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Market News 2007

From Sosnicki Farm

posted December 12, 2007

Making Sauerkraut

From Jessie Sosnicki:

We made the sauerkraut on Nov. 27th and packaged it up this past Monday. It's great this year.

I've made a decent batch of sauerkraut perogies too. They are really good this year! I finally figured out HOW to do it properly! I boiled the kraut first, then we strain it good using cloth cases to get all the water out of it and rinse off some of the salt. I fry up our onions with butter. This is mixed with the boiled kraut. It is refrigerated overnight. By morn. it has solidified so once I make the dough you can actually work with the kraut, as before it was soo greasy, they were half empty, falling apart etc. They are awesome now! When you reheat, the butter melts, tastes glorious!!

We'll be selling plain sauerkraut too in 3/4 lb tubs and later in January I've froze a ton of 1lb bags, so we should have a good supply for a while.

My grandma prepping our onions.....

Grandma Stella and onions......

From the November 2007 Newsletter


From market manager Anne Freeman:

“It's the Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers' Market's fifth birthday (first market: Nov.7, 2002). The chilly, short days of November aren't the usual choice to launch a market, but farmers Lorenz Eppinger, Ute Zell, and Zalia Conde, together with the park bakers, were brave enough to want to give it a try. They were on to something! Others, like Angelos and the Berettas soon joined, and month by month more people from the neighbourhood and beyond became loyal supporters. Now the market seems such a part of Dufferin Grove that it's hard to imagine Thursdays without it.

The pleasures of bringing home delicious food from the people who produced it and the way it enhances the changing seasons of the year to eat what's fresh and local really enrich our urban lives, and so does the weekly opportunity for exchange with neighbours, friends and favourite vendors. More Torontonians want that experience to be part of their neighbourhoods now, and 2007 has been an especially interesting year, as so many new markets opened. Through FoodShare's market network project (funded by Project for Public Spaces), Dufferin Grove Market has been able to offer some support to the organizers of the Trinity-Bellwoods, Withrow Park, and Green Barns Farmers' Markets in their initial seasons. The Park Bakers collaborated with Stonegate Farmers' Market in Etobicoke this year, too, and now the managers of all these markets, along with Elizabeth Harris from Riverdale and the new Brickworks Market, and Carrie-Ann Watson of the Oakville Market are working together on mutually beneficial plans and goals.

All these new markets mean more promising options for farmers, along with other small local food producers and fair-trade vendors, and more choices for customers, too.

There's terrific loyalty to Dufferin, though. What has made it special? It has to be the way people have come together: the customers who show up no matter what the weather because they know the farmers will be there, all the vendors who help each other out, the amazing staff at the rink house who back up the whole project as well as keeping the soup on and the loaves coming out of the oven.

On Thursday November 8th, we'll share a celebratory carrot cake with everyone who'd like a piece. Ute (of Smiling Goat & Co.) will be there as always, Lorenz (of Greenfields) will come in specially, and we hope Zalia (who's no longer farming, but still putting her cooking talents to great use) will be there, too. Please join in wishing the market many happy returns of the day!”


About ten years ago, the farmers at Toronto’s only organic farmers’ market (at that time) found out they had lost their regular location on Markham Street. At that time Mario Zanetti was the director of Toronto’s Parks and Recreation Department. He was a “let’s try and see what works” kind of guy. He said that if the market wanted to relocate to Dufferin Grove, he couldn’t see a problem with that. So there was a bit of discussion with some of the farmers at that organic market, but in the end they settled on going to Queen Street instead.

Then in May of 2001, Elizabeth Harris started the first park farmers’ market in Toronto, at Riverdale Farm near Parliament and Gerrard, every Tuesday afternoon. It was an organic market, and Elizabeth asked whether somebody from Dufferin Grove would be willing to come and sell bread. There were no park bakers then, so toward the end of the first Riverdale market season my daughter Kate and I began baking bread to take to that market. The sixty loaves we were able to bake were always sold in half an hour, since Elizabeth had laid the groundwork well and lots of people came.

In February 2002, the park newsletter ran a query from Anne Freeman: would people in the neighborhood be interested in a Dufferin Grove farmers’ market on the model of Riverdale market? There was lots of enthusiasm, but by then the Toronto Parks bureaucracy had grown enormously (amalgamation). The obstacles seemed daunting.

