Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall in Love with Farmers' Markets

Toronto’s vibrant community-based farmers’ markets are the most wonderful places to shop. The Ontario produce is bursting with flavour and nutrients along with homemade goodies, beautiful flowers and even a treat for your four legged friend. The friendly farmers and vendors are full of great advice and interesting tips on how to use their products in new and inspiring dishes.

The benefits markets bring to our city are numerous for health, community and the environment. I have had the opportunity, with Two Girls Cooking, to participate in a local farmers’ market and I know what a tremendous amount of effort is involved. The early mornings, loading and unloading the trucks, the long drive, setting up and cleaning up at the market. Our farmers are some of the most dedicated and hard working people with a common goal to deliver the most nutritious and highest quality products, while being kind to our earth. Supporting local producers helps to develop awareness around where our food comes from and builds a moral economy. 

Please show your support and lets all enjoy the benefits of farmers markets!! Mayor Ford wants to increase user fees across Toronto for many important services and programs, including Farmers' Markets. Help your local farmers and artisans by signing the petition to stop increase in fees:

Most markets around the city run anywhere from May until early November but some are open all year:

The lovely Hanna from Matchbox Garden and Seed Co. with colourful
 watermelon radishes and green zebra tomatoes

This week’s trip to the market:

I picked up some bountiful things at the Trinity Bellwoods Farmers Market on Tuesday. It’s amazing how much you can learn when you take the time to say hello to all the lovely vendors and get to know the abundant variety of vegetables and fruit Ontario has to offer. From green zebra tomatoes and watermelon radish from to beautiful golden beets!!!  Add some savvy to your next salad with some interesting lettuce varieties. Mizuna lettuce is a fantastic spicy green alternative for arugula or mustard greens. Wonderful squashes, beets, apples and cider await you!! Below is a delicious and beautiful salad filled with antioxidants, fibre and nutrients!

The amazing Helin from Woolerdale Farm with golden beets

Mizuna Cranberry and Golden Beet Salad

1 bunch of Mizuna lettuce, sliced thinly (arugula works too!)
2-3 golden beets, sliced with a Mandela
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, shredded
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1 small tomato, sliced
1 handful on cranberries

Lemony Dill Dressing
¼ c. Olive oil
1/8 c. Apple cider vinegar
1/8 c. Of filtered water
2 tbsp of honey garlic mustard
1 garlic clove
Juice of ½ lemon
Handful of fresh dill
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper

How to make:
Put all dressing ingredients into a blender and buzz until smooth. Combine all salad ingredients and drizzle with dressing. Goes well with Mr.Rutabaga Smith crisps and homemade hummus!
Makes enough for 2 to enjoy!

Two Girls Cooking organic vegetable snacks are produced with local produce from Pfennnings Organic Farms.

Post and recipes by: Annaliisa Kapp

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