Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The road is long, with many a winding turn ...

I confess.  I love going to meetings.  Wait!  Let me clarify.  I love going to meetings at my "Up North Branch Office".  Not that meetings in Sunny-Brampton, Whimsical Whitby or Majestic-Mississauga are anything to sneeze at friends.  No!  In fact some of my favorite Clients work in the bowels of various Toronto suburbs ...

However, I know that I am not alone in the feeling that there is something horrific about sitting on any of the 400-series highways.  You taunt the angel of death as you try to manoeuvre into the HOV lane. 

You gasp and swerve as Mr. No-Signal veers into that same lane without doing so at the "enter here" zone so CLEARLY painted on the road!  The countless times you've narrowly averted a major pile-up caused by Little-Miss-Twitter-Updater as she sails along at warp speeds weaving in and out of lanes - her indicator light obviously broken as well ... and the oh-too-familiar-feeling of prying your cold-white-knuckles off the steering wheel as you finally pull into the safety of your driveway ...

Imagine for a moment friends, visiting Clients via country roads. 

Arriving to the aforementioned meetings with a smile on your face.  Your mascara not streaming down your face from the tears you wept as pieces of transport-truck-tire flew past you on the off ramp.  Where the only kind of traffic you'll encounter on the way home is a tractor ... a single, solitary tractor.  A tractor that pulls over and waves as you pass him, your windows down because the air is fresh and clean.

There is, however, a drawback to this idyllic scenario. 

The commute from the "Up North Branch Office" back home should take, roughly, 2 hours and 10 minutes.  It's pretty standard.  And all in all, not a bad way to spend a few hours.

That is until ...  those few hours become ... so much more.

It is when the farmers begin to set up their roadside fruit and vegetable stands in the late spring/early summer that the commute time changes slightly. 

You see friends, I have been afflicted with a genetic disorder.  It is called Farm-Stand-Market-itis ... and I inherited it from my mother.  There is, no cure.  I have had to come to terms with this.  I have had to make lifestyle adjustments.  There isn't even a support group for people "like me".  We live ...  on the margins of society ... in the shadows ... the shadows of pop-up tents, farm stands, and any kind of structure that a farmer has at the end of his driveway from which he sells his produce. 

Things get particularly bad when people "like me" encounter a farmer's market. 

We go temporarily insane, believing that we CAN in fact eat 80lbs of green beans, 10 heads of red lettuce, bushels of plum tomatoes, baskets of beets not to mention the pints and pints of berries we stuff into our already overflowing "go-to-mark.et-basket".  And even when we KNOW that we shouldn't stop at the next stand ... the one that's JUST OVER the crest of the next hill ... we begin to tremble ... like an addict ... looking for their next fix ...

So imagine friends when on my most recent trip home I see that the asparagus farm is finally open, the egg farmer has replenished the cooler at the end of their driveway, strawberry baskets overflow with luscious red jewels, rhubarb stalks call to me ... and lest we forget garlic scapes, pea pods and freshly baked pies ...

Meesters Farms Limited - the most amazing asparagus ever.  Really, I mean it.
Lennox Farms in Shelburne - rhubarb and fighting mega-quarries is what they do best!
Check out this GREAT article written by fellow-food-blogger that talks in detail about Lennox Farms.

After this last meeting up North, I added nearly an hour and a half to my journey home.  Then I added another 15 minutes as I took a detour to see if the spinach farm had put anything out yet ... rejoice friends, the spinach is out ... THE SPINACH IS OUT!!!! <wild hand clapping, hooting and hollering>

Collins Spinach - think Spinach Nirvana ... then quit thinking about it and just GO THERE!
If there are others "like me" out there, and you're looking for someone or somewhere to turn in an attempt to help you deal with your Farm-Stand-Market-itis affliction, please know ... that you are not alone. 

And if you can tear yourself away from sucking peas directly out of their pods, and wondering why people bother to eat processed candy-crap when Mother Nature has given us the almighty pea, take a moment and let me know where your favorite farm stand or farmer's market is ... 'cause I'm always looking for my next fix.

And as I drive North again this evening (for a day of meetings tomorrow) my heart flutters at the thought of what produce has blossomed since my last trip ...

Until next time, happy marketing friends.


  1. Take a drive down Lakeshore Road in Niagara. You're head (and belly) might explode.

    1. It's like farm-stand nirvana :) We drove along King Street thru Vineland today after visiting Market Square in St. Catharines ... I needed a nap when we got home ... so many stands ... so much fruit ... so many veggies ... I am worried about overdosing on produce :) But what a wonderful way to go!