Time for Pun-pkin Puns

Last Saturday was the first day (for me) where it truly felt like Autumn had arrived. In the height of summer, when we arrive at Market at 6am to prepare the canopies and tables, the sun is already out to greet us and sometimes, it's even warm already. The past few weeks, the sun has been more reluctant to join us until at least 7am and I know that by the time we reach our November and December Markets, we'll have begun Market before the Sun is fully awake. The soft morning glow and the sweet crisp air mingle well with the season's abundance we are enjoying. It's truly the best of both worlds! A few of the best summer produce are still with us and the first of the fall bounty have arrived! We saw pumpkins next to strawberries, apples next to sweet corn, ripe tomatoes and early winter squashes... it's not hard to believe Thanksgiving is around the corner. For those lamenting Summer's end, have no fear! I'm sure our fickle Canadian weather will bring at least one more heat wave before we move on to sweaters and coco.

What does the changing weather mean for the growing season? Well, it really depends on the farmer. Sungold is seeing the last of their tomatoes at Market, while Greystead is bringing more and more each week. Peppers are at their height, but you might not catch too many more cucumbers or zucchini. The Corn Crib is done their Market season, but we’re still seeing sweet corn at Joyce and Thames River. Radishes are back again as they do, and we’re seeing baby fennel, radicchio, and even pumpkins! Fresh apples are beginning to roll in again as fall arrives and I found myself wondering if we’d only just said our goodbyes to this crisp fruit. The seasons pass so quickly!

The season has also brought some changes for us in the office. Emily, our wonderful addition to the farmers’ market team this summer, has moved on from the Market. We’re sure to see her around the Market often, and if you do, make sure to say hello!

Downtown Activities

There’s been lots of hustle-bustle around Downtown lately and Dundas Place especially has been planning lots of activities! Here are some free things they have going on during the Farmers’ Markets this week.

Thursday, September 9:

  • 3:00pm-6:00pm Mural Painting at 183 Dundas by Naomi Nadea
  • 5:00pm-9:00pm Orlando Valencia performs at Market Lane & Dundas
  • 6:00pm-11:00pm TAP² Outdoor Art Nights (Street Closure)
  • 6:00pm-8:00pm Drop In Art Class with Naomi at 206 Dundas
  • 6:30pm-8:30pm Live painting & art sale by Rin Vanderhaeghe outside TAP Centre for Creativity
  • 6:30pm-8:30pm Exhibit by Anne Hamilton outside TAP Centre for Creativity
  • 6:30pm-8:30pm Live painting & art sale by Carl Dalida outside TAP Centre for Creativity
  • 7:00pm-9:00pm Aiyoyô Music Project performs at Addictive Tattoo
  • 7:00pm-9:30pm Drop In Salsa Classes with the Latin Passion Dance Academy at Market Lane & Dundas

Saturday, September 11:

  • 10:30am-11:30am Drop In Yoga Class in Market Lane

Cooking Class!

This Thursday’s Chef is Polina, one of our vendors from Polina’s Nostalgic Treats. She will be making Loobia Polo (Green Bean Rice), a Persian dish. Classes start at 5pm and are free!

This past Thursday we welcomed back Kimi Abdullah to the Farmers’ Market for another successful cooking demonstration. Using fresh ingredients from our market vendors, Kimi taught us how to make an Eggplant and Green Bean stir fry with Peanut Sauce. Eggplant was quite a decisive food among our group, some people talked about it getting soggy and mushy. But with Kimi’s great tips, I think we all walked away as new-found eggplant lovers! The most important thing when cooking eggplant is to really salt your eggplant slices. This, Kimi said, helps to draw out some of the water in the eggplant. Eggplants are kind of like sponges, so by salting you help to reduce the air pockets in the fruit, making it firmer to work with.

When frying up the eggplant, Kimi reminded us of the all important rule to never over crowd your pan. Overcrowding will reduce the pan’s temperature and extend your cooking time. When you are cooking your eggplant, Kimi advised making sure it was nice and charred. This will prevent the eggplant from taking on too much of the sauce and from getting soggy.

One of my favourite ingredients that Kimi added to her recipe was fish sauce. Fish sauce adds such a lovely umami flavour to any dish you add it to, however for anyone who has ever used it you know what an interesting and strong smell it can have. Acknowledging this, Kimi said that as the fish sauce cooks down, the smell will mellow down, while the flavour will remain.

The peanut sauce Kimi made was so good! If you would like to try some out for yourself or would like to try some more of Kimi’s cooking, her food and catering company Petojo , (which she co-owns with her brother Anthony) is opening back up this week for online orders. Check them out and try out their delicious peanut sauce and Sambal Oelek!

Nature Within Our City - with Glenn Berry

Looking out for the Birds

One of the great dangers faced by birds during migration is windows. About one billion (with a “B”) birds die from striking windows annually in North America. That is almost 2 birds per person per year.

Birdsafe has information on making your home and workplace safer for birds. There is also a more detailed guide on the City of London website.

I hope this illustration inspires you to take action. Rosemary Mosco is an activist/author/artist/naturalist who gave her permission for us to use her excellent illustration. I follow her on Twitter (@rosemarymosco). Some of her books are available at the London Public Library.

Volunteers with Fatal Light Awareness Program collect dead and injured birds around the base of tall buildings. They send the injured birds to sanctuaries and try to raise awareness with annual displays of dead birds. The Royal Ontario Museum is one location that has an annual display.

Thursday Vendor List

This is the list, folks! See who you can find at the Farmers’ Market this Thursday, September 9th! Click on their names to find information on pre-orders and to learn more about their farms and businesses!

Check out their websites for more information about their products and to see what’s in season/currently available!

Saturday Vendor List

This is the list, folks! See who you can find at the Farmers’ Market this Saturday, September 11th! Click on their names to find information on pre-orders and to learn more about their farms and businesses!

Check out their websites for more information about their products and to see what’s in season/currently available!

  • Live Music: 10am to 1pm: Dunphy Smith Music
  • Visual Artist: 10am to 1pm: Hattie Benjamin