Field Trip!
Off To Market We Go!

Last week I promised you I’d be making a trip to the market and I keep my promises!

Unless they involve a chicken coop.  Or doing the laundry.  Or learning to speak fluent Portuguese.

I talked a little bit about eating local last week and how much better tasting fresh fruits and vegetables are.  Because they are.

But even if you don’t buy into the whole hippie dippie, support your local farmer, eat fresh foods and all that … you should still buy local.

Why?  Because the movie Food Inc. tells you to.

And …

Because it’s a shitload of fun.  That doesn’t seem like an appropriate description.  Sorry … sometimes swear words just pop out of me.  I don’t actually swear all that much – writing these posts seems to bring out the inmate in me.  I’m a pig.  What can I say.  What I meant to say is buying local is good, wholesome fun for the whole family!

Upon reflection, shitload is probably a very appropriate description.  What with all the organic farming going on at local markets.

That’s one thing that tends to frighten people from going to their local farmer’s market.  The price.  And yes.  If you’re going to buy all organic it is going to cost you more.  But just buying local isn’t.  So if you can’t afford it, just avoid the organic foods, that’s all.  But the truth is, the amount of extra money you’re going to spend on an organic carrot compared to a non-organic carrot isn’t all that much.

A whole chicken?  Well that’s another story.

O.K. we have a … lot of pictures to get to so let’s get on with it.

I spent a couple of hours last Thursday strolling around my local farmer’s market getting to know the vendors and their wares.  Obviously  you probably won’t be visiting my local market, but the information they gave me pertains to pretty much every food eating person out there.

Where it was possible, I linked to the local farms.  I was not compensated for doing this (O.K. … one lady gave me a muffin and someone else gave me a treat for my cat, but that was before they even knew I was going to link to their farm).  I did it to help out my local farmers in a teeny tiny way and to give you access to some more information about their particular product, be it chickens, cows or vegetables.

So without further ado, this little piggie’s going to  market!

First stop … baked goods.

Even though cookies aren’t my thing, I know how to get you people reeled in.  And of course for the fellas, there’s an old truck.





My second stop was Berry Fresh Farms where I got some advice on caring for your berries.





Do NOT wash your berries.  Honestly.  That’s what she said!  She said (with the regulations we have in Ontario) there is no need to wash your fruit.  Her family doesn’t and you don’t need to either.  Washing the berries makes them watery.  If you feel like you absolutely must wash your berries, only wash the ones you’re going to use immediately.




Tiny farm girls.  Seriously.  She even has a bow in her hair.  I wish all kids dressed like this instead of … well dressing like miniature adults.  Oftentimes, miniature adult stippers.

raspberries copy



Corn just came into season around these parts.


Best way to cook it?  Soak it in water then BBQ it in it’s husk.  Pull the husks back the last few minutes so the kernels get a bit of grill on them.

(kay, that’s actually a “Karen” tip but as the chief vegetable grower and chicken feeder at Green Fakers, I’m allowed to give a farmer’s tip)





Peaches are one of the most highly pesticided pieces of produce out there.  If you’re going to buy only one organic fruit, make it this one.




I managed to find a fellow sweet potato lover … an entire booth dedicated to the sweet, sweet potato!

sweet potatoes

If you find a yam in your grocery store – chances are it’s a sweet potato.  90% of the sweet potato looking things in grocery stores are indeed sweet potatoes, not yams which are much more rare.





You can do more than fry sweet potatoes!  Try making a Sweet Potato Muffin!

sweet potato muffin



Nope.  Not a beet.  A turnip.  And that thing you think is a turnip?  Nope.  It’s a rutabaga.





If you’ve been wanting to plant your own garlics but don’t know how, here’s my guide to growing garlic.




Kohlrabi – also a form of turnip.  German turnip.  Never ate one myself … might pick one up to try next week.  Heading to the local farmer’s market is a great way to prompt you into trying vegetables you’ve never tried before.




Swiss Chard!  I’m not sure which exact variety it is, but it appears to be something like Bright Lights.  LOVE it.  If you haven’t tried a new vegetable in a while, make this the one.

swiss chard



Our local market is filled with 2 distinct types of people.  Hippies and hipsters.  The hippies are buying organic vegetables I don’t recognize.  The hipsters are buying these …

cookie sign



Homemade dog treats!

dog biscuits2



Unbelievably cute (the treats) and delicious smelling (the guy).

guy with dog



These treats were a HUGE hit with the pooches.



As well as the people.

eating dog biscuit



The dog treats are made with human ingredients.  Not humans.  Ingredients humans would eat.

