Monthly Archives: January 2022

Pickles and Ice Cream and Chinese Sticky Rice Cake

272644973 5054237371265528 4604400258311253551 n e1643556048225

(Please take note of the parking information at the end of the news)

The market continues to be a flurry of activity with returning vendors, new items, new recipes and a brand-new baby!

Sundance Harvest is back so please show Cheyenne (and her spectacular farm team) a warm welcome by picking up some Radish Microgreens, Sumac Herb Salt, or getting ready to start seeds with some Worm Compost.

Spicy microgreens

Motherdough has also returned alternate weeks. If you are browsing Carole’s products I hope you take a moment to read the product details; she paints such beautiful pictures with her words! She writes of her Walnut and Buckwheat Sourdough:

“A sourdough exploration into the beautiful world of buckwheat flour, which is the finest of flours we mill. It also has fresh milled Red Fife, and toasted walnuts.”

Bread - buckwheat and walnut sourdough

And of her sandwich loaf:

“I just want to make an awesome sandwich bread and I hope this one is it. It is like the one I remember from the farmers’ market in Sackville, New Brunswick, where I sold crepes with my housemate during my last year of university. Ruth, my hero and the market manager, made the bread along with a selection of wonderful, uncomplicated preserves. It has oats and sweetness and a bit of olive oil in it.”

Nature’s Way has a Valentine’s Day Special on popcorn but I think the Ooooh La La hot sauce could also make a great gift for the right person!

This week we have multiple vendors bringing something for your stove tops. We have soups, stocks, and stews from Nith Valley, Tapioca Toronto, All Sorts Acres, and Magic Oven.

Lamb stew - frozen

We also have Sarah Nemzer as Guest Writer and The Flour Palette with a Lunar New Year Recipe!

Sarah was one of the very first people to step up and offer help when we decided we had to keep the market going in spite of Covid-19.

I can still picture her on the first day we tried to coordinate deliveries: on her bicycle, in wild wind, surrounded by semi-baffled vendors trying to make sense out of the absolute chaos I had plunged us into….I will be forever grateful for her cheerful belief that we could pull it off!

Img 8546

Sarah has spent recent months keeping safe at home or out of doors because she is pregnant! She offered to share the tale of her food cravings with us, so here is her report of the experience, at almost 9 months:

In the movies, people are always craving pickles and ice cream when they are pregnant. I have yet to crave that iconic combination, but I have spent my pregnancy craving an ever evolving parade of goods from our market! Come journey through this pregnancy as seen by my food cravings – happily satisfied by our amazing farmers and vendors.

Early in my pregnancy I had very little appetite. Luckily I discovered that when I didn’t want to eat anything at all I would usually happily munch on a handful of Green Florin’s dried sour cherries! And once I had enjoyed those, I could usually segue into a full meal.

That gave way to a summer of eating strawberries directly off the Canadian Organic Seed Company plants on our deck, only to be replaced by an obsession with watermelon (even last week I woke up in the middle of the night craving it! I know our farmers are amazing, but I had to remind myself that no, watermelon doesn’t grow in Ontario in January!).

Strawberry, wild 190ml

Oh, and how can I forget the summer cucumbers? I’ve had an aversion to leafy green vegetables during this pregnancy (I know! Can you believe it? No kale for months) but I would happily munch through the wide array of cucumber varieties that our farmers grew!

For the middle part of my pregnancy I simply should have moved closer to Reye’s Farm. I went from craving their juicy Nectarines to going through bags of their crisp Ambrosia Apples (and for a treat, their cider warmed with a cinnamon stick).

Luckily many of our farmers grow scrumptious potatoes – because the entire second half of pregnancy I’ve happily eaten those! I’ve been especially grateful for them on the days when I’ve needed to eat and eat (and eat and eat).

My most recent phase has featured Nature’s Way’s popcorn. Even when I’m being plagued by heartburn, I’m happy to pop and enjoy a fresh batch!

Its popcorn

We are now in the final stretch and are preparing for birth and postpartum. My partner just stocked the freezer with homemade lactation cookies featuring hazelnuts from Green Florin and I bought Mango Ice Lollies from Fressy Bessie to have on hand for labour!

The question remains, will I crave the iconic combination before this journey is through? We’ll just have to see, but luckily so many of our vendors have homemade/locally sourced pickles and ice cream available that I know where to turn if I need them 😉


20211202 134910 1 1

Just as we were finishing up this newsletter, a message arrived saying that Baby Nemzer has been born! We look forward to meeting one of the next generation of market-goers and finding out if the apple falls close to the tree in terms of food preferences! Wishing the whole family health and joy in the years ahead.

