Posted by on May 16, 2021

Dear Market Friends:

Our market news stories don’t hit the headlines very often, and we like it that way. It’s not that we support hiding heads in the sand, but when the scale of events is so large that it feels overwhelming, having a connection with the people who feed us is reassuring, basic, and meaningful. Of course, their news is not all rosy either, but we try to share some of the back stories behind your meals.

A few events that didn’t make it into the papers:

Last week we had to disappoint some people who ordered eggs. Indy explained that an opossum had broken into their hen house in the night. It turns out that one frenzied possum can do a remarkable amount of damage, so unfortunately Kooner Farms’ egg supply will be greatly reduced for a while.

We were also short duck eggs because the ducks at All Sorts Acres have gone broody. They’ve decided it’s time to amass clutches of eggs and sit tight to turn them into spring ducklings, and they are not about to let Tim and Jennifer collect the eggs as usual. So, out of respect for the All Sorts ducks’ wishes, you’d better order duck eggs from Bees Universe instead.

a brown duck among fluffy feather snug in a plywood corner

As well as shortages, we had some surprise bonuses! We received quite a few bunches of Aldergrove’s sublime tulips as well as extra rhubarb and kalewild leeks from Green Florin and other ‘extras’, so we set up a table to sell these goodies on the spot. This is something we will be doing steadily now, so if you forget to order or want to add to what you are picking up at our depot on Thursday afternoons, it is worth seeing what is on offer!

I had a good laugh with Holly from Nature’s Way when I was reviewing their inventory before the shop opened. I saw sweet corn on the list, and that is NOT a local crop in May around these parts. Of course, it turned out that Holly had forgotten to mention these are corn SEEDLINGS!

We have sifted through all the lists to be sure that plants are clearly identified, but do read the fine print so you’re not giving your potted chives a haircut on their first night at home because you wanted chives to cook with, not to grow.

Finally, everyone should be able to get asparagusReye’s and Summergreen have more, the frost has eased up so Marvellous Edibles has quite a few bunches for sale, and Plan B is waiting in the wings with lots from Welsh’s Organic Farm when our growers’ own runs out.

Bundles of asparagus in bright afternoon sun
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Sundance Harvest, Canadian Organic Seed Co. and Essa Seedlings & Sprouts are absent, and the latest word from Jessie is that Sosnicki Organics should be back at market at the start of June (and their strawberries are looking fantastic).

We’re approaching peak week in seedling selection, just ahead of the 24th of May. If the weather forecasters know their trade, we are done with frost in Toronto. AldergroveNature’s Way and Kooner all have wonderful choices, so get planting!

This is probably your only week to savour not just one or two, but THREE wild superstars of Ontario spring: Wild LeeksFiddleheads and Watercress.

Tulips – Pink
From Aldergrove Farm 10$
Watercress
From Natures Way 6$

Did you know that when you order flour from Motherdough, you have a miller grinding it fresh for you? It really is a different food than the refined stuff on supermarket shelves, which sits on the shelves for who knows how long.

As Carole Ferrari says, “Whole grain flour is full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and delivers a variety of health benefits. Bread can be good for you! It feeds your good gut bacteria with the fibre, zinc and iron that is naturally part of whole grains.

The grain we use comes directly from Ontario farmers who use only organic farming methods, namely Peter Leahy of Merrylynd Organics, the Howick Community Growers, and Shelley Spruit of Against the Grain Farm.

Getting the mill means we have slowed down the process of baking. We will never be a large bakery pushing out thousands of loaves of bread a week. Instead, we have moved the bakery closer to the farm and the soil, to be more connected to process over production.”

flour in hand
Organic Fresh Milled Soft Wheat Flour – 1KG
From Motherdough 6$
Croissant – Xuxos (2)
From Motherdough 12$

We will never be a huge market pushing out thousands of orders a week, so we appreciate Carole’s approach.

Warmly,

Anne & the Market Crew