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Your favourite Farmer's Markets and vendors?

LovelyAsia May 14, 2011 01:29 PM

I happened to be in Burlington yesterday and went to a Farmer's market set up in the parking lot of a mall and got some fresh local asparagus! YUM!

I would love to try several over the summer while fresh local produce is available...

What is your favourite Farmer's Market and do you have a favourite vendor there?

  1. 0
    02putt Jun 14, 2011 03:33 PM

    The Ottawa Street Market in Hamilton is wonderful. Fresh local produce picked the night before. It is not a huge market but I like the intimacy of it. It is outdoors so you are better off going on a sunny day. I order my tomatoes for canning in the fall. They are picked the night before and are ready for pick up early Saturday morning. I tend to forgo the Hamilton Farmer's market unless I need a specialty item as the products are overpriced and not necessarily local. Do not go on a Saturday, you can't move in the place. They have packed so many vendors with tiny walkways it is a stressful outing. I haven't been yet but have heard from several people that the Brantford market is also very good.

    1. r
      romanruin Jun 14, 2011 02:36 PM

      I'm a big fan of the Weston Farmers Market. It serves an ethnic, low-income clientele who actually cook, so it has very little prepared or packaged foods. Just excellent produce at great prices. Barely a hint of "organic" or "natural" or any other "poseur" foods. Just some farm families (some from as far away as Brampton!) bringing good food to a tough part of the city. You couldn't find a fixed-gear bike within ten kilometers of this place. Hard to find, but easy to park, and not too crowded.

      1 Reply
      1. re: romanruin
        Yongeman Jul 30, 2011 07:45 AM

        Agreed about the Weston Market, RR. I've been many times in the past, but not for a couple of years. I got beautiful corn, $6/dozen, immense romaine lettuce, $2, juicy peaches, etc. It's small but efficient, with several farmers represented. The farm family from the Grimsby/Beamsville area has been bringing produce here for 30 years and has two generations of farmers. There was a scone lady with a tiny table and delicious scones, a West Indian bakery selling everything from already-filled roti, to savoury turnovers (including jerk chicken) and freshly made roti 'skins' to take home and put your own fillings in. There is an egg and cheese vendor Also a smoked meat vendor--sausages and salamis.
        And, thankfully, my favourite component of the market, Grandpa Ken's Back Bacon on a Kaiser. $4 for a heaping bun full of well-cooked back bacon. You get to add the tomatoes, onions etc. yourself. Best sandwich in the city.

      2. l
        lilaki Jun 13, 2011 02:41 PM

        i love the mushroom guy at the etobicoke farmers market ... and the strip of farmers at the north end of the market.

        1. s
          superangela May 23, 2011 07:46 PM

          Not sure if you're willing to drive, but the farmers market in St. Jacobs near Waterloo is a huge market with an outdoors section in the summer. Don't go Saturday at noon-it's crazy busy and you won't find a parking spot. Try going first thing in the morning, or closer to closing time around 2:00 pm. I can't think of specific names of vendors, but the mennonite vendors with their bottles of maple syrup is a huge favourite of mine!

          3 Replies
          1. re: superangela
            Kagemusha May 23, 2011 07:56 PM

            That's a market I don't bother with any longer until late season, if at all(maple syrup??). It's morphed into a tacky tourist trap--that barn-like building is full of pedestrian schlock--complete with "outlet" stores nearby.

            1. re: Kagemusha
              LovelyAsia Jun 8, 2011 12:02 PM

              Thanks for all the suggestions! I am hoping to find fresh local strawberries soon!

              1. re: LovelyAsia
                pancake Jun 13, 2011 12:09 AM

                St. Lawrence, Saturday early morning, the north market. My faves- the corn sold at the entranceway, and honey from the honey man (located on your left hand side when you enter the north market from the front street entranceway.

          2. s
            smfan May 21, 2011 07:42 AM

            Thiessen farms at North York Civic Centre have peaches and habanero.

            7 Replies
            1. re: smfan
              Yongeman May 21, 2011 08:14 AM

              So does No Frills. If they were Ontario peaches, that would be a different matter, not to mention being a Rapturous miracle.

              1. re: Yongeman
                Herne May 21, 2011 10:16 PM

                OK I'm a dope. I drive a car. Where do I park it at Wychwood?

                1. re: Herne
                  Tatai May 22, 2011 05:40 AM

                  On the side street to the north of the barns or on Wychwood itself. I've never gotten a ticket when parked illegally (although there are also some legal spots on the side street).

                2. re: Yongeman
                  sue49 Jul 30, 2011 02:41 PM

                  They are Ontario peaches, you can only sell Ontario products at that market and many others.

                  1. re: sue49
                    Yongeman Jul 30, 2011 06:53 PM

                    That's cool, except that the post was on May 21--I don't know any of our peach varieties that were ripe over 2 months ago.