That spring, Dufferin Grove had park bakers for the first time: Anna Bekerman, Jenny Cook, and Caitlin Shea (who were working at the park already) stepped up to bake for Riverdale market on their off-day. Bread production went up immediately, but the trip across town in mid-afternoon was always a cliffhanger. (Baking all day, then loading up a borrowed car with the table, the baskets of bread, the cutting board, knives, butter, cleaning supplies, fanny pouch with enough change, bags, tablecloth, then getting stuck in the heavy cross-town traffic, setting up late, etc. etc.)

Vendors at farmers’ markets talk to each other a lot. One day near the end of the second Riverdale Market season, farmers Zalia Conde and Lorenz Eppinger were chatting with us about how much they’d like to carry on selling through the winter. Zalia was a baker as well as a grower, Lorenz had lots of storage vegetables, and both were convinced that a year-round farmers’ market made it much easier for farmers to build a regular customer base. Besides that, they wanted a second location in the west.

James Dann was the Parks manager at that time, and he was willing to try a market at Dufferin Grove, since there seemed to be a lot of community enthusiasm. Word had spread fast, because of the newsletter and because the park web site and a neighbourhood e-list had already been started by Emily Visser and Bernard King. So it was resolved to do a west-end market following the good model that Elizabeth Harris had worked out with the farmers at Riverdale.

On the first day, Thursday November 7, the farmers set up a spectacular display of produce, pies, and meat. The park bakers had an overflowing bread table. The contrast between the cold outside and the cornucopia inside the rink house was astonishing. For their part, the farmers were surprised by the warm welcome they got from the market visitors. And the market customers found, from the very beginning, that it took a long time to shop, because there were so many familiar faces, and so much news to exchange.

The rest is in Anne Freeman’s description on the facing page. She left out one very important thing, though: after the first year of the Dufferin Grove market, it became obvious that there was too much coordination for the Dufferin Grove staff, or the ad-hoc market advisory board, to manage. The market needed a real manager, and Anne Freeman seemed like the obvious choice. She needed some persuasion, but when she agreed to be manager, it was a lucky day for the market. So the 5-year birthday cake, baked by the park bakers, is also a cake for Anne.

Jonathan Forbes

posted October 31, 2007

A Visit With Jonathan Forbes

by Anne Freeman

Since the early days of the market, we've been lucky to have Forbes Wild Foods on our vendor list, sometimes just for monthly visits, but regularly now that Seth has become Jonathan Forbes' market helper. Every conversation with Jonathan is a learning opportunity, so much so that I'm often tempted to take lengthy breaks from my market rounds to find out more about the foods he brings us. This fall, I spent a wonderful afternoon talking and walking with him at his place near Creemore.

I arrived around lunchtime, so to start with, what's to eat on a patch of mid-Ontario land? Well, on the particular acre where Jonathan's office-cabin sits, there's an abundance. We made this multi-season list:

- ostrich fern fiddleheads
- wild grapes
- spruce tips
- wild leeks
- cedar tea
- barberries
- rosehips and petals
- puffball
- wild apples.

- red and black raspberries,
- red and white currants, blackberries and gooseberries (all wild)
- maple flowers,sap and syrup
- ostrich fern fiddleheads
- milkweed pods and flower syrup
- pheasant back mushrooms

posted September 24, 2007

Farmers' Market Tasting Fair

Sunday, September 30, 2007
1-4pm, Dufferin Grove Park

A delicious, varied menu is taking shape for the Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers' Market Tasting Fair, coming up this Sunday, September 30 from 1-4p.m.

Sweet or savoury, vegan or meaty, smoky from the fire or raw, however you like it, there will be something to enjoy. We'll be spread out around the park gardens, or under the big market tents if we expect a shower. The cooks aim to prepare foods you can enjoy without utensils or dishes, but please bring along your own cloth napkin if you can, to help reduce garbage from the event. You might want to bring a bowl, too, so you don't lose even a crumb. As well as showcasing their talents with the great local foods of the season, the cooks' efforts support the market and park. We hope you can join us.

Click the image for full-size version

Sustainability Lecture

Tuesday September 25, 6:00-7:30pm. Isabel Bader Theatre

This lecture features three prominent Canadian chefs (two from Ontario) who are pioneers in the local, organic, slow food movements.

Jamie Kennedy, MIchael Stadtlander and Sinclair Philip will speak about how they have been working to promote sustainable food practises. It is a fundraiser for the gardiner museum's children's education programs.

The lecture takes place at the Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles Street West (Museum Subway Stop). Tickets $25.

