Fresh Market Produce & Asparagus Love – Farmers’ Market News, Updates, & Events for the Upcoming Season!

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In just 5 days we’ll be welcoming the beautiful spring month of May and we all know what that means: outdoor farmers’ market season, fresh market produce overflowing from bulging canvas tote bags, and oodles of asparagus!  I know the last part makes many people giddy with glee so I just had to throw that in there!  There are SO many markets and market events to look forward to in the coming weeks and months and I am bursting at the seams with excitement!  

Just the other day I looked over at my sidebar and realized I had 44 (44!) farmers’ market and local food market posts and till this day, I can’t believe how much fun it’s been visiting all these markets and writing about the Good Food Sector and local food movement.  What an incredible difference a year makes.  Last May, my tastebuds were still unacquainted with Earth & City‘s amazing raw, vegan food, Toronto’s big-time markets, Evergreen Brick Works and The Stop at Wychwood Barns, weren’t even close to entering my orbit, and it would be months before Toronto Office Markets graced the city with its local food and first appearance.

Because of the sheer number of posts in the Farmers’ Market category and series, I’ve started to break things down to make it easier for you all to find some of the posts.  It’ll continue to grow as I visit certain markets more and more, but for the time being, I’ve broken part of the series down into 5 markets.  You can now easily check these posts out in these subcategories on the sidebar:

There’s lot of news to share, so let’s hop to it!  The city will be dishing out some brand new markets in previously unchartered market territory while annual favourites will make their highly anticipated return to the summer spotlight.  New markets include Edwards Gardens at the Toronto Botanical Garden (OH.MY.GOD!) on Thursdays and the Junction Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, while markets in the Distillery District, University of Toronto (St. George), and Bay-Adelaide have yet to be confirmed at this point.  My eyes and ears are on high alert though so I’ll report back if and when I find out anything new about these ones!

In addition, the beloved Eglinton Appletree market celebrated its last indoor market this past Thursday in the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre and will be RELOCATING to Mount Pleasant Village for the spring and summer market season!  I just read about all the trouble this market has faced in recent weeks with its relocation to the Yonge-Eglinton area, what with the construction and closure of the Yonge-Eglinton Pedestrian Square and the closure and sale of the Canada Post outlet and front terrace property a block north.  I’m really excited about the temporary relocation of the Appletree market to Mount Pleasant Village, but good lord at all the bureaucracy.  For those of you who are interested in reading about the market’s recent updates and news, click here.

Finally, let’s talk annual market festivities and special farmers’ market events!  I’ll give everyone the lowdown in greater detail in May’s Food Calendar, but for the time being, here’s the scoop: May marks the return of Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market, an all-day street festival with food vendors, live music, and a ton of fun!  Pedestrian Sundays take place on the last Sunday of every month from May to October and I’ve only ever been to one once so I’m hoping to change that this summer.  Fresh Wednesdays at Nathan Philips Square return in June, Tasty Thursdays return in July, and Evergreen Brick Works will be celebrating its’ 6th birthday on May 5th so get ready tp break out the noisemakers and party hats because it’s going to be one big, happy occasion!

And to make the month of May even more special?  Mark your calendars for Jamie Oliver’s global Food Revolution Day on May 19th!  Our dear Mardi of Eat.Live.Travel.Write and Food Bloggers of Canada is spearheading the Toronto leg of this initiative, campaign, and inaugural day of action and I’m going to do whatever I can to help her out, including promoting events happening in the city and spreading the word!  This is all preliminary, sneak peek information to get us pumped and ready for the season, so I’ll let you all know when I have the official goods!     

Being involved has been a rewarding, eye-opening experience and it has made me appreciate the food I eat, the people who produce it, and the conditions under which the food is produced so much more.  When I started this market project on the blog last May, I had no idea I would become as dedicated as I have to it.

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It’s Pedestrian Sunday in Kensington Market Tomorrow! Head On Over to Wanda’s Pie the Sky, Part I

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Given how tomorrow marks August’s Pedestrian Sunday in Kensington Market, I thought it would be super appropriate to crank out my posts on Wanda’s Pie in the Sky and a new scrapbook layout to go with it!  I love Pedestrian Sundays and I only wish Sundays were a little more convenient for me transportation-wise because if they were, you can bet I’d make it to the market for this at the end of every month!  In a nutshell, the last Sunday of every month from May to October is Pedestrian Sunday.  The roads are completely blocked off in Kensington to motor traffic so you can skip and twirl in the middle of the streets with your delicious food and cute purchases swinging about to your heart’s content.  There’s often live music out on the streets, vendors and shop owners bring out all their wares, and there’s always some really cute activity happening in the market.  Case in point: giant, larger-than-life Scrabble on the street with square foot tiles!  Anyone who hasn’t been should skip on over, stat!  And while you’re there, check out Wanda’s Pie in the Sky.

Wanda’s Pie in the Sky is one of my favourite spots in Kensington and for the longest time, I always thought it was a dessert place exclusively selling pies, cakes, and the like.  I was so wrong.  And I don’t often say this, but I’m so happy I was wrong.  Wanda’s is, quite possibly, one of the BEST lunch spots in the city for a lunch date and I say this not only because of the sheer volume of food available, but also because Wanda’s is vegetarian and vegan-friendly, which makes it PERFECT for carnies and veggies alike. 

I was gobsmacked when I walked in and discovered just how much delicious food was inside those pastel brick walls.  Pasta salads, vegetarian sandwiches, soups, pizza flatbreads, quiche pies, vegan cupcakes, soft-serve ice cream, cookies, macarons, tarts, cakes, and yes, lots and lots of PIE!  It is incredible and because I like to tease you all, this is a teaser post to tide you over until tomorrow’s big fat Part II, complete with scrapbook layout and the prettiest, coolest, most awesomet cake you’ll ever lay your eyes – and possibly teeth – on.  Hint: look at my header image 😉  Enjoy!

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Wanda’s Pie in the Sky is located at 287 Augusta Ave. in Kensington Market.  Wanda’s Pie in the Sky is located in between Nassau and College St.  They are open every day from 8am-9pm.  For more info on placing orders, attending classes, and dessert items they serve, check out their website here.