I heard about this little evening market while scrolling through my Instagram feed. They were talking about tomatoes and the vast variety they had for that day’s market. So naturally I had to go.
I called my best friend and she met me at Riverdale Park in Toronto to visit the Cabbagetown Farmers’ Market on Tuesday evening.
The market was so quaint and peaceful. It wasn’t very big, it had perhaps around 13-15 vendors, but you didn’t even notice because of the vast variety of products they had to offer.
There was a perfect balance of vegetables, fruits, dairy products, non-dairy alternatives, nuts, grains & seeds, and meats. Plus, the best part of this markets’ simplicity was that you could actually talk to each vendor without feeling rushed.
I had some great conversations at each of the stands, met new farmers, and even learned about new types of vegetables and products!
Here is my roundup of some of my favourite vendors and their products:
Mcvean Farm - Discovered a new vegetable: Collalo! I had never heard of it before. It looked like a cross between collard greens and spinach; the health benefits are apparently amazing as it contains 4 times the amount of calcium found in broccoli and twice the iron! Its high amount of Vitamin C makes it a great immune system booster and its Vitamin A content a great antioxidant.
Secret Lands Farm – Amazing, amazing artisanal sheep dairy products; From Kefir, to yogurt, to a variety of cheeses including a pecorino, young feta, and halloumi! The best part? You are welcome to try as many samples as you’d like and ask questions about any of their products. The Halloumi was amazing; definitely a great buy.
Inabata Mountains - South African Naturally Sun Dried Fruit and Nuts where about 90% of all of their dried fruit comes from around Cape Town or near the Game Parks near Pretoria. All the fruits are naturally sun dried as result of the dry heat (no humidity) in those areas--meaning that there is nothing added! No pesticides; no sugar added – just dried in the sun for 4 to 5 days! It’s amazing and you can definitely taste the difference.
Nature’s Way Organics - Discovered mouse melons – taste like cucumber but look like mini water melons; great other produce to choose from as well! Their farm is in Norfolk County and they have been growing food for over 10 years and they have over 40 different types of vegetables!
Fifth Town Cheese - I was amazed by the kindness and patience of the vendor at the booth. He was super friendly and knowledgeable about every cheese. I fell in love with the truffle cheese (Truffalina) and their Buffalina, though honestly I wanted to take home every kind! The company itself, is an environmentally and socially responsible enterprise producing fine handmade cheeses using fresh, locally produced goat, cow and buffalo milk.
Tamarack Farms - Maple syrup and preserves galore! They go for “remarkable food - sustainable farming.” Tamarack Farm is a 250-acre working farm in Northumberland County. They have ecological farming practices and re-invest in the local, rural economy. They focus on the production of slow-finished, pasture-raised lamb, summer-intensive, organic vegetable production, and seasonal production of artisanal, small-batch maple syrup-- Perfect for Sunday Brunch over your pancakes!
The Bee Shop - Had a great chat with principal beekeeper Oliver Couto, who is a member of the Toronto Beekeepers Co-op and one of the instructors of the introductory beekeeping course at the Toronto Botanical Garden. He has been involved in beekeeping for over 14 years! He is also distributors of Dutchman’s Gold and Annie’s Apitherapy. The stand is full of amazing products and even has an interactive display with the bees.
Samsara Fields - Amazing, great quality, locally-produced vegetables. This week’s major feature was garlic, which was overpoweringly beautiful and smelled amazing. There were so many different kinds to choose from--it was quite the experience!
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