One of the things I adore about living near the ByWard Market, and in Ottawa as a whole, is the neat little surprises that seem to await me every now and then. This past weekend in the market was chock full of them. First off – new signs!

Yes – the blue, yellow, green tiny 8×10 signs of last year are gone. They have been replaced with rather large signs that adorn each market stall. There is no question now, you know exactly what type of seller you are purchasing from. Though it’s still a good idea to check the little signs above each item and speak with the vendors – just because someone is a vendor, not a farmer, doesn’t mean that what they are selling isn’t local.

Another great discovery – planting information booth!! Open only a few weekends at the start of planting season, these green thumbs are here to help. Which is great, because my thumb could use a little help.

Finally, and I can’t believe I didn’t find out about this until this weekend, the Veggie Valet! Started last July, the veggie valet is located beside the ByWard Market building and allows you a place to put your shopping while you continue on. No more carrying heavy bags! It’s like a free coat check for veggies.

The very best part, they save a parking space that you can pull up into and load your purchases. No more long treks to the car with sore arms. Heaven.

** UPDATE **
The veggie valet is only available Friday, Satuday, Sunday. You weekday shoppers will have to shlep it the old fashion way.

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