 Munchie’s BARKery also offered antlers for gnawing on.  I didn’t notice any people chewing on these though.

That’s all until tomorrow.  For now, this little piggy is going wee, wee, wee … all the way home.

O.K.  I lied. I’m already home.  Seemed like a cute way to end the post. At least I didn’t swear again.

Go to The Market Part II


  1. Rose says:

    Karen! Where the heck is your market? It looks tons better than the little farmers market that gets squashed into the mall’s parking lot (closest to me). Will travel far for a good market anyday!

  2. Rosie says:

    Sorry, that boy is mine! LOL
    We have so much fun every Thursday at the DFM. People are awesome, and so are the vendors. Keep up the good word. And… Munch On!

  3. Ashley says:

    My German step-dad made me try some Kohlrabi last time I visited. He just cut it up and ate it raw. To me it tasted like a raw radish/cabbage/broccoli. I wasn’t a big fan, but it would probably be better with some sort of dressing.

  4. kelliblue says:

    Karen, thank you for this post! Farmer’s markets, cute boys, puppies, berries, kohlrabi (miss that stuff, they don’t have it here in Dallas…kinda like they don’t know what okra is up there), and a Food, Inc. mention…a movie that has pretty much changed my life, as far as buying food is concerned (however eating well is darn ex$pen$ive!). Thanks for the tip about peaches, never knew that. 🙁 Hope nectarines aren’t the same way, I eat a ton of those!

  5. Amy in StL says:

    I get corn from the local market here and the guy there said I could just nuke it for three minutes in the husk. Totally works and since I only have a charcoal grill it means I’ve eaten a lot more corn on the cob this summer.

    • Karen says:

      Amy – Yup! I’ve done that too, but I did it once and my fella said it tasted weird. It didn’t. However, now he refuses to eat it that way. Well, he doesn’t refuse exactly, but if he catches me cooking it that way I have to spend the rest of dinner listening to him complain about it. ~ karen

  6. Amy says:

    Wow! Maybe I should try kohlrobi again. My mom used to fix it in a cream sauce. It was about the most bitter tasting veggie I ever ate! The minute my sisters and I would smell it cooking we would get in the car and go get fast food for our dinner. (oh, and it wasn’t from the cream sauce)

  7. Talia says:

    My grammy used to grow kolrabi and it is yummy. We ate it raw with a little salt and pepper. Warm fuzzy memories, for sure!

    Your farmer’s market is amazing. I just love to go and wish ours was open more than just Saturday mornings.

    The farm girls are precious. Mothers of daughters everywhere should take notes. This is how little girls should look. Darling!

  8. Devin says:

    I’m so happy that you included a picture of Kohlrabi. When I first started dating my (German) boyfriend, his grandmother (Oma) would send us home with a Kohlrabi fresh from her garden every time we’d visit her in the summer. I was perplexed, i had NO IDEA what to do with. The first few (sadly) rotted in the fridge… but now I’m happy to say that I’d consider myself a Kohlrabi pro!

  9. Katie-dog says:

    Karen, you really should try the kholrabi — you can eat it raw, which is very crunchy and mild-tasting. Cooked is fine too, but a little bland. It’s easy to grow at home and fun when people ask what the sputniks are in your garden.

  10. Karen, I loved this post because I posted about veggies today too! We are gardensitting for a coworker and one of the veggies is swiss chard and I have no idea how to cook it or what to do with it!

  11. Sharon says:

    Hi, the market looks beautiful! Where and when is the market? I live in Bolton and ours is very small, would love to give this one a try.

  12. Samantha says:

    I grow that Swiss Chard in my garden. Can’t keep up with the stuff. But I love it so I do my best. That stewed down with Broccoli Rabi a few chunks of garlic and one diced potatoe…oh yum. Dressed with a drizzle of olive oil…sister, it’s amazing! Drain it of course. Otherwise it’s a swamp. Nobody likes to eat swamp. Except Shrek. But I think he just lives there. Even he won’t eat swamp. So ya, drain it.

  13. Steph says:

    I WISH we had a farmer’s market nearby. Unfortunately, there was little interest, and ours died years ago.

    • Karen says:

      Steph – The same thing happened in my town. We always had a farmer’s market while I was growing up. Then it died. THEN a couple of years ago some of the farmer’s around here decided it was time to resurrect it and see what happened. It’s going well so far. ~ karen

  14. Is that YOUR guy? He’s the yummiest thing there!

  15. angela says:

    the sweet potato lady is at my local farmer’s market on sat. mornings too!! She bakes the most yummy treats, and her sweet potatoes are very good, I stock pile them on the last market of the season for the winter.

