The longest and loveliest early summer days must be savoured. Swap ‘busy’ for better words, and take time to enjoy some wonderful seasonal meals. If one of your preferred summer adjectives is ‘lazy’, the market vendors can do all the cooking for you.
Of course, I’m not writing from a farm, where much depends on the work of June days. Farmers are getting long season crops in, doing their best to keep ahead of fast-growing weeds, and choosing the right moment to harvest all they grow. The stars of June, strawberries, take two years of effort, including a lot of expertise if they’re grown organically. Labour costs for picking are high, the berries are highly perishable, and a lot can go wrong. Lorenz Eppinger, one of our founders, used to get frustrated when farmers sold strawberries for too little, because he knew that if they added up the real costs of production, they were losing money even in a good year. This year, the price of berries is higher, but the quality is great.
By the way, while we support a fair return on the labour of all our food producers, the market also includes some great bargains, and we’re experimenting with a weekly ‘cheap eats’ list. Stop by the info-table to see our new market map and list of $5 or less items. Comments and ideas welcome.
The Sosnicki Organic Produce contribution: “Strawberries and more strawberries! Harvest is fantastic. We are plucking from all 3 varieties, so big ‘jewels’ coming to Dufferin. More beets, turnips, lettuces and kale too! Peas-in-a-pod are starting soon, so we may harvest a few. Garlic scapes coming soon! It’s busy time around here that’s for sure, while Ben and the men furiously plant all our storage cabbages…and I’m ready to have my baby any day now! Joe, Toshimi and Nicole will be at Dufferin this week with the awesome harvest. Cheers everyone, Ben, Jessie & crew”
Everdale news: “We have our first kohlrabi of the season! Along with that, we’ll have bunched kale, baby kale, baby chard, arugula, salad mix, green onions, head lettuce, bok choi, radish, salad turnips and some storage roots.”
“Knuckle Down Farm sends our regrets, there is just too much to do around the farm this week. We hope to be back next week for good!”
Floralora Flowers will be away again, too, returning next week.
Rumour has it that Ted Thorpe may join his friend Ron behind a tableful of lettuces and kale.
Best Baa’s feature of the week is feta for $6.50, regularly $7.50!
“From the fields at Plan B Organic Farms, strawberries, dino kale, green onions, lettuce, fresh herbs, two kinds of radish kimchi, and more!
From our local grower network, certified organic English Cucumber and Greenhouse Tomatoes.”
Jason Kun of Island Oysters is coming this time, and just look at his list: Malpeques, Kusshi, Valentines, super-sweet Blackberry Points and Little Neck Clams.
Akiwenzies Fish will be down: ‘We will have smoked and frozen fish with us. Winds have been quite difficult the last number of days… ‘
Frogpond Farm Wines will be in the VQA booth, and I’m hoping they’ll have more of their delicious grape juice as well as wines.
See you at the market,
P.S. A reminder to bring along containers, bags and KNIVES for sharpening.
Here’s the list!
Dufferin Park Bakers
Earth & City
Forbes Wild Foods
Life in Homemade
Mike Fohr, aka the Knife Guy
Pine River Organic Farm
Sosnicki Organic Produce
Spade & Spoon
Thorpe’s Organic Produce
VQA Wines: Frogpond Farm
Ying Ying Soy Food