                3. re: smfan
                  Davwud Jul 30, 2011 08:19 AM

                  I'm not sure if they're still there but back a few years ago when I worked in the area there was a farm at NYCC market that had the best peaches. They wore yellow shirts and were near Yonge St.

                  I always liked that market


                  1. re: Davwud
                    smfan Aug 1, 2011 06:40 AM

                    Thiessen farms at NYCC. The peaches should be ready in August. Their Habanero pepper is super hot too.

                4. aser May 16, 2011 03:20 PM


                  these guys are dope, big fans of them. They drive pretty far to come here, twice a week too.

                  the funguy stuff is really really expensive, he's at Wychwood and Dufferin Grove weekly.

                  1. prima May 16, 2011 02:05 PM

                    I like buying Soiled Reputation vegetables and greens at the Covent Garden Market's Farmer's Market in London, open on Thursdays and Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm. http://www.coventmarket.com/farmers-outdoor-market/

                    Also like visiting the Slow Food Market in Stratford, that runs on Sundays from 10-2. http://www.slowfoodperthcounty.ca/eve...

                    1. m
                      mikefly May 16, 2011 08:46 AM

                      I vist Metro Hall (okay for office lunch) and Wychwood Barns (great!). Ali's Breads (same as at SLM) is my favourite. So delicious.

                      1. m
                        mobirose May 15, 2011 05:23 PM

                        Anyone have any experience with the Distillery District market?

                        Distillery District
                        55 Mill St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                        1. Otonabee May 15, 2011 04:36 PM

                          My two main haunts are the St. Lawrence and the Brickworks. Here are a few of the spots that I tend to go to..

                          - Fisherfolk (excellent fish and the person is really lovely!)
                          - Scotch Mountain Meats (best bacon I have seen)
                          - Cookstown Greens
                          - The Fungui (?) the mushroom seller.

                          I was there last weekend and also tried the caramels from Grant Street Caramels.. excellent!

                          St Lawrence
                          Inside - Sovereign Farms for tomatoes and the mushroom lady

                          Outside - I wish I new the name... there is a fruit merchant on the east side just to the left of the south doors. They always carry the best strawberries and peaches!

                          Monforte is in both locations, highly recommend Ruth's stuff is always amazing!

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Otonabee
                            Snarf May 15, 2011 06:38 PM

                            The mushroom dude calls himself the Funguy.
                            Forbes Wild Foods does an interesting line of prepared foods with wild ingredients, as well as fresh produce that is foraged. Different wild mushrooms are available throughout the season sporadically. They had a good selection of ramps and fiddleheads Saturday. No morels, as they didn't think enough had come through on their sites to be harvested sustainably.
                            Evelyn's Crackers makes a very nice selection of crackers made from different grains and flours that kick the backsides of Raincoast products.

                            1. re: Snarf
                              Googs May 16, 2011 07:35 AM

                              True, Snarf, though I think the Mushroom Lady Otonabee refers to is W&T Mushroom. Vendor for vendor, Otonabee, those are my faves at the Farmers too.

                              1. re: Googs
                                Otonabee May 16, 2011 04:00 PM

                                Great minds :)

                          2. b
                            bytepusher May 14, 2011 07:13 PM

                            Long timer's will remember Jens and Anse(sp?) who ran Marvelous Edible's restaurant on Laird, they shut down a couple years ago and moved to a farm near Owen Sound. They are now coming to market (alternating weekly between the Brickworks and Wychwood) with fresh farm produce (this week they had aspaagus and lettuce and more) as well as some really nice pork products.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: bytepusher
                              Tatai May 15, 2011 11:32 AM

                              It's Jens and Ayse. They had the farm while running the sadly missed Marvellous Edibles and were supplying both the restaurant and their market stall at Bloor-Borden Farmers' Market. Happy to hear they're now at Brick Works and Wychwood. Aside from their wonderful produce, they also make great pickles, preserves, and baked goods (Ayse is a pastry chef by trade, Jens a chef).

                            2. y
                              Yongeman May 14, 2011 02:00 PM

                              The market at the Brickworks is excellent, but pricey...lots of delicious prepared food too. The Dufferin Grove one is more down-to-earth with nice character. The Market in Weston is a good local market, not a real destination, but it features Grandpa Ken's peameal bacon sandwiches. They are great. It also tends to be a lot cheaper, partly due to its location/neighbourhood.
                              Here's a link of the current Farmers' Markets for the Toronto area: http://tfmn.ca/?page_id=2

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Yongeman
                                jlunar May 14, 2011 02:29 PM

                                Great link. Must update my downtown market map for 2011...!

                                http://www.foodpr0n.com -- food. is. love.

                                1. re: Yongeman
                                  soytoy May 14, 2011 02:45 PM

                                  Ooh, thanks for the link!

                                  1. re: Yongeman
                                    piccola Jun 8, 2011 05:25 PM

                                    I love the Dufferin Grove market. It has such a nice atmosphere, and the selection is great. Plus it runs year-round.

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