Monthly Archives: February 2022

Picture a Farm…

Worm compost

When you look to the future, what kinds of food and farms do you imagine? Sometimes farmers’ markets seem old-fashioned, but ours is also an incubator for forward-looking businesses.

Continuing our Black History Month series, we asked Cheyenne from Sundance Harvest what she would like to include in the newsletter. She suggested a terrific article which includes a section on the farm, and wrote this to accompany it:

Cheyenen early market

“Sundance Harvest started in September 2019. That winter I became a vendor at Dufferin Grove. I remember my very first booth; no table cloth but those greens sure did move! AnneNicole and Dufferin Grove Market made me feel welcome and seen as a new Black business. A couple years later we are at 1.5 acres with staff and I’m very happy I am still a vendor at Dufferin Grove.”


Photo by Roya Delsol

“About me: I’m the farm director of Sundance Harvest. We are a 1.5 acre farm with two heated greenhouses located right in the north of the city in Downsview Park. We grow many vegetables, mushrooms and soon fruits such as strawberries. I started Sundance Harvest at a time when zero for profit Black owned and operated farms existed at scale with fair employment. Happy to say, Sundance Harvest allowed me to have a future in agriculture and I hope those who are with us on our journey feel the same! I didn’t go to school for anything but with time I grew with the farm.”

The friendly people at West End Phoenix said they would be delighted to have us reprint this recent article by Samantha Edwards, “Farm Team.” We are including the section about Sundance Harvest here, but the rest of the article is well-worth reading too! A big shoutout to the Phoenix!

Here’s the link

Photo by Roya Delsol

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I bet you are already familiar with the waste problems built into the modern food industry. We love seeing small farms and prepared food businesses take responsibility for their own food waste. If you like to support the harmony of mutually beneficial business models, then join us in welcoming Bruized!

Another visionary, women-run start-up, Bruized is the brainchild of Monique and Justice, two women on a mission to fight food waste through education and by example.

Their vegangluten-free, handmade granolas and cookies use ‘rescued’ ingredients, such as pulp from organic juiceries and imperfect fruits from Reye’s, turning edibles that would otherwise be discarded into tasty treats!

Sounds like an idea whose time has come, don’t you think?

Ginger spice

Green Florin has a new shipment of walnuts! Act fast before they sell out again. When you are browsing Vasile’s page, maybe think about your spring garden to come. Hazelnut shells, like egg shells, help keep crawling pests away from your plants. They also add a beautiful colour and texture to any mulch mix.


If you celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim you might have only just started thinking about your plans for this March. You might also remember how Dufferin Grove took part in the festival last year with gifts to those in need and surprise goodie bags. We are just ramping up the festivities and hope you will share online and in conversation. Last year we had folks contributing gifts from across the province, thanks to you all spreading the word!

Purim gift cards

What’s on the Menu — Getting Around the Market Website

Strawberry ite

Being in operation for over 19 years and having this weekly newsletter welcomes a lot of questions from the community. These are highly encouraged and extremely diverse! We’ve been asked what it takes to become a farmer, where to give away an over-abundance of strawberry plants, what makes a farm organic, if the nails on chicken feet should be trimmed before cooking, and how much sun to give a gooseberry bush. Markets are a hub for dialog and learning about everything from entrepreneurship to garage sales to composting and we’re so glad to see the questions continue, usually from a distance over email. We truly believe our website, designed by Peter Wills, raises the bar for virtual markets. The information below might just seem like shop talk, but please take a look and see if there’s anything helpful for getting the most out of our online farmers’ market. 


Peter is constantly looking for ways to improve your experience on the site. He says, ”With between 500 and 1,500 products and 25 to 35 vendors every week, the site can be a huge thing to get around.”


Here are some tips:

The Main Site Navigation Menu




🐣 Recently Added — everything available this week with the most recent at the top and oldest at the bottom.  Items making their annual return might appear here too.  Updated weekly.

 🎉 Surprise — an effort to recreate the serendipity and surprise of stumbling across new things at the market.  Everything presented in random order, different every time.

❤️ Popular — everything this week, listed in order of popularity, with the best-selling items at the top.  No fancy math: eggs and tofu have been available almost every week from the start so they have an advantage over recently added cookies.

🥕 Everything — what’s available this week, listed idiosyncratically but consistently, roughly reverse alphabetical by vendor name

🍃 Gluten-Free & Vegan Foods — prepared foods and unexpected items.  Veggies are also vegan but don’t appear here. 


Vendors — Organized by category.  Vendors who have products in more than one category are arbitrarily and unfairly pigeon-holed into just one.   


Goods — categories of products with pictures on the desktop site.  


