Posted by on Mar 21, 2021

Witch hazels blooming on Havelock Street: a sure sign of spring

Hello Market Friends:

It’s Official! You can strip the scratchy wool vest and long johns off your spring dreams and let them out into the sunshine! The Vernal Equinox occurred at 5:36 am on Saturday March 20th in Toronto. Happy Nowruz to everyone who is celebrating Persian New Year!

The popularity of home gardening has increased so much that we are very fortunate to have such a good selection of organic seeds available through the market. Instead of waiting weeks to get them from overwhelmed seed purveyors, you can have them in a few days!

As a special treat for her many Dufferin friends, Colette of Urban Harvest has assembled Seed Collections on four themes: Super Pollinators, Native Species, Tomato Companions, and Balcony Bounty. Whether you have a lot of space or just a little, these assortments will bring you joy this summer!

People have been asking whether they can plant the potatoes from Canadian Organic Seed Company, and the answer is absolutely! Their potatoes are Double-Certified, for table use and for seed. Christine explained that the process of organic certification for seed potatoes is very rigorous, with testing for viruses as an added component. So eat a few, plant a few!

Before you plant, remember to feed your soil with some of Thorpe’s Worm Castings, now back on the site! While you’re patiently waiting for your own hard work to spring from the ground, why not enjoy the Sunflower Sprouts, Pea Shoots, and Seedling Mix with Petals from Essa Seedlings.

One more note on the topic of gardening: the City is seeking feedback on the natural garden exemption process. Have your say on whether the City should remove the natural garden permit requirement. Email MLSFeedback@toronto.ca by 11.59 p.m. March 31, 2021. How about YES to gardens and NO to red tape! More info. here:

https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/permits-licences-bylaws/natural-garden-exemption/

News from Nicole and Andreas at Buschbeck Farms:

If you are hoping to have lamb for Easter, you should order this week.

We encourage sustainability by using the whole animal. Consider trying a different cut of lambroasts are traditionally popular but there are many other parts that are just as tasty.

How’s Spring Forward working for you? The horses, dog & sheep don’t give a flock about daylight savings time! Meals better be there when they usually are or they raise a ruckus! That means despite the clocks changing our schedule does not. Thankfully most of the clocks change themselves, except the one in the tractor; it’s always accurate at this time of year.

The warm south winds and lots of sunshine have taken away a lot of our snow.  Fields are nearly bare and we’re anticipating some green to start popping up. The first of many lambs have made their appearance; from here on out things get busy!  This means going to check for new lambs throughout the night to make sure everything is going well.  Most lambs thrive without any help but some require a little encouragement. Once they get a good start they are fine.

Tomato Ketchup
from Marvellous Edibles, $8.00

Jens from Marvellous Edibles says thanks for the mason jars (and keep ‘em coming) and reports that they have an entire greenhouse of spinach that they are just starting to pick.

Hurray!

Here’s a sure-to-please market-inspired recipe from Market Staffer Matt Watt:

The Dufferin Grove Spring Is Definitely Here Entrée Salad!

1 head lettuce
1 bunch cilantro
Half a bag flowering mizuna
1 leaf kale
Half a bag seedling mix with petals
green onion
Half of 1 yellow onion
A handful of your favourite seeds
Feta or Providence cheese
3 teaspoons miso
2 teaspoons honey (I used Bees Universe’s Bee Pollen honey for extra flavour)
Butter or oil for frying
Salt  (We do have lovely salt from our vendors which I recommend you try, but plain ol’ salt is just fine for this recipe!)

Directions:

Thinly slice yellow onion and caramelize with some butter or oil. Use your warm and flavourful pan to toast up your seeds. I used pumpkin and sunflower. Add a generous pinch of salt and set aside to cool.

Wash and chop all your greens. Smaller pieces means more variety of greens in each bite so I even gave the mizuna a few chops. I also finely chopped the kale so its natural toughness wouldn’t be fighting the lightness of the other greens.

Super thinly slice up your cheese rather than crumbing so no scrumptious crumbs are lost to the bottom of the bowl.

Toss everything together in a large bowl and drizzle your miso and honey on top. There’s so much flavour here you don’t need a lot of dressing. You can stir a bit of cold water into your honey and miso for better coverage or you like. Taste for sweetness and saltiness

Happy Spring from All of Us at the Market to All of You!

Anne

P.S. The wonderfully irrepressible and superfantastical Richard Underhill makes 60 look great! Here he is with green friends Great Bob Scott and (Market Packer Extraordinaire) Julie Swanson.