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Farmers' Markets 2008

Getting near that time, thought it might be good to get a thread going, share info about your favourite markets and what you're hearing about openings, as well as ongoing discussions of what's coming in. I can't wait for the first ramps...

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  1. Hey childofthestorm I was wondering the same thing myself. I tried to find the opening date of the Brickworks but to no avail. This year I am hoping to be a regular at both the Brickworks and Riverdale on Tuesdays. Thanks for starting the thread.

    1 Reply
    1. re: millygirl

      I read this week that the Evergreen Brickworks Farmers Market opening will coincide with Doors Open Toronto on the weekend of May 24-25.

    2. The Birchcliff Farmers Market in Scarborough will have its 2008 season Fridays, rain or shine, beginning June 13th and running to October 10th, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Nice setting on the front lawn of St. Nicholas Anglican Church at Kingston Rd. and Manderley Drive, a block east of Warden Ave. It's a small operation selling mostly crafts and home-made baked goods and other foods - very few farmers have set up at it in recent years.

      http://www.marketsbythebluffs.com/bir...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bob Catt

        Another website says the final day of the Birchcliff Village Market is October 17th.

        http://www.farmersmarketsontario.com/...

        Note: on one or two previous years the market closed a week or so earlier than intended because of poor weather.

      2. There's a Saturday market in Withrow Park, just south of Danforth in Riverdale It's not very big, but it's conveniently located. Last year, I went to the Brickworks one and bought some tomatoes for $3/lb. Stopped by the Withrow Park one on the way home and from the same vendor (they split up the team between the two markets) got some for $2/lb. If you're in the market for some heirloom tomato plants, as the planting season approaches, you can pick some up there too.

        2 Replies
        1. re: grandgourmand

          Has the market in Withrow park opened yet? I can see the location from my front porch, and the few times I've looked, there was nothing happening. (I was away last week, so maybe it was on and I just didn't see it)

          1. re: foodyDudey

            I have it as starting May 24th, but now I can't figure out where I got that information.

        2. Hey I also was thinking of starting this thread. Thanks! Im so excited to start shopping at the markets. Does anyone know when the one at the distillery opens?

          8 Replies
          1. re: hungryabbey

            Any idea when the Liberty Village Farmers' Market on Atlantic is starting up this year? I enjoyed that one the most from what I checked out last year.

            1. re: futronic

              Just read in The Star today that the Brickworks opens on May 24th and Riverdale Farmers market opens on May 13th. Apparently they are holding a kick off event - Earth Day Farmers Market this Saturday from 8 to noon at Eglinton St. George Church. More info can be found at dailyapple.ca or 416-899-1990

              1. re: futronic

                i think also may 13th, but don't quote me on it:) (i came across something yesterday that said that but didn't pay attention to the source so can't double check). i do remember that last year's liberty market was relatively early, but very very sparse in the first few weeks (there will be very few items sold in may). nonetheless, i will be there on the first week.

                1. re: Kasia

                  Nathan Phillips Square Farmers Market is open June 4- October 15 (every Wednesday)

                  Nathan Phillips Square Tasty Thursday BBQ happens July 10- August 28 (Thursdays). The TO events website states "prime restaurants" will offer specialities for $5 or less

                  1. re: czthemmnt

                    By the way childofthestorm, what do you do with ramps anyways? Are they to be used in place of green onions? I'm not all that familar with them as you can probably surmise.

                    1. re: millygirl

                      Milly

                      Go to kingofstink.com. There are links there to all kinds of recipes. My favourite is ramps and potatoes fried in bacon grease on Sunday mornings. Great with eggs. I'm told it is an Andalusian tradition.

                      1. re: millygirl

                        Ramps are a wild leek and can be used along with, or substituting, garlic and/or onion. But my favourite thing to do with a big batch is pickling them - the website Gothamist has a Tom Collichio recipe that is my go-to.

                        http://gothamist.com/2006/04/26/whats...

                        Once you have these in the fridge you can add them to a million different dishes and impress your pals.

                  2. re: futronic

                    I Googled it and found a document from the organisers (MyMarket) that said Liberty Village farmer's market would open June 1st. I love the Sunday morning timing on this market. I'm still recuperating from the week on Saturday mornings so I never get organised early enough to go to SLM.

                2. The Danforth East Community Association is in the planning/permit stages for a Farmer's Market in East Lynn park (Danforth just west of Woodbine) to be held on Thursdays from 3 - 7. Don't know much else about it, there's a meeting for volunteers this coming Monday at Earl Haig school at 7. It would be great to have a market in our community since the one at the East York Civic Centre is only during work hours on Tuesdays.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hoagy294

                    That would be great....please keep us posted on this development hoagy.

