Riverdale Farm Farmers' Market. A Rural Experience In The Heart Of The City.
(HealthCastle.com) Summer in Ontario is divine. Like most Canadians, I savour and enjoy the warmer weather precisely because it’s our reward for enduring the colder months of winter. Summer is also the time for local foods from Ontarian farmers. There’s nothing like fresh Ontario fruits and vegetables; a taste that can’t be matched from foods that transported halfway across the world.
Farmers’ markets can be found in almost any city or town. Toronto is lucky to have its fair share as well. Farmers who make the courageous drive into the city, travelling long distances and dealing with traffic, are superstars in my mind and while they often have to increase their prices somewhat to cover fuel costs, I don’t regret buying better quality produce knowing I’m supporting local businesses.
One of my favorite markets is at the Riverdale Farm, held every Tuesday from late May to the end of October. To be a vendor, all farmers must be certified organic, or be in transition to becoming organic, with the exception of those farmers who joined in the first market season.
Like most farmers’ markets, the Riverdale Farm market sells fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, cheeses, homemade baked goods, jams, jellies, honey and more. Unlike a lot of the markets that take place in a city-owned parking lot, this one takes place in historic Cabbagetown at 201 Winchester Street in a park just outside the Riverdale Zoo. Cabbagetown is real gem of a neighbourhood which dates back to the 1840s and comprises the largest continuous area of preserved Victorian housing in North America; in a word, quaint. The proximity of the market to the zoo, which houses farms animals with working barns, makes the experience much more fun; the atmosphere is amazingly rural.
On a recent trip, my favourite picks included:
• Garlic and onions
• Fresh apple cider
Although the end of summer means winter is just around the corner, I am looking forward to all the things autumn has to offer like squash, apples, onions, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes and more.