Pack a Peck of Peppers, Quick!

Pack a Peck of Peppers, Quick!

Every Thursday at 11 am, after all but a few vendors have dropped off their products and we have completed most inventory checks, our market crew gathers outside for announcements. This is when we review the trickiest items of the week. You may think you know your veggies, but we have enough varieties to foil all but serious experts.

Kale, for example, might be called lacinato, black, dinosaur, red, curly, baby, or green, and half a dozen different farms grow it.

Be sure to choose your onions correctly! We have spring, winter, red, sweet, cooking, cipollini and white.

Then there are peppers. This week, we’ve got banana, shepherd, green bell, chili, jalapeno, habanero, Hungarian hot wax, hot green, shishito, cherry bombs, corno di toro, and mini bell…What am I forgetting?

Oh, the sizes! Can you tell a half-pint from a pint from a quart and a 1.5 litre punnet from a 2 litre basket? Depending on the vendor and the item, boxes could be called flats, masters, or half bushels.

Did I mention that we’ve got two sources, three grades, and four sizes of maple syrup?

pack a peck of peppers quick
There are also special items some of the crew has never seen before, like these bitter melons Juli is holding!

This just scratches the surface. No two orders are the same, and we’ve got a few short hours to assemble well over 200 of them, in order so they are ready to go out both the front and back doors in a timely manner. Meanwhile the phone is ringing with requests to change pickup times or switch to delivery, and one or two straggler vendors roll in.

Fortunately, there is always a moment to pause and admire the beauty of what we sell, like these Pink Oyster mushrooms from Summergreen, which stopped me in my tracks and demanded to be photographed.

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It can take some time to wind down after a day like this, but I think most of us sleep extra soundly on Thursday nights, possibly with visions of veggies dancing through our dreams.

This will be the first official market of fall, and the new season brings a few changes.

It is time to accept that peach season is over, but apple and pear season is underway!

Ying Ying Soy Foods has Miso in plentiful supply again and their Tofu Jerky continues to fly off the shelf.

Bees Universe continues to have several of their beeswax candles on special and many adventurous varieties of honey (Matt’s favourite is the Pollen Honey!)

Kooner continues to recover from the storm earlier this month, a huge thank you to everyone showing them and all our farmers support by shopping local. Consider adding a bunch of leeks or a head of cauliflower to your order. Both are meal prep life-savers when cleaned, chopped and thrown in the freezer to be used in the future, roasted or turned into soup!

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The good folks of Alchemy Pickle Co. on a field trip to Sosnicki Organic Produce

The Sosnickis staff has decreased, and they have decided to stop participating in the market for the time being.

Marvellous Edibles has really reduced their poultry production, but this week they have both roasting chickens and soup hens available. Don’t delay; time’s a wastin’! No turkeys from their farm for Thanksgiving, but Harley Farms will have some! More details coming soon.

Essa Seedlings will be away this week due to vehicle woes.

Lapapampa returns with delicious dried organic mangoes from their farm in Peru, and Knuckle Down Farm is back! Here’s a note from Jenny:

“We are sorry to have been away the past couple of weeks, juggling school and Market is tricky with only one vehicle. We will be back this week though! If you are a fan of our garlic, now is a good time to stock up. We will be offering all four varieties by the pound! Sadly the recent rain did our Heirloom Tomatoes in, but we will still have lots of sweet cherry tomatoes and an abundance of beautiful peppers (a favourite of my smallest helper- shown above). Thanks so much for supporting our little farm and I do hope we will be back a few more times before the season is through.”

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Small Spanish Onions
From Knuckle Down Farm, 5$
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Polish Garlic – 1lb
From Knuckle Down Farm, 15$

I’m not ready to talk about the end of the season when there are still big harvests and hot days ahead! I would rather think about how tempting this Kombucha and Fire Tonic from Alchemy looks on ice!

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I hope you can squeeze the last sweet drops out of the summery days we are having.

Thanks for your generous support of our farmers and your kind messages to our team.

Anne & the Crew

P.S. I received a note from Raymond at Bloor-Gladstone Library to share: TPL will be offering free printing of vaccination receipts at library branches as of Wednesday September 22.

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