Fresh Local Veggies Are BACK!!!

Hey Guys,

The weather has been improving and I am finally starting to feel like we are entering into summer (despite all the rain!).

I love to spend my Saturday mornings at the local farmers market, and since today was sunny and 20 degrees, I set off with my sleepy boyfriend (truthfully, we were both sleepy) early in the morning to scope out what fresh veggies were already in season. We went to the  Evergreen Brickworks all organic farmers market off the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto.

Of course, the growing season just began, so the veggie selection was limited, but among the selection, I did find the following:

-Fresh radishes  (nine different varieties including red and white French radish and purple, pink and white Easter Egg radishes).  They are an excellent sourse of vitamin C, and a goood source of vitamin B-6 and potassium. These radishes in particular are not very spicy / peppery, as the radishes are from the grocery store.  They have a mild taste but are very crunchy and taste so fresh!  You won’t believe the difference until you try it yourself!

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-Jerusalem Artichoke, or sunchoke

These are small root vegetables that have a thin peel. They are not as starchy as potatoes but contribute a delicate buttery taste to mashed potatoes (or you can steam them, or roast them). They are a very good source of iron as well as potassium and are also a good source of soluble fibre inulin. I will try to do a post on jerusalem artichoke to show you what can be done with them in the future.

-Some smaller varieties of onion and garlic as well as some root vegetables like potatoes, celery root and beets

-Some leafy greens such as sorrel, kale, spinach and leaf lettuce

-Some local wines (this is actually the first summer that Ontario has allowed farmers markets to sell wines!) The wines in particular are organic, local and biodynamic wines, which are hard to find at the LCBO!

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-And of course a delicious selection of freshly prepared food from My Little Dumplings!

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I enjoyed the fresh dumplings, and a steamed bun topped with local pork and a free range poached egg. The side salad consisted of harissa marinated green beans and fresh celery root shavings. I had some sorrel hibiscus punch to drink. Of course, I made sure my boyfriend got a good dose of my salad, as he opted for a chorizo sausage in a pastry roll.

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Some of the purchases I made included:

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Some delicious crackers and cookies from Evelyn’s Crackers. I bought the slightly seedy, the cheddar crispies and the lavender shortbread.  All their ingredients are sourced from local farmers, and the grains they use are heritage grains, such as red fife which are a whole lot more nutritious than the whole wheat and white flour that are most commonly used today.  And plus they are delicious!  I especially enjoyed the fresh lavender in the cookies it was out of this world!

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I also purchased a 2010 Organic Biodynamic Pinot Noir from Tawse Vineyard close to St Catherines, Ontario.  Their vineyard is relatively new, but they use some very interesting methods in their growing such as planting crops other than the grapes to replenish nutrients, natural weed maintenance by using their sheep to eat the weeds in between rows of grapes, and reduction of soil compaction from tractors by using horses to till the fields, as well as manure produced by these animals as a natural fertilizer. Only 6, 600 bottles of this wine have been produced and I am not good at describing wine, but it was very delicious!  According to their website, I tasted smooth and savoury with hints of dark cherry and earthy mushrooms, which matched with what I tasted.  Pair it with a fresh slice of bread and cheese and you can’t go wrong!

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In terms of veggies that I bought, I got some beautiful organic radishes, cippolini onions and some organic mixed lettuce for salads. The produce comes from a large 200 acre farm one hour away from Toronto called Cookstown Greens. Apparently, they are starting to harvest their asparagus soon….can’t wait!

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Till next time and get out there and check out  what your local farmers are producing.  You’ll be amazed at the new varieties of veggies they produce and the difference in flavour compared to veggies in the grocery store.

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Categories: Farmers Market

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