                  2. The Saturday farmers' market at St. Lawrence Market has already started. I went a couple weeks ago and it was lovely. I just wish it was outdoors but still, I bought some great cheeses, beans and lamb sausages.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: foxymoron

                      The farmers market in SLM North on Saturdays is open all year long.

                      1. re: acd123

                        Speaking of the SLM Farmer's Market, there were ramps in the north market today...

                        1. re: morrigan

                          at which stall? i had my eyes peeled, but didn't see any. in previous years i've bought them from the folks who have all the peppers at the stall just outside the south door, but there was nobody set up outside yesterday.

                          1. re: wickalicious

                            They were just south of the stall with the artisan cheeses, except they were not labelled ramps - they were labelled wild leeks. I think they were $2.99 a bunch.

                    2. The Annex is getting a market this year, to be held in the Green P parking lot near Bathurst and Bloor, probably on a midweek afternoon.

                      1. Some info here:

                        http://veg.ca/content/view/76/108/

                        The majority of them have websites & contact info more details and 2008 dates.

                        1. Here's the mother lode of info. Why limit it to the city when the weather is right for a whimsical drive in the country?
                          http://www.farmersmarketsontario.com/...

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Googs

                            Thanks, Googs! I think there are some convertible road trips in my future...

                            1. re: TorontoJo

                              Oof that's a big list. Would be helpful to hear of any good/bad experiences with these markets, I'd hate to build a little road trip and then the destination market is a bummer.

                          2. Good post on Taste TO today about farmer's markets:

                            http://www.tasteto.com/2008/05/06/to-...

                            1. Just got an email confirming a new farmer's market starting June 2nd to be held Thursday evenings from 3 -7 in East Lynn park at Woodbine and Danforth. It will be a combo of conventional and organic farmers.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: hoagy294

                                Thanks for the update. I assume this means they are starting the week of June 2 but that the market is on Thursdays. DUH. I'll see you there Hoagy294.

                              2. the trinity-bellwoods park website has may 13th as the start day for the market there. that's this coming tuesday - yay! the market is in the same location, dundas/shaw section of the park, and it's from 3-7.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Kasia

                                  Just returned from the Trinity Bellwoods market, plenty of ramps, asparagus, fiddleheads, mixed greens and a picturesque table with flowers, nettles and assorted herbs. There were also vendors with assorted baked products, honey and cheese.

                                  1. re: spellcheque

                                    i was there as well - a newcomer this year is a breadmaker whose name now escapes me but she was at the liberty market last year. she will be at both locations this year. very good country style loafs, her walnut raisin bread is outstanding.

                                    i also scored fresh morels - looking forward to my asparagus morels risotto tonight!

                                2. The City of Toronto's farmers' markets page has been updated for 2008 --
                                  http://wx.toronto.ca/festevents.nsf/f...

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: JamieK

                                    That (woefully incomplete) listing has been updated for a while. Oddly, it only includes one of the City-affiliated markets - Nathan Philips Square.

                                    What I've been waiting for is for them to update this page - http://www.toronto.ca/events/markets.htm - which last year listed Nathan Philips, Metro Hall, and all of the Civic Centre markets. Considering that they are starting in just a couple of weeks, I'm curious to know what the hold-up is.

                                    1. re: gregclow

                                      yeah, I know, I was waiting for that page to get updated too. But finally I figured we've been able to access the cached version through the backdoor but in fact they're not planning to update it and the other inadequate (I agree) page is it. Hopefully, I'm wrong.

                                      1. re: gregclow

                                        The Metro Hall one started today. There were 9 stalls up and running. Not bad for the first day. The food options are better, beside the usual back bacon one, The One, Crepe It Up and Jumbo Empanada were there as well as some catering place that had rotis and jerk chicken rice & peas.

                                        1. re: fickle

                                          Oh I'm so excited for this. What are the hours of this market?

