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< June 6-2013 | Notes Library | June 20-2013 >

Weekly Market Notes for June 13, 2013

Hello Market Friends:

Last Thursday was about the worst June market we've ever had. The predicted showers turned into solid rain, and only a fraction of our usual shoppers braved the weather to get their provisions. I'd like to thank those trusty regulars, especially the ones with the instinct to buy extra on what was a very tough day for the vendors. We're not like a supermarket, where the 24/7 option allows for just shifting shopping to a more pleasant time, and even when customers decide they'll visit their favourite vendors at another market instead, it makes for challenges in planning, and wasted food. Really irregular attendance ultimately leads to fewer local organic food producers being able to make a go of it, and higher prices for shoppers. So while I understand that it's not half as much fun to head out on a stormy day, I'm going to ask everybody to consider yourself part of a co-operative venture in local food and farming, and keep that Thursday 3-7 slot highlighted on your calendars no matter what!

Returning to our previously scheduled good news, it's time for...(drum roll here) Strawberries!

"The last couple of years building up the strawberry patch should provide a good yield for market this year! We had no frost so all blossoms are intact and throwing gorgeous large fruit! Awesome flavour and yes, they are sweet! The patch is a colourful mixture of ripening berries, flowers, weeds and volunteer garlic! We are harvesting the early variety and by next week will be into the 'Jewels', the main variety. They're both excellent and are keeper varieties for sure. Less exciting but totally yummy and gorgeous too are our Mini Lettuces in dark red and buttery greens. Big Romaine's and Beets too :) And I think it's time to bring Sadie to Dufferin to show her around too! Can't wait to share the Strawberry harvest and for everyone to meet the newest Sosnicki!" Jess & Ben

"Country Meadows Gardens is having a Customer Appreciation Day, this week we will have a special sale on all of our certified organic plants, any 5 plants for $10.00." Linda and Angelos

"Forbes Wild Foods will have the last of this year’s fiddleheads as well as Fresh Salicornia (Sea Asparagus). We expect to also have Morels but that is not a sure thing at this moment." Seth and Dyson

Knuckle Down Farm news: "It will be another lovely spring harvest this week. Added to the radishes, head lettuce and spicy salad mix there will be some tender young Swiss chard and spinach too. Everything is growing slowly with all this cloudy weather so let's hope for some sunshine and bigger harvests soon to come!" Jenny

Ted Thorpe is harvesting lots of lettuces, mizuna, kale, and hopefully baby bok choy, all while getting ready for a big on-farm-market and cultural extravaganza at his place this Sunday from 10-4, featuring many of our farmer, vendor and musician friends. Believe it or not (thanks to his kids), Ted's on facebook, so you can read more about the event and plan to come on out:

We'll have lots of visitors at the market this week. Dandelion Daycare Co-op families are coming to share information about their neighbourhood spot and offer craft activities for kids, and continuing in the crafty theme, Streetknit will have a table to invite knitters to volunteer their energy to make warm handknits for those in Toronto without a home. Weather permitting, Elliott Gallagher-Doucet and friends are coming to play some music for us, too. It will be a fun and lively afternoon.

See you at the market!

Anne Freeman

P.S. An invitation from the Park Gardeners:

Remembering Garrison Creek - Discussion and Planting Party Join us for a discussion about the history of Toronto's buried rivers as we revitalize a commemorative garden that sits in the valley where the Garrison Creek tributary, Denison Creek, once ran.

  • When: Sunday, June 16, 2 - 4 pm
  • Where: Dufferin Grove Park (in the valley on the west side of the park)

Tools and gloves provided. RSVP:

Special thanks to the Horticultural Societies of Parkdale and Toronto for their assistance with this project.

And an action item:

The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) has uncovered that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has recently approved one variety of genetically engineered alfalfa: a herbicide tolerant (Roundup Ready) alfalfa from Monsanto/Forage Genetics International. This means that one variety of GM alfalfa is now legal to sell in Canada. There could be more varieties approved over the summer (the process is completely secret). As a wind-pollinated crop (which does not need to be sprayed anyway) GM alfalfa is a disaster for organic farming. It will contaminate other alfalfa and cannot be contained once it's out there.

However, GM alfalfa seeds are not yet on the market in Canada. Email your MP today: "Will you stand up to stop GM alfalfa from being released and contaminating our fields and food?"

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