I am not the best when it comes to eating my fruits and vegetables, so I need to find creative ways to get them into my diet. That usually means hiding all of the healthy stuff inside a smoothie favourite with chocolate so I don’t really know what I am drinking. One of the other ways I actually look forward to eating things that grow on trees and in the dirt is shopping for them at a farmers’ market. Let’s face it – I love any kind of shopping. Grocery shopping doesn’t exactly give me any sort of satisfaction (unless it’s delivered to my door, otherwise I find it a pain), but when shopping for all that healthy crap is snowballed into an outdoor event, well it suddenly seems a bit more appealing.
I really like farmers’ markets! It’s like going to a street party, but instead of alcohol there are carrots. Since daytime drinking has been pretty much eradicated from my lifestyle since becoming a fab mom, I take whatever I can get.
Here are a few you might want to give a try this spring!
Evergreen Brick Works Farmers’ Market – 550 Bayview Ave, Toronto
This is one of my favourites! Evergreen Brick Works has a year-round farmers’ market, and their summer hours run from now until November 1st. The market is on from 8am – 1pm, and the food court is open a little longer (until 2pm).
What I like about this farmers’ market is how many things there are to do all in one place. There are vendors serving up all kinds of food in the food court, then there are all kinds of events and workshops taking place every weekend from classes on making pottery as a family, to children’s cooking classes.
For a $5 donation your child can take part in what they call Nature Play at the Brick Works. Children remain supervised by their parents, and this drop in program from 10-4pm on weekends and holidays offers play time, story telling and crafts.
Parking can be tough because there are not a lot of spaces so many people park the street, so you do end up spending a lot of time driving behind people hoping to be the first to take their parking space! You must pay for parking as well.
In the winter there is ice skating and hot chocolate outside, and in the summer it’s nice to talk a walk since the area is surrounded by walking paths.
The Stop Farmers’ Market at Wychwood Barns – 601 Christie Street, Toronto
Open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 pm, this market houses most of it’s vendors inside of it’s giant space. The Barns also has an art market with over 30 vendors, and they host all kinds of events like CraveTO with music, food and drinks.
All of the non-farmer vendors shop their ingredients from the market which is nice too.
St. Lawrence Farmers’ Market – 92 Front Street East, Toronto
This market has been running for over 200 years! It’s pretty amazing. There are over 120 merchants which makes it one of the largest in the area as well. It runs year round from 5:00am until 10:00pm on Saturday’s, and they pretty much have everything you could imagine. It’s so busy that parking isn’t the easiest, but you can try the Green P lot behind the South Market Building, or there is a parking garage on the east side of Lower Jarvis (very short walk).
In the Market there are lots of cooking classes which I have been dying to try (will anyone go with me?) for adults and even classes with children, and there is always some sort of festival in the area to enjoy as well. This one is a must try!
The Leslieville Farmers’ Market – Jonathan Ashbridge Park (Queen Street East between Greenwood & Coxwell)
This newbie on the farmer’s market scene is every Sunday from 9am to 2pm until the end of October. I haven’t visited this one yet, but it’s on my list of stops for this summer.
They say they have music, and that they will have wine starting next weekend! That might be why I’ve decided this one is one on my list. Coming up this year they will have a Bacon Fest, and a Movie Night in the Park as well.