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Eat & Drink

Dufferin Grove Farmers' Market

Posted by Guest Contributor / August 11, 2012

Dufferin Grove Farmers MarketDufferin Grove Park houses one of the city's few year-round, organic farmers' markets. For those who are concerned about eating local and pesticide-free, Dufferin Grove Farmers' Market is a hotbed of delicious produce, meats, and prepared goods. For the rest of us, it has a slew of tasty treats.

The market, which runs like clockwork from 3-7pm every Thursday, is part of Dufferin Grove Park's larger community. The Dufferin Grove Bakers sell delicious baked goods from the park's wood oven, while other community programming, such as a cookbook swap this August, is space sporadically throughout the year.

Dufferin Grove Farmers MarketThe market is well-designed, with requirements that products to be organic and identified (unless there is good reason) and to ensure that there's no destructive competition between vendors. As a result, you'll find a lot of great things here, but little opportunity to compare apples to apples if that's what you're after.

After a few strolls around, some samples here and there, a few purchases, and lots of great discussion with the enthusiastic growers and business owners, a handful of vendors stood out:

I was first introduced to Chocosol through my local coffee shop where their intensely flavoured organic chocolate bars ($6) make an occasional appearance. Here, Michael Sacco brings coffee and chocolate bars to take home, and a delicious drinking chocolate ($3/small or $5/large), sweetened with agave, that is just as powerful as the bar version.

Clement's Crepes
My partner and I swore we would return to Clement's for dinner at the market one night. Tim Clément produces handspun crepes ($7-10 depending on filling) made with organic whole wheat flour, organic free-range eggs, and whole milk, and filled with ingredients from the farmer's market. Sweet or savoury, they're gorgeous, piping hot, and filled with ever-changing seasonal toppings.

Dufferin Grove Farmers MarketEvelyn's Crackers
Evelyn's Crackers have become somewhat of a regular fixture at Toronto farmers' markets. Dawn Woodward and Ed Rek's crackers and cookies — named in honour of their daughter, Evelyn — are made with local, organic, and fair trade ingredients. For a wine and cheese party, pick up the Spicy Dal Spelt Sticks (made with spelt flour and lentils) or Currant in the Rye crackers ($7/each or 3 for $20). They also sell granolas, oatcakes, and the perfect shortbread cookies for afternoon tea.

Dufferin Grove Farmers MarketFeast of Fields Farm
Laura Sabourin's offerings impress those looking for truly beautiful fruit. A Demeter Certified Vineyard and Orchard, Feast of Fields features their fruits at the farmers' market, including pears, peaches, and berries.

Dufferin Grove Farmers MarketForbes Wild Foods
Forbes Wild Foods was attended by an apprentice forager named Seth the afternoon that I visited the market, but you could have fooled me that he was an apprentice. Terribly knowledgable about the things that you can eat, the folks at Forbes Wild Foods have plucked and prepared all sorts of delectable mushrooms, wild fruits, pickled vegetables, and other plants. If you're looking to impress foodie friends, pick up some spruce tips, wild dried juniper berries, or milkweed pods, which Seth says are great on pizza or in risotto.

Dufferin Grove Farmers MarketKind Organics
It's good to be kind. Kind Organics reminds me of an edible flower shop. Under their tent, there were rows upon rows of gorgeous salad blends, sprouts, micro-greens, herbs, and edible flowers. Their sprouts and wheatgrass are certified organic, while the rest of their products are grown without any chemicals.

Ying Ying Soy Food
Sandwiched between the delicious cheeses and meats at the market, there is an artisan tofu vendor who should not be missed. Ying Ying Soy Food has been producing Nigari tofu with organic soybeans for over ten years. Nigari tofu is a traditional style of tofu, slightly sweeter and a more pleasant texture than supermarket tofu. Ying Ying offers tofu burgers, smoked tofu, and prepared Gourmet Tofu in a selection of flavours that are ideal for sandwiches or barbecuing.


Dufferin Grove Farmers MarketDufferin Grove Farmers MarketDufferin Grove Farmers MarketDufferin Grove Farmers MarketDufferin Grove Farmers MarketDufferin Grove Farmers MarketDufferin Grove Farmers MarketDufferin Grove Farmers MarketDufferin Grove Farmers MarketDufferin Grove Farmers MarketDufferin Grove Farmers MarketDufferin Grove Farmers MarketDufferin Grove Farmers MarketDufferin Grove Farmers MarketDufferin Grove Farmers MarketWriting by Kaitlin Wainwright / Photos by Denis McMullin



hellsbells / August 11, 2012 at 04:11 pm
Yeh my backyard its the bomb
hellsbells / August 11, 2012 at 04:20 pm
DeFloured is amazing too, gluten free baked goods to die for!!
SayMyName / August 12, 2012 at 06:50 pm
Toronto farmers' markets are absurdly expensive. Dufferin Grove is pretty much my backyard, but I won't be shopping there again. And why don't any of the farmers' markets in the city offer non-organic local produce? I've been to the one at Trinity Bellwoods as well. As much as I'd love to eat all organic, I just can't afford $7 for a handful of raspberries...
Mathieu / August 12, 2012 at 11:00 pm
@SayMyName Don't Let the price get you down, sometimes these places can become a long time investments. Season to season, We try to be thrifty:

For example save by simplifying packaging,

Chocosol offers pay what you want cold drinking chocolate if you bring your own vessel.
Bonus chocolate on stone ground eating chocolates. $10 for 24sq + 6square Bonus

And For our fresh Kawartha Corn tortillas project you can get a seasonal bonus items on top of your local bean, salsa greens and fresh Monforte sheep cheese (Right now it's Mushroom and Peppers) 4 for $10.

DuffNeighbour / August 13, 2012 at 12:57 am
Yeah, have to agree with @SayMyName. I love walking through the market every week, but $5.00 loaves of bread, $6.00 bunches of asparagus, $2.00 cloves of garlic, etc.. is waaaay out of my budget. Clearly only the super upper class benefits from this place. Such a shame as farmer's markets in other countries i've been too actually benefit the working class.
JohnO / August 13, 2012 at 12:49 pm
I've not been to a farmers market here yet. Although I'm really happy that BlogTO is covering them as they are a wonderful resource.
I've recently moved over from Europe and the whole point of Farmers markets over there is that they are cheaper. The farmers come into the cities/towns to sell their product directly cutting out the middleman and his mark up. The advantage also is that they are fresher. They don't have to be organic, just fresh and cheap.
Is that not how it works here? kinda defeats the purpose no?
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overpriced / August 13, 2012 at 08:52 pm
been to couple farmers markets on the west side, and all of them are way over priced. For me that is a huge incentive not to go to anymore. Seriously who can offered that large price tag in the current economy?
SayMyName / August 13, 2012 at 11:36 pm
Most other Canadian cities I've spent considerable time in (Montreal, Ottawa, Halifax) all have farmers' markets that offer both organic and non, all fresh and local. No idea why Toronto markets are strictly high-priced organic. East end market in Riverdale Park is the same situation. I can only assume the same can be said for Sorauren. It irks me no end...
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Garneau / September 6, 2014 at 11:19 pm
Good market, but Wychwood Barns on Saturday is better. Whitefish from Georgian Bay and scores of the best qualrity organic meats, vegetables, coffees, and breads. Other than the Brickworks, which is a little better, there isn't much reason to go anywhere else.
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