Farmers’ market produce attracts shoppers from near and far
By Axile Gerona
The Bloor-Borden Farmers’ Market has returned to the Annex for an eighth season. It provides a complete sensory experience, for shoppers enjoy the vibrant colours and textures of produce as they enjoy music performed by a different musician each week.
“The music has to be the best part of the market,” laughs Murray Powell, one of the guest musicians. “But, in all seriousness, getting to catch up with your own neighbours, as well as meeting foreign or new visitors in the market, is definitely the most thrilling and fun thing to do while at the market.”
“One of the greatest things about living in the Annex is this farmers’ market,” says Judy Keeler, a frequent shopper and visitor at the Bloor-Borden Farmers’ Market. “It’s a very close-knit community and the market presents a good opportunity to sample Ontario’s best produce.”
This year, it has more farmers selling the freshest of vegetables, more choices of prepared food, and more children’s kiosks. Still located in the Green P parking lot at Lippincott and Borden streets, this year’s market features 17 farmers, including familiar vendors like Sun-Ray Orchards and Willo’wind Farm, as well as two new prepared-food vendors who sell pizza and barbecued chicken ribs. New this year is Rancourt Winery, which allows locals to sample the best of Ontario’s wines.
“The market has also added a children’s activity area to provide entertainment to kids, and…even has a masseuse ready with a massage chair,” remarks Helen Goldlist, who chairs the Bloor-Borden Farmers’ Market Advisory Committee.
The offerings attract young and old alike.
Children from a neighbouring summer camp, drawn to the fragrant scent of beeswax candles sold by honey farmer Doug Eiche, ask permission to compose a song mentioning his eponymous honey.
“You have to touch and smell the goods to appreciate them,” says Eiche, who gladly acquiesces to their request. He’s a beekeeper who carefully locates his hives, so that his bees are free of any chemical pollutants.
It’s the type of product that the Bloor-Borden Farmers’ Market prides itself on sourcing. A “MyMarket”, which verifies that local markets feature “real farmers, selling what they grow”, the market is run by dedicated volunteers and is supported by four residents’ associations from the Annex, Huron-Sussex, Spadina-Huron, and Harbord Village.
Joe Santos says the market allows local residents to get more and more excited and participate in events that allow the community to work together towards showcasing the neighbourhood’s best products. He is one of the market’s volunteers who gives one day every week to watch over the market and to cater to any of the vendors’ or the shoppers’ needs.
The market highlights the neighbourly and energetic atmosphere in the Annex as it comes together in this lively gathering.
The Bloor-Borden Farmers’ Market runs in the summer and fall every Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m., rain or shine. Vendors start selling at 2 p.m. For further information about verified farmers’ markets, please visit www.my market.ca.