Sunday, November 28, 2010

Trails End Farmers Market

The Trails End Farmers Market is one glorious market. Some may say that it is a "true" farmers market because the outdoor market is filled with vendors composed of local farmers and is only open Saturdays through the summer. However there are multiple flea markets and a furniture store that are open year round.

Now this place is located on the East side of London, just on the very outskirts of town, so it is quite a bit of hike to get there, but it is worth it. Let me paint you a bit of a picture ...

You pull into the giant parking lot, but wait for the hay ride trailer to cross in in front of you as it slowly coasts by carting people and their groceries back to their car. You find a parking spot and enter one of the numerous entrances with your reusable bags in hand and a grin on your face as you are about to begin an adventure.

Once inside you may be overwhelmed by what you see. People and produce EVERYWHERE! Keep your elbows in so you do knock out the people running around you. You look around and see a restaurant owner buying peppers and potatoes by the case load. Families with strollers dodging in and out of the crowd. You hear someone yell out "7 peppers for a $1 folks, $1, come and get them while they last!". The only thing you can do is take a deep breathe and dive right in and get dirty.

Now depending on what time of the summer you go, different produce is available so take a look around and see what you can find. Everything looks so incredibly fresh and delicious. The colors are extremely vibrant that the food almost looks fake. I have seen so many wonderful things there I can hardly describe. Many fruits and vegetables I have never seen or heard of before, but don't hesitate to ask, the vendors are more than happy to share their story of where their food has come from.
White and purple baby eggplant. So cute!

Here are a few items I found that I have never seen before.
Now, you may have seen these before, in fact, they may be quite common, but I am a city girl and until a little while ago, I was accustomed to whatever was shown in grocery stores. So this, was big news to me! I was soooo fascinated!
White and purple peppers? Whaa?

Grey zucchinni - although they are light green
This is the enormous eggplant I found. I tried to express how truly big it is by placing it next to an ordinary-sized eggplant. Oh.. and the massive one was only $1

Okay, so you have stuffed your bags full of fruits and veggies, and you look in your wallet, and to your amazement, you still have money left over. So go dump your bags in your car and go for a gander. Make sure you stop to buy some fresh wild flowers, or have some tasty Fry-Truck french fries. What's that you hear? Oh that, it is just the rambling of the auctioneer as they auction off live animals to local farmers. Wow, I don't think I have ever been that close to a live goat before. Pop inside to check out some hand-crafted furniture as well as meat and poultry sections.

As your little adventure comes to an end, and you head back to the car, you excited about all the wonderful things you can do with your mountains of fresh local foods. And dream about next week when you can come back and see what new produce the farmers will be offering.

But be warned, as fresh and local as these foods are, they do not last as long as grocery pre-packaged foods last. So don't get all excited and buy the entire market in one trip or you will be sorry when you are throwing out the rotten extras. Trust me, been there done that!

Now that summer has finally come to an end, I miss my weekend trips to the Trails End Market, (but secretly happy that my allergies are not going wild from the pollen and fresh cut grass everywhere). Until next summer, I bid you farewell Trails End Market!

Attention everyone! It appears I have made a mistake. When I first discussed a Hidden Gem of London, Ontario, the  Trail's End Farmer's Market, I distinctly said that the market was closed for the winter. 

Well guess what, I was WRONG!!! I was informed that the market is open all winter long! 

I just assumed that the outdoor market where all the fresh produce stood would be closed because of...well the snow. But apparently the market stands tall all year round. I am not sure if the produce moves inside, or the brave soles stand out in the cold. I have no idea, I didn't go check it out because I thought it was closed!

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