Monthly Archives: December 2021

The Last Market of the Year

The last market of the year

‘Home for the holidays’ is taking on a different meaning as I write this. Many of us have seen our plans to visit or host family and friends fall apart over the last few days. 

We are happy that our online market can help you stay out of shopping malls and supermarkets, and we’re glad to have such a solid online system in place. We will be taking extra precautions to ensure that pickups and deliveries are very safe while we get through this wave.

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Plan to buy extra market food this week, because it’s our last market of 2021. We will be closed on December 30th, and the shop will open again on New Year’s Day to kick off the start of the year with orders for Thursday January 6th, 2022!

Our farmers in particular are more than ready for a rest. The hours they put in, no matter what the weather or the season, could not be tallied. Our gratitude goes out to the people who feed us! YOU ARE OUR ROCK STARS! 

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We are also tremendously thankful for the many transformations of ingredients which our vendors make, turning grain into bread, cabbage into sauerkraut, pulses into tasty curries, fruit into jam, and so much more. 

Carole from MotherDough is a fine example of this talent for transformation! She is back this week with lots of fresh-milled fours and delicious baking.

We’ll have plenty of cider from Reyes, Jun from Windswept Cider, Kombucha from Alchemy and other delightful beverages to go with holiday meals. 

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It’s Audrey’s last week until spring bringing us the many products of The Greenhouse Eatery. I have to say that she deserves a prize for adapting to change with amazing results! Her first plan was to cook on the spot using her farm’s ingredients. When that didn’t suit the situation, she shifted her focus to high quality fresh vegetables and many specialties including salad dressings and all things garlic, and had a great season by reinventing herself with lovely decorative items, too. We are looking forward to the ideas she will hatch in 2022!

Andreas Buschbeck will be bringing down a load of Marvellous Edibles’ food and Windswept Cider’s drink this week, to give his neighbour Jens a break from driving. The Buschbecks will take a break after this week to get ready for lambing, and return when the time is right. 

We will have Ayse and Jens’ veggies for the first two markets of the new year, and then they will also pause for a well-deserved catchup. I don’t say ‘rest’ because I am sure they will do more in their time off than most of us do when we are ‘on’.

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Have no fear that we will be short of produce, though! We have plans in place for Nith Valley Organics, the farm of Nathan and Aleta Klassen, to alternate weeks with Aldergrove for a while.

There are still a hundred and one excellent choices for hearty winter eating and generous holiday giving on the site! Have a good look! (add whatever you like!)

From all of us at the market to all of you, warm wishes for a healthy, restful holiday and a Very Happy New Year!

Anne & the Crew

Market News-The Winter Solstice Edition

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The short dark days of early winter are challenging for many of us, but take courage from the knowledge that we are coming to the shortest day of the year, and then to the return of the light.

Our last market of 2021 is December 23rd, and by then, although it’s early winter, we will be into lengthening days! Happy Solstice Everyone! (The first market of 2022 will be January 6th.)

So what are our farmers up to as we approach the solstice?  


From Ayse’s Marvellous Edibles newsletter: 

“This past 2 weeks, I have been receiving the 2022 seed catalogues. I am still like a kid in a candy store when it comes to buying new seeds. I am sure you already guessed my weakness because of the crazy array of unusual veggies you sometimes find at our stand. Today, the first batch of seeds arrived. I discovered an Asian Seed company last year and hopefully starting next spring, there will be new varieties of bok choy, gai lan, choy sum, bitter melon, cucumbers and winter squash. We may grow just a few plants of the really hot peppers, but still grow the milder ones in large quantities. Lately, the seed catalogs are full of heirloom look-alike tomato seeds. I tried a couple last season; I was not impressed with the flavours. I think I will keep on growing the old heirlooms and deal with the cracks and soft ripe varieties by preserving them.”


Aren’t you glad about that? There is no replacement for big, messy, cracked, luscious, juicy, delicious heirloom tomatoes! You’ll see many heirloom varieties of seeds available from Urban Harvest early in the new year.

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Cheyenne from Sundance Harvest always has news and musings about her farming journey to share. She posted this from the North Pole a few days ago:

“Today I stared at the sky for a while. I had a big magical thought while doing that. I do not believe that growing greens is worth the effort in winter farming. Hear me out. I first don’t believe most of the public, not everyone, understands what eating locally means and how hard it is actually growing living things when it gets dark by 4pm and most of the days are full overcast. This isn’t their own fault. It’s the globalization of the food system and people (in cities but also rurally sometimes) being so disconnected from the land they don’t understand how farming actually happens. The price of producing a head of lettuce in the winter is actually double what it is in the summer if not more. Things grow twice as slow but they take up the same real estate, more pest pressure growing indoors so I need to buy predator insects, more powdery mildew pressure, having to heat our cooler outdoors to prevent freezing as lettuce is super tender and a few other variables. But nobody is gonna pay $9 for that lettuce in the dead of winter.”

Ain’t it the truth? By the way, this will be Cheyenne’s last market of 2021.

Here’s a note from growers we only see during the outdoor season. It’s fun to keep in touch with what the Sosnickis are up to even in their absence:

 “This time of year no one has to drag us into the office! We go willingly and with gusto to plan the 2022 growing season ahead! These few days we get to put our heads together and go over what worked, what didn’t, switch things up, (like – grow a mass ton of tomatoes in the greenhouses for 2022 because most of the field tomatoes drowned during 2021 …but then 2022 will be hot/dry and tomatoes will be too hot in the greenhouses and we will wish we did mostly field plantings.) …..Ultimately learning is best for us if we do a little here and a little there, hope for the best and plan for mother nature to bring her worst!”

