A New Chapter Begins

Cutting the ribbon

 

Well, we did it! Thanks to everyone who came out to welcome the market back to Dufferin Grove! It was a warm and wonderful homecoming, and it promises to be a fine season ahead.

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First day, dancer

This is the start of a new and different season for me. I am stepping down as market coordinator due to the challenges of Parkinson’s Disease.

Fortunately, Nicole Jacobs, who has been part of the market for almost as long as I have, and has approximately twenty times my energy, is ready to take on the job, so the market will be well looked after.

Anne and nicole

Photo Courtesy of Carolyn Wong

Nith Valley Organics

Oregano

Certified Organic

Magic Oven

Pulled Jackfruit

$13

slow-simmered green jackfruit, rosemary-cranberry bbq sauce (gluten free & vegan) - 550gms -serves 2

It seems like every week I have a list as long as your arm of people to thank, and of course this week is no exception. I want to express my gratitude to all these people, and many more:

  • Jutta Mason for helping to start the whole thing, and coming back on opening day to get her groceries and chew the fat with the farmers;
  • The late Mary Wigle, who attended the fateful first potluck supper to plan the market, and continues to be our Market Patron;
  • All who have served on our Board: extra-specially Ellen Manney for her passion, wisdom and belief in organic agriculture; and Leslie Lindsay, who made the very best pizzas and market birthday cakes, did the hard work of setup and cleanup in all weathers as a market staffer, and stood up for the market through thick and thin, to name just a few things.
  • The members of our new Board, for their commitment to the market’s future;
  • The sisterhood of market managers who have shared ideas and supported each other;
  • Peter Wills, for his incredible patience, dedication and friendship;
  • Everyone who has pitched in over the years, in innumerable ways, to make our market not just any market– I can’t name you all, but please know that this wonderful evolving project wouldn’t be what it is without your help!
  • Last but certainly not least, the farmers and vendors who have taught me so much and fed me so well.
Market managers

4 Managers of Other Markets came to Celebrate with us! Above, Chantal Stepa of Withrow Park FM and Carolyn Wong of Trinity-Bellwoods.

A well-meaning person once asked me whether the farmers come into the market just for the fun of it. NO, THEY DON’T, YOU IDIOT is what I wanted to reply, but I think I managed to find something more gracious to say.

Who chooses to be a farmer in this day and age? Rarely the sons and daughters of conventional farmers. Most scrub their nails and head for town. Some young people think they are farmers because they have spent so many hours pretending to operate farms on their computers, but they have never gone down to the barn to check on a labouring cow on a freezing cold night, or watched as a storm ripped the cover off their greenhouse and tore their early greens to confetti.

Small scale food producers need a good sense of humour and a high tolerance for risk. I think they deserve all the support we can offer them, which is why I have worked at this market for over 18 years.

I will close with an excerpt from the poem “Rice” by Mary Oliver

I don’t want you just to sit down at the table

I don’t want you just to eat, and be content.

I want you to walk out into the fields

where the water is shining, and the rice has risen.

I want you to stand there, far from the white tablecloth.

I want you to fill your hands with the mud, like a blessing.

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Bless you, friends. Keep on caring about local and organic food, and the people who bring it to Dufferin Grove.

Anne

Now, what’s to eat this week?

Asparagus is at its best!

Header Photo Courtesy of Carolyn Wong