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< July 25-2013 | Notes Library | August 8-2013 >

Weekly Market Notes for August 01, 2013

Hello Market Friends:

Did you know that Ontario's climate makes organic fruit production exceptionally difficult, so much so that only a few brave, determined, and very knowledgeable folks even attempt it? Most tender fruit is routinely and repeatedly treated with chemical pesticides and fungicides to battle all kinds of fruit-foes, whether it's moths, systemic blights or fungal damage that can take off in humid weather. We are truly fortunate to have Feast of Fields and Niagara Lavender Farm bringing the finest organic fruit in the province--and that's no exaggeration--to our market. Feel free to ask our growers what goes into their approach, and when there's peach juice dribbling down your chin, relax, it's organic!

Of course, organic growing is not only important for us humans. Here's a lovely note from Jenny Cook of Knuckle Down Farm:

Sometimes little things remind me why I am an organic farmer. For example, while harvesting this week I found a perfect little nest with three speckled eggs hiding under the cucumber plants. Perhaps someone knows what kind of bird makes such a nest, if you do come tell me at market! I often see snakes using the squash and cucumber leaves for shelter too, hopefully they don't find those eggs. The cucumbers will be coming to market along with summer squash, herbs, swiss chard and mustard greens. If it stops raining long enough for the plants to dry out a bit there will be beans and flowers too.

Since not all agriculture is so environmentally friendly, the Ontario Beekeepers Association has started a petition, directed to Premier Wynne, looking for a moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. The OBA believes neonics are behind the mass bee die-offs and ongoing decline of honey bees, our primary pollinator of food crops. Other pollinators and wild populations of insects as well as birds and aquatic life are also being adversely affected. The Beekeepers will be setting up a table at the market this week so you can learn more and sign the petition.

Welcome to a new vendor, Irene Orkin of Tibos Teas. Stop by to discover her many interesting teas, made primarily from indigenous plants.

Be sure to stock up on gluten-free baked delights from deFloured; Krista and Chris will be away next time.

Blythe and Adam from Growing Spaces write: “This week we have a fresh batch of Annie's Pickled Beets and Hot and Sweet Ketchup!”

Sosnickis' contribution: “Broccoli! Lots of our Broccoli is coming to Dufferin. And Cucumbers! The crop is looking nice and plentiful. And Patty Pan Zucs - they are huge! The Potatoes are fresh dug and Ben made sure to get them sized up, so lots of big baskets of the Potatoes that everyone likes! Our huge bunches of Kale and Swiss Chard, oodles of Sweet Onions and bushels of fragrant Basil! Our Corn and Tomatoes should start by next week so stay tuned!” Jess & Ben

Here's a standout salad (adapted from a 'Saveur' recipe) with a surprising and delicious combination of flavours, and made almost entirely from market ingredients:

Green Bean and Peach Salad

  • one large market onion
  • one quart green beans
  • four peaches
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (white balsamic if you have it)
  • salt and fresh ground pepper

Slice up the onion and saute it in olive oil til it begins to caramelize. While it's cooking, top and tail the beans and steam or boil them lightly (so they still have a bit of crunch). Slice the peaches and add them to the onion pan. Add the oregano and continue frying gently for about 5-7 minutes. Mix with the beans, vinegar and a bit more oil, add lots of fresh pepper and a little salt, and toss well. (You're going to get asked to make this one again.)

See you at the market!

Anne Freeman

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