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< June 1-2006 | Notes Library | June 15-2006 >

Weekly Market Notes for June 8, 2006

Hello Market Friends:

Each year, we try to visit a few of the market farmers and other vendors, ostensibly to keep well-informed, but really and truly because it's so much fun. Last Friday, park staff Mayssan, Jenny and Mary and garden volunteers Rema, Claudia and Chris, together with Jutta and myself headed to Stonehenge Farms (Ute Zell and Tom Greenall) and Ted Thorpe's.

It was great to see Ute coaching a first-time mother with her moments-old kid and to meet the approximately four hundred other contented residents of the goat barns, as well as to watch the wild boars in action and admire the peacocks and llamas. Best of all was to get the chance to sit down with Ute and Tom (and some fine farm food)and talk about life, farming and all the rest of it away from the usual hubbub of the market. Then on to Ted's, where the fields are filling up with all the great stuff we love to eat. We got to ask lots of questions about timing and techniques for growing favourite vegetables as well as admiring Ted's talents for reno. in his farmhouse, and the mosquitoes didn't quite succeed in carrying Claudia away. A really satisfying trip!

Here's the news from some other terrific producers:

Urban Harvest still has some lovely plants for this week's market and the weather is finally warm enough to safely put everything in the ground.

Tomato plants are looking good but it may be the last week for many varieties so get em while they're hot. The peppers are a good size now with the heat. They are perennial in their native clime so put a few in pots and bring them inside for the winter. Ask Rema how well that works. She saved the seeds for the Chinese 5 Colour Pepper for us after the Seed Foundation had a fire and lost all their seeds. It is very endangered and rare but we have it because of Rema's seed saving.

We have some lavenders and thymes left but only a few rosemarys. Some Russian Sage too. If you don't know it, it was herb of the year in 1996 and looks like a large lavender when in bloom, which it does for a very long time. Extremely hardy too. Also we have a good assortment of Native plants, including some larger pots of Virgin's Bower, the native clematis.

Eat Greens from Greenfields!

This time of year the local greens are at their most tender and make for a great mixed salad. Last week the Chard and Kales sold out very quickly so we will bring lots more this week. Fresh from our fields look out for: Rainbow Chard, large bunches of Spinach, black Kale, green Kale, Spring Mix, bunches of Red Mustard, Sunchokes, Rhubarb, lots of Asparagus and new this week are Collards and green Leaf Lettuces.

As for other produce: Avocados are back in, Cilantro and green Peppers are here for a change along with our regular line up.

It's a great week for fruit: Both the Strawberries and Mangoes don't only look great and taste delicious but are also on sale. Mangoes are 2 for $ 1.25 and 1 lb baskets of Strawberries are only $ 3.75. Time to make smoothies or put some away in the freezer. We also received a large amount of juicy organic Florida seedless Watermelons, ask Kaidy for a sample. Pink Lady Apples, D'Anjou Pears, Lemons, Grapefruits, Oranges and Bananas round out the fruit display.

And my current market sales pitch: for an excellent breakfast, try Purple Sprout's muesli with a generous drizzle of John Alecu's honey and a pot of Kafue coffee. Mmm. I'm just waiting for the strawberries from Greenfields and Ted Thorpe(could be just a week or two)to make it perfect.

See you at the market!


p.s. Don't forget--the Cooking Fire Theatre Festival starts next Wednesday.

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