Many thanks,
Alexandra Horsky
Gardiner Museum Volunteer

posted July 22, 2007

click here or the image for the full size brochure

There are 20 Farmers' Markets in Toronto this Summer (2007)

Toronto Foodshare has released a brochure listing 20 Farmers' Markets in Toronto this summer, including 3 all year markets (including Dufferin Market), 11 seasonal markets, and 6 new markets. For more information see

For the full size brochure, click here, or click on the image of the brochure.

From the June 2007 Newsletter



From market manager Anne Freeman:

“Market friend Steve Leckie organizes Toronto's vegetarian directory (online at, and this week he checked in to see if our information was accurate. I was quite tickled to find that on September 1, 2006, he counted the produce available at Dufferin and came up with 92 varieties! If you have trouble sleeping, why count sheep when you can dream of so many fruits and veggies!”

We're enjoying the expanded space now that the market is fully outdoors and along the path for the summer season. This year, more than ever, we're meeting new customers eager to find out how to eat local. So far, along with meats and cheese and bread and fish, the season is bringing us many wonderful greens, rhubarb, asparagus, mushrooms and herbs, and each week now there will be a bigger variety of the early crops coming in.

It's going to be an interesting summer, as more markets open around the city. If you're over in the east end at Withrow Park or dropping in at The Brickworks on a Saturday, or way down south at Trinity-Bellwoods on Tuesday afternoons, you'll meet up with some familiar folks. Nice to imagine a future when people all over Toronto can walk or cycle to their neighbourhood farmers' market. Because of all this interest, the city parks department is working on a protocol for markets in parks. For now, while more discussion takes place and the details get worked out, it's "business as usual" for us. Check or the bulletin boards in the rinkhouse for information and discussion about the farmers’ market.

posted April 09, 2007

Policy Recommendations for Toronto Farmers' Markets

Farmers' Markets are frequent topic of discussion around Toronto these days. Interest in local eating, the importance of providing farmers with a viable way to make a living, and recognition of just how much fun it is to go to a neighbourhood market are all part of the picture.

The Dufferin Grove Market is a partner in Foodshare's project to strengthen a network of markets in the city through a grant they received from Project for Public Spaces. PPS is a New York-based non-profit group that is sponsoring 7 such projects with funding from the Ford Foundation. The Toronto project is the only non-U.S. grant recipient.

One aspect of the project is FoodShare's "Good Food Markets", fresh produce stands operated in partnership with community groups in areas of the city where there is limited food access. Another aspect is supporting new neighbourhood farmers' markets. Over the last few months, a Neighbourhood-Based Markets Working Group has developed, with organizers from projects in development at Trinity-Bellwoods Park, Withrow Park, and Wychwood Barns meeting with organizers of existing markets like ours, and staff from The Stop Community Food Centre and FoodShare. Our current focus is on the City Parks Department's development of a protocol for farmers' markets in parks. We hope to be positive contributors to the development of policies that really work for communities and market vendors.

You can read the Policy Recommendations document put together by the group here (pdf) >>.

In response to the growing interest in farmers´markets, and the city´s plans to create a policy on markets, market manager Anne Freeman and park staff Anna Bekerman have created a booklet that tells the story of the Dufferin Grove Farmers´ Market. As part of the Neighbourhood Farmers´ Market Working Group, the market is asking to collaborate with the city to develop policy, bringing the Dufferin experience to the table.

You can read the Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers' Market: One Model for an Urban Based Farmers' Market booklet here (pdf) >>

FoodShare Open House

THURSDAY MAY 31, 2007, 7-9pm 90 Croatia Street, Room 102.

FoodShare has moved into the former Brockton/Ursula Franklin High School building. From director Debbie Field: “Join us for a tour as we share our plans for planting vegetable gardens and building a beautiful a greenhouse on Brock.” For more information contact Debbie Field,, 416 363-6441 ext. 228, See map for location.

FoodShare is known for its community-based approach to promoting healthy local food, helping schools start breakfast, lunch and snack student nutrition programs and school community gardens. The inventor of the Good Food Box and Good Food Markets, which help people buy healthy, local and organic food, FoodShare organizes community gardening, composting and urban agriculture projects across the City.

The Stop: Photo by David Zapparol

The Stop Community Food Centre: celebration of spring and open house

Saturday May 5 12 noon to 3 p.m.

From Kathryn Scharf:

“Hi Dufferin Grove neighbours, The Stop, where I work, is having a celebration….it’s at 1884 Davenport (Davenport & Landsdowne). There'll be food, music, food demos (Yasi's and New Moon Kitchen) and gardening and bake oven workshops. There'll be kids activities directed at the creation of a spring pageant!”



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