Junction Market News September 15, 2012

all text by Junction Farmers Market

Hello Junction Farmers Market shoppers!

There are lots of exciting things happening at the market these days. It’s the height of the growing season and there is a vast array of fresh, local produce to choose from at the market.

Come visit the market and talk to the vendors! Ask Chandrika from Fresh City Farms about the purple okra she grows. Or the ground cherries (they look like a mini-tomatillos and taste a little bit like sweety-tart cherries) grown by Stephen at Fiddlehead Farm. Talk to Alex from Pyramid Farm and Ferments about the kombucha he ferments naturally. Check out these and the many other great vendors at the market this and every week until October 13th!

Farmers markets are places where consumers can get to know the dedicated people who grow or produce the food they eat. Check out this recent article from the New York Times in which the author celebrates the farmer.

Besides amazing fresh food and getting to know the people who produce it, there are other great reasons for coming by the Junction Farmers Market. There are local community groups and organizations at the community table every week. This Saturday, Dan Gooch from the Dan Gooch Community School of Music will be giving free ukulele lessons all morning.

 
See you tomorrow!

 

Vendor Feature: Pete’s Organics

Pete's Organics (McVean Farm)

 

Full name:
The farm’s name is Pete’s Organics. Peter, Radha, Raezian and Vikkel Seenath work on the farm – it’s a family farming experience.
 
Location of farm:
The farm is located in Brampton, part of FarmStart McVean Farm.
 
What produce do you grow?
We like variety so we try to grow ethnic produce such as okra, bittermelon, callaloo, malabar spinach, scotch bonnet peppers as well as more conventional items such as salad mix, beets, squash, tomatoes, swiss chard and kale. Every week we have something new that has sprung up- that’s the beauty of farming and harvesting. In addition to variety, all of our produce is certified organic.
 
How did you start farming?
It’s a hobby that has gotten out of control (but in a good way) from potted plants to three acres of land. I’m the type of person that eats an avocado, confiscates the seed and then tries to grow it.
 
What is your philosophy towards farming?
Farming is about a bond between you and the land. There is nothing more rewarding than planting a seed, nurturing it and picking your own harvest. I strongly believe food should be organic and people should care more about what they put into their bodies, after all, we are not garbage disposal units.
 
Where do you distribute?
All our distribution is local. We are at a few other farmer’s markets so don’t feel shy to check us out: Junction (Of course!), Riverdale Farms, John Street, Harbourside Organic Farmer’s Market In Oakville, and Toronto Botanical Gardens.
 
What is new and exciting at your farm?

Pete from McVean Farm

Everyday something new and exciting happens at the farm. You go to sleep and in the morning when you arrive, the deers have helped themselves to your crops. Sometimes it’s good surprises such as the first watermelon of the season or a friendly frog deciding to jump out of a tomato plant and give you heart palpitations.
 
What’s your favourite thing to grow?
Eggplant and hot pepper because with the hot peppers you’re always competing with yourself to get a pepper hotter than the previous year. The same goes for eggplants. I plant many varieties to find the perfect eggplant. This year I have planted heirloom eggplants and to my surprise they are red and small. It is amazing to see how many varieties one species can have.
 
What’s your favourite food?
That is a challenging question because I’m a food lover of all types; from roasted beets to curried goat to a good old peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich. But, I can tell you my favourite fruit – it’s a green coconut.
 
What’s your ultimate farm vehicle?
I have none because I rely on my own two hands and feet, so I’d say a healthy body. Everything at the farm is done manually.
 
What time did you get up this morning (day of the market)?
5:26 a.m.
 
How long will your trip home be today (day of the market)?
Usually 35 minutes or more depending on the traffic situation and what roads the city decides to close for the weekend.
 
Did you pick food this morning (day of the market)?
Not this morning, our produce is picked the night before and when I say night, there is no joking about that, we usually leave the farm at 10 p.m. Our main priority is being organic and having fresh produce so we try to pick everything as close to market day as possible.
 
What is the biggest challenge you are facing?
An endless battle with weeds in the garden. It’s tough being an organic farmer and dealing with weeds, they take over every imaginable crevice in the land.
 
Do you have a message for people shopping at the Junction Farmers Market?
“Keep fit and have fun” – Bodybreak! Just kidding, but I am a little serious.
 
What do you do in the winter months?
Get ready for the planting season. I’m a computer programmer and part-time student and my dad is a financial advisor. In the winter, farming is reduced to experimenting with seeds at home in pots and drinking large quantities of tea. We are also trying to prolong some produce in hoop houses by trying to extending the growing season
 
If you could be any vegetable, what would you be? And why?
I’d be curly kale because it is water repellant, I mean how cool would it be to be water repellent. They are also one of the healthiest vegetables out there.
 
How did you find out about the Junction Farmers Market?
On the Internet.

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