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< January 30-2014 | Notes Library | February 13-2014 >

Weekly Market Notes for February 06, 2014

Hello Market Friends:

In a recent commentary from the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, I read that every year, the CFA calculates 'the calendar date when the average Canadian has earned enough income to pay for his/her annual grocery bill'. They have named this 'Food Freedom Day', and this year, it falls on February 7th. That average Canadian spent 10.6 percent of his/her disposable income on food in 2013...",the 3rd lowest share of their total expenditures on food in the world, behind only the US and Britain."

For those with adequate incomes, food expenses have never before required such a small slice of the budget pie as they do in our place and time. But farms and food processing jobs are disappearing at an unprecedented rate. By expecting food to cost so little that Canadian farmers can't afford to grow it, aren't we in a pretty quick race to somewhere we do not want to end up? Oh dear, I am giving away my answer with that question. Perhaps we can think about other definitions for food freedom?

Here's a more encouraging quote: "Decisions at the grocery store have a significant ripple effect. As an example, in 2008, every dollar spent at Ontario's farmers' markets, created an average of $3.24 worth of economic activity in the provincial economy." Now that's more like it. Hats off to you, farmers' market shoppers!

Some news from and about our Dufferin vendors:

Sosnickis' contribution: "Ben will be bringing Potatoes, Onions, Garlic, Cabbage, Celeriac, Cabbage Rolls, Perogies & Sauerkraut this week! We're doing our best staying warm, dealing with this Canadian winter while happily planning the new growing season. We are very proud recipients (along with Kind Organics and Field Sparrow Farm!) of The Big Carrot's Nature's Finest Fund which will allow us to invest in a new seeder this year! So this great news sure makes us feel warm on the farm during all the ice and snow! Looking forward to a great growing season with Dufferin market!" Ben & Jessie.

Congratulations to all these forward-thinking farmers, as well as to Woolerdale Organic Farm, winner of the 2014 Ontario Organic Award in the "Outstanding Horticulture or CSA" category!

We know that winter can present motivational challenges for some of you when it comes time for the Thursday trek to market, so we're working to bring you more good things to eat. Our growers' own crops always take first priority at Dufferin, but when the produce selection begins to diminish, market farmers assist by bringing a few extras, both locally grown organic items and a few from farther away. The 'choosers' try to find Dufferin shopper favourites and best value selections. For the next couple of weeks, Kevin from Shared Harvest will be teaming up with Plan B to fill the tables with kale, apples, cider, and a number of other choices alongside Kevin's own daikon, rutabagas, watermelon radishes, ferments and herbs. Once Kevin's storage crops run out, he'll take a break, but Ben will help us out by adding some extras to his table. And next month, Woolerdale will be back with more great storage veggies, and eventually the early spring greens we all look forward to so much.

Here's the list of vendors we expect this time:

  • Ali Harris (rotis and fritters, hemp pesto and seeds),
  • Bees Universe (honey and bee products),
  • Beretta Farms (organic and naturally raised meats),
  • Best Baa (cheeses, yogurt, sheep's milk),
  • Chocosol (coffee and chocolate),
  • Country Meadows (eggs, cheese, olives, oil),
  • Dufferin Park Bakers (wood-fired oven breads, soups,and snacks),
  • Field Sparrow (pastured meats),
  • Forbes Wild Foods (dried mushrooms, nuts, syrup, preserves)
  • Kind Organics (sprouts, kombuchas, teas, chocolate),
  • Shared Harvest Community Farm (root crops, kimchi, herbs, other produce)
  • Sosnickis' Organic Produce (veggies and prepared foods),
  • Spade & Spoon (formerly Growing Spaces: jams, pickles, soups),
  • Ying Ying Soy (tofus and miso).

See you at the market!

Anne Freeman

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