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:
“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.
Founder, The Greenhouse Eatery”
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
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!
Tish’s Dishes will attend every week now! Thank you to everyone that has helped this small business to grow!
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!
With all that I know I’m feeling inspired and just a little hungry! Happy shopping everyone!
Anne and the Market Crew