Thursday, August 12, 2010

Do you CAN (preserve, freeze, blanche)?

I am rather excited about the guest we have presenting this weekend at the market! (If your not, that's okay - we have lots of vendors selling their fresh preserves!) Deb from Bernardin Canning will be there to demonstrate, to field questions, and to make the art of canning easy for everyone. She will be set up in the North Pavilion and will be available all morning. We have 100 Bernardin shopping bags to give away filled with helpful information. I have a box of mason jars that I have pulled out of the pantry and will be making my first real attempt at canning (starting with tomatoes).

If freezing is more your thing, which I love because it is quick and easy and it seems to make the market season last that much longer, then you could check out these easy tips offered from Monika at R-Grow farms. Freezing corn and melons - and if you scroll down on the site you can find tips for freezing pretty much anything else we have to offer at the market. If we could only find a way to freeze lettuce......

We had another record day at the market last week. Every table outside was occupied and only 3 spaces available inside (because vendors were on holidays!). A total of 41 vendors and our highest vendor revenue day yet. Our market is generating a good buzz, with tourist appeal. One visitor last week was from Saskatchewan; another from Cambridge. Folks are starting to bring their guests to the market first before any other planned visits. This ties in well with our new membership with Savour Elgin - the county's very own culinary trail. I attended a meeting today regarding the final details of the launch, happening at Fresh Fest on August 26th. All the details are in place, the material looks entincing, and the member list is growing.

Along with my standing order of fresh-baked scones and hot samosa, I'll be looking for corn, melons, pickling cukes, garlic, dill, peppers, beans, maybe sweet potatoes, and of course tomatoes. I am tempted by the soft peaches to make jam, and hopefully a basket or two of blueberries to freeze. If you are looking for me this week, you will likely find me close to the canning demo.

Congratulations to Angie Mailhot who won the customer appreciation draw this week. The ladies from the PAN Mission Nicaragua trip left a few items to donate to the winning customer. The ladies left today and are likely arriving in Nicaragua right about now (as I type this). I am always amazed by what travel does to the senses; this morning they got up in St. Thomas, Ontario; tonight they lay down to sleep in Managua, Nicaragua, Central America. I look forward to stories of their adventure which you can follow on Patti's blog.

The weather seems to have eased up a bit tonight; the cricketsong is beautiful as I sign off, the air conditioner finally getting a much needed break. Feel free to bring your fans for the indoor market space this Saturday - I am not even going to pretend - it will be hot, humid, and muggy in there.

See you at the market!


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

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