It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood, It’s Beautiful Day for a Market – A Trip to Trinity Bellwoods!

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bellwoods collage2Last Tuesday was one of the most topsy-turvy days I’ve experienced all year.  I was taking a vacation day from work as a “me” day and I had my fun day all planned out: lots of yummy food, walking around town, a little bit of shopping, and oh, going to the amazing Taste of PEI and PEI Cooking Challenge event taking place at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in Liberty Village and MEETING MICHAEL SMITH!  Holy shit on a stick.  Rest assured, you will all see and hear about it once I get my wits together and bang out those posts in the new few days!

But was last Tuesday ever a rollercoaster.  One minute I was in such happy conniptions I was ready to jump out of my skin, the next I wanted to cry because my head was pounding so hard from an oncoming migraine that couldn’t decide if it wanted to just call it a day and leave me alone once and for all or, well, kill me.  I could not believe my rotten luck.  SERIOUSLY.  On the day I was set to immerse myself in PEI cuisine and Michael Smith’s presence.  The sheer coincidence was worthy of an eye-roll and a few choice curse words at the very least.  It really shouldn’t have come as any surprise though.  The weather had been shit: it was cool and overcast, then drizzly, then back to overcast, then sunny and warm, then uncomfortably warm and it’s any wonder I made it through the entire day in one piece.

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Then as soon as I thought the dull pain in my head had subsided, my feet decided to revolt against me.  I mean, I know I was walking around town in Mary Janes but in my defense, they had nice rubber soles and were quite comfortable aside from the fact that the strap on my right shoe was strangling my right foot because my right foot is lame and is slightly bigger than my left.

Even after that, I made it out at the end of the day happy and excited and so full of joy.  And a part of that joy came from making a return visit to the farmers’ market at Trinity Bellwoods!  It was Tuesday, the event didn’t start until 4pm, the market started at 3pm, and I was only a hop, skip, and step away from Ossington which would take me straight into Liberty Village on bus.

IT WAS MEANT TO BE.

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I miss going to weekday markets SO MUCH.  Coming back to this one felt like home.  I snapped photos of beautiful asparagus, granola cookies, the pretty rainbow of colours in Evelyn’s Crackers’ packaging (my boyfriend is quite the fan of their stuff and I’d recommend their lavender shortbread!), the cutest of mushrooms and baked goods among other yummies.  Highlights?  Seeing Apple Mint being sold by Wooler Dale Farm (I didn’t know such a thing existed!), drooling over lemon ricotta croissants and apple, coconut, almond granola from Breadsong, snapping shots of the gorgeous yellow oyster mushrooms from The Mushroom Man from Waymac Farms (can you imagine how awesome these would look on a mixed mushroom pizza or flatbread?!  It’d be gorgeous and most likely delicious), and seeing the giant Trinity Bellwoods market banner strung over the fence by the kids playground in the park.

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Markets are so integral to our communities and woven so tightly into our communal fabric.  It’s a beautiful thing to see and an even more beautiful thing to be a part of regardless of what part of town the market is in or the size of it.  No matter how many times you go to the same market, there will always be something a little different to see, to try, and to explore.  Looking back at my Trinity Bellwoods market posts, with the exception of nice asparagus in the spring posts, nothing is exactly the same and that’s a good thing because while consistency is nice, it’s the new and the different that will keep things fresh and keep everyone engaged.  I’m happy I braved my head pain to make this visit and while I didn’t pick anything up to bring home this time around, I can’t wait to come back later on in the summer during my time off and really take advantage of the market groceries!

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*****

The farmers’ market at Trinity Bellwoods Park is located at Dundas St. West and Shaw St. every Tuesday from 3pm-7pm.

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A Big Welcome Back Hug to the Spring & Summer Farmers’ Market Season – First Up, May 2013 Line-Up!

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asparagus at Trinity Bellwoods farmers market

Aside from December (hello Christmas cookies and baking and dinners!), May is my favourite food month of the entire year because for one, the patio perfect weather is luscious and balmy and for another, I get to give a big welcome back bear hug to so many of my beloved farmers’ markets!  While I won’t be able to visit as many as I used to (working Monday to Friday will do that!), I’m really looking forward to hitting up the markets I didn’t get to visit last year (if you can believe it, there are still a handful that I still haven’t been to!).  My heart is feeling so full and excited just from the anticipation of everything coming back within the next 3 months.  Farmers’ markets, market events, outdoor food stands – it’s going to be SO MUCH FUN.  Get those tote bags ready: here is the returning May market line-up in the order they’re coming back!  Don’t forget to visit the Farmer’s Market page for the entire market listing and Ate by Ate’s snazzy Facebook “Springtime Asparagus & Rhubarb” gallery!