One of the great things about working with the farmers who come to Dufferin is getting to hear about all of their farming journeys! Whether young or not so young, they are constantly trying new things and gaining wisdom from observation, key aspects of organic farming!


One more inspiring bulletin, this time about a project you can help with.

From Jennifer and Tim at All Sorts Acres:


“We’re at the point now where we need to redo our original rotational grazing fencing to something more permanent. In true permaculture style, we didn’t want to commit to altering the landscape permanently before learning more about what it needed and wanted. After 5 years here we feel that our fencing is well placed for weather, sheep, land, and soil. It’s now time to upgrade. Our choices are to install conventional fence posts and wire, or grow a living fence. A living fence takes longer, and of course more work, but we truly believe that the benefits of living fences are greater than just installing regular fencing.”

Jennifer is selling some of her original prints to raise funds for this project! Read all about it on the All Sorts page of our website, and think about a gift of support for sustainable methods to give to someone who would love to help steward biodiversity on a farm!  

“Each print sold helps purchase a sapling and goes towards protecting the sapling from animals while growing.  Protecting the saplings means building wooden barriers around them. These wooden barriers are then used as sheep pens during the winter, so no materials are wasted.  Our goal is to fence the entire farm this way as it was done for hundreds of years across the world.” 


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On to the shop now….


A couple of highlights on Marvellous Edibles list:  Farm-baked Tourtière and Mixed Heritage Breed Eggs.

Buschbeck Farms still has beautiful sheep skins, the perfect gift for a winter baby to sleep on.

Kawartha Broom Co. has dropped the price of their Rustic Wreaths and has a sale on Hockey Stick Brooms. Come on, folks, now is the time!

Don’t panic when you can’t find MotherDough products on our site! Carole is away but returning next week to bake up a storm for the last market of the year. 

Aldergrove is bringing us more of their exquisitely mild Dandelion greens and anything but mild Fire Cider. The temperatures are forecast to be warmer, so Fraser should be able to harvest fully thawed spinach that was frozen solid last week.

James Harley has added more turkeys to his list. Pre-order a fresh bird of the size you want and Harley Farms will bring it to the depot for pickup or delivery on December 23rd.

You can keep on enjoying market flavours when we’re closed for the holidays, or introduce someone new to a selection of our best-sellers with Christmas Cranberry Holiday Special from Chocosol or a Nature’s Way Gift Bags, and a reminder that we’ve also got all kinds of Dufferin Holiday Market Baskets overflowing with good things. Don’t wait too long!.


Anne & the Market Crew

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Much gratitude to Lhundup for making us a feast last week!

A Gift that Keeps on Giving

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Hello Market Friends:

I was surprised when I heard the old saying, ‘What goes around, comes around,’ used to describe negative consequences of one’s actions, because I thought of this expression in a positive sense, meaning good things will come back from good things done. This week, our market staff are the happy beneficiaries of such a gift: one that went out from our market has come round again!

Many of you will remember that we were very concerned for Lhundup and his family, proprietors of TC Tibetan Momos, when he became seriously ill with Covid last year. He spent a week in intensive care, and even when he had recovered enough to be sent home, he was not well enough to start working again right away. We shared this news with our Dufferin Market community, and many of you generously contributed to a fund to help with Lhundup and Tsewang’s expenses while he was unable to work. 

If you have ever met them, you will know what kind people Lhundup and Tsewang are, and they were greatly touched by the support they received. Even before his illness, Lhundup kept telling me that they wanted to feed the people helping with the online market, and this Thursday, as thanks for the Dufferin community’s kindness, he and Tsewang are going to treat all the depot staff and our delivery crew to a Tibetan meal.

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On behalf of the Market Crew, I want to express huge gratitude to everyone who donated to our fundraiser, first because you helped a small family-run business weather the storm, and now because your gifts have turned into another act of generosity! Thank you for helping TC Momos, and thank you for feeding us, too!

To everyone coming to pick up orders, don’t worry;  we have the timing well-planned so everything will continue to flow smoothly around our lucky lunch.

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I enjoyed choosing what to put in a wedding gift basket from the market this week, and it got me thinking about the meanings assigned to various gifts.

First on my list to include was salt (in this case Aldergrove’s Vegetable Salt) for the couple’s new home. As you may know, there is a Jewish tradition of hachnasat orchim, meaning “welcoming the guest” which is often paired with a gift of salt. Another traditional message carried in a gift of salt is a wish that there may always be flavour and spice in the lives of the recipients.

There were plenty of other choices with lovely associations to add: a candle for warmth and light; fresh fruits and herbs for health; sweet treats for affection; gentle soap for tender caring; simple things which have carried loving wishes for longer than anyone can say.

Thanks to all our vendors who have put so much heart into special items at this time of year!

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We are dee-lighted to have Aldergrove Organic Farm back this week with a stellar winter produce list! I can hardly wait to tuck into a big salad with their claytonia, baby mizuna and arugula, scallions, watermelon radish and candy carrots!

Irina from Bees Universe was all smiles showing us the new candles she has made! Look at these lovely shapes:

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The ever-inventive Audrey is back with all kinds of new and lovely products from The Greenhouse Eatery! Decorate your table with one of her wreaths or centrepieces, and stock up on her sauces and salad dressings. [one or two new products]

It’s time to order turkeys from Harley Farms. Don’t wait, quantities are limited! These are naturally raised birds fed non-GMO feed. Buy one now and it will be delivered to the market fresh (never frozen) for pickup or delivery on the last market of 2021, Thursday December 23rd.

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There is so much more waiting for you to enjoy on our site! Support your farmers and food producers; it’s your market!

Anne & the Crew