Food & Entertaining - In Season

Going rogue: Suss out pop-up farmer's markets

Explore your neighbourhood to see if you can spot one of these local-produce-laden gems

How to find one

Because there is no city-supported infrastructure, cash-strapped but creative organizers are most likely to use good, old-fashioned word of mouth, postering or the latest in social networking—Twitter, Flickr, Facebook—to drum up business. Speaking of—some even invite drumming groups to announce market day. 

We were able to sniff out a few rogue farmer's markets, and that was pretty lucky. The only real way to find them is by keeping your ear to the ground in your own ‘hood. Just follow the aroma of artisanal bread and freshly harvested basil! Failing that, keep an eye out for posters on telephone poles and construction hoarding, poke around Facebook or send out a Tweet asking around in your area. Talk to local foodie organizations, such as Slow Food and check the bulletin board at community centres, libraries and colleges.

A few known pop-up markets

  • The Kawartha Ecological Growers Farmer's Market pops up on the patio of The Céilí Cottage in the East End of Toronto.
  • In the West End, The Drake Hotel hosts a truly urban farmers’ market, where local city gardeners bring the stuff they’ve grown to sell to other urban farmers and their neighbours. Held in the Drake’s Secret Garden, where Chef Anthony Rose grows his own, it’s organized by food writer and agent provocateur Ivy Knight.
  • And the smarty pants at BC’s Kwantlen University in Langley, are making delicious use of their parking lot. 

Going rogue 101

  • Definitely BYOB. That’s bring your own bag, not bottle!
  • In this case, you can leave home without it, the plastic that is. These operations are cash only.
  • Walk, ride, bike, scooter, skateboard, but try leaving the car at home. It’s important to respect the neighbourhoods where these markets take place, and no one likes extra vehicular traffic.

Photos courtesy of Kawartha Ecological Growers


Read more in Food & Entertaining and In Season

  • Page 1: Why go?  
  • Page 2: How to find one and a few known pop-ups

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