Posts Tagged ‘Toronto’

Our First CSA Share

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

Last Thursday we received our first CSA share of the season from Plan B Organics.  Ella and I walked over and picked up our veggies for the week.  It had started to rain but I was determined to walk there, besides, it was just spitting a bit and the pick up depot is only 5 minutes away. Luckily, we hadn’t bought the wagon yet (we have a new one for this week!) and I was able to shield Ella from the rain with the cover on the stroller. Ella didn’t mind the rain one bit. She stuck out her hand and was singing away. Yep, she was singing in the rain. In our half share this week: asparagus, rhubarb, baby spinach, basil, green onions, English cucumber, parsnip, and bok choy. 

So far, we’ve made steamed asparagus, baby spinach salad, pesto, and rhubarb loaf.  I need new ways to make asparagus, I’ve roasted them and steamed them so far.  I think I have a recipe for asparagus risotto somewhere.  Any easy & simple asparagus recipes out there?

It’s Farmers’ Market Season Again!

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Brick Works Farmers Market

Since the start of the outdoor farmers’ market season, Josh, Ella and I have a new Saturday morning routine – we head down to Brick Works Farmers’ Market for some shopping and tasty treats.

Even though it’s still early in the season, the market was already bustling with activities. Farmers selling asparagus, rhubarb (you gotta get there early), wild leek and baby greens; vendors selling organic and heirloom seedlings, specialty cheese, baked goods, handmade chocolates and delicious prepared foods; there were also workshops, live music and activities for kids. It was so nice to be shopping in an open air market, visiting the different vendors and sampling all the goodies.

We had a late start last week and didn’t get to the market until 11. Unfortunately, most of the spring produce were sold out by then. So we just bought some bread from St John’s Bakery and a tomato seedling (red zebra, red with yellow stripes), just in case it doesn’t work out with our own seedlings.

To cure our rumbling tummies, we bought burritos from two different vendors for a taste test: the ultimate breakfast burrito vs. the chorizo burrito. They were both freshly made and stuffed with scrumptious toppings. Josh and I thought they were both delicious. The ultimate breakfast burrito was lighter and zestier; the chorizo burrito was hearty and more substantial. Ella preferred the chorizo burrito, she kept asking for more.

Starting next week, there’ll be a $5 charge for parking at the Brick Works , so I don’t think we’ll be visiting every week anymore. While they do offer a shuttle service from Davisville station and Broadview station, it’s too much trouble when you’re traveling with a one year old.

Here’s a list of farmers’ markets in Toronto (most of them are in our searchable database , we’ll be adding the search criteria “day of the week” soon):

Mondays

Sorauren Park Farmers Market

Sunshine Garden Market

Tuesdays

East York Farmers Market

MyMarket SickKids

Riverdale Farmers Market

Stonegate Farmers Market

Trinity Bellwoods Farmers Market

Wednesdays

MyMarket Bloor-Borden

Thursdays

Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers Market

Metro Hall Farmers Market

MyMarket East Lynn Park

Sunshine Garden Market

Fridays

Birchcliff Village Farmers Market

High Park Organic Farmers Market

Saturdays

Farmers Organic Market

Green Barn Farmers Market

St. Lawrence Farmers Market

The Village Market, Thorhhill

Brick Works Farmers Market

Etobicoke Farmers Market

High Park Organic Farmers Market

Weston Village Farmers Market

Withrow Park Farmers Market

Sundays

Distillery Farmers Market

High Park Organic Farmers Market

MyMarket Liberty Village

Happy Victoria Day

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Tanny and the seedlings.

This weekend Tanny and I had some time to work on the website and the garden. Tanny added some more soil to her tomato seedlings and pinched off the weaker ones. I worked some compost into the garden and got it primed for planting. Unfortunately the temperature is just barely into the double digits so we’re going to wait until next weekend to plant.

Also – the seasonal food list now has lists for BC and PEI.

Sprouts!

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Basil Sprout in action!

Only a week after I planted the seeds, almost all the them have sprouted. All of the tomatoes, one of the golden midget watermelons, and most of the sweet basil have sprouts. After the mold incident last week, I was pleasantly surprised that no damage has been done. I’m very excited about the sprouts, actually, maybe a bit TOO excited.

We have a CSA.

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

In our continuing series of “We have…”, we have a CSA. 

After much research and deliberation, we’ve signed up for a summer half share at plan b Organics.  They deliver to a depot within walking distance from our house and I look forward to walking over with Ella in the wagon to pick up our weekly farm fresh produce in the summer.

Check back next month for our “We have not…” series.

