Hello Market Friends:
Happy SPOOKtober, Matt is writing today and has had spiderwebs and pumpkin lanterns in his apartment since October 1st, so hopefully you don’t mind this week’s macabre intrusion in your inbox. A few vendor and market updates first:
We are considering extending our pickup hours! We are always trying to hit the sweet spot of short waits and more happy customers. Our delivery slots have been hitting capacity more and more frequently and we don’t have the means to add many more spots, but perhaps if we had pickups later into the evening more folks could come down to pickup? Please let us know if you would switch to pickup if we had slots until 6pm or if you have friends and neighbours who would start ordering if we were open later. Thank you in advance for the input!
Indy wrote to Anne about their growing methods and some updates at Kooner Organics and I’ve included a few fun organic farm tidbits for y’all:
‘We use LOTS of cow manure that comes from my neighbour’s farm, who raises pasture-raised cows; we also do crop rotation and never plant the same vegetable in the same spot the following year, which all helps make good soil, making our vegetables taste better and keeps pests/diseases down.
However, we do lose a lot of crop to diseases/pests, but that’s part of farming.I do have some good news; just as I’m writing this email my new steel building is being offloaded at Kooner Farm organics, which will be a 3000sq ft structure to be used for storage, and one section is going to have a state of the art washing/packing station.’
Indy goes on to say that the buildings will help his team use their time more efficiently when getting produce ready for markets. Without the new building Indy only has a small shed, so it makes cleaning, packaging, and storing food quite a task!
Kawartha Lakes has been busy in their workshop! Witch brooms are back in stock, as well as many favourites like Lobby and Kids’ brooms. We’ve gone on about these amazing pieces of functional art in previous newsletters, so if you need any more convincing, feel free to check out the brooms at the on-the-spot table (set up every market day at 270 Gladstone during pickup hours).
I got to try my first La Mexicana tamale this week and was beyond impressed. I knew they would be scrumptious but I was really surprised at how filling they were! They now have multi-packs available too, if you’ve already fallen in love.
In August, I wrote about the most beautiful bounties I’d found at the market. As we are officially in fall, huge bushels of peaches and towering crates of corn won’t be found at 270 Gladstone. Fall is my favourite time to be at the market, though. Chilly winds are tossing yellow leaves and dragging fog across damp pavement now. Cherry Tomatoes and Seedling Mixes with Petals are all well and good, but if you want it darker, here are my favourite strange, gnarled, and just creepy goods at the market.
I think celeriac might just be too ugly to eat unmashed or unblended. Recipes like Apple and Celeriac soup are perfectly suited for fall with hearty and just-a-little-sweet flavours. Who would know that a vegetable that looks like the missing link between troll dolls and bridge trolls could be such a delicious starchy veg?
I fried up last week’s Mushroom Assortment from Forbes and threw them on top of homemade pizza. This is either a picture of those mushrooms or the skeletal remains of a polydactyl cryptid (I have a lot of weird stuff on my camera roll, could be either).
Forbes also has Pickled Milkweed Pods which they admit are “one of the tastiest and most unusual wild veggies available to us.” You might not be able to imagine a use for something you’ve never considered eating before, but pickled milkweed pods might just end up on the best charcuterie board you’ve ever made, if you’re willing to get a little adventurous.
Annatto is what makes Monforte’s memelette pumpkin orange. Sharp and mild with lovely notes of nutty sweetness, it’s a real crowd pleaser. In a world of old cheddars and mozzarellas, be a memelette.
For a vegetable yanked from the ground, daikon radishes are shockingly white. Massive and ghostly pale with stubby little leaves poking out the top, daikons can’t hold a candle to red or watermelon radishes in the looks department. However, daikons work harder than the average radish; they are fantastic pickled, raw or braised, and hey, I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghosts.
“Those tomatoes don’t look very ripe…” Actually those are tomatillos! A fruit which can often be used in place of tomatoes, they are a little more acidic and a little less sweet than tomatoes and are the only option if you want to make real deal salsa verde. Tomatillos can hang out on your counter much longer than a tomato too, so they don’t mind if you don’t have the time to cook them up this week.
The Suyo Cucumber is the Jekyll to the field cucumber’s Hyde. Just as mild, crisp, and slightly sweet as you want a cucumber, but darker in colour with deep ridges, wild curves, and covered in prickly spikes. If you ever looked listlessly at the cucumbers in the grocery store and thought “I wish these were goth,” boy do we have the fruit for you!
Perfectly round Pumpkin Spice Macaroons or baskets of rosy red Honey Crisps shouldn’t get all the love! I hope you try something a little strange or even a little wicked this week. In October we’ll continue to have more pumpkins and other Halloween items, as well as delicious Día de Muertos treats. So stay tuned! And don’t forget to tell us what you think about extending our pickup hours.
Matt and the Market Crew