Toronto’s historic Evergreen Brick Works is a gorgeous city green-space with four ponds, marsh vegetation, wildlife and a wildflower meadow, and easily one of my favourite spots in Toronto. Brick Works puts on outstanding events year-round, including weekly Farmers’ Markets offering a huge selection of organic vendors and high quality produce and products.
If you’re visiting the market I highly recommend staying on site afterwards and checking out the trails that sprawl along the lower Don River which have recently been enhanced through the Lower Don Project.
There is always something to do year-round at the Brick Works as Evergreen hosts wonderful community events, which are mostly free, or by donation. This past March I attended the 4th annual Seedy Sunday Community Seed Exchange which was run by Seeds of Diversity and the Toronto Seed Library. Seed seed saving is an important practice for preserving and ensuring bio-diversity and I was very excited to attend this significant event. I traded in seeds from my own collection and took home a wide selection of seeds which I have been growing in my organic home garden!
Supporting Local at The Brick Works Farmers’ Market
I am always in search of the city’s best Farmers’ Markets and I do not have to look too far because in the summer months Toronto is buzzing with markets, some longstanding and others that have newer roots. This summer the Evergreen Brick Works Market became my top choice. It runs Saturdays (year-round) and Sundays (from July to September).
The Evergreen Market has a food court where you can grab brunch, and there are a large range of vendors showcasing everything from fermented foods, to baked goods, handmade soaps, and bouquets of stunning, locally grown flowers. The majority of the vendors who sell fresh farm produce are certified organic and/or biodynamic and practice sustainable farming. Plus by buying directly from the farmers you get to support local, which means that you’re helping to boost the local economy in a meaningful way. Buying local also means that minimal transportation is involved in getting the produce from farm to table and the environmental impact is in turn reduced.
My top vendor picks:
Bizjak Farms - Farm Fresh Fruits & Flowers from the Niagara Region. They specialize in tree-ripened fruit and practice organic & conventional farming, preserving soil integrity with natural fertilizers. They’re at the Market Saturdays and Sundays and sell various varieties of apples, plumbs, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, nectarines and more! Check out my Peach Crisp recipe featuring Bizjak Farms Coral Star Peaches here.
ChocoSol - If you’re in the mood for some of the best vegan, artisanal chocolate that our city has to offer, look no further than ChocoSol. Their chocolate is made right here in Toronto using organic, forest garden, shade-grown cacao, sourced directly from indigenous communities in Southern Mexico. Their horizontal trade relationships go beyond the exchange of commodities and bring symbolic products, whose story is as important as the product itself. ChocoSol is at the market Saturdays and Sundays.
Cookstown Greens - You will find a large range of heritage vegetables and greens at the Cookstown Greens Saturdays at the market. Their produce is ecologically grown, and this Local Food Plus Certified farm specializes in producing beautiful organic produce.
Doug McNish - Toronto Chef Doug McNish serves up organic, vegan, raw vegan and gluten-free salads, dips, sauces and dressings. If you’re looking for a raw and vegan dish try the Raw Tostadas made with Corn and carrot tortillas dehydrated till crisp layered with sunflower seed refried beans, chunky guacamole, tomato chia seed salsa, lettuce and cashew sour cream! You’ll find them in the Local Food Court at the Market on Saturdays.
Earth + City - Earth and City is an exciting and innovative food company located in Toronto, Ontario. Their menu is all vegan and mainly raw, organic and gluten-free, and is inspired by what's in season. You’ll find them in the Local Food Court at the Market on Sundays. Check out my special feature and interview with Earth + City here.
Fresh and Tasty Mushrooms - For some of the most unique, picture perfect mushrooms visit this market stall on Saturdays and Sundays. Fresh and Tasty grown 18 varieties of specialty mushrooms and forage seasonally available wild mushrooms in the Dufferin-Simcoe Region. The varieties they grown include Shiitakes, several colours of oyster mushooms, nameko, king oyster, tree ear, beech, enoki, lion's mane, combs tooth, cinnamon caps and pioppino.
Grassroot Organics - Grassroot is a multi- generational, family run, non-certified organic mixed farm practicing sustainable agriculture techniques in the Peterborough-Kawarthas Region. You'll find them at the market Saturdays and Sundays. They have a huge selection of herbs, salad greens, as well as a wide variety of fresh produce.
Haystrom Farms - Visit Haystrom's market stall on Saturdays for a full range of organic heritage vegetables from this friendly farmer's farm in Prince Edward County. Last weekend I picked up vibrant purple potatoes and delicious heirloom tomatoes, which I used in my Raw Gazpacho - for the recipe click here.
Kind Organics - Check out Kind Organics for gourmet salad blends with herbs and edible flowers, sprouts, micro-greens, baby greens and wheatgrass. I really like their sprout blends - their Crunchy Bean Mix with peas, garbanzo beans, and lentil sprouts are amazing! Kind Organics is at the market Saturdays and Sundays.
Roseville Meadow - Stop and smell the roses Saturdays at the Roseville Meadow's market stall. This is a one-stop-shop if you're looking for gorgeous, customized bouquets of organically grown flowers. These local beauties are grown in the Stratford-Waterloo region.
Sosnicki Certified Organic Family Farm - Sosnicki is committed to sustainable agriculture, with their practices based on the philosophy is that farming practices should leave the soil, air, water, plant life, animals and people healthier - and happier. This proud micro farm (a.k.a. small family farm) in Norfolk County utilizes under 100 acres to grow 30 different vegetable crops with well over 100 varieties! You'll find their best seasonal produce Saturdays at the market.
Vicki’s Veggies - Vicki Emlaw and Tim Noxon produce a wonderful variety of Certified organically grown vegetables. I love their offering of rainbow carrots, which always includes bags of “wacky” carrots that look like little figures and come in hilarious shapes and sizes. Their Heirloom tomatoes are so delicious, I just picked up a pint this weekend! You’ll find Vicki’s Veggies at the Market on Saturdays.
To see a complete listing of Vendors click here.
To check out Events at the Brick Works click here.
For Kids: From outdoor education to greening schools grounds, Evergreen works with students, teachers, parents and communities to engage young Canadians in discovering their natural surroundings. Check out their programming here.
Wishing you a lovely time at the market!