  16. Stephanie says:

    What a gorgeous farmer’s market! The berry thing surprised me. I always thought that berries, apples and peaches were the worst for pesticide use.

  17. cred says:

    btw- the link to Berry Fresh Farms goes to a berry farm in Iowa with the same name.

  18. cred says:

    Whaaat!? you still have fresh strawberries…. I live in Southern Ontario too and strawberries were done 3rd wk of July- we picked our own on their very last day. They may or may not have been finished earlier this yr (I’m no strawberry expert) but we never have local strawberries & local corn at the same time ~pout~

    btw- Kohlrabi is related to broccoli & cabbage etc…. very similar to the stalk of the broccoli (personally my favourite part). Use as you would the broccoli stalk…. stirfries, soup or steamed, whatever.

    Your farmer’s market looks excellent- and wow, those little farm girls are lovely! Someone needs to explain to the mothers on Toddlers & Tiaras that this is how little girls are supposed to look.

  19. Tamra says:

    Hi – Love your writing…you are HILarious! I did want to let you know I read a post about planting garlic (from Ontario, actually) and she said not to use store bought because of the chemicals they use to keep the garlic from sprouting. There is a possibility it won’t grow…See
    But I think farmer’s market garlic is completely fine. I can’t wait to try mine next season. Thanks so much for sharing – the dog guy was definitely a treat. 😉

    • Karen says:

      Tamra – Good poing. I’ve found most garlic in grocery stores is actually untreated garlic. Thing of how many times you’ve brought garlic home from the store and it *has* sprouted. Happens to me all the time. Course, I could just have an especially good grocery store. Dunno. The other thing is once you buy your head of garlic (wherever you choose to buy it from) you’ll never need to buy another head again. Once you plant it you can use a head that you grew to be the “planting head” for the next year. Your’e supplying your own seeds! ~ karen

  20. Staci says:

    Great post! Beautiful photos! I can’t wait to go to our farmers market tomorrow (Marietta, GA). Unfortunately, I’ve never seen cookies (and a cute truck and sign) like Sue’s — my mouth was watering as soon as that picture appeared!

  21. Anita says:

    I love shopping at the market. My parents started me on this tradition way back when. Every Saturday morning I am off to the Kitchener farmer’s Market. I am spoiled, I have 2 of the biggest farmers markets with in 15mins of my house. Kitchener & St Jacob’s. St Jacob’s is for the tourists and the baby strollers. kitchener is where the hardcore market goers are. I love all of the fresh breads, meats, cheeses and veggies. The flowers, omg the flowers. ok, I am gtting a little to passionate about this……..

  22. Linda McMullan says:

    Yumm, yumm! Great photos and points, there. I didn’t know you could plant garlic like that…but I WILL be doing that this Fall. Today, I’m driving 4 miles over to the local produce farm instead of 9 miles to the nearest chain store for my shopping. ‘Course, the produce farm doesn’t have a wine department… Decisions, decisions.

  23. Analboy says:

    It’s ado, not adieu. Now go to the board and write it 50 times.

  24. Jamieson says:

    Great tips! I’m totally growing garlic this fall tho you didn’t mention what kind would best ward off all these bloody vampire shows.

    • Kristen S says:

      Alas…they cant be avoided. I recommend grabbing a bottle of your favourite wine, and taking a drink everytime someone says “Sookie”. If you cant beat em, get drunk.

  25. Jo says:

    Kohlrabi is one of my favorites, just peel and eat. My sister cooks them, I like them better raw.

  26. Marti says:

    Hey… I grew up on a farm. Never wore a bow in my hair. And the farmer never cooked corn that way.

    Nevermind that, but the way you said to cook corn, as a certified “kid who grew up with dirt,” I ponder the number of ears of corn I shucked and shucked (and SHUCKED!) that had a nasty little worm in them.

    The thought of opening an ear of said corn with a barbecue’d worm in it might work for me as an appetite suppressant. (Thanks for that!)

    Wondering… how is that best avoided, Ms. Green Faker?

  27. latenac says:

    Beautiful pictures. It’s making me look forward to my CSA pickup this week.

  28. Sue Preston says:

    Hey that’s my cookies and old truck! Thanks for coming to visit us at the market! Not only are there great baked goods, gorgeous flowers, organic and very meaty chicken, and of course beautiful fresh and tasty veggies the people are fun and oh so friendly! We have a ball and laugh a lot!…..well I do anyway! Come again and visit us! We’ll bake a cake or at least a pie! All natural occurring calories here BTW! No added ones! And real pie too!:-)

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