We celebrated #fooddaycanada yesterday at the Elora Farmers’ Market. Food Day Canada is the brain child of Anita Stewart, famed cookbook author and strong proponent of the eat local movement.
I must admit that when I got up bright and early yesterday morning I was thinking that Food Day Canada was going to be a disaster, not only was it raining but it was unseasonably cold. Who would come out to the market in general or to this event in particular on a day like this?! Anyway, I thought, we have to try it. We arrived early at the market to get our booth set up and to help set up the stations for the celebrity chefs.
Our market opens at 9 am, rather late for a farmers’ market, but that seems to suit Elora. We generally have a customer or two as we are completing our set up, but by 9 :15 we hadn’t seen a single customer. The celebrity chefs had started to arrive and as they were using ingredients from the market Chef Cam Nelson (Le Notre Bistro) came by and selected some onions and garlic from us. He liked the look and smell of the garlic and shortly after he started cooking with it, he sent his wife over to buy ten bulbs for them to take back to Toronto! We had a number of customers come by to get “the garlic that Chef Cam is raving about!”
By about 9:15 a few customers began to appear, and although it didn’t seem like a lot of people at first they were buying lots of garlic and tons of potatoes. Generally I find people buy a couple of pounds of potatoes but they were buying 10 and 15 pounds at a time. By 10 am I needed to let Gord run our stall on his own, so I could rush back to the farm to harvest more potatoes! I went and picked up another 50 lbs or so and that got us through the day.
How much to harvest is always a struggle. In retail, the old saying goes, ‘I would rather be looking at it, than looking for it. ‘ That makes a lot of sense of course, what you don’t have you can’t sell, but we also know that vegetables taste best when they are newly harvested. Two weeks ago, I had too many potatoes and not enough beets, so we adjusted for this week and the demand was the opposite! Anyway, it turned out to be a very good day, Food Day Canada did draw quite well as the weather began to clear and people did come out. Those that took part in the Food Day Canada celebration were not disappointed. In fact one customer told me she had a gourmet meal for $20.00!
Kudos to Denis from Al Fresco Gourment, one of our Elora Farmers’ Market vendors who conceived the idea to celebrate Food Day Canada at the market and took care of all the arrangements!