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< April 19-2012 | Notes Library | May 3-2012 >

Weekly Market Notes for April 26, 2012

Hello Market Friends:

If you've ever imagined life in paradise as having your own orchard, you might reconsider after a bout of weather like we've had. It's too soon to be sure about the consequences of this spring's ups and downs, but I thought you'd be interested in a preliminary report from our tender fruit growers:

Crop update from Laura Sabourin at Feast of Fields:

"Apricots: frost damage for sure maybe 50% crop?

Peaches are still in full bloom but they have been blooming long enough that they will be ok IF temps don't drop below zero.

If it snows, the cherries and plums may take a serious hit so say a few words to Mother Nature for us. I was walking through them yesterday and most of the petals have already started to brown which means they are fertilized and ready to fall, so just the late bloomers may be at risk.

Pears are good, the Asians bloom really early so they are ok , the Europeans are still blooming with the late varieties actually not fully budded out yet, so snow will only effect the Europeans in full bloom.

Apples are just opening so they should be ok, too.

[Editor's note: the plant geek in me just loves this next bit about grapes. Laura also taught me that grapes don't 'wake up' early just because spring does; their internal clock keeps them dormant until they've had a full winter's rest. Plants are so cool.]

Grapes, they have great survival instincts. Each grape “bud” actually has 3 buds, the first two are fruitful. The tertiary is just vegetative, it is for survival of the vine. So far I think we have likely lost about 10 -15 primaries but I usually prune with this in mind so we should be ok there too!

And the fig trees are full of fruit, maybe 200 little tiny figs in the greenhouse. Fig trees set their first crop on last year's wood, before the rest of the plant leafs out so we will be eating figs before the market starts."

And from Debbie Wiecha at Niagara Lavender Farm:

"This season was off with a bang with temperatures in the 20's, the buds came out weeks early and were in full bloom when the night frosts hit we will see what this season will bring.

The lavender looks great so far, peaches and raspberries look okay. What is a real surprise is the Haskap which are in full blossom and look like bushes compared to the little seedlings we got from out west a couple of years ago...hopefully we will have some to bring to market.

All the pruning is done, mulch is done so now it is just planting,and keeping things clean, cultivated and growing..."

In other vendor news, plenty of great food will be coming in:

Akiwenzies Fish will be available at Alli Harris's (Fish Shak) table and we hope to have a bit more fresh this time.

"Plan B is harvesting fresh green garlic, spinach, and kale from the greenhouses for market!"

Sosnickis' contribution: "We're harvesting those big, long, pink Ostergruss Radishes from our covered fields! Lots of bins of fresh, sweet field Spinach, and of course Cabbages, Sauerkraut & Sweet Corn! From planting and wind storms to maxing out all three greenhouses with ample herbs and veg, to grading bulk cabbages and now harvesting -- we are cra-zy busy on farm! It's such a feel good way to begin the new Spring Season!!" Jess & Ben

Blythe(Growing Spaces) is making a big tasty batch of borscht and bringing more lovely farm-grown blooms.

Forbes Wild Foods will keep you in wild leeks. Suggestions abound as to what to do with them: make leek pesto, mayonnaise, or butter; pickle them in cider vinegar and maple syrup; try Alli's Bakery Leek Bread; scramble them into an egg dish; bake a leek cake (just testing how enthusiastic a reader you are with that last one); enjoy this fleeting delicacy!

See you at the market!

Anne Freeman

P.S. We hope this will be our last week 'up top', but the weather may keep us in suspense for a bit longer.

P.P.S. You'll see our market tents at the Clean Trains Festival this Sunday.

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