Spring in Burlington Ontario

Spring in Burlington Ontario
Discover Burlington this Spring

Monday, January 14, 2013

Winter Market at Terra Garden

One of our favourite activities is heading to the farmer's market on a warm summer day and now with the introduction of the TERRA @ Home Winter Market, we can make this a year round outing!  The great thing about this market is you don't have to brave the cold, it's all indoors and heated.  This past Saturday marked the opening of the winter market and I couldn't wait to pack up my two daughters and head to TERRA.

We arrived at the market about an hour in and the first thing I noticed was how busy it was and then secondly, how well managed it was from the moment you turn into the parking lot.  There were parking attendants controlling the flow of traffic and we easily got parked and headed in but not before being accosted by the smell of Gorilla Cheese grilling their specialty sandwiches at the entrance (oh willpower how I miss thee!)

My five year old immediately spotted someone heading out with popcorn and the greeter gave us a smile and let us know we could get some inside, guess what our first stop was going to be. We headed into the market and I have to say it's a beautiful setting; even in the winter the greenhouse is alive with plants which gives it an outdoor feel despite the fact you are comfortably indoors.  There is lots to see before you reach the vendors but I didn't have much time to explore as the chants of "popcorn, popcorn" from both my girls was getting louder.  Lucky for us the Kettle Corn Boss was offering small sample cups of their delicious product which gave me enough time to find my wallet and purchase a bag before the girls needed a re-fill.

Once popcorn was in hand we were able to stroll around and check out the vendors.  Unlike many of the summer markets, this one offers a range of products from baked goods, produce, meats and local artisans.  I was a bit surprised their was only one produce vendor (Ann Brown) but I guess that it's hard through the lean winter to source a wide variety of fresh local product.  The produce on hand was farm fresh and there was a sample of a white radish that was really good, I just wasn't sure what I would make with it so I opted for some red onions which accompanied our steaks at dinner.  There were also other root vegetables and apples to choose from.

Itty Bitty Pies
Next up was baked goods, we picked up some sweet potato loaf from Sweet Potato Johnny who also featured muffins, hummus and soup all made from, you guessed it - sweet potato.  We checked out the amazing Dyment Farm table filled with homemade pies and sweets and made our way to Itty Bitty Pie who were offering up a selection of small savoury pies in addition to the more traditional ones.  After a sample of their key lime pie by the girls, we added more to our bag and continued to Manual Labour Coffee so mommy could get a treat.  

Manual Labour Coffee are new to Burlington and make their headquarters at 93 Plains Rd., when they are not on the road with their old school house trailer that serves up their awesome brew.  The girls loved talking with co-owner Katie who awed them with tales of the Koalas in Australia (where she hails from) while my hand-poured java was brewing. One other cool item that they were selling is a fire starter called the Coffee Log, made from grounds, wax, and molasses & it burns clean! With coffee in hand, we were ready to continue. 

As someone whose job it is to promote all things culinary, I try to make sure that my girls try everything and I am very lucky that will eat just about anything I offer up.  That said my oldest is a huge fan of Smokeville who we visit regularly at the Burlington Farmers' Market and boy was she pleased to find them handing out samples at this winter market!  With a choice of smoked salmon, whitefish or trout it's hard to decide and that's why she felt the need to return several times for more tasting.  We decided upon the salmon bacon and it provided a healthy snack when we got home, I think there might even be a small piece left for the rest of us. 

My youngest is two and a half and is very petite however she has an appetite that never stops.  Not to be outdone by here sister, she opted for the vegan chili being served up by The Naked Spout, which if you are not familiar with them is the only full service vegan restaurant in Burlington. Chef Peter was busy cooking and it smelled great, we ordered a cup to try. I did manage to get a spoonful for myself and for those of you that think vegan cooking can't taste like the real thing, I urge you to give this a try.  I could have sworn there were pieces of ground beef in the chili and the taste was awesome.  

Our last sample stop was at Cherry Lane where the girls both tasted the cherry juice from concentrate which was a big hit, we brought some home in addition to the dried cherries (perfect for snacking).  Our whole household loves cherries so this is a great way for us to enjoy them year round.

We spent some additional time wandering around and checking out the other vendors before it was time to go.  The winter market looks like it's going to be a popular destination.  It was filled with people of all ages tasting, buying and enjoying the atmosphere.  There were lots of families and children running around (mine included) and everyone seemed just a little calmer in this setting - no harried grocery store faces to be seen.  

We are so happy that TERRA has created this winter market to showcase local and neighbouring farms and producers and we look forward to our next visit.

The market will run Saturdays until March 23 from 10am to 3pm at TERRA on Hwy. 5 between Brant St. and Guelph Line.  List of vendors below.
Dyment Farm
Sweet Potato Johnny
Itty Bitty Pie
Perfectly Natural
The Naked Sprout 
Terra Teas 
Cherry Lane
Crafty Owl Designs
Manual Labour Coffee
The Little Truffle Maker
Purple Daze Lavender Farm
Lovin Oven Bakery
Kettle Corn Boss
Country Girl Cooks
Acropolis Organics
Inspired by Nature
Pies and Such

For more on farms and markets in the Burlington area be sure to visit our website.

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