272649188 2108974179242105 7239225317233589868 n 1

Tuesday is Lunar New Year, and here is a gift from The Flour Palette, they have included market items in their recipes before and have sent us a recipe for Nian Gao (年糕) or Chinese Sticky Rice Cake, one of the most common traditional foods eaten on Chinese New Year.

“It has many symbolic meanings. Starting from the pronunciation of the cake, its literal translation is “year cake”. However, 糕 (“gao”) also sounds like the word for height (高also “gao”) in Chinese. Therefore, the play on words suggests a good year, achieving greater heights compared to the previous. Additionally, the typical circular shape of the cake represents togetherness or wholesomeness. Nian Gao is traditionally made with rock sugar; however, this is not always readily available or easy to find. This recipe uses honey as a replacement, and it’s still that delicious sticky treat that I remember from childhood!”

Chinese Nian Gao (Chinese Sticky Rice Cake)

By: The Flour Palette

Makes three 4-inch cakes or one 6-inch cake

Adapted from Healthy Nibbles and Bits



150g glutinous rice flour

25g rice flour

65g coconut milk

100g water

75g honey

Zest of one orange (optional)

Dried dates (for decoration)


  1. Combine the two types of flour in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the coconut milk, water, honey, and orange zest.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Mix well so that there are no clumps of flour. The consistency of the batter should be similar to that of cupcake batter. Add more glutinous rice flour or water for desired consistency.
  1. Pour the batter in a heat-proof container, preferably one made of thin metal so that it cooks quicker. Fill the container only to a maximum of ¾ full because the cake will rise as it heats but then deflate as it cools.
  1. Cover the top of the container with aluminum foil to prevent condensation from contacting the cake. To be extra safe, wrap the lid of your steamer with a towel.
  1. Place cake in a steamer, and cook on medium-high heat for about 1 hour.
  2. Place a date in the middle of the cake.
  3. Let cool and enjoy!
249687315 353849939645518 6691891497911777634 n

Happy Lunar New Year to all!
Matt, Sarah, Anne and The Flour Palette (this week’s team of writers)

Let me attempt to do a better job explaining parking for pickups at the depot than I did last Thursday!

Our kind hosts at St. Anne’s have to find many ways to cover the cost of keeping the lights and heat on in their buildings. One is renting out their parking lot to the Cadbury’s plant across the street. Usually our Thursday pickups don’t cause a problem, but with snow reducing the usable spots, there is currently a shortage of space.

To help us avoid being rude guests, please don’t park in any of the spots on either side when you enter off Gladstone, or on the lower level in general, especially between 2 and 3 o’clock, when shifts change at Cadbury’s and more workers arrive.

If you plan to be quick, just pull into the central area of the lower lot, put your flashers on, and get your order, leaving the option for other cars to get past you to park.

If you need a bit more time, you can drive up the ramp and park in one of the upper level spaces– except for any marked St. Anne’s Place, as these are reserved 24/7 for nurses at the seniors’ apartment building.

Please use extreme caution when backing up or turning around because there are people and vehicles coming and going.

I know, it is a complex arrangement, so I hope this description doesn’t leave you more confused! Thank you for your assistance in making this work.

Double Zero in Below Zero

20220118 161951

Hello Market Friends:

We have to start this week’s news with gratitude.

First, a giant thank you to stalwart delivery drivers Jay Brodbar, Jonathan Seglins, and Jay McPherson for navigating closed streets, snowbanks and drifts to deliver orders last Thursday!

I have to tell you that it was supposed to be a day off for Jay McPherson, and Jonathan spent four hours clearing enough snow to get his van the 200 metres to the nearest unblocked street so he wouldn’t let us down.

Special thanks as well to Nicole for braving the freezing temperatures all afternoon, to Julie Sobetki for arriving to pick up her order and drop off a box of hand warmers because she was worried about our outdoor crew, and to all the flexible and appreciative members of this market community.

20220120 130908

This week, please welcome (even if it’s across the ether) our newest vendor, Letitia Mancini, who is joining us with her fledgling pasta making business, Tish’s Dishes! We have already learned a lot from Letitia, starting with the merits of different flours:

“The inability to access organic “00” flour has been an issue since the beginning of this adventure. I have been using organic all-purpose flour, organic whole wheat flour and organic spelt flour. The issue, for me, is that in using these flours I cannot achieve the texture of truly traditional pasta like my nonna (grandmother) used to make. If you try two servings of identically made pasta, one with “00” flour and the other made with all-purpose flour, you will understand the difference.

