The Montgomery's Inn Farmers' Market
The Montgomery's Inn Farmers' Market can be found in the parking lot of the historic Montgomery's Inn, just east of the Islington Ave./Dundas West intersection and a short walk from the Islington subway station. The dozen or so vendors here showcase a variety of sustainably grown produce, wood fired breads, artisanal cheeses, pastured meats and even prepared foods and preserves.
Here's a look at some of the standouts.
Audrey Macdonald hails from Jamaica, where she grew up on a farm operated by her grandmother. She now grows a variety of herbs and greens on her farm in Brampton, utilizing sustainable growing practices such as crop rotation, and bio-diversity. Her small stand hosts a variety of greens - from baby kale to snow peas -and other take home items such as potted herbs and flowers.
Operating out of Innisfil, Irina and Ion Alecu are expert apiarists. Every week, they bring their assortment of honeys, beeswax candles, skin care, bee pollen, and even honeycomb to the GTA. And if you don't know the difference in taste from wildflower, clover, or buckwheat honey - Irina will gladly give you some samples so that you can find your favorite. Also available at the stand is an assortment of free-range eggs (chicken, quail, duck and the occasional goose) that are sure to perk up your morning meals.
Green Gate Farms
Located on the west side of Kitchener, Green Gate Farms offers a selection of barn raised beef, pork, and lamb. You can get standard cuts, such as steaks chops and ribs, or cured items like chorizo, sausage and bacon. The more adventurous home chef will be pleased to find more exotic cuts, such as oxtail tongue and cheek. The non-chef will be equally happy to find prepared items like meat pies, meat loaf, patties, and cabbage rolls to stock the freezer with.
Bizjak farms has been operating in the Niagara region as a family owned business since 1973. Using sustainable and environmentally conscious farming practices, this Beamsville farm boasts mainly tree ripened fruit, in addition to berries and some preserves. Strawberries are presently in abundance, with cherries coming up next in season and other stone fruits such as plums, peaches, apples, and apricots becoming available as the summer progresses.
This organic Waterford farm specializes in heirloom varieties, which allows the vendors to offer a unique variety of vegetables. Occupying the largest stand with the densest spread; standard vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and leeks were offered alongside some less usual items such as garlic scapes, oyster mushrooms and kale flowers. Potted herbs and plants are also available for purchase.
More Than Pies Baking Co. Ltd.
This retail bakeshop operates locally in South Etobicoke, and is in the process of opening a new retail and cafĂŠ space on Lake Shore Blvd. W. Ironically, there were no pies offered at More Than Pies - but there was quite a selection of tempting treats. The triple chocolate biscotti looked both beautiful and decadent, although the chocolate oatmeal cookies seemed equally compelling. Other breakfast style offerings, such as pumpkin and zucchini loaves, donut muffins, and scones are also available.
Ninth Valley Organics
Nathan Klassen recently started his Plattsville farm in 2011, shortly after graduating from the University of Guelph's organic agriculture program. He uses organic production methods to grow a variety of vegetables. Presently in available is a wide variety of greens, such as sorrel, arugula, and other salad mixes. Beets, carrots, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers are a few of the other items that will be come available later in the season.
Montgomery Inn Bread
Probably the most unique offering at this farmer's market is the selection of wood fired breads, which are made right on the premises. You can actually watch your loaves being baked in an outdoor oven - which is about as local as it gets The breads range from sweet cinnamon rolls, to savory tomato and olive loaves and are available year round. All proceeds go to fund Montgomery Inn programming.
Growing Spaces Preserves
Adam Smith and Blythe Weber can and preserve seasonal items from East Cliff farm so that they can be enjoyed year round. Both owners were on premises to sell their chutneys, jams, relishes, maple syrup and pickled items at the market. Products spanned from the more exotic side of the spectrum, like the Morning Glory jam and apple curry chutney, as well as classic items like strawberry jam and pickled dill beans.
The Montgomery's Inn Farmers' Market will be in operation until October 30th, running every Wednesday from 2pm-6pm.
Discover more of Toronto's farmers' markets via our Toronto Farmers' Markets Pinterest board.
Writing by Kelly Creighton. Photos by Jesse Milns.
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