When I was growing up, we had the biggest rhubarb patch on the road. It probably was about a quarter the size of Adam and Blythe‘s from Spade & Spoon, but everybody knew about it. It wasn’t just the kids who came to play Capture the Flag on long warm evenings who showed up asking to cut some. Complete strangers would appear in the driveway. But kids came all the time, and you wouldn’t be surprised to find a couple of them sitting on the back fence crunching long pink stalks. If they had planned ahead, they would have a small pot of sugar to push the end of the rhubarb into, so it came out sweet and gritty. If not, they would eat it anyway, wincing because it was so sour.
About the best thing in the world to eat is my Mom’s Glorified Rhubarb Pie. Glorified means it has meringue piled high on top, and of course the yolks from all those beaten egg whites go into a heavenly custard mixed with the rhubarb on the bottom. Also celestial is Lunar Rhubarb Cake, named because its cratered top resembles the surface of the moon. When there wasn’t any baking around, we ate stewed rhubarb on vanilla ice cream, and we stuffed the freezer with bags of chopped rhubarb so we could revisit the flavour of early summer all year long. This means rhubarb always tastes of nostalgia for me.
We’ll have all the early favourites this week: rhubarb, of course, greens galore, fresh herbs, wild leeks, fiddleheads, asparagus, green onions, and more.
There are more new and returning vendors to tell you about. Welcome back to Johnny and Hiren of Baha’s Food, with samosas, curries and hot sauces! They’ll be alternating weeks with TC’s Momos.
Windswept Cider is coming for a bonus visit this 5th Thursday of the month.
From Wolf: “This week Everdale has the following tasty delights: arugula, asparagus, carrots, chives, cilantro, bronze fennel, rapini, lovage, romaine lettuce, mint, green onions, parsnips, rhubarb, salad mix, salsify, sorrel, spinach, salad turnips.”
Sosnicki Organic Produce news: “It’s a zoo farm! So much going on and we are happy to report that field harvesting is one task! This week at Dufferin will be our fresh cut Romaine and Red Leaf Lettuces and young, fresh crop of Kale! If we have time we’ll pull some Green Garlic as well. (From our own seed we managed to get 3 acres of garlic in for this year!!) We are irrigating and weeding like mad all crops especially the peas! Happy to report the *strawberries look fantastic and *hopefully Dufferin will see them arrive next week, June 7th!! Ben will see everyone at market – start making some homemade caesar dressings! Sadly with the heat wave our turnips, spinach, radish and bok choy have bolted! While our tomato greenhouse thrives, this one was a bust. Can’t win ’em all.” Jess, Ben & crew 😉
On another topic, you probably know Ted Thorpe, one of our senior farmer statesmen. Ted goes to 2 or sometimes 3 markets a week. How much do you think it cost him to provide plastic bags for his customers last year? Bet you didn’t guess over two thousand dollars. Wow, that’s a lot of bags, and a lot of expense! We all know we have to change our reliance on plastic. If you already bring your own bags and containers to market, thank you! If you don’t, please get in the habit.
One more reminder: on our Summer Events calendar this week, our friends from The Children’s Storefront, a wonderful community resource, will be at the market collecting gently used children’s books for a fundraising sale they are having. Clear a little shelf space and help them out if you can.
See you at the market!
P.S. Sexual Assault: The Roadshow, a community participatory art gallery in a 20’x8′ shipping container, is in the park until June 3rd, just south of the market. It has been travelling throughout Ontario since 2016. Sistering has partnered with celebrated artist Shary Boyle and women who use their services to create art that talks back to sexual violence in all of its forms. Please come by for a free exhibition of all the art created in 15 cities/areas of the province. The Roadshow will be open from May 28th – June 3rd from noon till 7pm each day. Visitors can engage in a small art exercise if they wish. Visit sexualassualtroadshow.org for detailed information and photos. Sexual Assault: The Roadshow is funded by the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) and is a a project of activist Jane Doe.
Vendors this week:
Ali Harris: rotis, fritters, sandwiches, drinks
Baha’s Foods: samosas, curries, hot sauces
Bees Universe: honey, bee products, eggs, 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
Earth & City: salads, snacks and beverages
Everdale: certified organic produce
Forbes Wild Foods: wild leeks, fiddleheads, maple syrup & more
Fressy Bessie: organic popsicles made from fruits and veggies
GreenFlorin: Moldovan walnuts, walnut oil, sunflower oil, dried fruits
Kind Organics: sprouts, salad mixes, teas, microgreens
Marvellous Edibles: pastured meats, organic veg. & prepared foods
Monforte Dairy: cheeses from many milks
Pine River Organic Farm: asparagus and other produce
Plan B: local and imported organic produce
Spade & Spoon: rhubarb, pickles, jams, maple syrup
Sosnicki Organic Produce: certified produce
Stas Variety: french fries, grilled pastured meats
Tapioca Toronto: Brazilian style gluten-free crepes with market fillings
Ted Thorpe: greens, greens, greens
Urban Harvest: seeds, garden amendments, body care
Waymac: oyster, lion’s mane and shiitake mushrooms
Windswept Cider: hard ciders made from local apples