As for the difference between pressed/rolled versus extruded pasta, for me, it’s all about texture. However, there are a few more differences. Extruded pasta is thicker and has a dense texture. It is also less time-consuming to make from scratch. This quality allows for large batch production that you see from large producers like Barilla, Nestle and General Mills.

I make handmade pasta produced in small batches using high-quality ingredients, and my pasta offers better value for a few reasons. First, because I am selling traditionally dried pasta (meaning I am not selling water), you get more pasta per gram. Secondly, because the pasta is traditionally dried, it has a longer shelf life.”

Saffron pasta

Letitia is very eager to get your feedback on the shapes and flours you prefer, and to give you some inspiration, she sent us a winter pasta recipe. We would also love your feedback as we made some dairy edits! We’ve edited this recipe to swap the cheeses for some of our own vendors’ and think it will be lovely! To enjoy the traditional and tried n’ true recipe go with 350 g Fontina cheese, cubed (substitutions: Gruyère, provolone, Gouda, or Emmental also work) instead.

Fettuccini in Cheese, Potato & Cabbage Sauce

This sauce originates from the Valtellina area of Italy. It is best served on a cold night or after strenuous outdoor exercise as it is quite a robust dish.


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried sage ( or 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the cabbage and potatoes and cook for about 3 minutes or until just tender. Add the fettucini and cook for a further 3 to 5 minutes or until the fettucini is al dente. Reserve a cup of the cooking water and then drain.

Over medium heat, saute the garlic in the olive oil in a saucepan for 1 minute. Add the cheese cubes and mix briefly. The extra fatty richness or Water Buffalo cheeses is stupendous in rich sauces. Stir in the cabbage, potato and fettuccine and remove from the heat. Gently stir this together, adding some of the reserved water to loosen the sauce. Taste to correct for salt and add pepper if desired. Serve immediately with Pecorino cheese sprinkled on top.

We are sorry that our cheese fans have had a couple of weeks of credits instead of cheese! The unfortunate reason is that Covid has messed with the best laid plans at Monforte. We are optimistic that all will be well in time for this week’s orders. Please show Monforte lots of support as they get past this obstacle!

MotherDough is unable to take part this week because Carole has a knee injury. We’re sending her our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Sosnickis are IN this week winter vegetables in just about every colour in the rainbow.

Potato mix

There is so much to learn from Jennifer at All Sorts Acres that she should think about opening a farm-based art school. She’s got needle felting and weaving kits, materials for sketching and ink drawings, and now handmade, archival watercolour paints. No shortage of inspiration here!

If you are looking to make a Secondo to go with your Fettuccini Primo, might we suggest Lemon and Garlic baked Chicken Thighs or poached Rainbow Trout with Thyme? Would you like something sweet for a light dessert? Or a coffee with that?

Or maybe just throw something in the oven and let our vendors do the cooking! At least it’s perfect weather to have the oven on…

Anne and The Market Crew

20220117 125817

You Gotta Make Your Own

20220105 133712

Hello Market Friends:

You can’t go to the movies, you can’t hang around in your favourite café, and all the museums and galleries are closed. What is there to do in this town? If you lived in the country, you wouldn’t have all these options at the best of times! My brother and his wife live on the farm where I grew up, and one of their favourite pastimes is watching CTV. The C stands for Chicken in this case; they sit out back enjoying the activities of their flock of free-range heritage breed chickens. Sometimes you have to find ways to make your own fun! 

20211008 181308

Recently one of my most enjoyable activities has been corresponding with a new market penpal. As is the case with many other loyal market-goers, I have known Maia Waern by face but not by name for years. (Fortunately Nicole is always happy to help me out!) Turns out Maia is a songwriter, photographer and bird watcher who was delighted to grant permission to share a couple of her videos with you. 


The first one is called Early This Morning, and it is about backyard birds, surely one of the sweetest forms of at home in the city entertainment. Test your knowledge by watching the video first without sound and naming as many bird species as you can. Then see how well you did by watching it again with the sound on. Take the challenge; it’s fun!

 was pretty happy with my results, but I didn’t know there were Chimney Swifts in Toronto! Here is what Maia told me:


“I learned about Chimney Swifts when a developer had to stop plans to tear down the church at the north/east corner of St Clair West and Wychwood because there are Chimney Swifts, which are listed as Threatened under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, living in the chimney! And at around the same time, my neighbour, whose multiple types of bird feeders are greatly responsible for many of the migrators’ names in my Early This Morning song, casually and kindly corrected me during a lovely sidewalk-to-porch chat, saying that the chattering birds that I called Swallows (in more than one song, I might add) were actually Chimney Swifts. Mind beautifully blown…and lyrics rewritten!”


