Toronto is a city of contradictions of sorts. One would think that it is all concrete jungle, being Canada’s Business & Financial Capital. Surprisingly, downtown living has made me re-discover the wonders of eating locally grown food and challenging us to consume responsibly because even the most mundane decision of where to buy food and what to eat has an environmental impact that can affect our personal carbon footprint .
Juxtaposed with the city’s glass towers are Farmers Markets sprouting in various pockets of the city from April to November - markets bursting with fruits, vegetables, cheeses & bread that local farmers lovingly produce. I say lovingly because try striking a conversation with a local farmer and he will passionately talk about the care and attention that he’s put into growing his product.
Ever had a mulberry? I did at The Brickworks Farmers Market. I guess for some reason they don’t produce mulberries commercially as we never see them in the local supermarkets. Remember the "lowly" seriguelas/sineguelas? Growing up, this was one fruit that we could only have straight from the trees in our backyards as they were also never commercially grown and sold in the local markets.
This brings back memories of a farm of a family friend that we used to visit as teenagers where we would have our fill of the sweet seriguelas and pomelos. I guess even back then, people did support local farms because I remember my grandmother, my Lola Pita ordering a kaing (large cylindrical basket made of rattan) of sweet pomelos from the farm each time they were in season. Lola Pita loved fruit and one memory that I have of her is that the bed in her room also doubled as a “ripening” niche of the green mangoes that were harvested from the farm. Visiting her would allow us to check for any ripened mangoes – the only way that she would have those sweet mangoes was to keep them in a dark place, under her bed, away from sunlight, until they turned golden yellow. She would have nothing to do with those chemical ripening agents that many commercial producers use.
So, what does it mean to be localicious? Be challenged and check out this link:
List of Toronto Farmers Markets:
List of Farmers Markets in Ontario: