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Eat & Drink

The Farmers' Market at St. Lawrence Market North

Posted by Guest Contributor / August 4, 2012

st lawrence marker northWhile most of us are snuggled tight in our beds early on Saturday mornings, others at St. Lawrence Market North have been up and busy for hours by the time Market doors open at 5:00 a.m.

Each Saturday morning, food producers from across Southern Ontario make the trip into the City with great offerings in tow. Often seen as the "little brother" to the larger South Market across the street, the North Market is where the real farmer's market action goes down.

Here are the vendors you should keep an eye out for.

st lawrence north farmers market torontoDoug & Rose Webb
These third generation family farmers come to the market from Sutton and bring with them seasonal produce. Around the market, Doug and Rose are well known for their selection of fresh herbs including dill, basil, thyme, oregano, coriander, parsley (both curly and Italian), tarragon and peppermint.

Acropolis Organics
This family-owned company uses Koroneiki olives harvested from the family's single estate on Crete. Based in Toronto, Acropolis Organics produces and imports premium both premium grade and all-purpose cooking oil. Also available are whole olives and olive oil based soap.

Marvin's Produce
Marvin's Produce occupies two stalls near the back of the Market, one run by Marvin himself, the other by his mother. The produce comes from the same family farm in Flamborough and among the summer offerings are zucchini, cauliflower, radishes and a variety of lettuces.

st lawrence north farmers market torontoColwell Farms
With produce from Nestleton and Newmarket, Colwell Farms features an all-Ontario spread, including beautiful coreless nanty carrots. Attracting the most attention at their tables are the baskets of potatoes including French finglerlings--which I'm told are drier than regular fingerlings.

Uncle Jorge's Farm
Uncle Jorge himself mans the stall and is happy to tell you that his small-scale 25-acre farm produces only certified organic and organically grown produce. In addition to carrots, potatoes, cabbage and garlic, he specializes in free-range poultry, and customers can pre-order heritage turkey, muscovi duck and goose.

Meadowview Honey
Pure, natural, unpasteurized honey sourced and produced right in Ontario is what you'll find at this stall. Honey of the wildflower, clover, dandelion and raw variety are featured, and beautiful beeswax candles handmade in Guelph are also available for sale.

st lawrence north farmers market torontoBest Baa Farm
Yes, "baa" as in what a sheep says. A former dairy co-operative, Best Baa Farm specializes in sheeps' milk products. Their cheeses, yogurts and ice creams are made with milk bought from local Amish farmers. Among the raw milk cheeses featured are eweda, mouton rouge, Camembert and feta.

Second Wind Elk
Naturally grass-fed Ontario Elk. Pepperettes, salami, and the same "beef cuts" you're accustomed to requesting from your butcher.

Cherry Avenue Farms
Cherry Avenue brings the best fruits that produce-rich Vineland has to offer. This ninth generation farm has recently teamed up with Rowe Farms to produce fresh red fife pasta, a crop which was widespread in the area in the 1800s and has never been genetically modified.

st lawrence north farmers marketGrainfields
Specializing in organic sourdough and "allergy breads," Granfields sells Kamut muffins, orange, blueberry and cranberry scones and other baked goods that are either wheat, yeast or gluten-free.

Monforte Dairy
Using ethical, local, mostly Mennonite-produced milk, Monforte makes a variety of seasonal and sustainable artisanal cheeses. Among the offerings right now are sheep's milk curds, water buffalo curds, sheep's milk bocconcini, pecorino fresca and chevre.

Ali's Fresh Bread
You'll find bread and baked goods at this vendor's stall--in short, the most popular oven offerings. Among the varieties are potato & rosemary loaf, multigrain loaf and sticky cinnamon buns.

Raani Foods
This Indian food vendor specializes in "healthy" preparations. Prepared treats including plain and stuffed naan, curries and samosas (tofu varieties available).

st lawrence north farmers marketSunrise Egg Farm
These free range, organic, antibiotic and hormone-free eggs are produced at a family operation out of Wallenstein. For the discerning egg enthusiast, Sunrise boasts a selection of "one-day eggs" which, as you may suspect, have been laid and collected within 24-hours.

Stasis Preserves
Straight from Roncesvalles, Stasis' preserves--including black walnuts in honey, strawberry rhubarb and onion chutney--are made using locally sourced, seasonal food.

Internuts
Based in St. Catherines, Internuts brings freshly roasted nuts to the Market each week. Customer favourites include unsalted, dry roasted almonds, pistachios and natural peanut butter.

Black River Gatehouse
This health-oriented vendor mostly specializes in local medical herbs, teas, plants and seeds harvested by hand. A must-try is the stinging nettle tea.

st lawrence north farmers marketMerchants of Green Coffee
This cafe and coffee bean provider near Queen East and the DVP makes an appearance at the market to offer up organic, fair-trade, and locally roasted coffee. All blends start as green Arabica beans and have been roasted in small batches within the last 48 hours. Check out the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe blend, which is their "ode to the birthplace of coffee."

Rowe Farms
Fifteen family farms in Southern Ontario provide Rowe Farms' with its naturally raised, antibiotic and hormone-free grass fed beef and chicken.

