Friday, August 01, 2008

You Can Stick Your Peruvian Apples You Know Where.

After sadly discovering that Max is allergic to plums (a real tragedy since he LOVES them), I decided I'd better get him some apples. Since it was Wednesday and the weekly Farmers Market wasn't until Thursday, I trotted off to my local grocery store (Dominion). And I looked for some locally grown apples. Huh. I looked some more. Argentina, USA, Peru... and you guessed it - not ONE stinking apple grown locally. I was so annoyed that I walked out apple free. Poor Max would have to eat some local blueberries until I managed to get to the Farmers Market. When I think about how much it must cost just to ship that produce from South America to Oakville, and how little the farmer is getting paid, it makes me feel a little sick. Not to mention just how little nutritional value is left by the time it gets to me, however many days later. No thank you - I'd rather buy my produce from someone who I can shake hands with.

I was actually surprised with how strongly I felt about buying local. I think I'm going to have to find another grocery store to shop at, just on principle. Dominion does a horrible job of providing local produce. In the peak of strawberry season, they had zero Ontario strawberries. I have yet to see Ontario blueberries or raspberries either. Everything is from California or South America. I think Loblaws may be a little better at selling local produce, so I'm going to check them out next time I need to shop outside of the Farmers Market.

Anyway, enough with the rant! We had much success at the market yesterday. As you can see, I bought a pile of apples, cucumbers (those small ones are tasty!), summer squash, blueberries, raspberries, peppers, cream corn and the big hit of the day was the Sugar Baby Watermelon. I immediately carved up half of it to be enjoyed by all, and it was super tasty.

Big ups to my friend DAM's wife, Natasha, who I finally got to meet yesterday. Natasha is hugely involved in charity work in Toronto. She told me about an organization in Toronto called "The Stop" that provides healthy food and produce to low income families. They also do a lot of work and education in the community. Way cool and very inspiring. I am definitely going to check out their new Green Barn. This just solidifies my goal of planting my own vegetables next summer. I'll probably start small, but I figure even a container garden on my deck is a start.


  1. I noticed that the frozen fruit we buy, which has the brand name Europe’s Best, is a product of Chile. What’s up with that?

  2. Hah - talk about consumer deception! I want to get one of those freezer things that sucks the air out so you can deep freeze your own fruit without it getting freezer burn. Guess I'll have to figure out what it is called before I can get it, eh?

  3. I sympathize with your plight Kat. I too have been attempting to buy things locally this summer and went so far as to harass my local Superstore (an expensive Loblaws by the way) stock boy about why the strawberries were from California instead of Ontario when you could go pick your own from a farm less than 20 minutes from the city. His response was that they'd had those berries in stock FOR WEEKS (no wonder they were on sale!). On more than one occasion I have left berry-less from my shopping trips. Sadly I've yet to make it one of the local farm markets and my grocery store visits have been less than great.

  4. Hey Kat! I've got: raspberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets, peas, potatoes, carrots, dill, basil, cilantro, kale, lettuce, spinach, onions and arugula all crammed into my little garden plot out back and they all seem to be doing quite well, chemical fertilizer & pesticide-free ... so lemme know if you need any veggie-growing advice next year :)