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< August 2-2007 | Notes Library | August 16-2007 >

Weekly Market Notes for August 9, 2007

Hello Market Friends:

It's a great time of year for local ingredients, and I'd like to share a couple of summer favourite recipes that feature the good foods of the market. I'll stick to one per week, though, as it's really not the season to keep you in front of the computer any longer than absolutely necessary!

Summer Spelt Salad

This recipe was given to me by Andrea Cumpsen, a garlic, spelt and beef farmer and great local food leader from Inverary, Ontario.

Start by getting a bag of spelt kernels from Miquela, who sells Merrylynd Farms flours and grains. Soak a cup of the spelt overnight, well covered in water, with a spoonful of yogurt or lemon juice (the acid helps make the grain easily digestible). Drain, rinse, and discard any floating chaff. Cook the spelt as you would rice, that is, with about twice as much lightly salted water as grain, or a little more. Check it for tenderness, and add more water if needed. It will stay nicely chewy, but shouldn't be too tough. Drain, cool slightly, and add:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
a good grinding of black pepper
2 chopped tomatoes
a cup or so of chopped basil, and some parsley if you wish (chopped sweet onion or peppers are nice, too).

Adjust the seasonings or quantities of herbs and tomatoes as you like. Good the next day, too, if you don't devour it in one go.

Here's some news from the vendors and the park:

From the Sosnickis:

"Well, close to six months invested in our tomatoes and is it ever worth it. We'll have roma, cherry, slicing, and tons of really cool heirlooms. Purple, pink, yellow, striped, big, small, etc., heirlooms are just a treat for all your senses! My fav' crop, to the point that no one harvests or grades them but me! I love discovering them out there in our tomato jungle. Huge beets, sweet onions, green and yellow beans, big juicy cantaloupes, and our potatoes of course. Cucs and zucs done for now, more planted for Sept, and Sweet Corn around the corner!" Jessie.

From the Akiwenzies:

"We won't be able to make it to this week's market. It has been quite windy up here and the water has been a bit rough. We tried to wait out the wind but I think it is not going to improve in time." Natasha and Andrew

From Greenfields:

"We finally got our first real soaking in months! Just in time too- our early sweet carrots are ready for harvest! Our saladette tomatoes are sweet, ripe and beautiful for salads and salsas. It's the first week for glossy, full eggplants too. Combine them with zucchinis and garlic for a beautiful stir-fry. Parsley, Cilantro, and Dill add great flavour to all sorts of dishes. Bunched Red Beets with tops will make the trip along with our Red Onions, which are great sliced in salad. A few other goodies to round out the display. Mangoes are calling you!" Monika/Mark

Firestoker Foods (Lindsay) will be absent today.

From Jutta:

"This summer heat is forcing the park bakers to rearrange all their timings for rising the bread dough, and even to change the recipes (less water), because the dough takes moisture from the air. Last week was tough -- bread dough really doesn't like 35 degrees. This week the bakers have figured out some new tricks, and it looks like the baking will be much better.

The other big problem the weather poses for farmers and also for parks right now is the terrible shortage of rain. Many of the farmers are rationing their water (and yet they are such good farmers that their produce is still beautiful). In the park, the recreation staff (including the bakers) and volunteers spend hours watering the many young trees that were planted last year. In some other parks and along roadways, new trees are stressed and dying. Market users, please take some time to water road trees near your home. If you see trees dying in other parks, get in touch with Dufferin Park recreation staff (416 392-0913, or The staff have begun working with City staff at other parks to get water to the trees, and they can help if they're notified. This situation is urgent now."

If you didn't complete a survey last week, we'd appreciate a couple of moments of your time to do one this time. With several new neighbourhood markets, it's a time of learning for all participants, and your feedback is really helpful.

See you at the market!

Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers' Market
Thursdays, 3-7 pm, year-round

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