Trace Manes market here for summer

Visit it Wednesdays 3–7 p.m. to Aug. 24

Jeff Walker Walkabout column logo“To market, to market, to buy a fat pig. Then home again home again with a jig-a-jig-jig.”

Actually, I’m not much of a farmers’ market person. I’ve yet to drop in on the one at the Brickworks. However, when I heard there was a smaller version setting up at Trace Manes Park every Wednesday this summer, I couldn’t resist. About a dozen stalls with open-tent covering lined up along Rumsey Road edge of the park on the far side of the baseball diamond.

There’s Jerry’s Berries. (Did this vendor legally change his name to Jerry from something like Alphonse just for the sake of that catchy rhyme? I was afraid to ask.) This was fresh Ontario rasberry paradise. Since it was a slow 34-degrees afternoon I asked him what he’d do with all the leftover pints. Not to worry. He’d freeze them and sell them during the winter months, as he’s done before. I would have bought a pint but as fate would have it, I had just scarfed down half a raspberry pie that I’d got half-price at Valu-Mart. I doubt Jerry was impressed by my excuse.

The Cook twins cook cookies in another stall. Well, they don’t actually cook them there. The goodies are bona fide Leaside cookies though. Twin bakers Melissa and Michelle make them at Manning Canning at Vanderhoof and Brentcliffe. Their banner here reads: “Vegan Organic, Delicious” — the Notorious V.E.G. Baking Co. The twins’ manifest enthusiasm for their craft was infectious, and I would have bought some cookies, or the blueberry coffee cake, but I was so full with half-price raspberry pie that….

And now for something completely different: there’s Jennifer Di Cresce and her aesthetically appealing, highly functional, clothes-drying, foldup racks for outdoor or indoor use, the later especially if you’ve got rads. These are Mennonite creations.

At the EAT tent that was dispensing tacos, I announced that I was a vegetarian (a fake one who eats seafood), so I couldn’t sample their wares. Alas, I was informed they whipped up a special cauliflower tacos for my kind. I forked over $4 with very low expectations based on previous run-ins with the vegetable that when whole looks like an alien brain with a far higher IQ than mine. Of course, it was so delicious.

I would tell you about the amazing honey stall, the Mad Mexican tent, Fat Lamb Kouzina, Oakridge’s chemical-free fruits and veggies, and all the others, but I’ve run out of room. You’ll have to see for yourself. Some stalls change over from week to week, so who knows what you may discover next week.

Speaking of which: Where the heck are all the Leasiders who should be perusing this mini-Canadian National Exhibition at Trace Manes? Business was rather fitful on the afternoons I dropped in.

I hope the sporadic bursts of visitors are enough to keep the show running. I talked with Chris Trussell, who heads the non-profit Appletree organization that gets these local community initiatives going and he conceded that it was no picnic extracting the required permit for an already permit-laden park.

So come-on Leasiders, let’s turn up I droves in late July and August and ensure that this a welcome annual event.


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Posted: Jul 12 2016 2:08 pm
Filed in: NEWS  Walkabout: Jeff Walker