                                          1. re: foxymoron

                                            8 am to 2:30 pm, now till Oct 16th

                                    2. For those living in the Parkdale/Roncesvalles area, there is a new market starting on Monday May 26 and running on Mondays from 3 to 7. It's the Sorauren Park Farmer's market and will be at Sorauren Park. This is just south of Dundas, west of Lansdowne. I don't know what it will be like, but the organizer said they hope to have the usual, such as fruits and vegs, meats and more. If you live in the area, come out and support it.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Mushka

                                        The Sorauren Farmers' Market has 20 confirmed vendors (including the usual suspects plus wild foods, mushrooms, grains, prepared foods etc). The mandate is to support local sustainable food growers and processors, and there are some new farmers (FarmStart farms) selling their first produce ever at this market. May 26th to October 27th (Mondays 3-7pm)

                                      2. Brickworks went through its second week today. Supposedly the last week of fresh ramps; some gret morels from Forbes, Jamie Kennedy's frites doubled in price from 2$ to 4$ per cone, and they will be trying to push the green agenda next week by upping parking from a suggested 2$ donation to a suggested 5$ donation.

                                        I really like this market, and it has a great focus and attention from some great vendors, who are clearly bringing their A-teams and produce, but I wonder if the politics of the agenda might undermine the concept. We all like green, having grown up in the Kermit era, but when the market is off the beaten track with only an hourly shuttle, a generic hike on parking rates doesn't work when many of us have already made the decision to drive low emission vehicles.

                                        17 Replies
                                        1. re: Snarf

                                          You have a good point there Snarf regarding the price hike. Like you, we drive over simply to save some precious time. For us, the brickworks is just one of our many stops on a Saturday. Having said that, JK's fries are heaven and worth every penny. I guess I forgot that they were only $2 last year and happily forked over the $8 last weekend. He doesn't skimp on the portion size either, but at the same time my cone runneth over and sad to say, I lost a few just from diving in.

                                          It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It was way too early for us to judge on product selection. Although I was disappointed that similar to last year, by the time we arrived, ruhbarb was sold out.

                                          1. re: Snarf

                                            Interesting. I've only been to Brickworks once, last summer, and we drove because we were downtown doing our weekend errands. When we were trying to park, the guy directing us and taking our money was a bit snarky, telling us "There's a shuttle, we're trying to do something different here people". I fully understand that and think the market is a great addition to the city but I have to admit his tone was a little off-putting. He could have gently explained about the shuttle for next time, as we were unaware of it.

                                            1. re: ms. clicquot

                                              I don't get it. You're making a judgement about the Brickworks market because of the guy tending the parking lot? :-)

                                              1. re: acd123

                                                No worries, I know it has nothing to do with the vendors and I'll definitely be back to support them this summer whether it be by car or shuttle :)

                                            2. re: Snarf

                                              I have a work mate who is not particularly green and he was totally put off by this market and told the entire lunch room at length about it Monday morning. It would be a shame if the market ends up just preaching to the converted (and from the sounds of it, putting off some converted as well).

                                              1. re: crawfish

                                                Ontario strawberries were in yesterday at the East Lynn Market and they are DEELISH. So sweet.

                                                1. re: crawfish

                                                  I agree that a 5 dollar parking fee is a bit steep when you're probably only going to be there for 30 mins tops. Not to mention the place is not really transit accessible.

                                                  On another note, I went to the Liberty Village Farmers Market last weekend and it kinda sucked. The website advertises 18 vendors, there were maybe 8 at the most. I know that a lot of things are not in season yet but this was really pathetic.

                                                  1. re: paper_bag_princess

                                                    Being a regular at the Brickworks market, it would be unfortunate if a few hardcore green activists changed the vibe of this lovely market. I have been driving several people including elderly and handicapped individuals that would have problems reaching the market, and carrying their purchased home through the ttc. I actually found out about this $5 parking info from a vendor at the Dufferin market, who is also at Brickworks. There is concern that with many other markets starting up, such as Withrow on Saturday mornings at the same time, people will be put off and go to another market (or no market at all). That being said, 4 or 5 of us are carpooling to Brickworks tomorrow and will report on what's up

                                                    On another note, did stop by East Lynn Market yesterday as well (I know, am a farmers market junkie, but all were legitimately on my route back from a meeting), and although there were no organic veggie stands that I noticed, there was a mennonite (?) meat stand selling organic beef and free-range chickens, etc that looks very promising. Picked up a couple of fresh organic steaks (they have fresh and frozen) that were very tasty. Couple of pepperettes not so much.

                                                    1. re: fluke17

                                                      Oh yeah, almost forgot, we also got a dozen organic eggs. We almost missed this particular table because it was inset from the others. Luckily Mr. Millygirl noticed it.

                                                      1. re: fluke17

                                                        Its important to remember that there is still FREE parking at the Brickworks. The paved lot is always free. It just fills up quick, and its a tiny bit further from the action.

