A walk underneath the dainty lights that hang across the flanking John Street buildings will lead you to the Weston Farmers’ Market, a weekly gathering of various venders and local businesses that not only offer a wide range of products, but a warm, contagious sense of community.
To launch their 36th year of running, they held their grand opening this Saturday.
Nestled in the Green P parking lot at John and Weston, the market has been running annually from May to in October, and is a well known tradition in the Weston community. Every Saturday, from 8 A.M. to 2 P.M, the lot flourishes with handmade goods, warm pastries, endless baskets of fresh produce, often with the accompaniment of live entertainment.
Left to right: Ira Quinsey (mandolin), Jeff Mayville (banjo), and Nathan Rae (guitar).
This week, an ensemble of a mandolin, guitar, violin, upright bass, and two banjos, named Big Monday, offered a live show of bluegrass tunes. Taking impromptu requests between their smooth triple harmonies, their upbeat melodies had shoppers tapping their feet as they browsed products.
The market includes several produce vendors whose fruits and vegetables, grown from Ontario and US farms, stretched across tables in a multitude of bright colours. Businesses specialized in maple syrup and apple-based products can be found selling various ‘apple butter’ spreads and sugary maple goods. Rows of potted flowers, garden plants, and herbs, can also be purchased at incredibly low prices.
Bakeries and dessert businesses, like CC’s Creations, sold homemade pies, cheesecakes, danishes, cinnamon buns, and much more. Huge loaves of bread filled wicker baskets alongside dried meats, for about $5 a loaf. Homemade jewellery and antique knick knacks glittered on the tables, drawing in scattered ‘ooh’s and ‘ahh’s from shoppers.
(I didn’t get the chance to get her name, or the name of her business. Perhaps I was too caught up in my pineapple mango smoothie. If anyone could send her info, I would be glad to credit her properly!)
To curb your hunger pains, Grandpa Ken‘s is your go-to. Scarfing down a legendary back-bacon burger on kaiser buns, sold for $4.50, are mandatory (unless you’re vegetarian). Grab a thick fruit smoothie made, conveniently adjacent to Grandpa Ken’s food cart, to wash down the delicious grease.
Many familiar businesses and organizations were also present. Speakers on behalf of the new Art Hub were present, along with an Urban Arts table. Peter Piper’s Pastry Shoppe, a resident of the Weston area, also made his regular appearance with superb cannolis and biscotti, among other baked goods. Humber Community Senior’s Services came down from Eglinton and Weston, selling an assortment of perennials and annuals (with a shocking two for $1 deal) to fund their programs, namely Meals on Wheels.
The warm smiles and immediate sense of community that comes from the farmer’s market give Weston a unique, lively flair – a nice contrast from the vacant lots and ‘For Lease’ signs that cover empty buildings.
Herbs and edible garden plants are sold for $2 – $8, while grown, potted arrangements are sold for $10 – $20.
Bruce Tatemichi on bass, and smiling throughout the whole performance.
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