From The Farm To The Fridge
This post is part of an ongoing series called “These Are a Few of Our Favourite (20) Things” which features inspirations from the LCBO’s Autumn Food & Drink magazine.
Is it just us or has the weekly trip to the grocery store become pretty uneventful? Bread? Check. Milk? Check. Veggies? Check. Yes, these are all necessities, but it often becomes second nature to run into your nearest grocery store, grab the things you need, and go. There’s no experience to be had. It’s like we forgot that we can go to other places to pick up our weekly goods. It’s like we forgot about farmer’s markets.
It’s no secret that Toronto is home to some of the loveliest markets in Ontario, which is why we were overjoyed when the LCBO’s Autumn issue featured not one, but two markets from our beloved city. Taking hint from the magazine, we decided to hit the streets and shop for our goodies at two of our favourite farmers’ markets rather than our trusty grocery stores (don’t worry Loblaws, we
still will always love you).
Metro Hall Farmers’ Market
Thursdays ‘till October 17th.
8AM-2:30PM * On October 17th, location will be in Simcoe Park.
The Metro Hall Farmers’ Market is kind of like THE place to be for Thursday afternoon lunch. With vendors serving fresh food for lunch (think back bacon burgers, Indian curries, burritos and freshly brewed coffee) the lines were filled with suits (talk about eye candy 😉 ) on their lunch break. Surrounding the lunch vendors were tables selling all the fresh produce you could think of.
The best part of visiting farmer’s markets this time of year is all the autumn-y aspects that come with the visits. Apple cider, sugar donuts, gourds and pumpkins are just a few of our favourite goods that you can pick up at the Metro Hall Farmers’ Market. In fact, it feels wrong not shuck corn on a crisp autumn day outside at a market.
A bonus perk of visiting any farmers’ market is the awesome selection of flowers, and the price that goes along with it. We picked up this bunch of dahlia’s for a whopping $5! You can’t go wrong with that!
Nathan Phillips Square Farmers’ Market
Wednesdays ‘till October 16th.
Nathan Phillips Square is a buzz of excitement on Wednesdays. Eager shoppers come from all over the downtown core to restock on their favourite fresh produce. While the Metro Hall Farmers Market has lunch items available, Nathan Phillips Square wins it’s audiences over with unique items like homemade fruit popsicles and fresh jellies. Occasionally it even has live music to set the mood to their outdoor supermarket experience. Food and Drink says that farmers’ markets are a great place to find inspirations for your new favourite dish and recipes for the vegetable you’ve never tried before. It’s true! The best part about trekking out to these markets is talking to the farmers themselves. There’s no one better to advise you on how to prepare your food then the people who grew it. The farmers are very approachable and willing to tell you about the way in which their farm operates. You really develop an understanding of the time and care that goes into your food, a realization that you just can’t get from shopping in a grocery store.
We stocked up on dozens of fall treats at the NPS market. There’s a whole selection of colourful gourds, perfect for gracing your decorative autumn centerpiece. You can even snatch up the last of this season’s sweet ripe peaches.
Free stuff! A healthy take on the frozen food samples in Metro, some farmers offer up the chance to taste the produce before you buy it. Yum! Cured meats were one of the most popular items at the market. Low in preservatives and antibiotics, the seasoned deli meat and jerky tasted great and didn’t last long.
“Farmers markets have become more then just a place to buy produce – they are the social and culinary epicentre of many neighbourhoods” (page 122). Food and Drink’s eloquently quote neatly sums up the reason why Toronto, a city of mini neighbourhoods, hosts so many farmers markets each week. Each one features a different showcase of goods that highlight the culture of that district. There’s so much to discover – we strongly suggest a day of market hopping!
Interested in visiting a farmers’ market before they all pack up for the season? Visit this site to find a farmer’s market near you!