A closer look at the Leslieville Farmers' Market
The Leslieville Farmers' Market is back for its second year. Located near the corner of Eastern Avenue and Coxwell at Jonathan Ashbridge Park, this seasonal market kicked off last weekend and will run every Sunday from 9am to 2pm until October 28th. Currently, the park hosts about two dozen vendors selling a range of vegetables, meat, dairy and prepared food. On some weekends the market features live music and family-friendly activities including a Kids Corner, DIY projects for all ages, and a cookbook swap. On June 17th, pop-up favourite Fidel Gastro will be bringing sandwiches to the Leslieville Farmers' market - these ones exclusively composed of ingredients from the market's vendors.
Here's a closer look at some of the vendors you can find at the Leslieville Farmers' Market.
New to the market this year, Crosswind Farm specializes in preservative and additive-free goat products. Run by a family in rural Ontario, Cross Wind sells traditional goat milk, goat cheese, and meat products as well as goat soap (nothing else is quite as good at getting out sheep stains). Cheese samples are available if you get there on time.
Green Gate Farms
Serves a wide range of antibiotic-free and hormone-free beef and pork products including sausages, pork chops, meat pies, chorizo, kidneys, cheeks, steaks, and schnitzel. The animals are raised naturally in Kitchener and weigh roughly 900 pounds (instead of say, 1600) for extra tenderness, and the beef is dry aged for two weeks.
Phoenix and Arnold Grass Fed Beef
This beef from Cannington, Ontario is free of drugs and hormones. The free-range Black Angus cattle are raised in Wilfrid on grass and spring water without confinement. Owners are selling a range of organs and beef products including bone marrow, tail, tongue and soup bones. They also work with Sausage Partners, a local butcher on Queen, to make nitrate-free jerky and offer home delivery.
This Leslieville fish store sells a selection of its sustainable, ethical seafood that is bought directly from the fisherman. With the longest lineup at the market--consistently--Hooked serves up white perch fish tacos, corn tortillas, and cabbage slaw.
The Stratford-based cheese producers work in the sustainable sheep milk industry and commit themselves to animal welfare. Several types of artisanal cheeses and crackers are for sale.
Look for local, environmentally sustainable fruit from this family business. Some produce is grown with organic techniques.
Country Meadows Organics
Every fall, the owners travel to Greece to pick the olives for the olive oil they produce. This stall sells Greek yogurt, olive oil, cream cheese, olives, feta, chicken eggs, and turkey eggs. Products are pesticide-free and certified organic.
The Greenhouse Eatery
Sells all the fresh local organics that you might find in a salad: celery, beans, green onions, herbs, salad mix. Depending on the week, they also sell cut flowers, okra, hot peppers, jerk sauce and chard.
Harmony Oasis Farm
This farm produces local crops with extra concern for environmental sustainability.
Healthy Choice Farms
An established Brampton-based farm which is devoted to sustainability and soil health. They sell spinach, lettuce, kale, and beets at the market, and owners say the farm is one of the first to bring fresh carrots to the city.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are brought in straight from Picton, Ontario. Owner Jim was a chef in California and hopes to reintroduce exotic produce to the Toronto market.
This family-run uncertified organic farm is selling a range of fresh produce and root vegetables as well as honey soap, wild boar, and pesticide-free lamb and goat.
New this year, Kind Organics sells bio-dynamic and organic sprouts and a wide range of greens from "micro-greens" to "petite" and "baby greens."
Oso Leo (Appletop Orchards)
Perhaps the unfriendliest apple stand you'll find, Oso Leo sells apples and apple cider with organic flavours from the Blue Mountains. The fruit comes from orchards and a harvest collective.
New to the market this year, Wheelbarrow farms is bringing non-certified organic fruits and vegetables and pulled-pork sandwiches. Their practices are permaculture, and they also have a band, Sandy Pockets, which specializes in Prom Revival and Doowop and will perform at the market.
The Canadian Pie Company
This is exactly what it sounds like - fresh pie made from local ingredients. Depending on the day, you might find up to 12 flavours of fruit pie, five meat pies, seven types of cream pie, and nine types of quiches.
De la Terre Bakery
Based out of a bakery in Vineland, De La Terre sells spelt pastries and over a dozen types of hand-shaped organic sourdough bread. Keep an eye out for the cookies and date squares. Ingredients are local and sustainable and do not contain chemical additives or preservatives.
Earth & City
This vegan booth offers prepared, mostly raw, and often gluten-free food made from local ingredients. Basically a three-woman show, Earth & City sells spring roll wraps, flat breads and a handful of other items for their first time at the market. The start-up is committed to creating a sustainable, equitable community-based food system in the city based on local, whole, plant-based food.
LPK's Culinary Groove
Featuring certified organic, sustainable vegan desserts and focaccia. The mostly gluten-free treats include sweet potato donuts tossed in maple sugar, lemon meringue pies, and sourdough products. LPK uses ingredients from other farmers' markets and is committed to environmental sustainability.
Jean-Pierre Challet's bakery is bringing traditional French baking to the Leslieville Farmers' Market with quiches, sour dough breads, and baguette. They also have a store nearby, where the chef known best for Ici Bistro also serves croissants, pain aux chocolats and other things sure to induce cardiac arrest.
Located right across from the featured band, this stand sells bottled tomato pesto, jerk marinade and spices.
This booth makes prepared Indian vegan food, namely timpa wheels (swiss chard and chickpea) and samosas. Outside of the market, they also do home delivery on a bike, and are committed to environmental sustainability and hiring people who face employment barriers.
Where the friendliest waffle chef in the world will create what he calls a "criminal waffle" for you. The "lethal additive" is a special pearl sugar (nicknamed 'Belgian crack') used to make the Belgian waffle ice cream sandwiches. The Liège style waffles will soon be available at a waffle bar opening in Toronto in the second week of July.
Augie's Gourmet Ice Pops
Named after a Golden Retriever who can't get enough popsicles, Augie's pops are made of natural, freshly squeezed fruit blends. Pops come in two sizes and nine flavours including Lychee Cactus Pear, Lime Mojito and Vietnamese Ice Coffee. The pops are also available as desserts throughout the year at Salad King.
A variety of bee and related products from Innisville, Ontario, including honey, something called royal jelly, and quail eggs.
Forbes Wild Foods
Indigenous Canadian foods including fruit jellies, flowers, berries, and maple syrups.
Merchants of Green Coffee
Organic, fair-trade, locally roasted coffee. Their featured blend, the "Leslieville," is a medium-roast mix from Sumatra, Ethiopia and Peru. Everything they sell has been roasted within the last 48 hours and their blends are ground through a steep and filter process for that extra bit of caffeine with lower acidity.
The city's oldest urban agriculture business brings its most marketable plants and seeds. All plants are certified organic including vegetables, herbs, and flowers.
For more farmers' markets, check out our 2012 Farmers' Market preview.
Photos by Denise McMullin