rhubarb at East York farmers market

Farmers’ Markets and Market Events in Toronto – Returning in May 2013

Sherway Farmers’ Market, May 3 – October 25.  Fridays, 8am-2pm.  Sherway Gardens Shopping Centre, 25 The West Mall off Hwy 427 and the Queensway in Etobicoke.  The farmers’ market is located at the far northeast parking lot between the North Queen St. and Sherway Rd. entrances.  http://www.sherwaymarket.com/

Trinity Bellwoods Farmers’ Market, May 7 – October 29.  Tuesdays, 3pm-7pm.  Northwest corner of Trinity Bellwoods Park at Dundas Street West and Shaw Street.  http://www.tbfm.ca/

Trinity Bellwoods Park farmers market

Weston Farmers’ Market, May 11 – October 26.  Saturdays, 7am-2pm.  14 John Street at Weston Rd. and Lawrence Ave. West.  http://westonvillagebia.com

Appletree Market in the Village, May 14 – October 8.  Tuesdays, 3pm-7pm.  June Rowlands Park, corner of Mount Pleasant Rd. and Davisville Ave. in Mount Pleasant Village.  http://www.appletreemarkets.ca/

East York Farmers’ Market, May 14 – November 5.  Tuesdays, 8am-2pm.  East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Avenue at the corner of Coxwell and Mortimer Avenue.

Toronto Botanical Gardens Organic Farmers’ Market, May 16 – October 10.  Thursdays, 3pm-7pm.  777 Lawrence Ave. East at Leslie Ave.  This brand new market for 2012 is taking place at Toronto’s famed Edwards Gardens!  http://torontobotanicalgarden.ca/enjoy/special-events/market/

Withrow Farmers’ Market, May 18 – October 26.  Saturdays, 9am-1pm.  725 Logan Ave. at the north end of Withrow Park, between Carlaw and Logan.  http://www.withrowpark.ca/wiki/wiki.php

Montgomery’s Inn Farmers’ Market, May 22 – December 24.  Wednesdays, 2pm-6pm.  4709 Dundas St. West, Etobicoke.  Enjoy fresh baked bread from the inn’s wood-fired oven, fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, honey and more!  http://www.toronto.ca/culture/museums/featured-events.htm#montgomery

Junction Farmers’ Market, May 25 – November 9.  Saturdays, 8:30am-12:30pm.  Green P parking lot located at 385 Pacific Ave. by Dundas Street West.  This farmers’ market is The Junction neighbourhood’s first and they’re back for their sophomore year!  http://www.junctionmarket.ca/

The Junction, Toronto

summer strawberries at Junction farmers market

Leslieville Farmers’ Market, May 26 – October 27.  Sundays, 9am-2pm.  Jonathan Ashbridge Park on Queen Street East and Woodward Ave., between Greenwood and Coxwell Ave.  The market is back for their 3rd summer and fall season!  http://leslievillemarket.com/

Pedestrian Sundays at Kensington Market, May 26.  12pm-7pm.  Kensington Market (west of Spadina Ave., eats of Bellevue Ave., south of College Street, north of Dundas Street West).  Pedestrian Sundays are back for their 10th year!  Come out and enjoy the street festivals, market vendors, street food, and more on the last Sunday of the month – car and traffic free!  Streets are closed off to car traffic during Pedestrian Sunday hours.  http://www.pskensington.ca/

Metro Hall Farmers’ Market, May 27 – October 27.  Thursdays, 8am-2pm.  55 John Street at David Pecaut Square at King Street West.

Riverdale Farm Farmers’ Market, May 28 – October 15.  Tuesdays, 3pm-7pm.  Riverdale Farm located at Riverdale Park West at 201 Winchester Street by Sumach St.  http://www.riverdalefarm.ca/about-the-farm/farmers-market/

North York Civic Centre Farmers’ Market, May 30 – October 31.  Thursdays, 8am-2:30pm.  5100 Yonge Street, just north of Elmwood Avenue.  The farmers’ market, with its vast array of baked goods, fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and more, takes place outdoors at Mel Lastman Square.

