Having offered 4-month Winter shares for 5 years, we’ve bridged the seasonal local food-lack gap by adding 2 months to our Winter shares. You can eat urban fresh food year-round because we cool store, can, freeze, dry, ferment and grow fresh food on our urban farm. Along with the food, we offer storage tips and recipes. We’re pleased to offer this option, and invite you to eat year-round with our NEW 6 month Fall-Winter farm share.
Building Farm Capacity
I was a boy visiting a farm in Devon England. Farmer David left me in the silage pit with a tractor and a heap of submerged manure. My job was to move it out. Responsibility grew to inspiration in me, as I shifted the muck.
I didn’t know at the time I wanted to be a farmer. In that moment, desire grew from experience, until, when finally given choice of occupation at age 33, I jumped in. I borrowed land and got to work building soil. I rock-picked, roto-tilled and reduced my income expectations. I became an agronomist-nutritionist-urban-
Seven years, 3 children, and a pocketful of dreams later, I co-run a Community Shared Agriculture and farmers’ market farm, feeding people and offering nutrition and agri-education. From childhood inspiration to present-day occupation. There’s no end in sight, but I’ll sleep well tonight thanks to fresh air, hard work, and the promise of reciprocal care from an earth which has goodness to share.
This year of extended warmth has handily coincided with our extension to year-round farm produce sales.
Founded in 2011 as a Kingston destination for local farm produce procurement, Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market (MCFM) is now open year-round. After a 2 week break, the market opens January 10th 2016 at Princess St United Church hall. The Winter market will operate Jan-April 10am-2pm, dovetailing with the existing May-December market days. As usual, you’ll find Main Street Market there every week.
Unknown to the Farmers’ Market Association of Kingston board (which operates MCFM), winter weather was to hold off until the end of December this year, allowing farmers an extra window to conduct outdoor chores and harvests in preparation for the January re-opening. And, it has helped us demonstrate what farmers have always known: farming is a year-round, not seasonal, occupation.
Watch the clip to see more of how Main Street Market has been using the warmth to our eaters’ advantage. And, visit us at MCFM at 484 Albert Street.
As we start 2013, many people will be thinking about plans and promises to improve their diets and health. We think a broader collection of farmers, policy-makers, and eaters need new, bigger resolutions for fixing the food system — real changes with long-term impacts in fields, boardrooms, and on plates all over the world. These are resolutions that the world can’t afford to break with nearly one billion still hungry and more than one billion suffering from the effects of being overweight and obese. We have the tools — let’s use them in 2013!
Here are 13 resolutions to change the food system in 2013, from Sustainable Agriculture and Food Policy Expert Danielle Nierenberg: huff.to/XQ9dXH
I love the local organic food crowd – the earth crew. They are so accepting, full of life and always looking to learn and improve in a manner that is supportive and encouraging to everyone’s success. Last Monday, the Main St. Market team attended a garlic workshop held by Forest Farms (famous for their award winning garlic). Forest Farms shared a wealth of knowledge about the production and sale of garlic that turned out to be very helpful as garlic season is upon us. Everyone asked thoughtful questions and radiated a great energy that led to lively and fun discussion at the potluck lunch. If you have never been to a farmer’s potluck, I highly suggest it. The majority of the food was fresh salad made with all local ingredients from each of the farms, and bread made from locally grown and milled grains. After all the lovely food, the interns had a chance to get together and discuss the trials and tribulations alongside the joys of working on a farm – this discussion created so many great connections and opportunities for future farming adventures and education. My lesson learned and ready to be shared is connect with the local organic farmers – they are happy and friendly people who are full of great information from life lessons to garlic husking.
Today, I had my first real farm day. We went out Sydenham Road to work at our extension market garden at Limestone Creamery. The Mission of the day was to transplant tomatoes and plant onions. It was incredibly hot and I was unprepared for the work that laid ahead – the work of a “real urban farmer”.
After we had our lunch, we began to work in the blaring sun. I should explain that I was philosophically attracted to the notion of urban farming not the real work. I realized this as the sun burned my back and I dug holes in dirt, filled them with water and then transplanted the tomatoes, I had never associated this much work with the tomatoes I happily cut up and placed in my salads. As my shoulders began to sink and sentiment of defeat by the earth began to arise within myself, Clair, our woofer from France was transplanting the tomatoes non-stop and paid no mind to the hard dirt or the hot sun. This left me to wonder why anyone would want to do this so I asked the farmer Frances (the owner of Limestone Creamery) if he enjoyed farming. He replied with a smile and a chuckle that he enjoyed it as long as the tractor didn’t break down. I shrugged and assumed it was a farmer’s thing. Once we had finished our chat with farmer Frances, Tim hurried back to work, excited as ever to get his hands dirty and get things growing. As I watched him, I wondered what I had gotten myself into…
After a couple of hours of misery, constant breaks and questioning why I ever decided to farm my own food when I could easily go to my local Metro and buy some tomatoes. I began to feel giddy, the tasks became easier and all my doubting began to go away. I started to feel some sort of peace in my work as I gained confidence in my skills. Once the day was over, my perseverance paid off — two rows of tomatoes transplanted and two beds of onions planted. I understood the satisfaction of hard day’s work and decided to see how the rest of the week would go.
To increase the amount of food grown in Kingston is to increase the amount of local food eaten in Kingston. Being overrun with seedlings is a daily reminder of what building urban farm capacity looks like. This is what building farm capacity looks like! You can be part of it. Buy your share of the harvest at our online shop. Contact us to come out and join us in the mini-greenhouse, field, or at our table. Be part of building farm capacity.