Info — Recent news, old history, tips, and an invitation to meet this week’s vendors.

Stuff you might have missed


  • If you choose to use an 👤 Account (opt-in at checkout or here), you’ll be able to see all your coupons and past orders.   
  • The 🔍 Search in the top right provides suggestions as you type.
  • The site works pretty well on phones.
  • Check out the news archives to read about market happenings from just about every week going back to August 2015. Even earlier archives are over here on CELOS’s
  • Lists of products can be filtered by Category or Vendor from the drop-downs at the top of the table;
  • They can also be sorted by Price and Name.
  • Clicking on a product name will pop open a little box of details without moving away form the main list;
  • The popup box will also contain a link, (“View product details →”) which will take you to the product’s permanent page, which can be bookmarked and shared.
  • Credit card processing is safe and secure through Stripe, but you can also “Pay Some Other Way” — interac e-transfer, cash, forthcoming Dufferin Grove cryptocurrency [joke], etc.
  • Privacy and accessibility are important to us and we strive to make the site meet high standards for both.


We genuinely care about your experience on  We want the site to be easy, hassle-free, and maybe even a little bit of fun for everyone who visits it.   Please let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see to make it better.

Spring must be on the way (though it doesn’t feel like it) give yourself a lift with living lettuce! Plan B is bringing in soil-grown lettuces for us this week from Slegers Farm in Strathroy, Ontario. (There was basil too, but it’s sold out!) Put them on your windowsill and enjoy snipping leaves for sandwiches and salads from living plants!

Plan B plays a special role in the market, supplying us with popular items in winter which we wouldn’t have otherwise. It can be tricky to make this work, though. When they bring in special things like Slegers’ greens, they need to sell them all, or it costs their farm too much money, so if we have any of these items left, we will be selling them at the depot on market day. Show your support by adding a few items to your order when you come to pick up!

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We’re grateful to have another Tish’s Dishes recipe to share!

Tomato Sauce with Chicken

Serves 4

Nonna did most of the cooking but occasionally my Nonno would take over in the kitchen and make one of my all-time favourites, tomato sauce with chicken. As the heady aroma filled the entire first floor of the house, I would repeatedly traverse the distance between the living room and kitchen asking “Is it done yet?”, barely able to contain myself. Nonno would serve this thick, mouthwatering sauce with rigatoni.


Many years later, after my grandparents had passed away, I happened to venture home to visit my parents and the moment I walked into the house the perfume of Nonno’s sauce, now being cooked by my mother, carried me back in time to my grandparent’s kitchen. I was a young girl again, watching Nonno haphazardly arrange the stewed chicken and sweet carrots in a shallow bowl and then pour the sauce-covered rigatoni into a separate, larger bowl, liberally dusting it with brilliant, salty strands of Romano cheese. It is one of the most bitter-sweet memories I have of Nonno.




3 tbsp of ghee, butter or olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, pureéd

1 sweet onion, pureéd

chicken thighs

2 large carrots, cut into 3 chunks

½  cup dry, white wine 

4 cups of passata


2 tbsp of tomato paste

Salt (to taste)

1 oz of parsley, finely minced

Romano or Parmesan, grated, for garnish and the table

1 pound of rigatoni (or pasta of your choice)




  • In a large pot or dutch oven, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. 

  • Sear the chicken thighs until they have a bit of colour, remove them from the heat and set them aside.

  • Turn the heat down to a low-medium temperature and, in the remaining butter, add the pureéd onion and garlic. Caramelize this mixture until it begins to be fragrant and slightly brown.

  • Deglaze the pot with the white wine.

  • Add the passata, tomato paste and salt to the pot. Stir to combine the ingredients.

  • Return the chicken thighs, and any accumulated juices, to the pot and then add the chunks of carrot, arranging them so that everything is covered by the sauce.

  • Bring the sauce to a low, gentle simmer. Place a lid on the pot, slightly ajar, so that some of the steam escapes. Leave to simmer for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. The sauce is done when the carrots are fork-tender and the chicken has cooked through. Now add the parsley, give it a quick stir, cover and lower the temperature to the lowest setting.

  • Once the sauce is ready, cook the rigatoni according to the package directions.

  • Just before the rigatoni finishes cooking, spoon the chicken and carrots into a serving bowl and place them on the table along with a bowl of grated cheese.

  • When the rigatoni is cooked, scoop the noodles out with a slotted spoon or a fine mesh kitchen sieve and add them to the sauce, stirring until all of the pasta is coated. Plate, spoon any sauce remaining at the bottom of the pot over the rigatoni, garnish with cheese and serve immediately.


