See the Weekly Market Notes for a summary of the current week's offerings and events at the market.
Every Thursday 3:00-7:00 all year around
Outdoors around the rinkhouse in summer; on the rinkpad in fall; in and around the rinkhouse in winter.
Click here to view a map. Dufferin Grove Park rink house (875 Dufferin, S of Bloor), across from the Dufferin Mall. The rink house is in the northwest corner of the park, just off Dufferin. The closest subway stop is Dufferin Station (one block north). The Dufferin buses, both northbound and southbound, stop every three minutes right outside the rink house.
You are very likely to get a ticket if you park illegally on Dufferin Park Ave., the little street leading into the park. Please obey the signs. Just a short walk away, across from St. Mary's High School on the north side of the park, there are special signs allowing parking on Thursdays for market hours. Please use those spots or other legal ones in the area. See satellite image.
Applying to Vend
We always maintain a balance of over half farms on our vendor list, and anyone who applies to be a vendor must be directly involved in growing, raising or making the products offered for sale. We do not accept applications to sell crafts or nutritional supplements, provide services or represent product lines. Our vendor turnover is low, but we are interested in learning about local organic food ventures. If you are considering applying to sell at the market, please read our vendor guidelines(see the Vendors page for a link), and then contact Anne Freeman via email to email@example.com.
Sharing Information and Entertainment
There is a community board inside the rinkhouse where notices can be posted. Information about events or issues which market-goers might like to be aware of can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in our weekly market newsletter (deadline: noon on Wednesdays).
Space permitting, the market reserves one spot per week during the outdoor season for local not-for-profit groups to share information about food and farming, environmental sustainability and community issues (one visit per group per year). Anyone interested in using this spot or in providing entertainment is asked to write ahead so we can coordinate requests.
Please don't use the market as a place to distribute flyers or set up without communication in advance. Thanks for your co-operation.
See the Toronto Farmers' Market Network website: tfmn.ca
posted on February 24, 2014
Egg Farmers Caught Lying to Consumers About Hens’ Lives
By: Piper Hoffman Published: February 19, 2014 Source: care2
Eggs laid by happy hens, with space to frolic and lounge in the sun, are a more attractive buy for many shoppers than eggs from hens caged in factory farms. It’s no wonder, then, that egg producers strive to give the appearance that their hens live the good life.
Too often “appearance” is where the happy ends, as it did at Judy’s Family Farm. Judy’s packaged its eggs in cartons festooned with pictures of hens enjoying expansive grassy fields, accompanied by the statement that the hens are “raised in wide open spaces in Sonoma Valley, where they are free to roam, scratch, and play.”
The reality was different. The hens weren’t outside, but inside. They weren’t raised in wide open spaces — they were crammed together in tight spaces. They weren’t free to roam, scratch, or play. They didn’t even have space to stretch their wings.
A few changes at the Thursday Organic Farmers’ Market
Background: the market snack bar run by park staff sells a great deal of non-organic food, even when it’s outdoors, i.e. not part of the rink. It didn’t use to, but when Dufferin Grove stopped being a city-CELOS partnership run by on-site city staff, the market snack bar changed its menu. Organic hot dogs gave way to ordinary hot dogs, which became one of the biggest sellers: about 200 hot dogs every Thursday in summer, a bargain at $2 each, slathered with non-organic toppings and enclosed in a little “Sunshine” brand bun. The market snack bar still sells the tasty salads and soups that Mary Sylwester cooks, but the supplies for preparing these dishes are now ordered centrally. That means that during high summer when the market is overflowing with just-picked vegetables, the current purchasing system doesn’t allow the cooks to buy organic peppers, cucumbers, onions, zucchini (really), tomatoes, potatoes, carrots and herbs from the market. Olive oil no longer comes from market vendor Angelos, and the park’s current oil is not organic. Coffee, tea, and maple syrup are no longer organic, nor are the sugar and butter used for muffins, cookies, and cinnamon buns sold at the snack bar. Nor, of course are the juice boxes, or the pop. A happy exception is park cook/gardener Leslie Lindsay’s mostly-organic focaccia, for which she uses produce picked from the park garden whenever she can.
