Saturday Mornings In Toronto

There better be a darn good reason to wake up at 4:45 on a Saturday. This morning, I had a good reason indeed. I nearly jumped out of bed pre-dawn excited as the dickens to head to Toronto’s farmers’ market! to sell produce from Whole Circle Farm. <– where I now work and live (more on this soon).

Just after 5 am Courtney and I loaded the van up with sunchokes, beets, carrots, potatoes, greens, and herbs and drove into Toronto. It was a bit chilly – I spent most the day in two jackets & under the warmth of my hat- but at least the expected rain held off. The market was wonderful! You can read more about The Stop Community Food Centre where the Stop Farmers’ Market is held here.

All the customers were so friendly and the 5 hours flew by, as I knew they would. There were tons of eclectic vendors selling breads/pastries/baked goods made with locally grown grains, produce, cheese, prepared foods, meats, chocolate, honey products, maple syrup, and other various fun things.

I tasted my first “sea asparagus” – which is essentially a teeny tiny version of asparagus, harvested from the sea – thus being an incredibly salty, crunchy veggie. Yikes! I prefer land asparagus, thank you very much. I also had my first true whiff of fiddleheads. ew? Those too smell like the ocean yet sound delicious. I’ve been wanting to try these for awhile but couldn’t bring myself to buy them simply as their their smell was so off-putting. Not a fan of fishy smells. Maybe next time.

Some pics from today. enjoy!

earth & city: raw foods table!

and whole circle! …

Markets are such a wonderful place to saunter, coffee & breakfast in hand, and converse with people from your neighborhood. Nothing beats the warming atmosphere of friendly, smiley folk who share in the same enthusiasm as you about local foods. Even for the visitors who don’t know about local food – but pop by for various reasons – it’s always a pleasure to share with them what local and seasonal food means. Getting someone to try something new is always so exciting!

My own purchases for today included coffee, ginger cider, kale, apples, strawberries, and a few maple syrup candies. I can’t wait to start my Sunday with some fresh kale & apple juice. Yum!


Moving On Up!


As in I am moving up to….


I’ve been wanting to write about this for awhile but first wanted to make sure my visa application cleared. Technically it hasn’t… but the paperwork has been sent over and given my lack of a criminal record I expect it to be all good.

Come May I will be packing my car & venturing north to spend the remainder of 2012 working on a biodynamic farm in Acton, Ontario (outside Toronto). I decided to temporarily put grad school on hold & put forth all my energy towards sustainable agriculture.

I am sure many of you are not familiar with biodynamic farming as it’s not common in most everyday conversation. The website for Biodynamics Farming & Gardening Association describes it as such: “Biodynamic farmers strive to create a diversified, balanced farm ecosystem that generates health and fertility as much as possible from within the farm itself. Homeopathic preparations made from manure, minerals and herbs are used to help restore and harmonize the vital life forces of the farm and to enhance the nutrition, quality and flavor of the food being raised. Biodynamic practitioners also recognize and strive to work in cooperation with the subtle influences of the wider cosmos on soil, plant and animal health.” So, those who know me well, can see how perfect of an opportunity this is. Combines just about everything I am passionate about.

So, what will I be doing? Everything a production farm entails. Majority of the season I will be working all day in the gardens producing for their CSA, farmers’ market and on-farm store. Closer to fall, after the height of produce season, I will be able to spend time gaining hands-on experience with the animals. I also hope to dabble in some beekeeping as well as taste some very local, fresh maple syrup straight from the farm.

While I will be sad to temporarily leave all my wonderful friends and the Burgh behind, I cannot wait to get back working the land all day, every day. My hopes are to return to PA in December a more confident farmer, one who better understands the connection between the cosmos and the soil, plant, and animal health

And I can’t mention Canada without sharing how excited I am to soon be in the same country as AIMEE!!! Yeay! Don’t mind the 30 hour plus car ride in between each other… at least we can call each other sans international phone charges! :)

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