Buying Local - Dufferin Grove Farmers’ Market
Since I’ve started my research in local food resources in Toronto two weeks ago, I still haven’t visited any of the new findings myself. So last Thursday, I went to check out Toronto’s only year-round farmers’ market at Dufferin Grove Park. A market where there are strict guidelines in place to ensure that the vendors are the producer of their goods and most goods are certified organic.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there’s a year-round farmers’ market in town. And even in mid-January, it’s still bustling with activities. I bought a pork tenderloin ($21) from Berreta Organics, arugula sprouts and basil ($9, I can’t remember the vendor’s name), home-made perogies (two bags of 6 large perogies for $10 total) from Sosnickis Organic Produce, and whole wheat sweet potato bread ($5) from Alli’s. I wanted to buy more but had to hold back, I had placed an order from Fresh From The Farm to be picked up on Friday (more about that later).
Inspired by my purchases at the market, I prepared my first (mostly) local dinner. I made pan-fried perogies with sausages (non-local), mixed green salad with vinaigrette (olive oil, white wine vinegar and honey from an apiary in Wiarton that I bought while on vacation), and sweet potato bread. It was nothing fancy but the perogies were the best I’ve ever tasted, the salad was so fresh and the bread was very hearty although it would go better with soup. A good meal all around.
On Friday, we had our friend Andrew who is visiting from BC, was over for dinner. I roasted the pork tenderloin with roasted root vegetables (a recipe I found on the foodnetwork website), served it with a mixed green salad and sweet potato bread. I used local honey and Ontario red wine in the marinade for the tenderloin, although not all the root vegetables (carrot, rutabaga, turnip and parsley root) were local, they were at least seasonal. Had I planned better, I could’ve bought them from the farmers’ market, but I ended up going to the local supermarket. The tenderloin was succulent and tender, and the root vegetables complimented it quite nicely. I’ve never had rutabaga, turnip or parsley root before, I’d always thought they looked weird and didn’t know how to cook them; however, in my quest to eat more locally and seasonally, I decided to give them a try. As it turned out, they are quite tasty.