Tastier, healthier soups start at East Lynn farmers’ market, East Yorker says

Robin Battle’s soups are a hit with her children and grandchildren.

The East York resident says she’s tired of bland, chemically treated produce that travels thousands of kilometres before hitting grocery store shelves, which is why she shops at the East Lynn Park farmers’ market.

“Organic fruit has more flavour,” Battle said on a soggy Thursday afternoon last week. “For me, the taste brings back memories of coming home with a purple mouth after raiding your neighbours blueberry patch as a kid.

“I want my granddaughter to know what food really tastes like.”

Every Thursday afternoon from May through October, farmers — like JP Gural and So Young Lee from Samsara Fields in Waterford, Ont. — gather at East Lynn Park on Danforth Avenue to sell their produce.

While on a two year trip through 12 countries, Gural and Lee witnessed what they said are the negatives of trans-national systems of food delivery that deny farmland to locals in favour of cost effective methods like factory farming. That, they said, inspired them to take up organic farming.

“Promoting self sustainability but also promoting a change in consciousness is how we relate to food and its cycle,” Gural said. “Pop by your local farmers market, get to know the farmers and establish a dialogue with them.”

To rid its crops of pests, Samsara uses environmentally friendly methods of crop rotation and companion planting rather than chemically rich pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, he said.

Over the past couple of years, Gural said he’s noticed a spike in attendance at farmers’ markets. He said it reflects a shift in public consciousness.

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