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Farmers’ market: Day 2

Second day at the farmers\' market

Really fine weather for our second market day of the season: sunshine, warmth, a pleasant breeze…! A bit more variety than last week, with all-lettuce mesclun, spinach, arugula, Jerusalem artichoke, chives and rhubarb, but still not much quantity of anything. We were sold out by around 10 a.m. Hanging below the chokes bin is the “Certified Naturally Grown” sign. It’s a new certification this year, in addition to our “certified organic” status. Naturally Grown is a grassroots, farmer-to-farmer program, started in the USA, and entirely voluntary and at no charge, where farmers’ certify other farmers according to essentially the same production standards as the government-regulated organic program. Instead of a lot of paperwork and fees, it’s simple and straightforward, but of course the legal word “organic” can’t be used, so it’s…”naturally grown” instead. Since there are only a couple of other NG farms in Ontario, and none close by, the inspection for this tiny farm will be done by CSA members. I’m still maintaining regular organic certification, but for what we’re doing, selling local food direct to people, Naturally Grown makes most sense to me…



  1. Love Certified Natural (Hope the Government never gets it’s hands on the name).  We are 5 weeks into our farmers market, and nothing is growing.  If I didn’t have some greens left in the greenhouse and some goat milk fudge to take we wouldn’t be there yet.  I can’t remember such a cold slow spring.  Hope things warm up (but not too much or too fast).

  2. we must be more south than you are…we have been going to market since mother’s day…..this past saturday ..we had lots of spinach,asparagus, heads of lettuce, mesclun, green onions, baby bok choi etc ….most has been from the unheated hoophouses.
    i am a bit concerned about the many,many labels that the customer is getting bombarded with regarding their produce….what is the differnece of being Certified Natural?? than Certified organic.
    LFP (Local Flavour Plus) is a label that means local and implies organic to the customer…….maybe there should a LFP Organic seal and a LFP seal.
    It even becomes much more confused when people start selling meats and eggs….natural,free run,humanely raised,pastured only,etc,etc
    what does anyone else think???

  3. I generally agree. I’ve just started a very small garden this year and for something which is supposed to imply a back-to-the-basics ideology the advertising is ridiculously convoluted. Whether it’s an attempt to confuse the consumer into not caring, or simply an over-saturation, it’s high time to get some over-riding standards in place – whether that be through government or otherwise.

  4. I wish I lived near your farmer’s market! Ours is still mostly plants and not much produce, and half of what produce there is has stickers that say “Washington” or “Peru” on them (I’m in Ohio), which is distressing and makes me distrust the vendors as a default. There’s a rule that 50% of what vendors sell has to be home-grown or made, but which half? Labels (especially “local”!) would be great, even if they’re a bit confusing.

  5. Melanie J.

    I actually feel my heart fill up a little as I peruse your pictures…our Farmer’s Market doesn’t feel like a farmer’s market, it feels like the “farmers” actually buy crates of produce on the cheap and resell it, not like they come from their own farms. It’s quite disheartening, but the local organic/health food store keeps me in produce. Anyway, your efforts are appreciated by so many more than those who show up to buy. Thanks from Florida for the updates!

  6. I have gardened all my life and had never heard the term “mesclun” until you started using it here. So I had to go look it up.  So it is really just a mixture all off the different kinds of salad greens that you grow, right? Not a separate plant of any kind, but just a salad mixture.  Buyers like that?

  7. Hello! I am really enjoying your blog.

  8. Erin

    Hey Mike!
    It was SOOOO great to be back at the farm on Sunday!  It reminded me of just how great it is to be there!
    Hope you’re not too lonely without Shannon this week!
    Will you need Mike on Friday?  If not we will be out next Friday Fo sho!  I have been asked to work next Wednesday now, but wednesdays will all be reserved for the farm after that…and Fridays after 5:30 too for me.

  9. Melanie J.

    Silly guy! Anybody who follows a farmer’s blog knows y’all are in the midst of serious outdoor time right now. Don’t feel bad; we take those updates when we can get ’em, and thank you for the glimpse into a world some of us dream about living in ourselves one day.

  10. I really like the concept of “sibling” farmers doing the certifying. It seems to guarantee a consensus within the farmergroup on how to farm the right way. Hope you will be able to continue, without getting in to legal fights. Guess a lawyer was needed in the beginning?
    Carry on!

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