Strawberries, radishes, garlic scapes, kale, kale, and more kale! (not what's in the photo, but what I bought at the market!!). Photo recipe below :)
This past Saturday Dave Gerry (host of Global TV's Morning Show) and I went to film a segment at Evergreen Brickworks Farmers Market. I loved every minute of it because Evergreen is one of my favourite markets in Toronto.
Why is it my faves? Well, it's mostly organic and non-GMO, local and completely charming. I can't think of a better way to spend an early Saturday morning than perusing a market full of delicious, local and seasonal foods!!
The segment will likely air next week, but here are some of the tips we discussed to make your farmer's market a very joyful experience!
1. Bring cash with you. Most farmers do not accept plastic and this saves you the $1.50 or more service fee at the ATM.
2. Bring your reusable bags with you. Even better, be stylish and stash your goods into a Rume (ReUseMe) bag like I do.
3. Do a walkabout of the whole market before you buy. Otherwise, you will spend all your cash in one corner and this ensures you get the best deal as well.
4. Go with an empty belly. Normally when grocery shopping I would suggest the opposite so you avoid buying junk. However, this is the one exception (plus you won't find very much junk food at a farmers market)! There are always samples (like the amazing honey mustard I tried on Saturday) to try. And there is often a prepared foods section at most markets where you can sit down and have a delicious breakfast or snack.
5. Buy the heavy items last. Don't get weighed down by that 5lb bag of sweet potatoes.
6. Bring a small cooler in your car. If you plan on buying items that require refrigeration. You don't want that precious goat yogurt to go bad!
7. Don't be a cheap ass and ask for a deal, please. Remember, you are supporting the local economy. In most cases, you are paying the farmer directly who harvested those garlic bulbs.
8. Get to the market by 8am.Especially with items like local strawberries -- they go like hotcakes. So if you nap till noon and expect berries, you might be outta luck.
9. Ask questions!! Learn about the food you are buying and the best way to prepare it. Farmers are often happy to share their fave recipe ideas with you.
10. Have fun! Don't go with time constraints. When you visit a farmers market, it's a wonderful experience and opportunity to enjoy every joyous moment.
A few more tips:
Here's a great Toronto Farmer's Market Guide for 2012: http://www.thegridto.com/life/food-drink/the-toronto-farmers-market-guide-2012/ and an Ontario wide farmers market guide: http://edibletoronto.com//farmers-markets-toronto-ontario/farmers-markets.htm
Want to know what's in season at the market? Here's an availability guide of fruits and vegetables: http://www.foodland.gov.on.ca/english/availability.html (please note, if you are reading this outside of Ontario, than it will vary).
Oh and do be sure you get some fresh, local organic strawberries before they are gone so you can eat what I had for a powersnack today (as photo'd above)!
In that bowl, I threw together the following:
2 schlops of greek yogurt
Granola which consisted of: spelt oat-like flakes, raisins, pumpkin seeds, dried coconut
2 spoonfuls of chia seeds
Before I go, check out a short video I did at Sorauren Farmer's Market (scroll halfway down to get to the video) equally as charming as Evergreen!
Have a joyous day!