Great Producers, Tough Challenges

Great producers, tough challenges

It’s fun to be the bearer of good news. Each summer week, I get to tell you about great additions to our market tables coming in from the farms, and this week is no exception. But this too-long dry stretch has everyone worried. When we got some showers at setup time last week, every farmer’s thoughts were of home, hoping rain was falling there, too.

There are good things about a hot, dry season: Jessie Sosnicki is optimistic about crops like tomatoes and cucumbers that often suffer from blight in our humid summers, and Debbie Wiecha thinks the peaches will have that incredible concentrated flavour that develops when there’s less water to make them fat. But the chickens have stopped laying at Knuckle Down Farm, and harvests of many crops are smaller than they should be. At Waymac, the cooler tripped the breaker in yesterday’s heat, and they lost all the mushrooms they had ready for markets, so we won’t see them this time.

Come out and celebrate the rain, and thank your farmers for putting their all into feeding us so well!

Here in the city, you can lend a hand to our precious urban trees. Jutta Mason sent this note:

Since June 12, Toronto had less than 15 mm of rainfall, but many days of heat. All over the park, the trees – especially young ones – are showing stress – leaves drooping, some already turning brown, bare branches. The park maintenance crew don’t seem to have tree watering in their schedule, so recreation staff have been leaving the garden-club hoses out day and night to trickle water at the base of the trees most affected. Park users can help: if you see a hose trickling water near a tree that looks nice and damp at the base, move the end of the hose to any nearby tree that is dry. The trickle-hoses are already making some trees look happier.

On a related theme, Jane Michener, a forestry grad student, asked me to pass on the facebook link to Toronto Ravine Revitalization, a project aimed at improving the management of our ravines. They’re trying to spread the word so more people will take an interest in this important Toronto resource.

Vendor News:

Rye grass

From Knuckle Down Farm: We will be back this week with small small offerings and big hopes for rain! I have decided to make some ‘ode to drought’ rye grass bouquets to silver line the elusive clouds.  Jenny Cook

Sosnicki Organic Produce news: Hey All! Stay cool by eating lots of fresh veg! We’ve got Cherry, Grape and Heirloom Tomatoes coming to market along with lots of Cucumbers, Red Cabbages, Beets, Kale, Patty Pan Zucs & Sweet Onions!
Attention pickle people: I will send a clipboard to market with Joe and our helpers to take orders for bushels and half bushels of cucumbers for pickling. I’m too busy with babies this year to accept email orders, so please head to our booth for all info including pricing and to get your name on the “pickle list”. (Please note that we will not be harvesting tiny cucumbers. The bushel amounts will include sizes appropriate for standard pickling.)
Other farm activities this week have been weeding our tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beets and potato patches; planting fall cauliflowers, seeding fall beets, and almost daily irrigating! And getting playtime in with the kidlets!
Enjoy our harvest, Jess, Ben & family and Joe & crew!

Jennifer Osborn of All Sorts Acres will return in two weeks.

2016-07-06 12. 14. 33 (1)Kevin Hamilton from Shared Harvest says, “We have big bunches of purslane for sale along with big walla walla onions, garlic, basil, beets, parsley and lemon cucumbers.”

(If you’re not familiar with purslane yet, it’s a tangy succulent ‘weed’ which is packed with nutrition. I’ve been adding it to summer smoothies, and you can use it in salads, too.)

Unfortunately, Life in Homemade has encountered obstacles and has to withdraw from the market for the time being.

This is a good week to get your knives sharpened, as Mike Fohr will be away for the two weeks following.

Hey, big spenders! Good news! We are hoping to have an ATM at the market starting in two weeks’ time. So many shoppers have got out of the habit of carrying cash that we’ve been getting asked weekly where our debit machine is. It will be beside the main doors to the rinkhouse in dry weather, and just inside the building if there’s a chance of rain. Your feedback is welcome, as we’ll have the machine on a trial basis. Note that you shouldn’t get too dependent on it as we won’t be able to offer this service in the winter.
See you at the market!
Anne Freeman

Vendors for this week:
Ali Harris
Bees Universe*
Best Baa*
Country Meadows
Culture City*
Dufferin Park Bakers
Earth & City*
Evelyn’s Crackers*
Everdale Organic Farm
Floralora Flowers*
Forbes Wild Foods
Hungry Vegan
JK Fries
Kind Organics*
Marvellous Edibles
Mike Fohr The Knife Guy
Niagara Lavender
Pine River Organic Farm
Plan B
Shared Harvest Community Farm
Sosnicki Organic Produce
Spade & Spoon*
Tapioca Gourmet*
Thorpe’s Organic Produce
Urban Harvest*
VQA Wines: Southbrook*
Ying Ying Soy Food*

*These vendors accept electronic payment.