Thank You for Eating Local!

— by Roberta

So here we are, at the end of another delicious Withrow Market season, this, our seventh, and people have been asking me what I’ll be doing when the market is done.
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I’ve often likened the market to a garden. Just like a garden, the market offerings change with the seasons, and to make it all happen it needs to be tended to with attention. For that the market needs a dedicated team lead by a dedicated individual. And like for a garden, most of the planning for the market happens over the winter.

Even before the season has ended I usually start projecting to January when it will be time to apply for our 2014 permit, to start planning events, review vendor applications, and take care of general season start admin. Granted that none of those tasks will take up a lot of time at that point, but they’re already on my mind, and I’ve started drafting my to-do list.
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I will also be reflecting on the season that was, and apply learnings from this year’s experiences to future seasons. I will be working with our blogging team (lead by Camille) to keep the food and market conversation going over the winter and collaborate on next year’s editorial calendar. I’ll be chatting with a bunch of folks about what’s going on in and with the local food sector, and will spend more time on the development of our young nonprofit (the Centre for Local Food Initiatives).

I plan to meet with friends whom I’ve neglected over the market season, and do some totally non-food-related things like knitting. I will, however, be spending time in the kitchen making edible holiday gifts, catch up on some much missed baking, and try out some new recipes.
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I’ll also be sleeping in on Saturdays, taking time browsing through the newspaper and savouring my morning tea, and I’ll be planning elaborate weekend breakfasts (I love breakfast!). I’ll also be enjoying some of the foods I put by this summer like blackcurrant jam I made from Feast of Field’s fruit, jam made from elderberries purchased from Cookstown Greens, salsa made from tomatoes grown by Fiddlehead Farm, and bread and butter pickles made with Haystrom Farm produce.
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But before I can start spending time on personal projects, the market needs to be put to bed, so there’s a bunch of season-end tasks that have to be taken care of first. For example, my home office (my poor cluttered office) needs a good clean up and re-organizing. We’re also planning a party for the vendors and volunteers, and we’re re-building the market committee, so that work needs to start now.

So in effect, the market season never really ends, there’s just maybe less and certainly other type of work to be done in the off-market season than when the market is running.
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We thank you for supporting your community market and our hard working farmers and prepared food vendors, and hope that you’ll keep in touch with us over the winter via the blog, facebook and twitter. In the meantime you can support some of the year-round markets in Toronto, and we look forward to seeing you at the market again in 2014.

If you are interested in joining our market committee, you can message me on facebook!
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