Note: If desired, the chicken and carrots can also be refrigerated and used for a different meal.

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We have another great feature for Black History Month, but we have decided to save it for next week’s newsletter, because the subject of the story is away this week. This piece from Ryerson University is a very quick read and I highly recommend it for expanding your knowledge as supporters of local farmers.

I hope you have learned something very illuminating so far this Black History Month. 

Peter, Anne, Matt, and the Market Crew

CEO’s Who Get Their Hands Dirty


Our market newsletter continues to be enriched by the contributions of many. We hope you enjoy this week’s stories of growth and success from three of the women-owned businesses we are proud to work with, and that you will be lifted up by this piece written in honour of Black History Month by the incredible Audrey McDonald:

Herb box greenhouse

“Miss McDonald has a farm.


As a black female farmer celebrating black history month, I would like to acknowledge and thank all the great people of colour for their contributions. With their advocacy, sacrifice, strength and honour the world is a more equitable place for all people.


Although the struggles are very real as a black female farmer, I stay positive. I would like to inspire young people, by letting them know they have the ability to be whatever they want to be.


My grand parents and great parents were farmers in Jamaica. Of seven children, I alone choose to continue to play in the dirt although it’s a family business. I am totally supported by my siblings and offspring on and off farm.


I started out 10 years ago as a test cropper on a quarter acre of land and minimal funds. As I believed in myself, we went on to grow the business out of pocket alongside family contributions.


Today, we operate a successful farm and farmers’ markets. We attribute this to passion, hard work, diversity, loyalty, originality, listening and delivering an awesome customer experience.


The moral of the story is, you don’t have to do a job you hate; you can do what you love to do. You too can make good things grow. The struggles will always be there, work with it.


Learn something new this Black History Month.


Audrey McDonald

Founder, The Greenhouse Eatery

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Spring may not be here quite yet, but we sure have lots of baby announcements!


The most recent is from Nith Valley Organics: Welcome to the world David George Klassen, born to Nathan and Aleta on Wednesday, February 9th. Just in case you’re worried about the veggies you ordered, Nathan says, “We are blessed with a great team here at the farm, so this shouldn’t impact availability of our products.” 

We hope the new parents can sit back and let their team look after things while they stare at the baby for a while!


Next we have a story of a little business that grew! 


Hello dear Dufferin Market community! Earth & City here, excitedly sharing our recent news with you. Our sweet story with Dufferin Market began back in 2010. That summer, co-founders Lisa and Cass connected over a mutual appreciation for farmers’ markets and local food. Despite being new friends, they jumped right into a new business! Earth & City was born and ever since, we’ve been setting up shop weekly all over the city.

Dufferin Market holds a special place in our hearts; it’s a beautiful, diverse, connected market with a rich history in Toronto. We’ve set up our table at the top of the hill and the bottom, tucked in close to the Dufferin facing wall and in the garage for winter. We’ve been inside the rinkhouse, out on the rink, and everywhere in between.

You may know us for our Green Smoothies and Cowgirl Cookies, favourite creations like collard green wraps, veggie burgers, buckwheat pizzas, and veggie bowls. Though not everything stays on the permanent menu, we always love experimenting for the amazing folks at Dufferin.

When the market returns to in-person, we might appear a little different. Lisa’s wife Ashley is a third partner in the company now, and we have a terrific group of folks working in the kitchen and at market sales tables. Constance, Erica, Veronica, Adriana, Chris, and Gaby are all instrumental parts of our ever-evolving business.

Not only has our staff grown, our brand has a fresh look too. Our new design beautifully reflects the colours and flavours of our nutritious products and showcases an essential part of what we do: quality ingredients, in their whole form, locally grown and sourced.

So we’ve had some changes but we’re still on the same food mission! We can’t wait to see you all back at the market soon. Let’s grab a glass (reusable of course!) and catch up! It’s been too long. 


Thank you so much for the ongoing support and encouragement of the Dufferin Grove Organic Farmers’ Market community.



Ashley, Lisa and Cass

Unnamed 8

And finally, good news from Carole Ferrari of Motherdough:


“The mill is the heart of the bakery. This hits home more deeply every time something happens to it. Nothing happens at Motherdough without the mill turning on first, and providing the bakery with the flour we need to do everything we do. 


Last week the millstones seized. This happens infrequently, when grain has too much moisture and when the stones are warmer from a long day of milling. Cleaning the stones and dressing them was uncomplicated as usual. We scruff up the stones carefully and evenly with air compressor power tools used for stone sculpting. I’ve done it a few times in the past and a bunch of bakers came by the bakery and we got it done together. We put the mill back as usual. But something was off and the flour was coming out as grist. 