Reminder – Seedy Saturday Tomorrow!

Friday, March 14th, 2008

If you’re in Toronto tomorrow, don’t forget to check out Seedy Saturday! I am very excited to shop for some seeds for my garden.

Details:

Saturday, March 15, 2008, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Scadding Court Community Centre 707 Dundas St. W (southeast corner of Dundas West & Bathurst)

There’ll be vendors selling seeds and organic gardening products, free seminars and workshops.

Zero Footprint Toronto

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

This isn’t directly related to local eating, but the City of Toronto has teamed up with ZeroFootprint to provide the ZeroFootprint Toronto website. You can calculate your carbon footprint and make pledges to yourself to make small changes in your lifestyle that would have an impact on your carbon emissions. I found it pretty illuminating. I consider myself pretty environmentally responsible and I was happy to see I’m a below the Toronto average, but I’m really going to have to seal up the drafts in this house to keep our heating bill under control! Otherwise Tanny had better get used to sleeping in 10 degC! 😉

Eating both organically and locally reduces your carbon footprint.

We’re doing well now and will be doing even better once our garden is producing. Tanny is already after me for a new greenhouse window for the kitchen.

Also, for those not in Toronto you can use their personal carbon manager to track your carbon usage. Looks like the same thing but without the Toronto specifics (like tips on how large a compost and garbage bin in the city are).

Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) – Local Eating Made Simple

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

In my research to find local food resources I learned of a system called Community Shared Agriculture (CSA). CSA is a food distribution system where the growers are directly connected to the consumer. The consumer subscribes to a share of the year’s harvest (i.e. pays a flat fee up front) from a local farm in early spring, and in return, the shareholder receives a box of fresh produce weekly during the growing season. The share subscription provides the farmers with the capital to purchase seeds and farming supplies, and the shareholder gets an amazing supply of farm fresh produce weekly.

The size and variety of the shares depend on the farm you purchase from. Generally speaking, the farms offer at least a large and small size share. Some farms also offer a fruit box in addition to the veggie option. At Everdale Organic Farm , shareholders also have free access to the culinary herb garden, the flower garden for fresh cut flowers, and all the beans and peas you can pick when they are in season.

I think this is a fantastic idea – it really is what local eating is all about – supporting and connecting with the people who grow my food. I do have one reservation though – I LOVE going to farmers’ markets and checking out the different vendors each week. By signing up to be a shareholder, it eliminates the need to go to the markets, hmmm….I guess I can still go for the fish and local cheeses and all sorts of other goodies. On the other hand, I’ll get to try new veggies I normally wouldn’t buy and learn new recipes. Now the next question is: who should I sign up with? There’re quite a few close to the Toronto area. To minimize the environmental impact, I should pick one that is close to home.

Here are the CSAs I’ve found in Ontario so far; they are all in our database:

Everdale Organic Farm – near Guelph

Plan b Organic Farm – near Hamilton

rare Organic Farm – Cambridge

Simpler Thyme Organic Farm – Hamilton

Thurston Organic Farm – near Lindsay

Whole Circle Farm – Acton

Click here for an in-depth article on CSA from Green Living Ideas.

To find a CSA near you, go to our Find Local Food page and choose "CSA" as the supplier type.

To Market, To Market

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Going to the Dufferin Grove market has become a  regular outing around here. On Thursdays, Ella and I pick up Lina and we head to the market together.  We usually share a delicious cinnamon bun from the café and walk around to check out what’s available that week. After reading an article on Andrew Akiwenzie in edible Toronto – he sells the fish he caught himself from Georgian Bay the day before the market – I was looking to buy some fresh fish from him at the market. I also wanted to buy some flour to make crackers this weekend, and some sweet potatoes. I ended up with all that and some sprouts and a loaf of lemon rosemary sourdough.

I abandoned my original dinner plan of leftover Sheppard’s pie and made supper with my market purchases.  For dinner, we had mixed green salad with broccoli sprouts, baked whitefish, steamed broccoli and bread.  Pretty good for a last minute meal.

We’re not on a strict local diet yet – the main ingredients from our dinners are usually locally sourced and I’m making a conscious choice to buy local when I’m at the grocery store.  At times it is difficult to resist buying the strawberries and blueberries, but I’m holding out for the good stuff in the summer.  Other than that, it hasn’t been too difficult and we’re eating better than ever.  I’m definitely looking forward to spring more now that it represents a new growing season – I can’t wait to start my garden this year!

Visionary Farmers and Consumers

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

There’s a one day conference in Toronto on organic farming hosted by the Canadian Organic Growers.  It is on February 18, 2008.  Click here for more details.