                                                        Only the dirt lot is subject to payment, and even then its a 'suggested donation'. Its City property, leased to Evergreen; and even then Evergreen has a Pay-What-You-Can policy for most events.

                                                        So the $5 is no real burden, its purely optional

                                                        1. re: fluke17

                                                          There were gorgeous sour cherries at East Lynn yesterday. We made dinner out of potatoes, yellow tomatoes and peas I picked up there as well. I didn't grab the shallots in time. Next week, I'll have my elbows out.

                                                          The feature attraction there next week will be a Corn Shuckfest with 'celebrity' shuckers Kevin Brauch (thirsty traveller), Patrick McMurray (champion oyster shucker) and local farmer Boz. That'll start at 6:00 p.m. next Thursday. there will also be some cooking demos and a cornboil.

                                                          (the organic eggs are on my shopping list for next week as well)

                                                        2. re: paper_bag_princess

                                                          the number of vendors does increase over the summer, as more food is available. this is an LFP market, so only direct producers/growers from the greenbelt are allowed. the market pretty accurately reflects what is currently in season.

                                                      2. re: Snarf

                                                        Does anyone know if there's a way you can get there on foot? I'm often running on Sat mornings and I've been in the area of Brickworks on the way back but couldn't figure out how to get from the Don path to Brickworks. I guess there's a way from the Bayview extension, but it's kinda dangerous to run/walk along the Bayview extension where the Brickworks is located.

                                                        1. re: pescatarian

                                                          Not that I've tried it on foot, but you might take a look at the City of Toronto bike paths.
                                                          http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/map/pdf...

                                                          1. re: Googs

                                                            Thanks, Googs. I'll have to examine it more closely. Last week, I was running literally next to the Brickworks on the path, but I couldn't tell how to get there without running through the high grass/swampy area. I'm not sure if there is a way.

                                                          2. re: pescatarian

                                                            if you cross over using the Pottery Road bridge their is a path (rut) that runs parrallel to the Bayview extension between the road and the railway tracks that comes out right at the entrance to the Brickworks. It is not much of a path but it works.

                                                            1. re: pescatarian

                                                              If you jog on the ravine path to the west of Bayview (enter at Mount Pleasant and Roxborough or various other spots through Rosedale), there is a set of stairs that will take you down to the west side of the Brickworks.

                                                          3. If any of you are ever in Peterborough on a Saturday, check out that Farmer's Market. It is absolutely fantastic.
                                                            http://peterboroughfarmersmarket.com/
                                                            The website isn't the best, and there are many more vendors than it lists. You will find everything you could ever want there, from bison meat to goat cheese, heirloom veggies to fruit, and preserves to home baking. Plus, it's open year round. It really is a community event.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: earthygoat

                                                              i live near mel lastman square and decided it was about time, I suported the local farmers. I not only have been enjoying the fresh produce, but there is this one vendor who sells vegetarian rice wraps for $3..(served in a corn husk)..that are heaven. Full of veggies, tofu and yummy ginger for flavor. No sauce needed!! This week, we checked out a whole wheat calzone..stuffed with veggies, tomoto sauce and once again...yummy. ($5).

                                                              1. re: domesticgodess

                                                                Hey domesticgoess. Glad to hear about another supporter of this market...I live in the area also and try to get there any Thursday I am in town.

                                                                You need to check out the stall on the right just in from the corner...I think they are Thames Valley Farms or something like that. I've gotten melons from them the past 2 years.

                                                                1. re: kerwintoronto

                                                                  today I went to check out Dufferin's Farmers Market....wow...wow..wow. I was SO impressed...the variety of vendors, the vendors selling food, the musicians, the whole atmosphere was so so relaxing.
                                                                  The vegetarian roti's were sold out...so I had a watermelon gazbacho and shared a veggie hamburger and both were tasty.
                                                                  My daughter, for dessert, had an organic butter tart that was $3..but worth every penny.
                                                                  As for the vegetables..in one word "beautiful"!
                                                                  We will be returning..thats for sure.

                                                                  1. re: domesticgodess

                                                                    Really? I went a few weeks ago and was not at all impressed. I much prefer Riverdale Farm Market. Dufferin Market covered such a small part of the park, it was near impossible to move a stroller through the area. And I got one of those $3 buttertarts, but I swear it had frostburn, I was very disappointed. Last time I was at Riverdale Farm Market there was a new vendor selling tarts, I am looking forward to trying her buttertarts. Anyone out there tried them yet?