Tell me our vendors don’t care. Go ahead, tell me. And I will politely inform you that you are wrong.
Since starting this culinary adventure one year ago, I have been shown several instances of care from various vendors. Last market was at the quick hands of Doug from Greendale Herb and Vine.
I was in a perfect storm situation: I have type-1 diabetes and my blood sugars were extremely low and due to circumstances I was without supplies to bring them up. Despite being around a smorgasbord of fresh fruits, my brain had stopped working. I could not, for the life of me, grasp what to do. I was sitting at one of the tables across from the Greendale Herb and Vine stall. My brain was stumbling over a jumble of letters trying to figure out options. Fear was setting in. And then it came to me:
HONEY! Doug has honey!
I rushed over. Doug tried up-selling the honey; I could get 1 jar for $5 or 3 jars for $14, he told me. I looked at him, my words struggling to form: I just need one, it’s an emergency, I told him.
He called it my 911 honey.
With the honey in hand, I again plopped down at the table, but I couldn’t get the jar open. I tried ripping off the plastic, I used my teeth, my hands were shaking like an earthquake. Then, there was Doug running over. He took the honey, swiftly opened it, and gave me a wooden dixie spoon to eat it with.
I am forever grateful for that act of care.
Zaklan Heritage Farm
- 1 bunch purple radishes $2.50
- 1 bunch pizzo mustard greens $3
- 1 bag arugula $4
- 1 bunch (GIANT) purslane $2
- • Harvest Direct Farms:
- 1 container (5) peaches $5 (it was posted as $6)
Fresh Quality Produce
- 1 (CRAZY LARGE) bag of beans $2*
- 1 pint raspberries $5
Greendale Herb and Vine
- 1 small jar cinnamon honey $5
- 1 bunch swiss chard $3
Ripple Creek Organic Farm:
- 1 large garlic bulb $2
- 1 bag (4 GIANT) red and orange peppers $4
- 1 summer squash $1
Nature Village Farm
- 1 bunch cilantro $1.50
Total spent: $40
Okay, so this market had some unintentional savings as you can see above.
First, Harvest Direct Farms helped me find the perfect container of peaches that would both satisfy the males of my family, who like their peaches quite ripe, and me, who likes my peaches on the firmer side. I pulled out $6 to pay, as per the price on the sign, but Param smiled and said it was $5.
I then went up to Fresh Quality Produce and filled a plastic bag of beans. The price came to $1.60, which I paid. As I started to walk away, I was turmoiled with the 40 cents. I knew I couldn’t get anything for 40 cents and it would throw me right off my $40 game. I asked Jeff how many more beans I could get for 40 cents. He took my money and grabbed, I swear, as many beans as I already had in my bag and said there you go. W’oh.
Note: This is NOT the first time either of these vendors have given more for less!
I’m not the usual grocery shopper in the house, so I don’t know exactly how much produce in regular vegetable/grocery stores actually costs. But when I saw the red and orange peppers at Mandair Farms, which were about the length of my wrist to elbow, listed at $4, I was sure it was a deal. That’s $1 a pepper. My husband later told me coloured peppers are going for $3.99 a pound at the grocery store, $2.49 at the “cheap” vegetable stand. He assured me the ones I got were indeed a good deal. Plus, they were so much sweeter than I have ever got from the conventional stores.
There were also a couple of discoveries this week.
I picked up a large garlic from Ripple Creek with the intention of roasting it on the barbecue. I had previously purchased garlic last year, but none were as big as this sucker. It was so huge and so crazy flavourful. Mind you, it did take a little extra time on the barbecue due to its size 😂
I had a choice between red radishes or purple radishes at Zaklan. I asked Gemma how they differed in taste; she said the purple might be milder, but mostly they tasted the same. I don’t hold much love for radishes, but they are a treat for my husband. I opted for the purple simply because I liked the colour. When I was making the salad that evening, I cut up one of the radishes; it was like art. The colour of the purple rind was streaking into the whites of the radish just like an abstract painting.
I don’t know if it was the beauty of this radish, or if it actually did taste different, but I loved them! I think my husband maybe got two of the whole bunch; that’s how good they were!
Every week there is something new and exciting to discover at the market, whether it’s a new food, a new flavour, a new colour, a new size, a new savings. I love these discoveries!
What do you hope to discover this week?