Saturday, November 12, 2011

Goodbye, Inglewood....Hello, Elora!

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you know it's been a busy summer for me. This spring, we put up a 72 foot long unheated greenhouse, and it was filled with delicious heritage tomatoes, carrots, beets, lots of peppers and cucumbers, basil and dill, and even some ground cherries (I have left out some plants, I'm sure). Outside, we had dozens of zucchini plants, melons and watermelons, 3 varieties of cucumbers, and many more succulent meals-in-the making ! Yes, it was a lot of work, but boy, we sure ate well this summer :) As well, we feel healthier and better....and the larder downstairs is filled with 100 + jars of pickles, jams and preserves.

Much of the produce we grew went with me to the Inglewood Farmers' Market, where I sold it beside our mushrooms and mushroom products. Customers were so grateful to have produce a few weeks earlier, because it was grown in the warmer greenhouse. Our market was very successful for all the vendors, and after four years, we have developed a wonderful community of producers and faithful customers. Next year, we will be starting an hour earlier, so that we can present our wares to train passengers who will be making a special stop in Inglewood, for that very purpose. Very exciting....

After we had our last market day, I thought to myself, "Finally, I am going to have so much extra time again, I'll be able to catch up on lots of stuff, housework included." Wrong! Nevertheless, when I received a call from one of the organizers of the Elora Farmers' Market, I agreed to try out their indoor winter market, which is held at the Grand River Raceway, in Elora. So now, from 9 - 1 pm on a Saturday morning, that's where you'll find me!

Today, one of my market neighbours was Krista of From These Roots. She has combined the most delicious flavours of fruits and flowers together, to make her unique jams, spreads and salsas. Today, I bought Sour Cherry Whiskey jam, Black Currant Wild Violet jam, and Strawberrry Lilac jam, just to name a few. Be sure to check out the recipe section on her website, lots of great ideas there!

Another stall a few tables down is Caitlin, from Re Root Organic Farm. Today I bought a beautiful Chinese cabbage, which I made into an Oriental style slaw, with sesame seeds. Yummy!

Of course, because it is in Elora, there are many Mennonite producers and vendors. My other neighbours are Floyd and Marie, who sell delicious chicken, pork and beef, which Floyd butchers. Last week, I picked up some breakfast sausage rounds, and tomorrow night's dinner will feature a sirloin tip pork roast. On the side will be some spaghetti squash that was purchased from yet another vendor.

Now, before you think all I do there is shop, I am pleased to say that I have now introduced a whole new set of customers to the delicious oyster and shiitake mushrooms that we grow. As well, I am carrying cremini, white button, and portabello mushrooms that are grown by the wholesaler we deliver our mushrooms to. This week, I brought some mushroom ricotta pastries, and mushroom dip, both of which went over quite well.

It's nice to be back behind a market table, meeting lots of new people. I quite enjoy describing how we grow our mushrooms and giving people the opportunity to "shake the hand that feeds you". Conversations often evolve into recipe-swapping, or an educational discourse on the perils of some of today's conventional farming practices, including GMO's. I enjoy all of this as much as tallying up the day's sales.

So if you're in the neighbourhood, please drop by and say hi. The market will run until mid-March, and because we're indoors, it's a pleasant, warm way to spend a Saturday morning!

1 comment:

  1. I'm thinking of asking Krista if she would like to do a joint marketing pitch, using one of her recipes for mushroom pizzas...stay tuned!