Hello Market Friends:
Over the years, many people have suggested that there should be a compilation of Dufferin market stories, including tales of happiness and woe from the farms, accounts of the small dramas that unfold behind the scenes and the unpredictable things that happen during market hours, and especially portraits of the many characters that make up our cast of customers, vendors, staff and volunteers.
If there were such a book, last week would provide material for a fat chapter!
We were all set up to offer replacements for the asparagus that had frozen the week before, but no one expected that next, a heat wave would destroy all the fiddleheads, leaving us short 50 orders of those. Such is the gamble that is farming.
Baking in extreme heat is a dodgy proposition, too, so a batch of Motherdough’s wonderful ‘miche‘ was unfit to sell, and the same darn heat was probably the reason that several vendors mixed up the number of requests for some products, and a whole cooler of greens was mysteriously lost.
We had to be sure things stayed cool, so we added frozen bottles of water to packages, but condensation and then rain wreaked havoc on some of our records of missing items. It also messed up our packing methods, so the cold half of one order rode around in a cooler for a couple of hours before we figured out where it belonged, and a distressed delivery driver called to say that the soggy bottom dropped out of a bag of apples just as the recipient saw him approaching. (The very kind customer ran after the rolling apples and assured him that she would wash them, but he felt terrible.)
I’m sharing these mishaps to remind all that when you are ordering produce so fresh that it’s still in the ground when you choose it, and baking that will be made for you the day you pick it up, made available by people who are still learning about running this kind of operation, there is a chance that things will hit a bump along the road from producer to depot to eater sometimes.
We apologize to anyone still owed a refund for missing items (please tell us if that’s you!) as well as anyone who waited in line for too long. We have a very motivated team continuously working on ways to make things smoother – even if we can’t make the weather cooperate!
Most of all, we want to express our HUGE gratitude to all you wonderful people who care about the success of this venture. We really have the BEST customers!
But wait! We have the BEST vendors too, and I had better mention a few things about what they have for you this week:
Welcome to Andreas and Nicole of Buschbeck Farms, who will be providing choice ethically raised lamb from Grey County.
If you haven’t tried Summergreen’s mushrooms yet, you are in for a treat. The quality is superb.
ASPARAGUS BOOM-TIME continues! Don’t stop at just one bunch; it’s one of the great treats of the year!
Motherdough continues to add more choices for both bakers and eaters. Carole‘s fresh-milled flours are extraordinary, as are her croissants and breads. She is constantly learning about all that goes into her craft, and hopes to embark on growing her own grains soon.
We have scads of rhubarb right now! Another favourite taste of spring….
There is still time to place your order, but remember that pickup spots run out first, so don’t wait too long if you are counting on getting one.
If this newsletter makes you want to add something to an order you’ve already placed, please write COMBO in the box where you would normally put your postal code, and choose delivery even if your first order has a pickup time assigned. You won’t be charged a delivery fee, and we will put your orders together.
Anne Freeman, Peter Wills and The Market Team
P.S. You’ll find some of the vendors who aren’t in our online shop not far away:
Colette Murphy‘s Urban Harvest store on Bloor west of Lansdowne (roughly across from Val Vil) has lots of well-grown organic seedlings and seeds, and Aldergrove Farm is now ready for pre-orders, with Tuesday and Thursday pickups nearby.
Can’t leave the house?
A call Monforte’s door-to-door dairy hotline: (519) 301-0198 will get you all kinds of cheese, you can order beef and pork on Heriter Farms’ website for delivery in the neighbourhood, and an instagram message to @islandoysters will bring Jason Kun‘s fresh shucked oysters to you!