If you are itching for a getaway, Maia’s second video will take you out of town without leaving your chair. 


Spending a little time browsing round our website is quite entertaining too, if we do say so ourselves!


We have Nith Valley Organics’ outstanding winter veg again this week. Their double-sized bags of greens were snatched up mighty quickly, so you might have to console yourself with one of their Chicken Pies, which are reputed to be amazing.

20220105 133856

One more thing I learned from Maia is that Nathan Klassen, principal farmer at Nith Valley, has an amazing singing voice! She says “his harmonies are hand-on-heart beautiful.” I wonder if we could persuade Nathan to list singing telegrams along with turnips?

I’m sure by now you all know that Plan B is the place to go for Fresh Organic Imports like bananas, limes, and avocados, but I hope they haven’t been pigeonholed in your mind. Maybe give their Plan B Farm Kitchen items a try like their Salsa Verde, Kimchi, or Hot Pink Hot Sauce.

We have a lovely supply of Dry Sour Cherries from GreenFlorin right now. Described by Sarah Brodbar-Nemzer as “sour patch kids for adults!” LaPapampa continues to have four dollars off of four packs of dried mangos if you are looking for healthy snacks! 

We have a lovely supply of Dry Sour Cherries from GreenFlorin right now, described by Sarah Brodbar-Nemzer as “sour patch kids for adults!” LaPapampa continues to have $4 off of four packs of dried mangoes if you are looking for healthy snacks!

I’m looking at all the variety from All Sorts Acres as I write: PickerelKefirSheep Milk SoapChicken Noodle SoupLamb ChopsFelting KitsPecorino CheeseDryer Balls… Their page looks like a mini farmers’ market inside of our market! Everything Jennifer and Tim bring us is superb and I must assume you will find something on their page that piques your interest! 

Congratulations to James and Jessica on the arrival of Jackson James Harley, born on January 11th. Could this be the first of a third generation of Harley farmers?

Now the birds are calling… 

Until next time,

Anne and the Market Crew

Oh Captain! My Captain.


Hello Market Friends:

There is so much news from the vendors that we’d better start with that. A big welcome back to Ben and Jessie Sosnicki this week, with their beautiful rainbow of storage vegetables. They will be alternating weeks with Nith Valley Organics while Marvellous Edibles takes a break. Don’t forget–this is your last chance to get your favourite Marv Ed and Buschbeck Farms products til March!

We’re also very happy that Plan B is back to supply us with a mix of local and imported organic produce.  

Essa Seedlings & Sprouts is coming, too, but the long cold and cloudy stretch in the valley where Liz lives means that she only has sunflower shoots to bring this week. The others are taking their sweet time growing, but they will be ready next time.

Img 20211126 162119 939 e1647705581904

Another welcome back goes out to Gladys of La Mexicana, who has just come back from Mexico! The tamales menu will be expanding nicely very soon!

MotherDough will be attending every other week now, with fresh-milled flours and baking.

Eat local, healthy, and delicious this winter! 


In the category of ‘things you never would have guessed’, last week it came up in casual conversation that our loyal delivery driver
Jonathan Seglins holds the Guinness World Record for Endurance Juggling of 10-pin bowling balls–the kind that weigh in at 16 pounds each. To win the record, he completed 36 tosses of those babies! He’s ready to juggle Marvellous Edibles’ Sauerkraut Cabbages, or maybe even Kooner’s watermelons when they come back in season!

Another Circus Performer, the lovely and amazing Kristi Tarlin is at the Editor’s Desk this week!

20210902 121323 hdr 2

Oh Captain! My Captain.

When Anne asked for guest market news writers, I started thinking how much the whole delivery side of Dufferin Grove Farmers’ Market has changed over the last year and a half. I started working with the market in May 2020, when my career in live entertainment went from bustling to bust overnight. All four members of my family worked at the market in the early days of the market’s pivot to the delivery and pick-up model that is still functioning today. The market threw us a lifeline when we really needed something to look forward to each week. Fast forward a year and a half, and I now find myself as the Delivery Captain.

If you’ve never seen our set up inside Saint Anne’s church, picture a large room with rows of tables with each one dedicated to a vendor. The benevolent Saint Anne, immortalized in stained glass, but strangely with two right feet, overlooks the room. For the delivery team, it works something like this: a picker gets an order sheet and finds the items requested. They then place their full shopping basket in a queue to be properly packed. Once packed, the order sheet gets attached to the outside of the box and placed in a designated area for the delivery run it will be on. Delivery drivers have a specific time to pick up their run and the start times are staggered throughout the afternoon to allow boxes to be continuously readied.

