Good morning everyone! The skies are bit overcast and cloudy right now (and as I am writing this, the rain has just started coming down), but I’m hoping that this fabulous selection of farmers’ market photos will lift your spirits. After how the beginning of the week started off, I think we could all use a bit of good cheer. I’m actually splitting up this week’s market post into two parts because it’s THAT big! I’m going to save the sweet stuff for tomorrow’s post and just focus on the fruits, vegetables, and other goods today. And there is plenty to show you all.
I went camera snap-happy yesterday and for good reason: the Riverdale Park and Farm farmers’ market in Cabbagetown is absolutely incredible. Week after week, my socks (or rather, my flats. I haven’t worn socks in weeks!) have been knocked off by the sheer calibur of these markets. I thought the market outside the East York Civic Centre on Coxwell was amazing. Then I thought it couldn’t get any better after I went to the one in Mel Lastman Square. And we all know what happened after that. I couldn’t stop raving about the market at David Pecaut Square by Roy Thomson Hall. My lovelies, my shoes have been knocked off once more.
The park itself is a wonderful green space, the type of space perfect for picnicking, sitting out on a bench with a book, walking and playing with your dog, and splashing around in the wading pool with your little ones. The farmers’ market at Riverdale Park in Cabbagetown is remarkable. It is HUGE, stretching from one side of the park to the other with white tent after white tent offering pints and baskets bursting with fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs, baked goods, jars upon jars of jellies and preserves, ice cream (yes, ice cream!), and vegan chocolate sweets among other things. The market is located at the north end of the park, where the park meets the street all the way to the entrance of the animal farm.
Speaking of which, I’m really sorry for not being able to show you any photos of farm animals. Just as the post title says, the market is the closest I’ll ever get to an actual farm because I am, unfortunately, allergic. To hay, specifically. And how did I come to find out about this allergy you ask? The hard way. Long story short, on a school field trip to the farm at the age of 6 in 1st grade, I began to choke and weeze so severely the teachers and chaperones had to remove me from the premises and from the other kids, and stick me in a porta-potty so my reaction would calm down. I was taken to the doctor shortly after where I was told, “hey, you’re allergic to hay! Oh, and you have asthma”. Not in those exact words, but you get my drift. Needless to say, farms and I don’t mix. I may have outgrown my asthma, but sadly not the allergies.
Anyway, the market was chock full of sights, smells, and sounds yesterday. The smell of fresh pizza, the sight of juicy, fuzzy peaches (which I am also allergic to, but that’s beside the point), tiny colourful bell peppers, the tiniest and purplest of eggplants (and I thought the ones I bought at East York were cute and small!), and the sounds of kids laughing and asking their parents were ice cream. After purusing the market and jogging back and forth between vendors, I walked away with some amazing goodies: a large pint of baby orange cherry tomatoes and a hulking huge loaf of poppyseed egg bread!
Oh my goodness, you have no idea how excited I was to get my hands on these two things. For one, the orange cherry tomatoes were a steal. While a number of other markets were selling them for $4 or $5, I got mine for $3 yesterday! I was doing a happy dance. Or as my boyfriend likes to call them, happy fists. I tried one of the little orange tomatoes last week and I have never in my entire life tasted a tomato so sweet. It tasted like a peach! Everyone, you must get your hands on these. They will make you wiggle with happiness. Oh, and the bread. Jeebus, I could not stop smelling my loaf of bread on the way home. And I cannot wait to sink my teeth into it. I am a big fan of poppyseed bread. Really, I must have looked like a pothead on the bus, sticking my nose into a paper bag every so often. It’s bread, y’all. Very good bread. And one very amazing farmers’ market.
The Riverdale Farm farmers’ market is located at 201 Winchester St. in Riverdale Park. My way of getting here is to either walk along Carlton St. eastbound from Yonge St., or take the College St. streetcar eastbound to Parliament St. and Carlton. From there, keep walking eastbound on Carlton until you get to Sumach St. and you’re there! This year, the market is held every Tuesday from 3pm-7pm from May 17th to October 25th.