The Thinning of the Veil (and the Braiding of the Garlic)

The Thinning of the Veil (and the Braiding of the Garlic)

Hallowe’en week always makes me nostalgic for Dufferin Grove Markets of the past. Especially in years when Thursday came close to the 31st of October, we had a lot of silly fun. 

in person market halloween in costumes scary pumpkins

Some of you have only been connected to the market in its online form, and haven’t had a chance to meet our farmers, vendors and staff in their usual attire, let alone transformed for the occasion. I wouldn’t want to give you the impression that we are all a bit wacky, that is, if it were not true! You can’t be afraid of being labelled ‘different’ if you want to develop your own food business or make a life in organic farming; these choices require an independent spirit, a lot of imagination, a good sense of humour, and a touch of madness.

halloween costumes at in person market superheroes

This year, along with the spooky fun, we have been intrigued to learn more about the days after Hallowe’en and the rich Mexican traditions of Dia de los Muertos. As explained by Erick Lopas, proprietor of Hola Alegrias, this is the time when the door of the spirit world opens, and those who have left this world return to visit. This is cause for celebration, and special foods and drinks are prepared to make sure that deceased loved ones are happy before they return to the spirit world once again.

Amaranth Chocolate Skull

Erick has been working tremendously hard to prepare calaveras (sugar skulls) for sale this week only. Some are made entirely of sugar, and slightly larger ones are made of chocolate and puffed amaranth. Each comes with a list of the symbolic meanings of the colours used in the decorations. The molds for these skulls are hard to come by, so Erick has been able to bake only 4 at a time, but he is working with a 3-D printer to make additional molds for next year, so he can increase production. Take a walk on the other side and support a growing business while you are at it!


Our Day of The Dead Mix will have these calaveras and freshly prepared tamales from our other Mexican food vendor, La Mexicana, delicious Peruvian dried mangoes from Lapapampa, and ChocoSol’s traditional Xococatl Drinking Chocolate to honour the occasion with treats for all! There is a new batch of witches’ brooms in adult and kid sizes on the way, and all sorts of other goods to go with the season on our special Spooky page. Don’t miss it!


The Greenhouse Eatery and Knuckle Down Farm return this week with garlic in many forms, greens and fall veggies. Great to have you both back, Audrey and Jenny!Carole Ferrari has made a dream come true: partially baked frozen Challah to finish baking at home so you can enjoy it at its very freshest without getting out of your pajamas! This dream was only realized for a few customers though as they’ve already sold out! Stay tuned for next week!


We’ve got beautiful cool weather greens galore: Swiss Chard, Tatsoi, Tokyo Bekana, Collards, Rapini, Arugula, Bok Choy, Spinach, Red-Veined Mizuna and lots of Kale. Wow, that’s a list!You may notice that our website has a fresh look. Big thanks to Peter Wills for taking the plunge and merging our old Dufferin Grove Market site with our new Shop site while keeping all the history of the market. Hope you enjoy browsing!Anne & the Market Crew

Collage Anne Gretel Matt/Eitan in halloween costumes

P.S. THIS SATURDAY:Clay & Paper Theatre presents the 22nd annual NIGHT OF DREAD, a parade of fearful pageantry, revels and mockery on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30TH, staged from Christie Pits Park (Crawford St) to Dovercourt Park* AT 6PM. At this much loved, family-friendly, community event, Torontonians are invited to call on, mock and banish their private and collective fears through parade and pageantry, music and ritual. This year, people will be able to enjoy the procession from the comfort of their front lawns, porches and sidewalks in this parade-in-place, performer-only event. In lieu of the traditional Night of Dread bonfire and other revels in the park, this year Clay and Paper Theatre will collect people’s fears during the parade with their Fear Catcher. Later, the Fire Master will name, mock and burn everyone’s fears for them in a ritual burning, which will be filmed and shared online at a later date. During the parade Clay and Paper Theatre encourages all audience members to raise a dreadful racket with pots and pans, drums and noismaking.Note: This year’s parade will begin at the top of Christie Pits Park along Crawford Street and move south to the alley north of Bloor St, cross over east to Shaw Street, travel north along Shaw St. to Hallam St., continue west until Westmoreland Ave, turn south on Westmoreland, and then continue parading around Dovercourt Park by way of Fernbeck  Ave, Bartlett Ave and Southview Ave, ending in Dovercourt Park itself. 

Night of Dread  signs