Let it grow! Let it grow! Let it grow!
As winter approaches (or arrived depending on where you are) and as the snow starts to fall and the daylight hours lessen, it is getting harder and harder to find the energy to find fresh veggies and cook them. But folks, even as you break out your winter jacket, scarf and gloves, there are many farm fresh sources of vegetables available in Toronto.
Take a look at some of the sources of fresh veggies and other goodies I’ve used over the past two months:
1) Farm CSA Shares: I have recently bought a harvest share with a local farm in Toronto called Everdale. Their farm is located in Hillsburgh, an hour north of Toronto and they also have a small five acre farm called Black Creek Community Farm in North York. For less than thirty dollars a week, I can pick up a fresh box of veggies every week – a blessing since the vegetable selection at the grocery store is minimal. Take a look at what I have found over the past 5 weeks!
I have just recently renewed my harvest share so that I can get fresh veggies from January to April, since I love the program so much. Pictured below is a few examples of what a medium share would look like. Basically, depending on the size of your share, you get a certain number of points to spend each week (medium share is 12 points, 1 point is 2lbs of carrots, 2 bok choy, etc.).
The vegetables from the harvest share come from their farms, as well as other small organic farms in the area. So every week, there is a completely new selection of fresh veggies!
2) Fresh Fish from Hooked: I know a fish isn’t a vegetable but sometimes you need some fish with your veggies. Especially if your fish is sustainable, free of hormones, antibiotics and caught with practices with minimal environmental impact. Hooked is an impeccably clean fish shop (in Toronto, ON) owned by chefs that take pride in their fish. They even have cooking classes!
So far, we have tried the mussels, fish cakes, crab cakes and the halibut cheeks. Did you know that halibut cheeks have the same flavour and consistency as scallops?
2) The Farmers Market: Yes, there are many farmers markets in Toronto open all year round! Among them is the Evergreen Brickworks organic market. They have moved inside but otherwise you’ll find the same level of quality of fresh organic vegetables, cheeses and meats!
3) Fresh Bread at Forno Cultura:
Finding a touch of Italian culture in Toronto is not difficult, but finding an amazing authentic Italian bakery is not always easy to find! Forno Cultura bakes fresh bread, focaccia, biscotti, panettone and cannoli. The secret to their bread is to cold rise the bread for one day before baking to achieve a hard crust and a moist interior (and they use organic flour!). Once you try it, you’ll understand! And so will your hips (but it’s worth it!)
3) Organic Grocery Delivery Services: If the winter is leaving you low on energy, why not just rely on an organic grocery delivery service to get you your veggies? Try Farms and Forks Organics, a family business with a goal to help you eat better. They get their veggies and fruits locally as well as imported, depending on availability and also sell a wide variety of other organic foods such as meat and fish, dairy and grains!
Okay folks, keep eating you veggies and I’ll see you in the New Year!
Merry Christmas and have a Wonderful Holiday Season!