowers, flower-print, or anything that makes you feel “springy”. Join local floral artists in the new Art Barn to make flower crowns and garlands. Music by Erin Parker 10am-1pm.

Photo Gallery – RSVP & Share on Facebook

Yoga Class on the Grass

Weekly 10:00-11:00am – Sunday May 12th through October 13th

Join Janati Yoga School at centre of market for a FREE 1-hour yoga class-on-the-grass throughout the summer months. Class is suitable for all levels and abilities. Weather dependent. Follow @memorialmarket on Twitter or Instagram for updates.

Tai Chi on the Grass

Weekly 11:15-12:00pm – Sunday May 19th through October 13th

Join Fung Loy Kok Taoist Tai Chi for a FREE 1hr Tai Chi class in the grass every Sunday 11:15-12:15 throughout the summer months. Class is suitable for all levels and abilities. Please dress for the weather. Follow @memorialmarket on Twitter or Instagram for updates.

Kids’ Market

Sunday May 19th – 9:00am-2:00pm

A special market day for the wee ones! Pop by the Art Barn to make believe in a Mini Cardboard Market. Guest vendor Humanitarian Club at École élémentaire publique Madeleine-de-Roybon School will be selling “Pocket Buddies”, their ongoing fundraising project in support of numerous national and international charities. Learn more at the Pocket Buddies project website. Music by Fiddle Earth.

Photo Gallery – RSVP & Share on Facebook

Cycling Week & Bike Parade

Sunday June 2nd – 10:00-2:00pm

Join Frontenac Cycle, Yellow Bike Action and friends to kick-off Ontario Cycling Week! Cycle to market for special freebies and prize draws all day. 10am-1pm Bike Decoration Station at the Art Barn. 10am-1pm Tune-Up Station by Yellow Bike Action. 1pm-2pm Bike Parade (6km via City Park) led by Frontenac Cycle. Music by The Restless Soul Society 10am-1pm.

Local Food Week Celebration

Sunday June 9th – 9:00-2:00pm

Local Food Week takes place in concert with dozens of events at markets across the province. Featuring great family activities like interactive displays, games, and prize draws. Free Cake! Enjoy a slice of maple rhubarb cake prepared by Bread and Butter Bakery, served at 11am! Music by the Kitchen Gypsies 10am-1pm.

Zucchini 500 Races

Sunday July 21st – 9:00-12:30pm

What do you get when you put wheels on a zucchini? A silly Zucchini Car, that’s what! The popular Zucchini 500 race is back and full of silly fun for all ages. Car-making starts at 9am. Races at 11am sharp. Join Minotaur Games & Gifts Saturday July 20th  1-4pm for a Zucchini Car making party at 78 Princess St. All supplies provided free or by donation. Thank you to Loyalist Area Scouts for their help making   this event possible!

Picnic in the Park & Corn Roast

Sunday August 11th – 9:00-2:00pm

This annual BBQ Corn Roast is a celebration of the harvest season! Bring your picnic blankets, baskets and the whole family for games, prize draws, fresh corn-on-the-cob and free watermelon slices for all!

Local Burger Bash

Sunday September 8th – 11:00-2:00pm

Beef, lamb and veggie patties paired with fresh local toppings, buns, sauces, and salad – ALL the ingredients for these special burgers are provided by market vendors. You won’t find any brand-name ketchup at this burger party! Featuring live music & kid’s activities. $10 for your choice of burger, bun & salad. Vegan options available!


Sunday October 6th – 11:00-2:00pm

A truly local, truly mini, Oktoberfest Celebration! Platters featuring sausage, pretzels, mustard, and potato salad provided by participating market vendors. Mini-Beer Garden featuring a beer garden, live music and kids’ activities all day. $10 for your choice of platter & sides. Vegan options available!

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