We spent 4 days trying to remedy this. It is a stupefyingly subtle problem. We had to rebalance the stones with the slightest adjustments of various bolts in the core of the machine. Willie Wham, a good friend and mechanic, worked his magic and slowly, slowly the flour improved. 


I thank you for your support. I am grateful for this beautiful mill that has taught me so much, and I am very grateful for you, and the chance to bake for you again this week!”



And finally some new products to get excited about!

Dandelion greens from Nith: These super healthy greens are not the same dandelions your neighbour obsessively digs out of the lawn all summer! Cultivated greens are much milder, and if you really don’t enjoy their tonic bitterness, wash them in very hot water before cooking and they’ll be milder still.


Ready to go mushroom blocks from Summergreen: Try growing your own Lion’s Mane or Oyster Mushrooms the easy way! With the right care, you’ll have a generous crop in a few weeks. The kits come with a zine detailing all the instructions you’ll need. If you have a habit of drowning your window herbs and killing your container radishes, home grown mushrooms might be what your less-than-green thumb needs! 

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Tish’s Dishes will attend every week now! Thank you to everyone that has helped this small business to grow!

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We didn’t know where in the depot to house all of the All Sorts Acres cards that were ordered last week. This week they have even more designs! If any of you have an extra card displays to spare let us know!

Connection: fixing nitrogen - seed paper greeting card

With all that I know I’m feeling inspired and just a little hungry! Happy shopping everyone!

Anne and the Market Crew

Love Stories from Farms and Kitchens

Lambie01. 2022

Before we get into the news, a reminder that this is Repair Café week! Check out this in-depth update from Repair Cafe TO on how another year of repairs, education, empowerment, and community has been realized!


We have a lovely report to share with you from All Sorts Acres. Jennifer Osborn writes:

Although we are running low on lots of things this time of year, the cycle is beginning again. Lambing has begun!

In the past couple of weeks a handful of lambs have arrived, and of course, at least one on the coldest night of the year. Luckily our 100+ year old bank barn was designed for animals in winter as it doesn’t get down below -10C, even with -35 windchill. A heat lamp and some dog coats help the lambs for the first 48-72 hours.  

Coatedlambie01. 22

This means the nursery has begun. Lamb zoomies are in full swing. We do have one little one that likes to yell the entire time she is running around. She can’t seem to decide if she wants to stay with Mum or run with the other lambs. She can be heard from outside. There’s been more than once, when on my way up to the house, I’ve heard her, turned around, and gone back to check on her, just in case she’s in trouble. But no, she’s just yelling at the top of her lungs.


In the not too distant future, the weather will warm, the grass will stir underneath the snow, and milking will begin.


Alas, we’re still in the depths of winter, so no milking quite yet. Instead, it’s focusing on other aspects of the farm. Winter is an opportunity to really explore farm potential – the perfect time to flex creative muscles, so that’s what I’ve done with a couple of backburner projects.

East friesian lamb - seed paper greeting card

As an artist, creating cards seems like a no-brainer, but I have never found it that simple. I can’t justify a temporary sentiment against the damage of the printing industry, and the shiny (possibly plastic covered) waste cards that may be difficult to recycle. Cards were out, until now! The cards are on post consumer paper that can be PLANTED! Yes, they are on seed paper! The cards themselves don’t have to be thrown in the garbage or recycling, they are paper wildflower seed “bombs.” I get to share some of the wonderful images I find on the farm too.

Barn swallow fledgling - seed paper greeting card

Bees aren’t something that we really talk about, but we have a couple of hives, and this past year was our first honey harvest. Like any harvest there’s always some waste. What to do with that waste? Another of my back burner projects has been making paint. Yes, bees and paint are connected; I promise.


January has seen the creation of that paint made from sustainable, non-toxic, eco-friendly pigments, and our very own honey! The honey used is the last drips and drops from the extraction and cleaning process form different batches. Nothing is wrong with it, it’s just not something I’d want to eat, nor sell; so, when life hands you waste honey, make paint.

Handmade paint card - medeival palette

As a watercolourist myself, I had to actually like the paints, and I do. The colours are vibrant, colourfast, and nice to use. I’ve focused on traditional colours such as yellow ochre, ultramarine blue, and burnt sienna as those are foundational colours. The paint sample card is an easy way to try them out. A primary and medieval palette are the first two to be created, but more are coming! Watercolour pans are in the works, too. The paints are on, you guessed it, seed paper, so when the paints are all used up, the paper can be planted. How cool is that! 

I even made a bee Valentines Day card combining both projects, just in case you’d like to send it to your own honey.”

