Saturday, May 19, 2007

Market Day

I am really enjoying Barbara Kingsolver's book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle that I mentioned in a post earlier this week. Today is a beautiful day, so I went to one of our four large farmers' markets to see what local produce was available. It is my goal to make one meal a week with all ingredients from known and local sources.

My brother Philip has a large property in Mexico that has his home, my parent's home and a school on the premises. He also has at least a hundred fruit trees, from oranges to olives, that he has planted. He is never without seasonal fruit. He has ducks who eat the food scraps from the the two households, and he used to have milk cows as well. To round out their food choices, he takes his motorcycle to the Abastos Market for more local fruit and produce. I wish I had that kind of year-round local availability of fresh food.

Today, I purchased the scant amount of locally grown food that was available. The market had fresh asparagus and fiddleheads and I picked lettuce and rhubarb from the garden. We have lake trout that my husband caught on Manitoulin Island last month. Local dinner #1.
I bought some heirloom beefsteak tomato plants grown from seeds kept over from last year's crop. The vendor has maintained these plants for the past 40 years and states that they are disease and crack resistant.

The lovely Mennonite girls were selling flowers, jam and maple syrup. I bought a Jack in the Pulpit, Wild Iris, and Solomon's Seal from them for my wildflower garden.

The Becka came eagerly to the door to help me bring in my market purchases. She wasn't too impressed with the prospects for dinner. We are off to the supermarket to round out the food choices for the week, but will do so with a little more thought and consideration.
(Check here for my recipe for fiddleheads)


  1. is good. Really good.

  2. ...When do we venture out to the place that sell tasty and delicious food stuff??? No plants or stinky pee food (a.k.a. asparagus) allowed.

  3. Wow. The market looks like so much fun!

    I'll have to look up the Kingsolver book. I was completely taken by Poisonwood Bible...mainly because as a missionary kid I recognized much of the dynamic in it.

  4. Ruth, how do you prepare the fiddleheads? Does it matter what kind of fern they're from?
    I have some growing in my yard and someone at work asked me last week if I've ever prepared them and I didn't have any information.
    Thank you

  5. Hi Ruth,

    How nice you can shop from such a variety of local farmer's markets!
    That's a terrific idea to eat one tasty meal a week from local produce.
    It looks like fun to shop there...and I'll have to check out the Kingsolver book too!

  6. Becka- at least you like fiddleheads, and you liked the good Ontario baked potato.

    Ginger- Our markets are terrific and bring a lot of tourists to the area. I couldn't put the Poisonwood Bible down and read it in one sitting. It was a powerful story.

    Ruthiej- Several types of ferns can be cut as fiddleheads. Fiddleheads are a Maritime specialty, using the Ostrich Fern. They have to be soaked and washed well and 15 minutes of boiling is recommended. They can be sauteed lightly after boiling. If you cut them from your garden, cut no more than 3 from each fern head. They are mild tasting and a little like asparagus.

    Dorothy- Our markets in the north of the city have a strong Mennonite presence. In the downtown markets, we have more ethnic representation, with excellent European, Mediterranean, North African, and Asian foods available.

  7. I was going to ask how you prepared the fiddleheads, but you answered that already.

    Oour farmer's markets don't start until next month, but I'm looking forward already to the fresh foods.

  8. I love that idea of one meal a week from local sources Ruth. Like everyone else I am jealous of your very cool markets there.

  9. Laura and Jayne- Our markets run year round. Starting this week, they will be open two to three times a week. They sell everything, from crafts to meat, cheeses, bread and produce. The winter produce is usually imported, except for our root crops, apples and greenhouse vegetables.


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