Sunday, 7 June 2015

Ottawa's 100 Mile Diet: You Just Can't Get There From Here

Advertisement: Come to Lansdowne Market this Sunday to grab breakfast, the first strawberries of the season and other local favourites, then join in the FIFA fun.
This Sunday, June 7th, the market will be running a free shuttle bus to accommodate market customers during the FIFA Women's World Cup games (1pm: Norway vs. Thailand and 4pm: Germany vs. Côte D'Ivoire). Or, come early to avoid the rush. The market will also be open for extended hours — 8am until 4pm — this Sunday only.
To access... the market shuttle, park in Carleton University's Lot 7 for $4/day. The market shuttle will run every 30 min (with a lunch break from 12:15 to 1:00pm) dropping off and picking up at the east end the market in front of the Horticulture Building.
Leaving Carleton University, Lot 7
8:15, 8:45, 9:15, 9:45, 10:15, 10:45, 11:15, 11:45, 12:15, Lunch Break 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, 3:30, 4:00

Leaving Horticultural Building
8:30, 9:00, 9:30, 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, 11:30, 12:00, 12:30, Lunch Break 1:15, 1:45, 2:15, 2:45, 3:15, 3:45

Please note there is no onsite parking at Lansdowne after 10am.

Like that's gonna happen.

For the past two years, our summer tradition has been to take the dogs to the Conroy Pit, then amble over to the Ottawa Farmer's Market, which was located a Brewer Park. It was always an expensive run, costing us between $60-$100, as we voluntarily paid 10% more for eggs, cheese, fresh produce and herbs.

We paid the ransom almost gleefully.

That's because there is nothing more wonderful, for this farm girl at least, than to chow down on dirt-to-table mixed greens, sustainably-raised meat, and dew-glistened strawberries that were picked hours before. I love it, love it, love it.

Unfortunately, I haven't been to the Ottawa Farmer's Market once this year because it moved from Brewer Park, where there was plenty of free parking, to Lansdowne which is in the Glebe, where there is no free lunch. I don't go to the Glebe, not since we had our car towed for accidentally parking a smidge across some entitled Glebite's precious driveway, one that couldn't be seen from the street!

I do love the Farmer's Market, so I've been tempted to break my rule, but naw, forget it. Going to the Glebe is just too much trouble parking-wise.

I suppose I could take the bus and drag my six bags of groceries over two buses, while watching them wilt and have teenagers spew spittle over them, but I'm not going to. I live a block from the grocery store and a couple miles down the road from farmers. I'll get my produce there.

Yesterday, I pondered going to the Farmer's Market on Main Street, only to discover that it isn't there anymore because Main Street looks like a gigantic sinkhole. There is so much construction on Main Street, even God has left St. Paul's University.

And don't get me started on Westboro. You can't park in Westboro, unless it's two in the morning.

Sure, I could go down to the actual Market, but that would mean paying for parking, jostling with street people, and having to listen to my former neighbor play the flute. Oh yes, and the first and last thing to assault the senses is the smell of pee in the parking garages.

It's not fun.

To make matters worse, there is the damned FIFA thing going on at Lansdowne, so for the next two weeks, the Farm Marketing folks are cheerfully suggesting people take the bus from Carleton University (schedule reprinted above) and pay $4 for the privilege. For some of us that $4 would have paid for a pint of strawberries.

So I have to drive over to Carleton, park my car, get on a stinky bus shuttle with sweaty men in Tilly hats and sandals with their wives inappropriately dressed in sun dresses (no bras) to go to the Glebe and buy my strawberries, only to get back on the bus and do it all over again. Ain't gonna happen.

I'm staying away from anything that FIFA sponsors, just like I'm staying away from Bernie Madoff.

This year, farm-fresh for me will mean actually going to the farm to get my veg.

Too bad for all the vendors who used to like my money.

Sometimes this city sucks.


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