The Early Birds get the Ferns

The Early Birds get the Ferns
Photo by Seth Goering

Hello Market Friends:

We’ve got some swift and savvy shoppers! I was going to feature the first fiddleheads this week, but by the time I sat down to write the newsletter they were sold out! Not to worry, the supply should be more plentiful next week, and we do have WILD LEEKS! Despite a little cool stretch, spring is unstoppable, and the action on the farms is accelerating.

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close up of white and pink blossoms on a brown tree with a bee
Here’s a little of Ayse’s news about what’s going on up at Marvellous Edibles:

“We finally finished potting our mini tomato, eggplant and pepper plants. I think we have close to 5000 pots, and we are running out of space. We usually plant these the earliest mid May. I know some people plant them way earlier, but if we are having a cool early summer, they don’t grow and just look miserable.

My experiment with deadly hot pepper seedlings is going well. I have peppers that I have never heard of before: Names like Trinidad Scorpion, Jagalah Brown, 7 pot Dragon’s Breath are quite new; let’s hope they fruit well in cool Grey County. All the new brassicas and Swiss Chard have germinated and will grow on till we are ready to plant them. If there is any space left in the seedling greenhouse, we will start herbs such as basil, dill, coriander and flowers. I like growing flowers in rows between the vegetables because they attract beneficial insects and bees, and they are so pretty to look at. Most of the flowers we grow are edible as well.

Last week’s wild dandelion harvest was a success. I am picking more this week.  The best location for them is between the rhubarb plants that just started peeking out. This way I am weeding as well as picking a much loved wild green.”

[Editor’s note: Early spring dandelion roots and leaves are among the most nutritious of foods, but be sure to get them from a clean source. Wash the greens in very hot water to remove some of the bitterness and fry them with onion (and bacon if you like). The roots are also edible. One way to prepare them is to scrub or peel the roots to remove the surface layer, chop them as you would carrots and boil them.]
newborn brown calf in hay

We have a new calf that was born last Saturday (they are always born Saturdays!)  🙂

Apple blossoms are still holding off, however some pear trees and Paw Paws are flowering. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that they survive.”

painted card of feather, sticks, and a rock

Have you seen Jennifer Osborn’s beautiful cards yet?

leaves and fruit on shrub

How about growing your own Haskaps? These shrubs come in pairs for pollination.

marinated pork on skewers frozen in plastic

It’s barbeque time!

This week, in addition to all kinds of seeds, we’ve got strawberry plants, raspberry canes and asparagus roots from COSC on our site, and next week we expect to have seedlings from Kooner Farms and dahlia tubers from Urban Harvest, as well as more shrubs from Summergreen. If you haven’t already, it’s time to get your gardening groove back!

A word of caution: during the next couple of months, we will have many related items on offer: gooseberry bushes and gooseberry jam, lettuce heads and lettuce seeds, potatoes to plant and potatoes to eat, zucchini and horseradish relish and fresh horseradish root, to name just a few. Please read carefully to be sure you know what you are ordering, although surprises can be delightful!

Have fun ordering!

Anne & the Crew

P.S. Last week we printed this Spring Crossword on the packing sheets which go out with orders. We were going to reveal the answers this week, but we decided to give those of you who missed out on market delights last week a chance to test your market vocabulary too. Next week we’ll tell all, promise!

Crossword puzzle. Please let us know if you would like this in a better format by emailing