Market rules: What this menu means is that for some time now the park’s market snack bar has not followed the market’s vendor rules, that say “Products must be organic or it must be clear to customers that they are not organic (and with a good reason).” Another rule is “Vendors have to produce the majority of what they sell.” This used to be true for the park table when the market was young – the park bread was all baked in the park ovens, entirely with organic ingredients, and the snack bar was a sideline, serving food prepared mainly with farmers’ market ingredients. In the past few years, though, the balance has turned. In summer the snack bar outsells the bread, partly because of re-selling cheap hot dogs and drinks.
Dufferin Grove market manager Anne Freeman pointed out the problems to recreation management more than two years ago, as did the park staff who cook for the market. But there was never a solution, so for a time everyone gave up. Recently, the issue was put back on the table. Near the end of August, Anne was asked to a meeting with management (sadly, the park cooks were not invited). It was agreed that organic hot dogs would be tried again, organic box drinks (Kiju) would be investigated, and the market would offer “market bucks” to allow park staff to buy fresh market produce for making the snack bar food. In addition, there is to be clearer signage pointing out which park snack bar foods are not fully or even partly organic.
The good news is that until the purchasing for the park’s market snack bar is fixed, market customers have a lot of other options. The market is full of good mostly-organic locally–made food for people who want to have their supper there. Many of those offerings are reasonably priced and filling, even if they aren’t quite as cheap as the city-staffed park snack bar. Hopefully the promised changes in the park staff’s menu will be coming through soon.
How do we get new steps and a broader path for the farmers’ market?
steep hill, eroding path
The weekly Thursday farmers’ market, now in its 13th year, is thriving. When it moves outside for the warm season, the market is on two levels – on the broad paved apron of the rink house building, and along the old asphalt path that leads into the park from the entrance by the stoplight intersection – down a mostly gentle-sloped hillside. The narrow path, which was put in at least thirty years ago, is starting to crumble at the edges, and the compaction caused by the market goers’ feet has eliminated the grass next to the path. Eleven years ago, now-retired Parks supervisor Sandy Straw said she’d get some broad park-style steps put into the steepest part of the hillside, to let the market users go from one part of the market to the other more comfortably, and to reduce the erosion of the hillside. But those steps are still not there, and the path needs more than ever to be redone. When word came down recently that the rink clubhouse would be renovated next year for $250,000, market manager Anne Freeman thought that the project could perhaps include the path being repaved and broadened, with permeable stone, and the steps being put in. But Park supervisor Lennox Morgan said that’s not how the City works – the rink house renovation project comes under Recreation, whereas anything outside of the building comes under Parks. Projects cannot be combined. Silos again!
Mr.Morgan said he would consider adding the farmers’ market-area steps and path and erosion control to the bottom of the Parks “minor capital” project list. But that might still take years. Is there a way to integrate Parks section projects with projects that come from the Recreation section? Is there a way for market users (farmers, customers, recreation staff) to get a seat at the table in downtown meeting rooms? Ideas are very welcome.
Dufferin Grove Farmers’ Market, every Thursday 3 to 7 pm, beside and inside the rink clubhouse):
Market manager Anne Freeman is also a liaison and activist for the other Toronto markets. She worked with the year-round markets to create a poster for the subways, showing which markets keep going throughout the winter. Look for the subway posters from the end of December on – you’ll recognize some farmers’ faces.
After 12 years of this market, many of the vendors have become like familiar friends for this neighbourhood. Having their jam or their butternut squash or their greenhouse salad as a part of a meal is almost like having their company at the dinner table. Four of the vendors have recently had new babies, and market customers will get to see these children grow up – taken along every week by their farmer parents.
In winter, it’s a tough trip from farm to market – but so lucky for us, that they come.
Bees Universe : John and Irina Alecu keep bees on their farm near Innisfil, and in other bee yards close to wild flower fields and conservation areas. They sell honey, honey comb, bee pollen, propolis (raw and tincture), fresh frozen royal jelly, and beeswax candles. In addition, they have an on-farm egg grading station, and bring their own eggs to the market. (Year-round.) See the vendor notebook entry
Bestbaa Farm: Peter and Nicole Bzikot offer Milk, Yogurt, Feta, Ricotta, Ramembert, Brebettes, Eweda & other cheeses, of course all made from sheep milk. Best Baa also sells sheep's milk ice cream throughout the summer. (Outdoor season.)
