Thursday, June 3, 2010

Good Things Grow in Ontario.....

Strawberries are happening this weekend at the market. Look for the return of Berry Hill Fruit Farms with loads of fresh strawberries. We have a few more vendors returning within the next few weekends including Kim McCarvell of Green Leaf Pastry, DeBackere Farms, and RGrow Farms.

According to the Foodland Ontario Fruits and Vegetables Availability Guide, the following produce is available in June: Green Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Cherries, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Onions, Peas, Radicchio, Rhubarb, Rutabaga, Spinach, Sprouts, Strawberries, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes (Greenhouse). Foodland Ontario also makes the disclaimer, on behalf of all farmers and market managers I am sure, that availability dates may change by several weeks with respect to rare varieties and/or weather conditions. My favourite farm fresh dish at this time of year is a simple spinach salad with a light oil dressing. I build on the salad as the bounty expands; this week I will be adding fresh strawberries to the mix.

Remember that customer survey so many of you kindly completed? The results are in and you can view the report by hopping over here. We had a high response rate with many positive results and comments about the market. Many of the suggestions for improvement were implemented over this past off-season including the new ventilation system. Did you notice the difference this past weekend inside the building?
I was not at the market but the weather was beautiful - I was told the temperature inside the building upon first arrival was 85 degrees. Within an hour, the fan circulated the hot air outside and brought the temperature down to a comfortable 72 degrees. There was much discussion and debate last year about how to effectively cool that building without air conditioning and this conclusion seems to be doing very well.
Congratulations last week to Ann Marie Cheung who won the customer appreciation draw and this week to Darlene Unwin. Vendors contribute to the goodie basket each week to provide an amazing prize for the winners. The vendor's and the market's way of saying Thank You. The ballots and the entry box for the draw are in the back foyer of the building by the washrooms - remember to fill out a ballot each week.

Did you take home any apple fritters last week? The folks from the Dutch Bakery had to return to their kitchen twice to restock their market table. We had another record day for vendor sales. This mailing list goes out to 500+ customers (of which we do not share/sell the list with any one else) and I know that it reaches even more as several of you pass it on to your contacts. If you are receiving this via that channel and would like to sign up - send me an email and I will make it happen. Many thanks for spreading the word.

See you at the market!


Tricia Herbert
Market Manager
St. Thomas Horton Farmers' Market
2 Manitoba St., St. Thomas, ON

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