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< February 2-2012 | Notes Library | February 16-2012 >

Weekly Market Notes for February 09, 2012

Hello Market Friends:

This week I attended the Canadian Food Summit, where many of Toronto's food activists were deeply troubled by the attitudes expressed by big corporate players in our food system, and those that look to them for leadership (or sponsorship). That dashing scion of Loblaw, Galen Weston, didn't make too many local pals with a 'casual' remark that farmers' markets are going to kill somebody, which he included in his otherwise very polished opening address, and Michael McCain (of Maple Leaf Foods) didn't cheer us up when he repeatedly insisted (after listeria outbreak conscience-clearing) that Big is Better (as in 3,000 pig processors in one Brandon Manitoba plant makes way more sense than small abattoirs, or small farms). This is a company that professes to be deeply committed to 'meeting customers' needs'. I guess that includes leaving out a mention that 'cultured celery extract' means something a lot like nitrites when you put it in 'natural' sliced meats. Because we all need companies that help us feel safe. Oh dear, I'm ranting. Perhaps I should just say that this event was a reminder that we're not all on the same page (or even looking at the same book) when we try to discuss a Canadian Food Strategy.

Turning to Dufferin's news of the week, I'm reminded of my huge gratitude to the farmers who grow real food for us.

Sosnickis' contribution: "Well, this mild weather almost makes us want to jump the gun and seed like mad, but instead we're doing needed maintenance on the houses. The sun had us just sweating in there working away! Felt awesome! Ben will be coming this week with some new potatoes. No, not 'fresh dug new', just new to the market. We've left them until last in storage as they are ugly and rusty looking but MAN are they ever GOOD! Called 'Markies', they are suppose to be the ultimate french fry potato, but awesome cooked without oil. Very deep yellow, flaky and rich when simply boiled! Another potato we got last spring from Marcus Koenig. Along will also be our red gold Spuds, Leeks, Cabbage, Celery Root, Perogies, Sweet Corn and MORE Sauerkraut! Ben won't run out this week! Esp. For Kera! :)" Jessie & Ben

[Editor's note: Marcus is the grower who provides organic soy beans for Ying Ying Soy Foods' tofu, too.]

Forbes Wild Foods will be absent from the market for a while, and some of us are really craving maple syrup, so Blythe of Growing Spaces is bringing some from her family's Mennonite neighbours. It's Medium, and available in 250ml, 500ml, and one litre bottles.

From Kind Organics: "Ok all, I hope you loved your February salad blend last week. We have more again this week at the market. What a blessedly warm harvest day in the greenhouses." Sandra Dombi

MASH IT UP with our growers' great roots; they won't be around much longer! Get some of Kevin Hamilton's rutabaga and parsnips at Plan B's table, and Ben's potatoes and celery root (no nitrites there), peel and slice (the sturdier the veg, the thinner the slice), boil together until tender and mash, with generous pepper, salt and olive oil, or if you prefer, butter and milk. Delicious.

See you at the market!

Anne Freeman

P.S. Rose Lipton, a teacher and 'market regular' will be in attendance with information about the Migrant Workers Family Support Fund that has been set up by the Agricultural Workers Association in response to the tragic deaths in Hampstead.

And another announcement:

COG Toronto's 6th annual organic conference, Your Food, Your Choice: The Value of Organic, is on February 18. You can register for the early bird rate of $65 (COG members $55) until February 10. After that, it goes up to $85 (COG members $65).

Don't miss out on another informative and inspirational conference. Our keynote is Kristin Kimball, author of The Dirty Life, who gave up the fast life of New York City to become an organic farmer. Speaking at the conference is Guy Dauncey, co-author of Cancer: 101 Solutions to a Preventable Epidemic, to talk about the role of organic in the solution to cancer. We also have Bena Burda of Maggie's Organics speaking about organic clothing and the organic cotton producers in Central America. We're going to be talking about fish - can it be raised organically? Will we be eating genetically modified fish soon? There will also be panels for gardeners and would-be farmers. Something for everyone, including a delicious organic lunch.

If you want to make an evening of it, there is also an opportunity to purchase a ticket, at a reduced price, to the preview of a new play, Seeds, at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, about the legal battle between Saskatchewan farmer, Percy Schmeiser, and Monsanto. It stars Eric Peterson as Percy.

For more information and to register:

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