Everybody was griping about the weather this winter, but as a farmer's daughter, I thought, good.
I say good because the terrific snow coverage is going to mean a banner year for the farmers. And it's about time they got some good luck.
(Sorry, Saskatchewan, cheers.)
Last year was pitiful and challenging.
This year is going to be sweet.
I was thinking about this very thing this morning over my morning coffee. I read in the Ottawa Citizen that the Ottawa Farmers' Market will reopen at Brewer Park across from Carleton University this Sunday.
Going to the market every week has been a little treat for us, and Finnigan, who grew up before the eyes of the vendors last year. I'm sure they will be amazed that the little puppy who was often caught pinching the odd vegetable has grown into a full-fledged horse.
The jury is still out as to whether we bring little Sophie the pug, but I'm thinking, why not? She is sure to delight the shoppers, though I will have to keep her close lest she scratch or knock down the wee ones. She's beautiful but she is a hazard to toddlers.
Even on the Sundays when we were broke -- which was pretty often last year -- Scott and I managed to find some little gem at the market.
Even on a budget, we feasted on elk sausages, farm fresh eggs, designer mustards and weird ice cream. I learned to eat garlic scape!
Our favorite vendor was the cheese lady who fashioned the most miraculous goudas, blues and other sharp cheeses, ones that were so flavorful, only a smidge was needed to turn a lame piece of toast into a fire cracker.
Mostly the market brought back fond memories of my student days working as a fruit inspector (yes, I said it) at Aylmer-Delmonte in St. Catharines where I would sometimes send farmers home with trucks full of cherries should I spy even one worm. I can assure you that the cherries at the market are worm-free and the juicy Red Haven peaches are pristine.
Finnigan's favorite stall was occupied by Sean Simpson (no relation) and his wonderdog Mollie. The pair were recently featured on Dragon's Den and received backing from one of the dragons to expand their line of delicious organic dog biscuits.
It is true that the food costs more at the Farmers' Market.
Which might be a good thing for dieters who are supposed to eat better, but eat less.
I find it passing strange that in this land of plenty, we have to pay more not to eat pesticides and irradiated potatoes. It's the price we pay to not get cancer.
Anyways, maybe I'll see you there!