Saturday, 1 September 2007

A Visit to Guelph Farmers' Market

We didn't get out to a market last week, as we were interrupted by birthday festivities. However, this week we girded up our loins and headed out to the Guelph Farmers' Market.

Guelph Farmers Market Front DoorThe Guelph Farmers' Market is housed in a fairly non-descript low building in the south end of the downtown. I'm afraid I didn't notice how good the local signage is; I'm quite familiar with this market and we just drove straight there. There is free parking in a municipal lot just up the hill, but get there early or it will be very difficult to find a spot. We got there at 9:20 and were extremely lucky - there was exactly one free spot in the parking lot.

Guelph Farmers Market - Bike RackA large number of Guelphites come to the market by foot or by bike, and there is a reasonably good bike parking area right by the front door.

Looking up the street from the Guelph Farmers MarketLooking back up the street towards the parking lot from just outside the market.

As is the usual case with farmers' markets, most of the action is outside. You need to cut through the very crowded indoor market to reach the back area, which as you can see is pretty bustling as well. The Guelph Market is probably the most crowded one we have been to all summer. Very, very popular.

Organic Veggies at the Guelph Farmers MarketGuelph is full of lefty yuppy types, so there is more organic produce here than I have seen at any other of the markets I have been to this summer. Prices are also on the high side - not the highest I've seen, but up there.

Crowds of shoppers at the Guelph Farmers MarketA break in the crowd let me take another picture. It was rather difficult to get pictures that did not consist mostly of the backs of peoples' heads.

Organic Veggies indoors at the Guelph Farmers MarketIndoors, another organic produce vendor, although the indoors has the usual butchers and cheesemongers as well as an impressively large quantity of high quality crafts and prepared foods. If you are looking for crafts, the Guelph Farmers' Market is the best in the region. I also don't know of anywhere else that has such a large range of prepared foods. Unfortunately almost all of them are wheat based, although I did manage to find some Vietnamese salad rolls to snack on.

One of the craft stands, and oh look - I could have had sushi if I had noticed it at the time.

Making fresh doughnuts at the Guelph Farmers MarketA small but popular stand - freshly made doughnuts while you wait.

Doughnuts in the doughnut making machine at the Guelph Farmers MarketThey are produced by a fascinating little contraption that looks like it might have been designed by Rube Goldberg. Well, not quite; it's actually quite efficient. You can see two of the doughnuts in the process of being flipped.

Aaand our purchases. We got zucchini, plums, eggs, apples, peaches, lettuce, basil, a pie pumpkin, peppers, corn, apple cider and yes that's bushel of plum tomatoes in the background. We're going to do some canning! Looks like the old wood-splint bushel baskets are a thing of the past. I can't say I'm surprised; I'm surprised they were around as long as they were.

This is the first apple cider I have bought in several years. It has been HORRIBLY difficult lately to find any that does not contain potassium sorbate. What the Wikipedia article doesn't say is that it makes the cider taste like a trip to the dentist - it leaves a strange, unpleasant metallic aftertaste. It may make the cider keep better, but it also renders it completely undrinkable, which I would have thought made its' keeping qualities moot. So it was a big thrill for me to be able to find this cider. Pasteurized, unfortunately, since that also damages the flavour, but thems the breaks.

We kept our purchases down to a dull roar (!) because we will be going on a little camping trip at the end of the week/weekend. As ever, we have not gotten around to having a summer vacation until the last moment.


CL said...

This brings back memories...I went to U of G in the mid 1990s....ooohhh

Valli said...

I lived in Southern Ontario for over 20 years and never made it to the Guelph market. Thanks for sharing!!!