Thursday, May 21, 2009

Welcome to Bailey's Local Foods - Your registration was successful!

There are two messages below. One from Rachael and one from Nina.

Hi Folks,

We received your registration. Welcome aboard! You can now go to to log in and order!
- click on the Buying Club link in the menu to log in using the email address and password you provided.
(If you forgot your password, click reset a forgotten password and a new one will be emailed to you.)
- click Account Settings to make changes to your contact information and/or add additional email addresses.
(This might be helpful if you want emails sent to your work or someone else in your household wants to log in and help with the ordering.)

Anyone who has been added to your account can choose to receive the Bailey's Buying Club emails from Nina or notices when the weekly offerings open.

Before our first offering opens, we will have a TEST offering.
- click on Offering and select edit existing order for Friday May 22, 2009 to browse through some of the items we will have available in the coming weeks.

You can put in your own TEST order and make sure this new system works for you. Don't worry, no test orders will be processed.

Items that you select are automatically saved in your shopping basket. There is no need to 'check out'.

When you get Nina's email on May 23rd, you can go online and order for real! Your shopping basket remains open from Saturday to Tuesday each week. If you change your mind, you can change your order until the ordering window closes on Tuesday evening and we start calling farmers.

If you have questions, please email me at

Thank you,


You can begin placing orders this Saturday night!! Soon the local food flow will begin! I get so hungry phoning and emailing the farmers, millers, bakers, and cheesemakers. It all sounds so DELICIOUS! I can only begin to list all that we'll have next week: green onions, lettuces, hot house tomatoes and cucumbers, arugula (roquette), sundried tomato and garlic old cheddar organic cheese, and tender beef roasts. And of course, asparagus. Lots of asparagus!

The poor asparagus farmers. They've had at least two hard frosts. A hard frost makes the spears above ground un-sellable because they go kind of limp and soggy after being zapped by the frost. Lydia picked 24 pounds the other morning and sold them to me at a mere fraction of the cost because so many were damaged. I'm trying to find time to make asparagus pickles. I found a recipe where I don't have to blanch them, just stuff them in a jar and pour a vinegar mixture on top. Hopefully the frost will be done now.

I'll be sending an email on Saturday to let you know when the order form is ready to take your orders. We ask for your patience and good humour as we work out the inevitable bugs of a new order form and a new pick-up system at the First United Church (corner of King and William). If my dad Wendell, Rachael (my business partners!) and I look harried on May 29 just give us a pat or a hug and remind us that we are figuring out a new way to move local food into the city and it is a learning process. We have several volunteer Friday Coordinators who may also be looking harried. Charlotte, Josie, Vicki and Maria will be helping to make things run smoothly on Fridays. We also have a few Friday Helpers who will be helping us out: Vanessa and Esme - and maybe more will be joining us. If we're lucky, Paul and Kelly will jump into the fray again on Fridays.

100 Mile Challenge
Would you like to join a group of 100 people who are eating from within 100 miles for 100 days starting in July? If this tempts you and you want to know more, come to the info night Tue May 26 7-9 PM at the Clay and Glass Gallery. This 100 Mile challenge is organized by Healing Path Centre for Natural Medicine on Allen St. There is more information at

Inspiring Speaker on how to become a "Transition Town"
In the UK there's a great movement called Transition Townes where folks are working together to make their communities more resilient for the changes that are coming our way. This buying club can be called a "Transition Town initiative" because relocalising the food system is key to being able to handle the changes that are happening in the global food system. I can't go because I'll be setting up for the buying club's first pick up but you can go hear Jane Buchan speak 3-4:30 PM May 29 at UW (see for poster).

June 6 visit to Niagara Farm
Those of you who were part of the buying club last year will remember the amazing soft fruits from Eva and Rene Schmitz' farm in Niagara. They are inviting us to visit their farm on June 6 - before their busy season. Here is more info about the visit:

"The name of the farm is Palatine Fruit and Roses and we meet at 11:00 am at the farm (this means you will need to leave the KW area about 9:00 am). Rene will be available to walk the orchards with us and answer any questions you have (and I mean ANY questions you will learn a great deal from him!). Eva will be tending to the garden centre which is where we will meet! You can either bring a picnic lunch to enjoy after the tour at the orchard, or you may choose to take your family and make a day out of the Niagara region......!!"

The address for you to Mapquest or GPS is 2108 Four Mile Creek Rd., Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario.

New Farmer Brings us New Foods
We have a new farmer bringing us a selection of gourmet local produce. Antony John farms near Stratford and is one of the few farmers in the area that has mastered the art and science of growing produce year-round in greenhouses in Ontario. His prices are higher but he has good reasons for why and says that his produce tastes better than other mass-produced vegetables. Here is how he explains his approach:

"North Americans are, for the most part, not paying a fair price for their food, and have come to expect cheap food as some sort of birthright. The planet cannot sustain this pressure for mass production at any cost, and there will not be enough farmers producing food sustainably if they cannot cover their expenses with their crops.

We cannot compete with food produced in areas with artificially low labour costs, either from California, or from the Amish. I do not have the advantage of a large labour pool to draw from with low living expenses. I hire all my labour locally, and pay them a fair price. This keeps money in the local economy. Neither do I believe that mass production of organic food with lots of machines is the way to go either. I cannot compete with the efficiencies of machine harvesters, but I will win hands down in every vegetable variety on flavour, nutrition, and quality of life. Quite simply, I am interested in producing top quality food, and someone has to pay for that because it's labour intensive. My carrots are expensive, but they've been called the best in North America by chefs such as Deborah Madison and Michael Staadlander. The greens SEEM expensive, but the leaves are lighter than most salad mixes, so a little actually goes a long way (1 lb feeds 12-15 people). Also, the price for the greens is the same all year. This is so that the summer growing season can offset the huge expenses I have growing fresh salad in the winter months. I could offer a cheap salad mix when it's easy to grow it, and just shut down like most other growers, but that would leave my local workers without jobs, and year round restaurants without product. If they are willing to make a commitment to me, I am willing to return the favour by staying open all year."

Antony will be joining us for a couple Friday pick-up times this year so that we get a chance to meet the farmer and ask questions. I haven't tasted his salad mix yet but I am eager to!

Until Saturday,
Nina for Bailey's Local Foods

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