Toronto East End Farmer's Markets?
As the annual canning season approaches, I need to get prepared... and the first thing I need to do is locate this year's source. In previous years I have been very happy with the produce at the Mississauga Farmer's Market @ Square One.
This year I am firmly located in the East End and need to find a closer alternative. So far, I have only visited the East York Market on Tuesdays, but they seem to prefer smaller sales, while I need bulk. Out with the $3 quarts of tomatoes, in with the $13 bushels.
If anyone here is familiar with the Mississauga Market, can you recommend something similar that is closer to the Danforth/East York/Scarborough area?
That market really only seems to consist of one giant produce vendor so far, selling a little bit of everything, and a smattering of concessions. I don't think they're selling the bulk quantities of tomatoes D_F is looking for.
There is, however, a booth called "Jan's Catering" that sells a mean roti and an absolutely killer homemade ginger beer.
In season, you'll find bushels of tomatoes and cukes at Highland Farms.
I was at the Oshawa Center Farmers' market today (Friday only) and there are about a dozen stalls with quantity offerings.
There is a farmers' market in a church yard at Kingston Road and Eglinton. I haven't been there, but I think it is on Thursday.
850 Ellesmere Rd, Toronto, ON M1P, CA
Highland Farms Supermarkets
Lawrence av E Bennett Toronto ON
I used to go to the Square One market as well. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find anything similar in Scarborough. The market at Scarborough Civic Center is about the size of the East York market.
I'd say your best bets would be St. Lawrence Market (Farmers Market is Saturdays in the North building) or Pickering Market (Saturdays and Sundays - Farmers Market is either at Brock Road Shopping Center, or at Pickering Flea Market down the street, which has lots of farm vendors too).
Maybe you could ask a vendor at a smaller city market if they would take a special order and bring you some bushels the following week? You could try asking the same at a local independent grocery store - maybe Sun Valley or one of the Asian groceries?
For anyone who might be interested, here's a link to a listing of Toronto Farmers Markets:
There is the East Lynn market, and another one on Coxwell near the Walter Stewart library. Best bet though if you have a car is the Niagara for produce, Seaway or one of the roadside stands where you can buy the quantities you need for less. To be frank, the fees to the poor grower in some of these farmer's markets by middlemen brokers (who may not even live near Toronto) are ridiculous - many hundreds, plus requirements like buying a canopy (more hundreds). These costs get passed on to the customer or in some cases absorbed by the person who gets stuck and can't sell enough to recover the costs. Personally I think the disgrace is the middleman, not the produce or grower who is forced to price high because of them.
I would happily dedicate a road trip to picking up canning produce in Niagara. Can you point me in the direction some good stands or routes to check out. It would be much appreciated.
And my 2 cents as an east ender. Our farmers markets are very precious, sort of the Holt Renfrews of markets, lovely produce but with a markup that is bordering highway ....
To add to the list there is also the beautiful Fairmount Park Market on Wednesdays.