Blog: Outdoor

A Sweet Goodbye to Summer

As we recover from some of the hottest days of summer and move into cooler weather, it feels like summer is truly coming to an end. Even though summer may be ending, the Farmers' Market certainly isn't. We are coming into one of the best parts of the growing season - not only do we get to continue to enjoy some of our summer favourites (strawberries, corn and tomatoes), but we also are able to start enjoying the fall bounty, including apples, squash, leeks and so much more. This Thursday, we are welcoming back Kimi Abdullah for our cooking demonstration. She will be showing us how to make her Eggplant and Green Bean with Peanut Sauce stir fry recipe. We also have Refined Fool Brewing Co. pouring brews Thursday, and Jason Mercer strumming up some tunes. Can't wait to see you all for another great week of markets!

Thursday Cooking Demonstration with Kimi Abdullah!

After a cooking demonstration-less week, we are excited to welcome back Kimi Abdullah for this week’s Thursday’s cooking demo! Kimi will be making Eggplant and Green Beans in a Peanut Sauce stir fry. 

Kimi is a self-proclaimed ‘food nerd’. Before opening up Petojo Food with her brother Anthony, Kimi graduated with honours from Humber College’s Fashion Arts program in 2006 and has since earned a certificate in Project Management from The University of Toronto. Bitten by the travel bug, she’s travelled across North America, Europe and parts of Asia, eating everything from musubi to Catalan-style croquettes. These adventures serve as an unconventional culinary education sharpening her ability to uncover food trends and restaurants before most. Kimi likes to boast that she ate at New York’s Estela before Barack Obama did. We are so excited to learn more from Kimi and talk all things food!

Start Time: 5 pm

Welcome Refined Fool Brewing Co. To Thursday's Farmers' Markets!

Starting this Thursday, we are thrilled to welcome Refined Fool to the Farmers’ Market. They will be here every Thursday, 4 to 7pm, up until the end of October!

Reined Fool Brewing Co. is a brewery in Sarnia, Ontario that prides itself on community and creativity. Refined Fool got its start 7 years ago in Sarnia after a group of friends graduated from brewing beers at their homes with propane burners to two nano-breweries. They brew small-batch craft beer ranging from IPAs to milk stouts to Belgian strong ale. Currently they have two vibrant taprooms each featuring over 20 styles of craft beer. In the seven years they have been open, they have produced over 130 different styles of craft beer! Check them out this and enjoy a brew at this Thursday’s Farmers’ Market.

Is it an eggplant or an aubergine?

It’s both! “Aubergine”, more commonly used in Europe, derives its origins from an ancient Sanskrit word, whereas “eggplant” supposedly was used when eggplant first came over to North America because it resembled a big egg. Whether you say “aubergine” or “eggplant” there are endless ways to enjoy this farmers’ market find.

Even though they are cooked as vegetables, eggplants are actually a type of berry! Part of the nightshade family, they go great with other members, including tomatoes and peppers! When shopping for eggplants, look for ones that have shiny and smooth skin. They should be slightly firm but not too hard. If you plan to eat them right away, feel free to leave them on the counter, or store them in the crisper. When cooking, try salting sliced eggplant and letting it sit for 30 minutes to prevent the fruit from soaking up too much oil in the cooking process. If you want to avoid some of the bitterness of the fruit, try buying smaller eggplants, as smaller ones will have less seeds which harbour much of the bitterness.

Check out Thursday’s 5pm cooking demonstration with Kimi Abudullah to learn some eggplant tips and tricks and a new eggplant recipe!

Community Pop-Up - Terry Fox Run London

This Saturday, the Terry Fox Run London will be at the Farmers’ Market from 8am to 1pm! They will be selling merchandise, signing up runners for September 19th’s Terry Fox Run and answering all your questions!

In 1980, after being diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma as a child and losing one of his legs, Terry Fox ran the Marathon of Hope. Running 5,373 km and raising $24.17 million dollars, Terry’s mission to raise money and awareness for cancer research inspired an entire nation and a lasting legacy. Since Terry’s initial Marathon of Hope, the Terry Fox Run has raised over $850 million for cancer research. For Canadians all over the Terry Fox Run has become a fall tradition with over 650 communities coming together each year to raise money for cancer research. Swing by their booth this Saturday to learn more about the Terry Fox Run London and how you can get involved. 

Photo: Terry arrives at Beck Secondary School in London, where he is joined by an honour guard of 100 runners. Photo credit: Western University Archives.

Nature In Our City - with Glenn Berry

American Goldfinches

It is always a thrill to see a bright yellow Goldfinch streak through the air or land somewhere to feed. This time of year, the males are bright yellow and they are often busy foraging for their families. They are smaller than the more familiar House Sparrows. In London, their flocks are smaller too.

Q: What happens to them in the winter?

A: As long as there is enough food, they can stay all year in southern Ontario. The males’ winter plumage is much duller. In the spring, breeding plumage will return, but later than with most other bird species.

Q: Where are the females?

A: They are incubating the eggs they laid in August. Then some of them leave their first set of young in the care of the male while they seek out another partner and try for a second set. This may explain a male feeding two young birds in my photo from September 2019. The young were already full-sized, but still dependent on an adult for food.

Q: How are the females different?

A: They have black in the same places on their wings and tails, but no black on the top of the the head. And the bright yellow is toned down as shown in this photo from August 2021.

Q: How do females know a male will be a good choice?

A: An orange bill is the sign of a good diet. This means he is good at foraging for the right foods and is a good provider.

Q: Where can I see them?

A:  In the winter, they will hang around bird feeders. They are in London parks in some of the trees near paths all year. Once you hear them, simply wait until you see them moving around. For more photos and some samples of their sounds visit:

At the entrance to The Coves off Springbank Drive, just east of Horton Street, Goldfinches perch in the trees on the left and cross the path to the wildflower garden to forage. Whenever people pass by, they scatter noisily, but soon return.

For more information, see this excellent video by Lesley the Bird Nerd:

Thursday Vendor List

This is the list, folks! See who you can find at the Farmers’ Market this Thursday, September 2nd! Click on their names to find information on pre-orders and to learn more about their farms and businesses!

Check out their websites for more information about their products and to see what’s in season/currently available!

  • Cooking Demonstration: Kimi Abdullah, 5pm to 6pm
  • Live Music: Jason Mercer 4pm to 7pm
  • Museum London Walking Tours: 5:30pm to 6:30pm
  • Beer: Refined Brewing Co.  4pm to 7pm
  • Food: London Sandwich Co. 4pm to 7pm

Saturday Vendor List

This is the list, folks! See who you can find at the Farmers’ Market this Saturday, September 4th! Click on their names to find information on pre-orders and to learn more about their farms and businesses!

Check out their websites for more information about their products and to see what’s in season/currently available!

  • Live Music: 10am to 1pm: Leanne Mayer and Frank Reynoso
  • Visual Artist: 10am to 1pm: Catherine Eichstedt
  • Community Event: Terry Fox Run London: 8am to 1pm