Corn keeps it fresh at farmers’ market

The smell of roasted corn on a rainy afternoon brought a kernel of light to the UTSC farmers’ market.

Though it had poured rain all day Sept. 13, the weather cleared up in time for a free corn roast at the University of Toronto Scarborough farmers’ market that afternoon.

The roast was a special event at the market, held every Monday from 3-7 p.m. in UTSC’s outer parking lot on Military Trail between Morningside Avenue and Ellesmere Road. The market is unique because its vendors are exclusively from the GTA. They sell fresh local produce, cheese, and baked goods.

“We chose specifically people in this area so that we could promote local products to the campus, and to local people,” said Billie Jo Cox, project manager of the farmers’ market.

The market started in July and will continue until Oct. 25. Cox says that during the summer, the attendees were mainly community members, but she expects more students to attend now that the fall term has started.

The event is free, and its aim was to bring people out to see the farmers market and also promote local produce. The corn was donated by one of the market’s vendors, Fisher Mill Farms. About 800 cobs of corn were prepared for the roast, and Cox estimated that at least 600 of them would be served by the end of the day.

Several UTSC students from the Nutritional Health Peer Educators group volunteered to serve at the event. Anum Butt, one of the volunteers, said that she and the other educators were attending in order to promote their group, which is focused on healthy eating and lifestyle for students. They also wanted to support eating local produce.

“They’re probably here for the free food, but we’re just trying to get our message out at the same time,” said Butt, referring to the many students who had attended the corn roast that day.

Monday’s event also featured a raffle – the prizes being products from throughout the market, such as goat cheese and homemade pies. There are also other events planned for the farmers’ market, including “Salsa Mania” on Sept. 27 which will feature lessons in salsa dancing, and making salsa.