This past Thursday was our last market day for the season – and what a day it was!
Mel Lastman Square in North York is usually a windy spot, but this week was extreme. With a wind warning in the forecast we knew better than to put up our canopy even though we needed protection from a few lingering showers – leftovers from Wednesday’s heavy rains. Fortunately the day was mild (12 C) & the showers were over by daybreak. Then the winds whipped up & the temperatures dropped …
We set out a lean market display. Hot peppers, walnuts & mini calico corn stayed in the van. We knew they would blow away. Squash, cabbage & pears were weighty enough to withstand the gusts! No signs or pricecards, recipe booklets or anything that could not be secured.
But sales were good! Many of our regulars braved the gales to purchase that last basket of pears or stock up on squash. Some came just to say good-bye, wish us a good winter, and thank us for coming to Toronto with our produce. We even sold out of hot peppers & walnuts!
Our final Saturday market in Georgetown the other week was also marked by extreme weather – snowflurries & sub-zero temperatures. That day it was the lettuce that couldn’t be put out on the table, for fear it would freeze! (That actually happened a few years ago when freezing temperatures turned our lettuce black right on the table!)
Now that markets are over, we will miss our fellow vendors & our customers. What we won’t miss is the 3:30 AM alarm, loading & unloading the truck, the highway traffic …
Setting up in the dark at North York – a few weeks ago.
Our market season began in spring with uncertainty. We decided to drop 1 market, anticipating a smaller fruit crop due to damage from the cold winter. It proved to be the right choice. Our crops were indeed lighter & we would not have had enough fruit for all the markets & our CSA.
But overall we had a great market season. Here are some of the highlights:
- Strong sales – our sales were up over the previous year. Vendors at other markets also reported increased sales.
- Flavour – week after week our customers raved about the outstanding taste of the fruit & vegetables this season. We are thankful for lots of sunshine & timely rains on the farm which were the main factors responsible for this great flavour.
- Good weather – while showers & rain were in the forecast many market days, the precipitation often waited until we were driving home. There was very little rain during market hours.
- Safety – we are very thankful for a safe & accident-free summer on the roads, at the market & at home on the farm.
- Great customers – we have so many regular customers who support the markets and all the vendors each week. Your appreciation & encouragement make the markets worthwhile and the comments & critiques make us better growers.
Thanks for a great market season!
See you in spring!