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< August 17-2006 | Notes Library | September 7-2006 >

Weekly Market Notes for August 31, 2006

Hello Market Friends:

Some of you may have read last Saturday's Globe and Mail article, "Farm Fresh or Farm Fake" about the problem of re-sellers in farmers' markets. Those of you who have become fans of the market recently might wonder just where we're at in this picture, so this week, a bit of background.

At our market, we don't have any "peddlers" who just drive to the food terminal to pick up produce that they set up on a nice "farmstand". Our farmers are all the real thing, but that doesn't mean we have 100% home-grown at every table. Our policies around this started from the market's origins as a year-round one. It's hard to keep customers' loyalty in February when the local selection drops off, but if organic broccoli and bananas are available along with the great storage vegetables, the baking, the meats and more, then people keep wanting to make the trip. Also, the profits from selling those imported foods go to our farmers, and that's important in the lean season.

In the summer, you'll still see some avocados and mangoes alongside Ontario produce at Greenfields' table, but the emphasis is strongly on their own farm's gorgeous selection. Connections between local farms are encouraged(like Ute Zell bringing her neighbour's lamb and Plan B bringing apples from Collingwood, etc.), although this can become complex when there is overlap with another farm's home-grown. That's something there's lots of ongoing discussion about. Sometimes a local supply is hard to come by, as in the case of certified organic pork, which the Berettas have had to source from farther afield now that their own farm is concentrating on beef. We have many quirks, too, like Bruno and Paula(the mushroom growers) selling amazing cheese from a farm high in the hills of Italy right next to their Stouffville shiitakes, and Angelos' "home-grown" including the olives from his farm in Greece.

When it comes to other vendors, they're all directly involved, not just selling a product line. Talk to Adolfo about the coffee he brings from Colombia, or Marc and Marie about the grains in their musli, and you'll find out a lot. Actually, it's those conversations with producers that are one of the best things the market can offer, and a willingness to share the full story about the foods on offer is a requirement for all market participants. Please do ask when you're wondering.

As for the news from the vendors this week, it will be a full house except for Colette(Urban Harvest) and Maria(Oh Soy).

From Greenfields:

"Lots of beautiful fresh produce coming from our fields this week; Chioggia Beets, fantastic Chinese Cabbage( great in stir-frys or raw in salads), Green Cabbage, fragrant Cilantro, Collards, Dandelion Greens taste great,aromatic Dill, Garlic, Kale (Green, Purple, Rainbow), Batavian Lettuce,Red Onion, Italian & Curly Parsley, Lots of Green Peppers and Eggplant,Tomato and Watermelons. And of course our standard: Avocado, Banana, Mango, Valencia Orange and more!!"

Monika, Mark, Lorenz, Sebastian,Courtney and Boris

John Ferrari will be bringing in plenty of wild blueberries.

Deer Valley Farm will have fresh (aged) venison available.

When you're passing through the rinkhouse, have a look at the display of several Ryerson architecture students' ideas for expansions to our rink/market/community facilities.

See you at the market!


Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers' Market
Thursdays, 3 to 7 p.m. year-round

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