Nowadays, we are not flawless, but things have definitely improved. Initially we would pick and pack our own orders in paper bags and place them in long rows for the delivery people. At times there were only one or two delivery guys, (my husband being one of them) and he would sometimes be delivering orders past 10 o’clock at night. It was great for the raccoons, but not so good for the customers. Way back when, we packed everything in paper bags, including whatever needed to go in a cooler.  Needless to say, the paper bags pretty much disintegrated in the coolers after a short while. Packing heavy jars of maple syrup or kombucha with wet kale in paper bags caused a few expensive accidents. Now we pack as much as possible in boxes. Any delivery customer can tell you the mishmash of boxes that they receive their orders in, but the beauty of boxes is their strength, and delivery drivers can stack them and fit more in their vehicles. The boxes eliminated the need to put every bit of produce in a plastic bag and since we only use recycled boxes, the need to purchase paper bags.  

We now have a great delivery team that has been with us for more than a year. They know the routes, the parking, and the customers. We have designated pickers and packers at the depot, and that catches more errors. We have instituted colour coding, checklists, designated freezers for pick up and delivery and lots of labels! None of our products come with UPC codes, and we often have several vendors with the same kind of produce, so things can get very confusing when you’re trying to discern which item is the winter garlic, the red garlic, the jumbo garlic, the garlic bunches, the garlic braids, the garlic dressing, the black garlic….

The camaraderie at the depot is a beautiful thing. Several of us have joked that we are going to write “Dufferin Grove Farmers’ Market: The Musical”, because there is much singing and joking amongst the staff. There is always the conundrum of how to pack the “awkward item of the week”.  What is it this time? The giant pumpkin? The Brussels sprouts tower? The winter greenery? The watermelons? The gigantic turkeys that need to be kept cold? We somehow figure it out and keep going.

Even though I now have another job, I managed to make sure I got Thursdays off so I could continue at the market. The Saint with the two right feet reminds me that we’re not perfect, but we can still aim high.



P.S. It’s the second Thursday of the month. That means it’s REPAIR CAFE WEEK! 

Don’t miss your first opportunity of 2022 to get your things in working order!



263464275 4593985257359911 2235135968529174604 n

I’m Dreaming of a Spring Garden!

Ellen and ken at pickup 1

During the coming months, we will feature occasional guest writers sharing their market-related experiences. This week, with a new year stretched out before us, it seems fitting to focus on growing. Market Board member Ellen Manney writes: 

Happy New Year everyone! I am hoping that we all have a peaceful and healthy new year during this difficult time.

Img 2948

Today, I am dreaming of doing more collaborative work with Christine Halbot from Canadian Organic Seed Company. We were talking last spring and I was asking about shriveling leaves on our heritage tomatoes. Christine said, “Let’s work together on this!” And so began a very interesting test in our garden with her hybrid plants, amendments, organic manure tea and tons of advice. She was interested to see how her plants would grow in an urban garden compared to on her farm near Kirkfield.

The results of our collaboration were really interesting. Very little shrivelling of leaves and a couple of varieties that produced tomatoes that weighed over one pound and oh, so delicious! You know the kind I mean: slice the tomato, take out the fattest middle piece and make a glorious tomato sandwich!

Img 2682

In late August one morning the fruit developed soft grey spots and the plants all died basically overnight, just like that……late blight. I can only imagine how awful it must be for a farmer to wake up, check the field and the plants are all dead. I remember Ben and Jesse Sosnicki telling me how that happened to them a couple of years ago with their plum tomatoes. I think often about the daily unknowns when farmers go to work.

Img 3007

Yesterday, I got an email from Christine, who is ready to work with me again to see how her late blight resistant tomatoes will grow in our city garden. I am ready to take the challenge, Christine, and thank you!

[recent_products per_page=”4″ orderby=”rand”]

Below is a picture of Colette’s Urban Harvest lettuce that we planted in September. Just for fun, if you have any lettuce seeds and you want to have lettuce right away when the weather warms a bit, sprinkle seeds right on top of your soil now and the lettuce will know when to germinate.

Happy dreaming!

Img 3308


Greenhouse Eatery is away from the market until spring. Luckily we have Nith Valley Organics, so please give them a warm welcome and pick up some garlic, chicken burgers, potatoes, or any of their other farm fresh delights!

Marvellous Edibles is here this week and next but will be taking a break after that until March. It’s a great time to grab an extra Tomato Ketchup, Beef Tallow, 750 ml jar, or Mixed Heritage Eggs

And lastly, warm congratulations to Seth Goering (who brings Forbes Wild Foods to the market) and his partner Ely on the birth of Baby Asha!

Img 6638