I’ve always felt bad about the summer market oopsie and mix-up I made last July. The oopsie that resulted in mass confusion amongst the rest of my family and the one that will always make me face palm and mentally roll my eyes at myself. The mistake I made? Mixing up my market hour times. After going on and on about how the farmer’s market at Wychwood Barns was one of the best in the city, my family and I made plans to go one Saturday last July. Only there was a slight snafu.
For whatever reason, I thought in my heart of hearts that the market went on until 4pm (which it didn’t and doesn’t), so the family and I frollicked about, eating brunch first. When we arrived at the market we found the vendors packing up and it was then that I realized what a big boo-boo I had made. It was 12:30pm. I was so embarrassed. Disappointed and embarrassed. What an awful combination. BUT! I made it up to my mum this past weekend by finally taking her there and to my delight, we brought home a bevy of market goodies!
It was busy, it was bustling, and Easter fun abounded throughout the market with dark chocolate bunnies preening from Chocosol’s table, honey egg-shaped candles from the honeycomb and wax candles table, and tiny tots dying Easter eggs in a rainbow of pastel colours. What I love about the market at Wychwood Barns, aside from its size, is how there’s a balance between fresh fruits, vegetables, and cheese and prepared foods and baked goods. Forget inviting friends and family out to a sit-down place – I say we all have a scrumptious and delicious meal right inside the market and barn! It’s SO easy to shop and eat at the same time here and it would take me weeks upon weeks just to get through all the wonderful food.
As I munched on cheese and pretzel sample and a smoky root vegetable appetizer, I admired the barrels of potatoes (I cannot wait to start buying blue and purple potatoes again this summer!), the gluten-free brownies and chocolate chip cookies (it took all of my willpower not to make a dive for the table), the jalapeno and cheese cornbread muffins (I wanted to stick my face in the basket and inhale them), the vegan nut burgers and coconut brownies from my beloved Earth & City, and the giant sweet and sticky whole grain cinnamon rolls.
My favourite vendors to purchase prepared food and baked goods from are Earth & City (surprise, surprise! Like you didn’t already know that!) and Allis Fresh Baked. They do a handful of different markets around the city including Dufferin Grove and Evergreen Brick Works in addition to Wychwood Barns. They’re famous for their beet bread, which I showed you all during last year’s Thanksgiving weekend at the Brick Works, and they’re always showing up with new, mouthwatering baked goods to sell at every market. Their garden veggie pizzas (which you can
drool over see in this Dufferin Grove market post) are my favourite items and my mum and brother loved the mini garlic and onion buns I brought home for them this past winter. They offer plenty of different gluten-free, raw, and vegan baked goods at each market too, so their food caters to everyone!
It was SO hard resisting all of the food I saw and wanted, but I did end up with a few bags of yummies to take home: mini bacon and onion stuffed buns (3 for $5), a vegan chocolate loaf cake ($3; both courtesy of Allis Fresh Baked) and scones! Giant, heavenly peach and ginger, and spinach and blue cheese scones! The peach and ginger ones weren’t there during my last visit in February so I pounced on them and I am so happy I did.
These scones are the best scones ever. Not only are they huuuge ($2.50 a piece), but they also live up to their flavours. There are literally chunks of candied ginger and peaches baked right into the scone and their spinach and blue cheese ones are the most amazing. There’s an option for you to have them grilled and I think, buttered, right there at the market (for $3 or $3.50, I believe), but I take them home and heat them up in the microwave until they’re nice and hot and fluffy and steamy! They honestly don’t need butter or jam or any kind of spread or condiment on them. They are delicious on their own and they’re so perfect for brunch or as part of a lunch or afternoon pick-me-up snack.
In my haste, I completely forgot to jot down the name of the vendor, but I promise to find out for you all. What I can tell you is where in the market they’re located. Think of the market as a rectangle. If you’re entering the market from the main entrance off of Wychwood Ave., the scone vendor is located on the right hand side of the about half way into the market. If I’m going to recommend just one thing from the Wychwood market, it’s this. Everyone needs to have these scones in their life! It was a really fun market and I’m happy my mum finally got to experience it. I can’t wait to make up for my July mix-up last year and visit Wychwood in late spring and summer this year when it moves outdoors again. I am so excited to grab more food!
The Stop Community Food Centre Farmers’ Market at Artscape Wychwood Barns is held year-round on Saturdays from 8am-12:30pm. The market is currently being held indoors for the winter. The park and historic community centre complex is located at 76 Wychwood Ave. just off of St. Clair Ave. West, east of Christie St. and west of Bathurst St. http://www.thestop.org/green-barn-market