Meet Your Maker: Yuan Xu, Member Farmer
It is the first week of October, and like many others who have come and gone, my time at Fresh City is wrapping up. Having worked through a long, and intensely hot summer, the noticeable chill in the autumn air is a welcomed change, albeit requiring some adjusting to. This change of pace is also reflected in our plot, where cold weather crops are taking reign just as they once had in early spring. The exuberance, colours, and abundance of summer has faded away, and I’m finding myself spending a disproportionate amount of time in the kitchen making concoctions out of leftover harvest. Roasted spiced tomato jam, basil jalapeno jelly, green pepper chutney, anyone?
I’ve been selling most of my wares at the Junction Market in the west every Saturday. Despite the fact that I’ve done this for almost 20 weeks, and I can pack my bike trailer in my sleep, market day never fails to be an intense and sometimes confusing experience. While the university student in me is thankful to be relieved from my duties in two weeks, something tells me that I will miss the 2AM sprout harvest parties, and the inevitably stressful scramble to market early next morning.
What I will truly miss about market is the relationships that we have built with the other vendors, and our customers. Market is a sharer’s paradise, and there has never been a shortage of good recipes, tips, advice, conversation, and food. With the other vendors, there’s always an abundance of end-of-day "tradesies" where everyone is all too happy to furnish you with a lifetime supply of their leftover produce. Our customers are eager sharers too, never afraid to impart upon us their experiences of food, with food, their preferences, favourite recipes, tried-and-trued seed varieties, or just how their day went. It is truly amazing how many conversations you can initiate around a small tub of pesto, and I think really the power of good food.