Posted by on Nov 29, 2020

Hello Wonderful People!

Last week was a tough one in the customer service department.

As darkness fell on Wednesday evening, Ted Thorpe called to break the news that it was still snowing in Millgrove, and the row covers protecting his late fall greens were too frozen onto the ground for him to harvest. Not Ted’s fault that the weather turned out to be a few degrees colder than predicted (and by the way, this week’s weather is much milder, so Ted WILL HAVE GREENS!) but that meant we were short 100 orders of arugula and 37 orders of mizuna. That’s a lot of people not getting what they expected. We started calling and emailing customers to warn as many as we could.

Speckled Peas Sprouting Seeds
from Urban Harvest, $4.50


Shallots
from Aldergrove Farm$5

Then we had a couple of very late vendors and had to make a tough decision: should we throw off the whole day’s delivery plans and wait, or send some orders out with products missing?

Next we discovered that we had a mixup in the cheese department: unexpected extras of some kinds and not enough of others. More emails…

By this point we were fearful that many customers would be annoyed, but the responses we got  were amazing! We had volunteers galore to swap cheeses, and many of you took the opportunity to send notes of encouragement. Here are a few excerpts:

“Thanks for letting us know, and giving me a grin on an otherwise boring grey day.”

“Just makes me all the more grateful for the harvest we have that’s surviving.”

“…this market is a tiny bright spot in our current bleak, dark landscape”.  

“Please just apply this small credit to your operations.  You do an amazing job and I’m thrilled that you were able to continue to support local farmers and entrepreneurs.”

“Three cheers to another day at the market and thanks again Market Team!  Best team in the city – with or without professional sports!”

Thank you so much for making this such a rewarding job!

I really have to share one more story from the week, in hopes of spreading some needed laughter. It’s about cabbages:

At the end of the day on Thursday, we had one magnificent purple cabbage left. Later that night an email arrived from “AM”:

Hey, applause for all your wonderful work! I was short a purple cabbage this week. If you can credit me the $8 forward that would be great! sorry to bother you about such a thing.
Be well and safe,
AM

Happy that the cabbage mystery was solved, I offered to deliver it the next day before noticing a second note:

Scratch that. It had fallen out of the box and rolled into the yard and I think the dog might have taken it for a wander to the other side of the yard. The box wasn’t in great shape but everything else did fine.
AM

So I replied: “Oops, did not spot your second message until now. Did your box get left in a bad spot? The offer of the cabbage still stands. The cole slaw might be a bit sketchy if you use the one that has been rolling in the shrubbery,” and delivered the cabbage the next morning, leaving it in a bag hanging from the gate latch.

Around noon I received a screen shot of a text from AM’s landlord:

Hi, I don’t know if you’re home, but the dryer is working and also there’s a red cabbage that I didn’t know was on the door and the handle broke and it’s on the floor sorry”.

There was also this note and photo from AM: “the cabbage is still huge but lost a few leaves that he ate after wearing.”

Lots of great news to report:

Hip Hip Hooray! Well-loved vendors Aldergrove Farm and Urban Harvest have joined us online!

Jennifer from All Sorts Acres is an artist and weaver as well as a farmer, and she has added a lovely assortment of kits, ornaments, supplies for making things and more to their page.

Reza Zshu of Alma Bakery has added marinated olives and delicious seasonal dips to his selection. Try pairing the olives, flatbread and hummus with Green Florin’s walnuts for a Persian-style treat!

Cheyenne of Sundance Harvest is taking a much-needed break this week, and a reminder that Sosnickis Organic Produce will be away as they are coming alternate weeks now.

Many vendors have added special products for the holiday season, so take a good look around the site. Beginning next week we will be offering Market Boxes packed with many assorted treats, too!

Thanks for your warm support.

Anne and the Market Crew

P.S. We welcome any and all contributions to help the market get through the winter. Please visit our Support the Market page for options.

While you are in ‘giving mode’, you might be interested in supporting Ships 2 Shores, a youth support organization which will be using Market Gift Certificates as one of the food assistance options for participants.

P.P.S. Our friends at Hot Docs wrote to recommend First We Eat, Suzanne Crocker’s critically acclaimed doc about a family in the Yukon’s decision to ban all store-bought food from their home for a year, now on Hot Docs at Home.

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