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Monday, June 28, 2010

farmer's markets in the hood

There are so many things to get inspired by. I live in a city within the city seeking out things that I feel have soul. Every since I can remember, my family has been seeking out produce that comes either from our backyard, or from farmers. So how excited am I to find that there are two farmers markets that are a short walk from my doorstep. The sad part is that they are on Tuesday and Wednesday from 3-7. That makes it a bit challenging to visit.

Last Tuesday, I was able to attend the one at Trinity Bellwoods Park (http://www.tbfm.ca/) It's pretty early in the season, so maybe I expected too much. There was tons of kale and other leafy greens, some delicious strawberries.

I ate it in about five seconds, and some of the cherries were somewhere between the kind to be used for pie and the kind to eat. They were pretty sour, but what's a girl gonna do.

The prices were a bit high. A quart of strawberries for $4. The cherries were the same price. The honey I bought was also quite expensive for something I was buying directly from the grower. It was also already turning to sugar. Was I buying last year's batch?

The vendor tried to explain that honey has a tendency to do that. I've been eating honey from farmer's markets since I was three. I know how ridiculous it is to buy one that's already turning when I'm getting it from a farmer. I want that pure, dark delectable kind that is perfect when first opened. Not the kind that I'll have to scrape out with a knife a week after it's opened.

I have to admit, at the farmer's market at Square One in Mississauga. Items are lower priced than they are in major produce retailers. So I don't understand why those setting up shop in Toronto at this location charged so much.

I wonder if conscious business practices should result in higher prices. I have yet to visit the market on Borden Street in the Annex. The Bloor Borden Market runs on Wednesdays. (http://www.my-market.ca/)

The most interesting thing about the market at Trinity Bellwoods Park was the sense of community. People seemed to be part of some community I don't belong to. There were many random conversations with vendors and "nice-to-see-you-agains". So if you're looking for people who are also passionate about home grown eats, this may be a good place to connect.

I personally just wanted a big basket of ripe, sweet cherries and a bucket of honey at a reasonable price. (There were no buckets available at Trinity.)I will visit again later in the season to see how it's developed. I'm hoping there will be more farmers as well.

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