heirloom tomatoes at North York and Mel Lastman Square farmers market

Farmers’ Markets and Market Events in Markham and Surrounding

Hillcrest Mall Farmers’ Market, May 2 – October 28.  Wednesdays, 10am-6pm and Sundays, 9am-5pm.  West parking lot outside of The Bay (facing Carrville Rd) at Hillcrest Mall, located at 9350 Yonge Street and 16th Ave/Carrville Rd (16th Ave. becomes Carrville west of Yonge Street).  http://onrichmondhill.com/events.php?id=13831

Aurora Farmers’ Market & Artisan Fair, May 4 – October 26.  Saturdays, 8am-1pm.  Town Park at Wells St. and Mosley St. southeast of Yonge Street and Wellington St. East.  Indoor markets during the winter move into the Aurora Cultural Centre.  http://www.town.aurora.on.ca/aurora/farmersmarket

Downtown Stouffville Farmers’ Market, May 9 – October 10.  Thursdays, 2pm-7pm.  Located at Park Drive and Main Street (for geographic reference, between Ninth Line and Tenth Line). http://www.townofws.com/farmersmarket.asp

Main Street Markham Farmers’ Market, May 11 – September 28.  Saturdays, 8am-1pm.  Located on the outdoor terrace at 132 Robinson Street and Markham Road (Main Street Markham North), just north of Highway 7 in Old Markham Village.  There are free parking lots in the area behind many of the retail storefronts, the closest being the parking lot behind Scotiabank.  http://www.mainstreetmarkham.com/page.asp?pageid=5

The Return of Asparagus, Rhubarb, and Outdoor Farmers’ Markets – Trinity Bellwoods’ First Market of 2012!

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You know you’re excited about an event when you circle the surrounding neighbourhood several times over because you’re too early (half an hour early) but know you can’t stray too far for fear that you’ll miss out on the good stuff when said event starts.  The event?  The return of the outdoor farmers’ market at Trinity Bellwoods Park at Dundas Street West and Shaw, on Tuesday from 3pm-7pm, the first of 2012.  I’m not crazy – just highly enthusiastic!  I’ve been waiting for the markets to either return or move outdoors for weeks and surprisingly enough, I wasn’t the only one!  A number of people were milling around the market as vendors were setting up and displaying their good eats for all to see and devour 15 minutes before the market was set to begin.  I was taken aback by this only because I thought I was the only one who showed up abnormally early to things.  But there I was amongst other market goers, foodies, cyclists, and mums and kids, ready to pounce on anything and everything.   

St. John’s Bakery was there as well as Monforte Dairy, Evelyn’s Crackers, Forbes Wild Foods, Woolerdale Farms, and to my delight, BreadSong Collective!  I discovered them during my last visit to Wychwood Barns when I picked up an amazing kale and black bean empanada to take home and I was overjoyed to find out that they would be at at Trinity Bellwoods.  We know what that means: picnic lunch in the park!  Along with the huge veggie empanadas, quinoa salad, and vegan cookies and brownies, they had some new goodies on Tuesday including some mini stuffed mushroom and onion buns, mini brioche loaves, and some sweet custard-like pastries. 

And of course, we can’t forget about the return of seasonal asparagus and fresh rhubarb!  Woolerdale Farms was on hand with both along with bags of lettuces, greens, and salad mixes, shallots, and beets.  I’m really interested in trying my hand at some rhubarb baked goods this season, so I’m hoping my family will oblige and humour me with this one.  I don’t think they’re all too keen on rhubarb, but fresh market produce is so hard to resist, especially ones that are so versatile in baked goods!

Hypothetically, if I could pick up whatever I wanted from the market without taking money into a consideration, I would have grabbed another empanada and a vegan alfajor from BreadSong Collective, some goat cheese from Monforte Dairy, a package of fudge cookies from St. John’s Bakery, and a bag of leafy lettuces and salad mix from Woolerdale Farms.  I was just getting warmed up though so I held off on purchases for the time being so I’d know for sure what I wanted to come back for the next time.  The season is young so I’m sure I’ll be filling up the tote bags with goodies to bring home in no time!

Coming back to the market at Trinity Bellwoods brought back such a great memories from 2011: chomping on giant vegan coconut oat cookies, bringing my mum and brother to a farmers’ market for the first time, buying my very first bunch of kale, and beginning my whirlwind market adventure last May.  Aside from Fresh Wednesdays at Nathan Phillips Square, the market at Trinity Bellwoods was my first in the city and it led to a hunger and thirst for more each and every single week.  I know this is going to be an amazing spring and summer season, so here’s to many more outdoor market adventures in the city in 2012!     

*****

The farmers’ market at Trinity Bellwoods Park is located at Dundas St. West and Shaw St. every Tuesday from 3pm-7pm.