ChocoSol:artisanal, dark eating and drinking chocolate (without dairy, soy or nuts, and vegan) made in Toronto using organic, forest garden, shade-grown cacao, sourced directly from indigenous communities in the Lacondon Jungle of Chiapas and the Oaxacan mountains of Southern Mexico. ChocoSol also offers other sustainably grown ingredients that are sourced directly from farmers (such as coffee, cacao nibs, agave, and vanilla pods). (Year-round.) In the outdoor season, ChocoSol makes tasty filled tortillas at the market.
Country Meadows Gardens (certified organic): Angelos and Linda Kapelaris grow heirloom tomatoes, keep laying hens, press goat cheese, and bring olives and oil from Angelos' family farm in Greece. (Year-round.) See the vendor notebook entry and a Picture Gallery >>
DeFloured: Krista Tobias and Chris Brown make 100% gluten-free galettes, loaves, quiches, cookies and brownies that are delicious enough for everyone, featuring a seasonal selection of local and mainly organic ingredients. (Year-round.)
Dufferin Grove Bakerscommunity oven bread: (not certified: all flour and seeds and grains are certified organic but the oven is not certified). Breads include: rye sourdough, rosemary, Italian olive, artisan 6-grain, artisan pumpkinseed-sesame, raisin and others, along with cinnamon buns, soups, salads and snacks. In the outdoor season, the park bakers make focaccia with market toppings.
Contact: Phone: 416-392-0913
Earth and City: Cassandra Rizotto and Lisa Sweetman and their team of helpers make fresh, raw, vegan wraps, rice bowls, dips and sweets, as well as a variety of beverages, using lots of ingredients from local farms. (Outdoor season.)
Contact: Phone: 647-801-0449 | Email: email@example.com Website: www.earthandcity.ca
Earthly Paradise:(Fall) Each plant used in Earthly Paradise's products is organically grown by us or sourced from ethical companies that share our vision of a beautiful and bountiful planet. Nourish your skin and your spirit with our products: Creams, Salves, Products for the Face, Teas. Contact Colette Murphy.
Evelyn's Crackers: Dawn Woodward and Ed Rek bring savoury artisanal crackers, named in honour of their daughter, Evelyn, and made with local, organic and fair trade ingredients. They also make granola, shortbread, cookies and muffins featuring Ontario whole grains. (Outdoor season.)
Contact: Phone: 647-448-0731 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.evelynscrackers.com
Fish Shak: Ali Harris makes wild fish sandwiches, fish fritters and rotis, using many of farmer Ted Thorpe's vegetables. He also blends fresh and healthy juices and other cold drinks in summer and makes hot beverages in winter. (Year-round.)
Contact: Phone: 647-778-4341
Floralora: Sas Long grows a beautiful variety of blooms on her farm in Prince Edward County, and brings bouquets to market each week when she delivers to her flower CSA customers. (Outdoor season.)
Forbes Wild Foods: (natural wild foods from Canadian sources) Seth Goering offers dried wild mushrooms, wild rice, maple sugar, preserved wild foods, jams, mustards, chestnut flour, and more. Depending on the season, you'll find wild leeks, fresh mushrooms, nuts, and even Ontario pawpaws on the table. (Year-round.)
JK Fries:Micah, Jackson and Nile Kennedy make fresh-cut french fries with a choice of mayos. (Outdoor season.)
Kind Organics:Tamas and Sandra Dombi are partners in the co-creation of Kind Organics, originally formed in the year 1999 as a Demeter Certified Bio-Dynamic/Organic Farm in King Township. They are now located 40 minutes north of Toronto in the Holland Marsh. Kind Organics uses organic farming techniques only and is moving towards bio-dynamic farming. They grow Salad Blends, Sprouts, Wheat Grass, Micro Greens, Fine Culinary Herbs, Edible Flowers and various kinds of Baby Greens. They also make water kefir, tinctures and teas. (Year-round.)
