Some Sure Signs of Summer

Some sure signs of summer

Every year around the solstice there’s a wonderful moment when Debbie Wiecha’s lavender is ready to bring to market, and that moment has arrived. Niagara Lavender Farm blooms will bring you peaceful summer dreams, add lovely flavour to shortbread, delicately scent rooms and closets, and have beneficial effects on sweethearts and curmudgeons alike.

Usually, by this same point in June, our roster of farmers and vendors is quite steady week to week, but this year is not usual in a number of ways.

First, there’s our ever-changing list of rotating vendors: 3 VQA wineries bringing local organic wines, plus a new cidery coming soon; 2 new bakers (one gluten-free, coming the 1st and 3rd week of the month, the other local-grain sourdough, coming the 2nd and 4th), and a medley of rotating and guest vendors offering prepared foods. We’re excited about all this variety, and hope you’ll come every week to try it all.

Second, there has never been a year quite like this for our farmers. Unpredictability seems to be ‘the new normal’.

Blythe from Spade & Spoon was telling me about all the work they did to be prepared for another drought like last year’s, only to find themselves with the opposite conditions this year, and Rodrigo from Plan B said that the paths between the raised beds in their greenhouses had turned into water-filled canals. Fortunately they managed to harvest huge heads of lettuce anyway, but how to plan?

We’re very happy to welcome Shared Harvest back after a spring they’d rather not repeat. Kevin will be in attendance with Parsley, Lettuce, Kale, Salad Mix, Turnips, and Herbs.

Meanwhile, Pine River has crops ready, but no driver who can get their food from farm to market until next week, and Andrew McIlmoyle‘s ankle injury a few weeks ago slowed him down such that they have a gap in the mushroom supply at Waymac and have to skip this one. But there’s other good news:

Photo (12)From Jenny at Knuckle Down Farm: “Sorry to anyone who missed us last week, we were catching up on some field work. We will back with lots of tender lettuce and the first of the season’s garlic scapes!”

The Sosnicki Organic Produce Report:”Exciting food news fresh from the fields this week!! Happy summer!! We’ll have first of our sweet Shelling Peas, the first of our Patty Pan Zucchini, Garlic Scapes, lots of Strawberries, Basil too! Also our bunched Carrots, Beets, gorgeous Mini Lettuces that everyone loved last year!
We’ve been digging around in the fields and are finding tiny cucs and the potatoes are busy sizing up AND the first little tomatoes in the greenhouse are firing up! Coming soon :)” Jess, Ben, Joe & the Crew

From Kyle at Everdale: “This week we have our first kohlrabi, baby chard and salad turnips from the field. We’ve also got salad mix, arugula, spinach, baby kale, specialty greens, radish, green onion, asparagus and carrots.”

There will be more veg, and lots for the barbeque from Marvellous Edibles.

Check your garden for gaps to fill with annual and perennial flowers, herbs and heirloom vegetable plants from Urban Harvest.

Also on our farmer list, we’ve got Ted ThorpeCountry Meadows, Kind Organics, Monforte Dairy, Bees Universe, and last but not least, Frogpond Farm, so you can raise a glass in tribute to all these hard-working producers.

We’ve got great meals to enjoy, too:

Ali Harris is planning two versions of a special sampling menu so both vegans and omnivores can try an array of his tasty foods.

In addition to individual samosas, Johnny and Hiren of Baha’s Food will be offering a set plate (more of a meal) of dosa samosas. This will include four potato masala samosas with sambar (lentil stew) for dipping. They’ll also have a small number of frozen take-home orders for sale.

Have a look at the list below for many more choices!

During the market, there will be a Boomerang Bag-making Bee in the rinkhouse. We invite you to drop in and have a look or lend a hand with cutting or sewing as both take-home-and-make kits and finished bags are produced for loan and reuse. We’re collecting light-coloured sheets (worn and torn ones) to turn into bag pockets, so please check your cupboards and put unwanted fabric to use instead of into landfill. For more information, visit our facebook page.

Oh, and that weather forecast? Ignore it! Nobody is going to melt if we get a few summer showers.
See you at the market!
Anne Freeman
This week’s Vendor List:
Ali Harris
Baha’s Food (4th Thursdays)
Bees Universe
Country Meadows
Culture City
Dufferin Park Bakers
Earth & City
Forbes Wild Foods
Fressy Bessie
Frogpond Farm 
Kind Organics
Knuckle Down Farm
Marvellous Edibles
Monforte Dairy
Niagara Lavender
Plan B
Rescue Dogs (4th Thursdays)
Robinson Bread (2nd and 4th Thursdays)
Shared Harvest Community Farm
Sosnicki Organic Produce
Spade & Spoon
Tapioca Toronto
Ted Thorpe 
Urban Harvest