The light is marvellous these days! The strengthening sun isn’t good for rink conditions, but it sure does lift the heart. In the late afternoon, the rinkhouse and even the garage will be aglow. Time to flee the computer or whatever else has you stuck inside, and head over to the market.
When it comes to honey, BEE LOCAL! Did you know that the Canadian market has been flooded with imported honey? It’s filling the shelves of big box stores and supermarkets, and the trickle-down effect of huge quantities at impossible to match prices puts local beekeepers’ livelihood in jeopardy. As if dealing with unpredictable winters, summer droughts, and losses caused by pesticides weren’t enough already. Neonicotinoid use has dropped by about a quarter in Ontario since restrictions on it were imposed, but that’s far from enough to eliminate the threat to bees and other pollinators. Ionel (John) from Bees Universe brought a Lee Valley catalogue to market one day this winter, and when I asked him why, he told me that he is planning to open a wood-working shop as an addition to the farm because he fears that it’s becoming impossible to earn a living from honey. We need bees, and we need local beekeepers. This is a problem with a sweet solution.
Sean Lovell also keeps a few hives in addition to raising trout, and has to stay on the farm this week to look after his bees because the warm weather has caused them to get busy (or more accurately, buzzy).
Chocolate lovers, we’ve got happy news: ChocoSol will be coming this week, and every week as of the beginning of March.
If you haven’t got enough cuteness in your life, sign up to follow @allsortsacres on instagram. The lambs are arriving thick and fast! We’ll keep you posted as to when Jennifer Osborne‘s next market visit will be.
To make stews, risotto, pasta sauces and more wildly delicious, Forbes has a new Wild Mushroom Powder, and for the taste of a summer’s day, there are Elderberry and Rose Petal syrups in jewel-like colours. Janine, who is standing in for Seth, can help with instructions and ideas.
Ted Thorpe called to say he has lots of super-sweet Kale and Mizuna in his greenhouse, so he’s bringing it in. Even the greens are sweet right now.
This may be Kevin Hamilton’s last trip to market for a while. The storeroom at Shared Harvest is almost bare. Be sure to get some of the spices and tasty jarred tomatoes from Kevin’s table.
Marvellous Edibles will be absent next week, so stock up on lots of their marvellous food this time, too!
And don’t forget our sweet and faithful friends from Plan B! They’re filling in a few gaps for us at present by bringing some fruit and a few other long-distance organic items, and adding to the fun, of course.
See you at the market!
P. S. On this weekend: Canadian Organic Growers Toronto Chapter (cogtoronto.org) holds their annual conference this Sunday from 9 to 5 at the U of T Conference Centre, and some of your vendor and market pals will be taking part in Toronto4Everyone‘s Farewell Weekend at Honest Ed’s. (You don’t need tickets for the market part.)
This week’s vendors:
Dufferin Park Bakers
Forbes Wild Foods
Spade & Spoon