I’ve been noticing, when conversations turn to saving money, how to cut food costs is often top of the list. In North America, we’ve come to expect food to be dirt cheap. We spend a smaller fraction of our income on food (roughly 10% on average) than almost any other people on Earth at any time in history.
How much of the fraction of our incomes that we spend on food should go to the people who grow it? Pick a number before you read any further…what seems fair to you?
I don’t have Canadian figures, but the USDA’s Research Service tracks farmers’ share of the food dollar, and recently revealed that in 2016, it had dropped to an all-time low of 14.8 cents, or, when adjusted for inflation, 12.2 cents. Ouch. Part of the reason for such a low figure is the monoculture model of agriculture, which gives the farmer a very low price for huge quantities of crops such as corn and soy, and another big factor is that people eat out so much these days, and for restaurant or take-away food, ingredients make up a tiny fraction of the price.
Putting a fairer fraction of your food dollar where it belongs is within reach. Farmers’ markets aren’t an easy way for farmers to make a living, but they do give food producers more direct control of their livelihoods than other options.
If you want to find out more about these topics, here are some links:
That’s my rant for the month, now we can get back to our regularly scheduled market news!
Leslie Lindsay will begin making focaccia-style pizzas in the wood-fired ovens this week, a sure sign of the many good things ahead!
Waymac Mushrooms is back! After a few weeks of failed attempts due to the crazy weather, Andrew McIlmoyle will be coming down with a fresh harvest of shiitake and oyster mushrooms. Ask him about their plans for specialty ‘shrooms this year–very exciting!
We’ll also have a visit from Reimer Vineyards, as our weekly rotation of VQA producers has started once again.
Small Spade and others will be coming with delicious greens, and Plan B will have more of their green garlic!
A lovely announcement:
“Hello Dufferin Grove Market! You haven’t heard from us in a while, so I thought it was time to send along a little note about what we have been up to at Knuckle Down Farm. With the late arrival of Spring sending most farmers into a frenzy of activity, we have been celebrating an arrival of another kind, our second son Maxwell James was born on April 21st just as the weather warmed up (coincidence?) Everyone is happy and healthy and mum and her little helpers will get back to the fields in no time, but we probably won’t be seeing you for a few months yet.
It has been a long Winter and we miss all of our Market friends, we look forward to seeing you soon!
Jenny, Peter, Ernest and Max
Everyone is asking when the big move out will be, but we don’t want to set up on the market path in mud, so we have to be patient a little longer. Right now you will find a mix of indoor and outdoor vendors, so be sure to check everywhere!
See you at the market!
P.S. If you come by car, there are special Thursday parking spots across from the high school on the north end of the park. Please don’t block access to the apartment building’s driveway.
P.P.S. Don’t forget your containers and bags to help reduce reliance on plastic!
Vendors this week:
- Ali Harris: rotis, beverages, fritters, smoothies
- Bees Universe: honey, candles, eggs, bee products, knife-sharpening
- ChocoSol: chocolate and chocolate beverages, coffee
- Country Meadows: olives, oil, eggs, cheese
- Culture City: fermented condiments and preserves, tempeh
- DeFloured: savoury and sweet gluten-free baking
- Dufferin Park Bakers: wood-fired oven breads, salads, snacks
- Forbes Wild Foods: maple syrup, dried mushrooms and other wild foods
- Kind Organics: sprouts, salad mixes, teas, microgreens
- Marvellous Edibles: pastured poultry, meats, organic vegetables
- Monforte Dairy: cheeses from many milks
- Plan B: local and imported organic produce
- Reimer Vineyards: Ontario organic VQA wines
- Small Spade Farm: winter-hardy greens, quail eggs (bi-weekly)
- Spade & Spoon: pickles, jams, maple syrup, soup
- Urban Harvest: seeds, garden amendments, body care
- Vasile Florin: walnuts and walnut oil, sunflower oil, dried fruits from Moldova
- Waymac Mushrooms: oyster and shiitake mushrooms