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< May 11-2006 | Notes Library | May 25-2006 >

Weekly Market Notes for May 18, 2006

Hello Market Friends:

Lately we've been getting more than our share of attention! Now that the local growing season is getting underway, we'd like to send out a reminder that Riverdale Market--the market that really started it all--is open again every Tuesday afternoon at the farm in Cabbagetown, such a great spring destination.

Here's the news:

This week, we look forward to welcoming Evelyne Gharibian, maker of many delicious vegetarian and raw dishes, including salads such as Beetroot with Feta Cheese-Lemon Dressing, and sweets such as Lemon Date Bars. She is a part of the Saturday Village Market at the Toronto Waldorf School (another great source for local organics), where she has worked with Joe Born, a farmer we were privileged to have at Dufferin for a while in "the early days".

If it's not too rainy, we will also have April Aliermo and her friend Daniel coming to read stories for kids of various ages.

Jonathan Forbes will be back, with lots more wild leeks and maple syrup.

From Irene of Deer Valley Farm:

We will be at the market with fresh venison this week. Now that the barbeque season is here, we will have some nice steaks as well. Fresh liver will be available only this Thursday, May 18th.

Colette(Urban Harvest) and Angelos(Country Meadows Gardens) have a wonderful selection of plants and seeds to keep all the gardeners busy over the long weekend.

From Plan B:

"This week will mark the triumphant return of Ted Thorpe to the market, in spirit at least! He'll be picking fresh spinach, radishes and field arugula on Thursday for market folks. We'll be bringing them in for him. We'll also be bringing lots of local greens, apples, apple cider, fresh garlic and herbs, baby bok choy, spinach and much more. A good bevy of imported foods will round out the selection. The fields will explode soon. We've planted our greenhouses into cukes, tomatoes and ground cherries, so there's also the promise of a whole lot more! Eight acres weeded by our field crew this week's got us ahead of the matto grosso, for now. See you at the market."


And a question from Jutta:

"One of my favourite scientific public health guys, sensible Dr. Richard Schabas (he used to be Ontario's chief medical officer of health) says that although bird flu has had lots of chances for nine years to mutate into an epidemic for the human population, it hasn't. Neither have Ebola or Lassa virus, and SARS has disappeared without a trace. Dr.Schabas and a few others (including Vancouver's Medical Officer of Health) say that the fear of pandemics is the real problem. I think the other problem is the virus bureaucracy which turns these fears into bad rules.

Market farmer Angelos says that soon he won't be allowed to raise chickens (and their eggs) any more because the latest new rules prevent anything but mega-chicken operations, supposedly to reduce the risks. Farmers are only allowed to raise chickens outside of the system if they're for (strictly) personal use. So no more happy free-range organic chickens/ eggs from our market farmer friends, either.

Here's a question for any brilliant legal minds who may shop at the market: what's to prevent me from buying some chicks and boarding them at Angelos place, or Plan B, or Stonehenge, so my chickens can live on a nice farm and be happier than if they were in our backyard on Havelock Street? And then, if my chickens lay eggs, those would be my strictly personal eggs, and Angelos would bring them to me whenever they accumulate...

Of course, I'd have to pay room and board for my chickens and my eggs. No problem.

Would that get under the new rules?"

Send in those answers, to Jutta or to me at the market news desk!

Raw milk devotees were discussing a similar scenario at the market recently, the idea of jointly owning a country-living goat or a fraction of a cow, and having the unaltered milk delivered. With the complexity of health and production regulations, maybe these approaches will be the way of the future. Just imagine, busy workers all over the city taking their coffee breaks in front of live-action webcams monitoring how their goats, chickens (and pre-purchased, custom-grown crops of carrots?) are getting along out in the fresh air. It could happen!

In the meantime,

See you at the market!


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