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
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 dufferinpark.ca.
- 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 dufferingrovemarket.ca. 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!
We’re grateful to have another Tish’s Dishes recipe to share!
Tomato Sauce with Chicken
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
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.
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