Hello Market Friends:
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there, and Happy Solstice Everyone!
Hope you did something special for the longest day of this history-altering year. One of the plans on my list this weekend is making strawberry jam. I will let you in on my secret recipe (see below), but it’s no secret that we have the best strawberries in the land for sale right now, thanks to our stellar growers! Get lots, they won’t be around for long.
Several people have written to ask if we are opening in the park soon. The short answer is no, but we should share a bit more about why.
In order for markets to open ‘in-person’ at present, there is a list of conditions which must be met. These include that the market must be fenced/barricaded/taped off so only a very limited number of people can enter at any time, with strict controls at all access points. In the area of the market, there can be no communal seating, and no one is supposed to linger any longer than is necessary to ‘grab & go’. No eating is allowed on the site, and the City has decided there will be no park food programs this year (so no park bread & market soups, salads or snacks). Vendors must be widely spread out, ideally behind plexiglas barriers, customers must be six feet apart while waiting, etc. etc. I won’t bore you with the list of further details, and I am not saying these precautions aren’t necessary. However, a market with no chatting, eating or lingering would be nothing like the sociable Dufferin gathering we all love, would have to exclude many favourite food vendors, and would be very unlikely to earn the farmers a reasonable return on their time and effort.
Therefore, we have decided to continue operating as we have been since April, for pre-orders placed from Saturday noon until Tuesday noon (or until we reach capacity), picked up or delivered on Thursday afternoons. No, it’s not the same, or pretending to be, but our online market is working very well for the farmers, helping a lot of folks who feel they need to stay home, and it’s still a venture full of learning and love for community and local organic food.
Thank you to every one of you who has taken time to send a note. Your warm support means the world to us.
A practical note now that it is VERY warm outside: if you are ordering for delivery, and there is a chance you won’t be home to receive your order, please leave a cooler with cold packs inside where we can leave perishables. We are working to arrange more steadily predictable delivery times, and will try to call or text you as well, but we want to keep your food cool and safe.
Many of you will be happy to hear that Ted will be joining us on shop.dufferingrovemarket.ca next week. With a little growing and tech help from his daughters Leah and Maya, tasty veggies and blooms from Thorpe’s will be added to our ever-expanding list of options!
You’ll find some of our other vendors around town:
- Urban Harvest
- Aldergrove Farm
- Monforte’s door-to-door dairy hotline: (519) 301-0198
- Heriter Farms
Anne Freeman, Peter Wills and The Market Team
P.S. Here’s that Strawberry Freezer Jam recipe I promised:
For each cup of very ripe berries, you need about 3/4 cup of sugar and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice.
(Don’t try to do more than 4 cups of berries at a time.)
The secret part: First, put the sugar in whatever kind of blender/processor you have with a handful of spearmint and/or basil leaves, and blend well. (Yes, the sugar will turn greenish!)
Mash everything together in a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a steady boil, skimming off foam. Boil longer if you like a firm jam, but for the freshest flavour just boil a few minutes. Remove from heat and keep stirring and skimming for a while, then transfer the jam to clean jars, leaving space at the top for expansion.
Let the jars sit on the counter overnight for the jam to set, and then eat or freeze. It keeps a long time in the freezer, but once you take a jar out, eat it up right away for the most delicious fresh summer flavour.