Tag Archives: Meet the Locals

A Day in the County

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Ever had a moment where you sat and wondered…”what the heck am I gonna do on my day off work?”? Several ideas might have come up in your head; tackle the pile of laundry colonizing your bedroom, finally clean the bathtub, pay some past due bills and eventually go shopping, head down to the nearest swimming pool and work on the tan, or simply sit on the couch and catch up on some reruns.  I recently found myself in this exact situation and, after thinking it over, I decided I was going to take full advantage of my day off by making a 1-day road trip.  Destination:  Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada.

I heard from friends about the beauty that P.E.C. has to offer; so I had some good expectations set in my mind.  With my girlfriend, we planned to checkout some wineries, go for a dip at the Sand Banks Provincial Park, and take a some photos along the way.  The trip was not exactly as we planned but it definitely exceeded our expectations.

We started at the Norman Hardie Winery where we stumbled upon some delicious and very refreshing white-Chardonnay and Riesling,  and a very friendly sommelier named Lucie.  As per Lucie’s suggestion we skipped the dip at the Sand Banks and, instead, headed over to a public yet secluded beach…such a great call!  We had the whole beach pretty much to ourselves and enjoyed a dip in warm, clear blue water for as long as our fingers began to wrinkle!  And yes, believe it or not,  you can find amazing swimming spots in Lake Ontario.  For the rest of the day we drove around the County, enjoying the landscapes, exploring the hidden roads, and discovering the magic that this land has to offer.  Great wine, beautiful beaches, colourful and lively agriculture, and amazing people.

I now have a new place on my list of favourite destinations in Ontario.  I also have a new alternative for my next day off.  So if you are ever in the area, do take the time and visit Prince Edward County, you will not be dissapointed!

Finds at the Hamilton Farmer’s Market

Recently, my quest to visit as many farmers market as possible this year, took me to the historic Hamilton Farmers Market (HFM).  Lately, I have been curious about what makes “Steeltown” tick, and being only about a half hour drive away, it seem only fitting to pay a visit to this popular community gathering.  Although, the HFM is missing the quaint and country-style character unlike other markets I’ve visited, I found a very special community feeling and a warm atmosphere in this market.

The vendors at the market were very friendly and the product offerings were culturally diversed.    Two vendors that stood out the most on this visit and for which I will definitely to go back are Vinnie’s Fresh Pasta Factory and Odessy Olive Oils and Vinegar (http://www.odessyoliveoilsandvinegars.com/index.html).  Vinnie’s fresh pasta is a mouth-watering treat (spinach-red pepper fetuccini) for a very reasonable price of $4 per lb; not only is it made fresh right in front of your eyes, but it is also made with a smile.   At Odessy you will find a wide variety of organic olive oils and vinegars (a yummy sicilian lemon balsamic) and the expertise and great service of Robert Lalla.

Farmers market are all about the people that gather every week to showcase their goods and about finding those special treats that give visitors joy.  Based on these two factors, the Hamilton Farmers Market is worth the drive  and a visit!

Market Saturdays

 

Saturday has arrived again and with it a new chance to visit one of my new favourite places, the farmer’s market!  Although I have been visiting these markets for a while,  only until recently have I started to fully appreciate the beauty of the community gathering, the freshness of the produce, and the excitement of indulging on a new treat never tasted before.  I recall how much of a hassle it was, as a kid in Colombia, having to stop playing with friends to accompany my grandmother to the market…fortunately I have grown up!

Today I would like to share with you a small collection of photos from some of the recent farmer’s market that have caught my attention:  The “Mercado Municipao” in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with its electric atmosphere and filled with perfectly displayed product.  The Farmer’s Market at Union Square, being an oasis of freshness in the middle of bustling Manhattan.  And, the more quaint and historic St. Jacob’s Farmer’s Market, with the special touch of the mennonite tradition.

More markets to come…stay tuned!