Bee my honey - seed paper greeting card

Speaking of honeys, here’s one for long-time Dufferin Fans. Happy 20th Anniversary to Jessie and Ben Sosnicki

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Letitia of Tish’s Dishes is back with her handmade pasta. She would really like to hear from you if you’ve tried it! She wants to know favourite shapes and grains, as well as anything else that would help her as she moves forward. Her email address can be found on her vendor page

This week, she is giving us a Valentine: her Nonna’s cherished recipe for Bolognese Sauce.

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Pasta Bolognese


Serves 8

By Letitia Mancini

Tish’s Dishes


Bolognese sauce is a traditional, hearty meat sauce that originated in the city of Bologna located in Northern Italy. This specific recipe is slightly different from the traditional recipe but speaks to the richness of where my Father was born: Supino, Italy.


My Nonna would make this sauce when our family would visit over the winter months. There was nothing more wondrous than sitting at her pink melamine table, the heady, umami smell of Bolognese sauce swirling around me, watching, in awe, as she swiftly rolled out pasta thin enough that the sunlight shone through it and then, with a long, sharp knife, cut the saffron-yellow dough into wide strands of pappardelle for dinner that night.



1 large red onion or sweet onion

2 celery stalks, strings removed

2 small carrots, peeled

1 clove of garlic

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp butter

½ lb. ground pork

1 lb. lean ground beef

½ tsp fresh ground black pepper

½ tsp sea salt

3 oz. thinly sliced pancetta (or bacon), finely chopped

1 cup dry, rich red wine

¼ c. tomato paste

1 bay leaf

2 bottles of passata, preferably made from San Marzano tomatoes

½ c whole milk

A pinch of finely grated nutmeg

1lb. fresh tagliatelle or pappardelle, or dry rigatoni

½ c finely grated Pecorino, plus more for the table




Coarsely chop the onion, carrots, garlic and celery, add them to a food processor, pulse until the vegetables are puréed and set aside.


To a large sauté pan or Dutch oven, over medium heat, add small clumps of the ground meats (you may have to do this in batches to ensure that you don’t overcrowd the pan), occasionally stirring until it is all lightly browned. It is okay if the meat is still pink. Season with half the salt and pepper. With a slotted spoon, remove the meat and set it aside. 


To the remaining fat at the bottom of the pan add the pancetta, stirring occasionally until it becomes crisp. With a slotted spoon remove the pancetta from the pan and set it aside with the other browned meats.


Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add to the fat released by the pancetta, the butter and olive oil. Once the butter has melted, add the puréed vegetables and slowly, gently, sauté this mixture until the vegetables are aromatic, soft, dryer and come together as a uniform paste.


Push the vegetables to one side of the pan, and deglaze the pan with the red wine. 


Return the ground meat mixture to the pan and break down the clumps into the wine with a wooden spoon, continuously stirring until the wine has almost evaporated and the meat is reduced to small crumbs. 


Now add the passata (rinse out the bottles with a ⅓ cup of water and add this to the sauce as well), tomato paste, bay leaf, remaining salt & pepper, milk, and nutmeg. Bring the sauce to a very gentle simmer, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting possible.  Leave the pan uncovered and stir occasionally until the meat is extremely tender, about 2 ½ to 3 hours. The sauce shouldn’t have any rapid bubbles. Rather, it should release the occasional small bubble or two. If the liquid reduces too quickly, before the meat is tender, add an extra ½ cup of chicken, beef or vegetable stock and continue cooking.


Once the meat is tender, discard the bay leaf. Taste the sauce, adjust for your salt preference and keep warm.


Cook your chosen pasta only until it is very al dente. Using tongs, transfer the pasta to the sauce. If you choose to drain the pasta with a colander, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. 


Increase the heat of the sauce to medium, bring to a simmer, add the cheese and toss. If you like your sauce looser, this is the time to add the necessary pasta water until you reach the desired consistency.  Cook, tossing constantly until pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes.


Transfer the pasta to a plate, sprinkle with more Pecorino cheese and serve. 


Buon appetito!


NOTE: This sauce can be made a few days ahead. Left covered in the refrigerator, the flavour of the sauce deepens with time. This sauce also freezes well.

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We want to honour Black History Month by including ‘food for thought’ in our February newsletters. To begin, here’s a link to an interesting CBC piece on BIPOC farmers in Ontario

Heart tunip photoshop

Alvaro of Plan B wrote us recently and mentioned that the Gaelic festival of imbolc has passed. The festival celebrates the emergence of life around us, and occurred on Feb 1-2, at the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

Spring is coming whether we can see it or not!


With love,

Anne and the Market Crew