Contact: Phone: 416-992-1444 | Email:email@example.com | Website and blog signup: www.kindorganics.ca
Knuckle Down Farm is a mixed-use organic farm focused primarily on the production of vegetables. Jenny Cook has been farming full time since 2010 and is now Knuckling Down near Stirling, growing food in a way that delights the palate, nourishes the soil and cultivates the future. (Outdoor season.)
Marvellous Edibles: Ayse Akoner and Jens Eller operate a certified organic farm on the Niagara Escarpment, near Meaford. They produce some of almost everything: vegetables, baking, preserves, pastured meats, and more. (Year-round.)
Niagara Lavender Farms: Debbie Wiecha is a third-generation fruit farmer who produces a wide variety of tender tree fruits, berries, and lavender. Certified organic. (Outdoor season.)
Contact: Phone: 905-468-7482 | Email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Pine River Organic Farm: (certified organic)Bob Felhazi has a large asparagus planting, greenhouses, raspberries, and many varieties of vegetables on his farm near Alliston. His helpers Charles and Ilil represent him at the market. (Outdoor season.)
Contact: Phone: 705-424-0917
Plan B Organics: in West Flamborough, ON. Melanie Golba and brothers Alvaro and Rodrigo Venturelli have a fifty-acre farm of which 18 -20 acres are used to grow mixed organic vegetables to supply their CSA and markets. Another part of their land is a reforestation project. See the vendor notebook entry
Shared Harvest Community Farm, Dunnville, ON: (certified organic) Kevin Hamilton manages this farm near the shores of Lake Erie, growing a wide range of organic vegetables, including unusual and heritage varieties. Look for lots of healthy ferments made from farm produce, and fresh & dried herbs on the table as well. (Almost year-round.)
Sosnickis Organic Produce, Waterford, ON (south of Brantford): (certified organic) Ben and Jessie Sosnicki grow wheat, cabbages, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, kale, and many more vegetables. (Outdoor season.) Visit their blog for regular news from the farm: sosnickiorganicproduce.blogspot.com
Spade and Spoon is owned and operated by Blythe Weber and Adam Smith. Blythe grew up farming with her family near Ayton. The farm is a mixed operation, currently in transition to organic certification. They grow vegetables and fruits on the farm to make the many varieties of chutneys, pickles, jams and other preserves which they bring to the market.
Tapioca Gourmet makes gluten-free Brazilian-style tapioca pancakes with market-sourced fillings. (Outdoor season.)
Thorpe's Organic Produce: near Millgrove, ON. Ted Thorpe, a fourth-generation Ontario vegetable-farmer, has a 32 acre-farm, of which 20 acres is a market garden. He grows all kinds of vegetables and herbs. (Year-round.)
Ujamaa Farm is a project of Afri-Can Food Basket, training farmers on FarmStart's McVean Farm and at Black Creek Community Farm. Anan Lololi and other growers bring a wide variety of vegetables to market. (Outdoor season.)
Urban Harvest:(Spring and Summer) Urban Harvest is dedicated to providing its customers with seedlings and garden supplies that promote ecological diversity and preserve the health of our planet. Our plant seeds and garden supplies are specially chosen for their qualities by seasoned urban gardeners. All of our seedlings are grown in or near the greater Toronto area to support our local economy. ContactColette Murphy.
VQA Wines: as part of a two-year pilot project, we have four wineries at the market on a rotating basis, bringing local, organic wines from Niagara region. Current participants are Frogpond Farm, Reimer Vineyards, Southbrook, and Tawse. (Outdoor season.)
Waymac Mushrooms: Erika and Andrew McIlmoyle bring shiitake and three colours of oyster mushrooms from their farm near Peterborough. (Outdoor season.)
Wildlife Gardening: Crystal Bradford and Liam Kijewski bring a wide variety of native species perennials and shrubs to market in spring and summer, and offer advice and landscaping services for ecological gardening projects.
Ying Ying Soy Food: Ming and Christy make many delicious varieties of tofu, using traditional, artisanal methods, and non-GMO, organically grown soy. If you've only eaten supermarket tofu, come taste the difference. (Year-round.) Contact: Phone: 905-847-5592 | Website: www.yingyingsoyfood.ca