As I wind up another Thursday of deliveries to local restaurants – and drive home along the winding south shore of Rice Lake, the sun sparkling on patches of lake between the hillock islands - I feel the luckiest fella in the world.
The day began with picking, washing, spinning and bagging various fresh greens and herbs. Then came the leisurely toodle along the scenic backroads of Northumberland to drop off to first Ken and Penny at the 100-Mile Diner in wonderful Warkworth, then to Edward at the eclectic 66 King Street West and Johnny and the boys at the Northside (both in Cobourg), on to the always-jovial Chef Ray at Zest in Port Hope, to Jeff at the Victoria Inn overlooking the jewel that is Rice Lake. Along the way, kudos for the offerings, genuine appreciation, and heartfelt thanks. To go with the ready pay that comes with it, what could be nicer? Halibut and chips at Cap’n Jacks is a treat, as is the fine summer weather, but it is the delivery of fresh local organic to truly nice people and businesses that brings an upwelling of real satisfaction.
Also rewarding and productive are the good nature and hard work of local helpers in the fields. Meredith is living at her family’s farm for the summer. Like last growing season, she comes to help out three days a week with weeding, planting, and preparation for markets and restaurant deliveries. Lukash is a gifted guitarist making the most of a wonderful music teacher and program at Campbellford High School; his summer job is helping out here, and his enthusiasm and energy are exactly what we need. Natasha was a whirlwind who came in and got the season up and running with planting and early ground maintenance during this explosive spring. She shared her broad experience and exhilarated with her wide-ranging conversation; then was gone in a flash, via Georgian Bay and back to Scotland. And in Toronto at the markets, my trusty co-seller Chris has been ever-present and a lively, dynamic presence. Thanks to all for the warm glow you have brought to our fields, table and lives!
Local flavour and local spirit are a joy to partake of; long may they linger and suffuse.