Posted by on Apr 11, 2021

Hello Market Friends:

Let’s face it: Toronto is not the prettiest place between the first frost and the last. It is a wonderful treat for the eyes to observe the spread of colour as gardens and street-side trees begin to grow again. It’s also a time for fresh flavours as the first spring foods arrive at the market.

A few people were puzzled by the long green stalks they received in their orders last week, and wrote to ask, ‘Where’s my garlic?’ We replaced the confusing photo on the shop site (woops!) but it’s time to include more information about some local and seasonal crops!

Let’s start with garlic, which rewards growers with not just one, but three crops!

The first, a spring delicacy, is Green Garlic, the tender young plants which emerge soon after the ground thaws. Green Garlic is harvested whole, and looks like a cross between a green onion and a leek, but has the distinctive flavour of garlic. You can use the whole thing; include it in stir-frys, chopped in salad dressings, or try it lightly grilled. Try some to wake up winter-weary tastebuds!

garlic scapes bundles together and in a pile

The next crop will be Garlic Scapes, which we’ll see in another month or so. Scapes are the flower stalks of garlic, and growers cut them off to direct energy to the growing bulbs instead of into making flowers. Scapes can be pickled or turned into great pesto, and are delicious pan-fried, with a little tamari to finish. Their curly shape makes them a great garnish, too.

several wrapped together bulbs of garlic

The grand finale, of course, is garlic bulbs, which are dug in mid-summer, and often cured so they can be stored for fall and winter use. Depending on the variety, one head of garlic will contain just a few cloves, or many, and be fiery hot or mild. If you see garlic bulbs in stores now, they are not from Ontario. Be sure to buy organic garlic if you want to grow your own; otherwise, it may have been treated to stop it from sprouting. The individual cloves are planted in fall, but the perfect date is the subject of debate among growers.

a horse and a cow booping noses in a wintery farm

We are tremendously pleased to welcome Harley Farms to the market this week with pastured beef, pork and chicken. One of very few SPCA certified farms in the province, the Harleys adhere to the highest standards for animal welfare, and also practice regenerative agriculture, which sequesters carbon and improves the soil through rotational grazing. Please spend some time looking at their website: harleyfarms.ca to learn more about their methods and philosophy. We think the omnivores in our market community will be thrilled to support their work.

two hunks of wax. One round and one broken
jar of maple butter with spade and spoon logo
Maple Butter from Spade & Spoon, 10$

If you are in need of some personal regeneration, Earth + City has an excellent Pear Ginger Tonic to give you a boost!

Also in the beverage department, Magic Oven keeps adding more magic to their product list! Istanbul Tomato JuiceMango Lassi? Wow, sign me up!

And eat those greens, everybody! They are the very thing our bodies need to kick old man winter out the door and welcome spring goddesses (or mere mortals, if you prefer).

Enjoy your Market Order!

Anne & the Crew

dozens of hens in the grass
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P. S.

POSTPONED – Wednesday, April 14 – Shaping a Just Recovery in Davenport: Fairer Work & A More Just Economy – This conversation about creating a just, equitable, and green community has been postponed. Please stay tuned for the new date.

 

P.P.S.

Health Canada has launched a public consultation on a proposal to remove government oversight for some genetically engineered foods, particularly those produced through the new genetic engineering techniques of genome editing (also called gene editing). This proposal would allow some GMOs (genetically modified organisms) into our food system without any government safety assessments – these would be unregulated GMOs that the government may not even know exist.

The Canadian Bio-technology Network (C-Ban) urges you to express your concerns.

You can send your comments about the new proposals to Health Canada until May 24.