Kendal Vale Artisanal Sheep cheese
Based in Newtonville, Kendal Vale specializes in handmade sheep's milk cheese. Among the offerings are Greek feta, Bulgarian feta, yogurt and sour cream.

Sovereign Farms
The warm summer months in Ontario usher in the right growing conditions for Sovereign Farms' waterford, field and heirloom tomatoes. With locally grown and seasonal produce, they're also known for their selection of beans, squash and peppers.

st lawrence north farmers marketToorshi Foods
The name Toorshi is derived from the Persian word "torsh" meaning "sour". Pickled beans, turnips and more (cucumber pickles are available in mild, garlic and spicy) are among this vendor's offerings. Popular and unique are the "sweetfire" sweet and spicy pickled beets.

Viva Tastings
Taking full advantage of their proximity to fresh, local ingredients at the Market each Saturday, Viva Tastings makes preservative and additive-free prepared foods. On the menu this week are zesty summer Mexican beef and potato stew, Brazilian bouillabaisse and smoked corn chowder.

Clement's Orchards & Produce
This Newcastle family farm lays out various field and orchard-fresh delicacies. Abundant on the table right now? Fresh-picked apples and corn.

W & T Mushroom
W & T imports porcinis from Italy, wild chanterelles from British Columbia and grows some varieties, including oyster mushrooms, on their family farm in Rockwood.

st lawrence north farmers marketBilski Farms
This Grimsby-based family operation brings in fresh seasonal produce. Fresh picked right now are orchard specialties including peaches, nectarines, wild blueberries and red and white currants.

Clement Poultry
This second generation family operated poultry farm raises, processes and packages their own roasting chickens, turkeys, capons, ducks and geese. Everything they sell including their fresh turkey burgers and Canadian maple turkey breakfast sausage are certified free range and organic.

Round Plains Plantation
These sweet potatoes are proudly grown, stored and sold without insecticides, pesticides or fungicides. Round Plains also dabbles in baked goods and brings in a selection of sweet potato muffins--gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and sugar-free options available.

El Gaucho Chorizos
With more than 40 varieties--like veal with spinach, lamb with rosemary and English bangers--you could embark on a pretty epic sausage-tasting journey with El Gaucho. They've also got all your accoutrements including crispy coleslaw, Greek salad and potato salad.

st lawrence north farmers market torontoCathy's Oodles of Strudels
Cathy's vegan-friendly German strudels are made daily in Scarborough. Other goodies (some sugar-free) like cobblers, tarts, croissants, danishes and pies look scrumptious too.

Sweet Everythings
This vendor has a bit of everything. Specializing in handmade baked goods with no additives (some gluten-free), they also boast a selection of savory specialties including salsa, breakfast burritos and prepared soups.

M-C Dairy
You'll find all-natural kefir, yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream and cheese at this dairy vendor.

British Baked Goods
A mix of sweet and savory British treats is on the menu here. Among the offerings are Cornish pasties (traditional and cheese & onion), bakewell tarts, fern tarts, maid of honour tarts and empire cookies.

st lawrence north farmers marketAntique Market on Sundays
There's no need to travel to the countryside for quality antiquing. On Sundays, the North Market is transformed into an antiquers paradise when dealers bring their finds (everything from oil paintings to bikes to end tables) into the City.

Writing and photos by Kara Merpaw

Discussion

8 Comments

Ton / August 4, 2012 at 03:45 am
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Is this a north vs. south thing? I know the south is bitchin'
g. argle replying to a comment from Ton / August 4, 2012 at 06:48 am
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You must be from Georgetown.
Monforte Dairy / August 4, 2012 at 03:08 pm
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Thank you so much for featuring our Dairy in your post! Daniel and Rachel adore their Saturday mornings at St. Lawrence and we always have a lot of different cheeses to share. We should warn you that we do not make a proper bocconcini. There will be heart break in store for anyone searching for a Monforte Dairy cheese of that exact style. We do make a fresh pressed mozzarella (the Fresco) that can easily substitute pulled mozzarella. We make Sheeps' Milk or Water Buffalo Fresco all summer long.
Melanie / August 4, 2012 at 08:09 pm
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I absolutely LOVE this place. There is absolutely no end to the goodies that one can find. I come here so often I think they'll soon start charging me rent. Saturday mornings are my very favourite times, and I usually pick up supplies for the whole family in one trip. The cheeses in particular are to die for. Thanks for this blog.
Chris / February 5, 2013 at 07:19 pm
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I unfortunately bought some broccoli thinking it was somehow Ontario and was disappointed to see the rubber band said Andy Boy U.S.A. - ask the vendors specifically if it is Ontario Natural - if not you can go to no frills.
stephen / March 30, 2013 at 02:00 pm
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The only problem I have is that there is certain vendors are not
putting signs out when they buy from food terminal and do not say USA grown.
Chris Arthur / April 9, 2013 at 10:22 am
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Is there only one egg vendor would there be room for some competition ???
jenny / May 2, 2013 at 01:06 pm
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The biggest culprit on the market is on the committee and buys at the food terminal. He has a farm and makes it look good when inspection time comes. He sales American Stuff and doesn't put signs saying U.S. You guessed him Marvin alright.

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