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Jul 21, 2008 06:54 AM

Sq One Farmer's Market

Went Sunday and more Ontario fruit and vegetables are starting to come in.

Of interest:

purple long beans, first corn of the year, raspberries, favas, yellow carrots, apricots, huge green onions, small leeks, several varieties of potatoes, and lots more.

Get it while you can.

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  1. Fridays (early if you can afford the time) are the best day to go as everyone is out in full force, Sundays tend to have a reduced vendor turnout.. The guy in the SE corner used to bring in peanuts from his operation.......very, very good. Maybe everyone who is a peanut fan could ask him about them and he just might plant again. If you are a peanut fan, look for the lady selling nuts and other goodies and look for the "big red" peanuts from China. Come in garlic flavor also. Have seen her at both SQ I & Sherway (Fridays) also.

    1. Funny but I see marked decline in this once-great market on several fronts. Far too much Food Terminal produce, some of it passed off as local. Several Niagara fruit vendors plainly sell imports as local.Many missing vendors replaced by weirdo stalls selling coffee(WTF!) and supermarket variety mushrooms(yawn...). Have shopped there 10+ years and buy from maybe 3-5 vendors now who are legit. Sorry but the crook quotient appears to be on the rise. One suspects fuel/transport costs have cut down the vendor list. Check out the number of Ontario Farm license plates around the lot. I'm ranging around Brampton/Halton Hills now and buying farmgate whenever possible.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Kagemusha

        No question there are unscrupulous vendors, particularly early in the season, but anyone who knows produce can tell the difference. I also did find that when asked, as a test, vendors would point out local vs import correctly.

        All of the produce mentioned in my earlier post is local. The corn btw was a bit rough, and probably a week or more early. The favas were exceptional.

        1. re: Scary Bill

          Partly to blame is the Lions Club "management" which several now-departed vendors blamed for favoritism on stall location and indifference to the issue of Food Terminal merch passed as local. I saw way too much outright fraud late last summer on California fruit passed as local. I have a go-to spud guy and tomato/pepper lady but that's it. Not worth a trip anymore, sorry.

          1. re: Kagemusha

            No apology necessary.

            I do think that the Sq 1 market is pretty good. If in fact there were some pissed off vendors wrt Food Terminal produce, I think that may have contributed to cleaning up some practises. Produce marketed as Ontario produce did appear so to me.

            Where I have found vendors to appear to be less than forthright is the Etobicoke (former City Hall ) market.

            1. re: Scary Bill

              I've never tried the Brampton market but find it hard to believe it's qualitatively worse the SQ 1--but then life's a surprise most days.Too many long-time, legit vendors have abandoned SQ 1 like the Mennonites who barely showed up last year and likely won't this summer/fall. Agreed that Etobicoke is a joke.

              1. re: Kagemusha

                "Agreed that Etobicoke is a joke" Well, not completely accurate....... was there this AM early and most seemed legit, except that long row towards the N. definitely had the " OFT" look with the shrink wrapped Eng. cucs and most things tagged and coming out of uniform boxes. What really got my attention were the prices.$ 6 to 7.50 for a doz corn, $10-11 for pies, $6-7 for beets and carrots, etc. We were there around 7 AM (basically desserted) and if I remember correctly, from prev, years there were many more people already there. Prices at those markets were always at a premium, but can see many of those vendors saying F. it and staying home. How long can you survive when it costs $10 to make $5 ???

                1. re: NewtonSquare

                  CH and other localized food resources seem to be encouraging many growers to save $ and sell direct by farmgate by listing on online regional directories.. The upshot is that many legit vendors appear to be leaving the mall lot markets to the OFT resellers. Your description of the Etobicoke scene makes my point, no? Fuel costs and rising stall rates are onviously depleting places like SQ 1. Leamington is a helluva long haul to Mississauga and back.