A Day at the Depot

A Day at the Depot

Hello Market Friends:
After sending out orders for two months now, we have really hit our stride. We have a truly fantastic team of people working together, and this week I want to take you behind the scenes so you know more about what goes into getting market orders out to you. Here’s how it works:

Everything begins with Peter Wills, who has worked uncountable hours to create (and continuously enhance) our handsome website.  Each week, he adds any new vendors, and all the producers send Peter updates of what they will have available in time (sometimes barely!) for the ‘shop’ to open Saturday at noon.

We have about 30 of the finest farmers and vendors in the region on our list, and once the shop closes (which may eventually be Tuesday at noon, as we add to our packing and delivery capacity), Peter tells the producers how many of each item they should pick, dig, bake or make to bring to our depot at 270 Gladstone on Thursday morning. My favourite part of the week is seeing all the bounty roll in! Arrivals are carefully spaced, and everyone has an exact spot inside, so that as the packers arrive, we can check inventory and make sure all is ready.

Then the really busy part starts! Everyone washes hands and puts on masks when they arrive, pickup and delivery team captains Nicole and Sarah set up areas for packed orders, and our cracker-jack packers (Leslie, Kristi, Aidan, Jackson and Tristan) begin gathering all the items for each order and putting them into bags and coolers. It’s mainly very quiet in the room, but you can feel the buzz of focused concentration. When pickup time approaches, our ‘runner’ Greg arrives to bring finished orders out to Nicole for handoff to customers, and Matt, the first bike courier, starts loading up for deliveries on Sarah’s carefully planned circuits.

a day at the depot nicole in the tent

As the afternoon progresses, our driver Miles comes and begins taking heavy and more distant orders out, Aidan and Greg switch teams and start delivering, and Carianne arrives to join the packing team so people can take short breaks. Some weeks Mary or Alia, our volunteer drivers, take a circuit of orders to addresses on the fringe of our delivery zone.

In case you are wondering what yours truly is up to, I mostly stay out of the way and do a little troubleshooting.

At the end of the afternoon we call anyone who hasn’t appeared to get their order, review any missing items, and pass on orders that need something refunded to Calla, Peter’s new assistant. We see if we have items left to donate to Oasis Dufferin or St. Anne’s Community Suppers, clean up, and talk about improvements for next time before heading home. It’s a long, full day!

Why do we do it?

Because current restrictions on selling food in person make it impossible for our cherished farmers and vendors to sell enough to stay afloat.

Because we are buoyed up by the producers’ gratitude and your abundant expressions of support and appreciation.

Because we want to sustain a community that cares about local and organic food, and about each other.

Thank you for your kind messages; it is especially nice to hear and see what becomes of the food we send out. Here is a very sweet example:

image0image1 8

Tessa Hallman-Chong shared these photos of the first birthday cake she decorated with Essa Seedlings’ Edible Celebration Flowers, and her delighted little one enjoying it. So cute!!

This week, we are welcoming two more Dufferin vendors to www.dufferingrovemarket.ca:

Forbes Wild Foods, with a great selection of great Canadian foods, including fresh fiddleheads from farther afield that failed to get frozen or fried (try saying that 10x fast!).

Windswept Cider, with delicious and refreshing Jun! (We are hoping we can sell their cider, too, but still looking into the rules.)

We should have more Wooler Dale Organic Farm asparagus next week.
Many of our other vendors have added new choices to their lists, so have a good browse while placing your order!

Wishing you well,
Anne Freeman

 Special Announcements for This week! 

At 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 11, you are invited to participate in Shaping A Just Recovery in Davenport: A Community Conversation.  This online event is co-hosted by our friends at St. Anne’s Anglican Church in partnership with Green Wave West and the Davenport Mutual Aid Network. Free registration through Eventbrite!

The Market PopUp Art Hive invites you to join in creative making on Thursdays 11-1 via Zoom: 891 4366 8047 All are very welcome! Up to date details are available via ArtHivePopUp on instagram