Happy first day of June everyone! While the season of beaches, sand, and endless sunshine doesn’t officially start until June 21, I think it’s safe to say that June 1st is the unofficial kick-off to the summer season and all the amazing things to come in the coming months. We got over the May long weekend hump (which, ironically enough, is almost always chilly by our standards!), we’ve been peppered with a few days of muggy weather over the last week or so and now we’re fully immersed in the farmers’ market season! A number of markets have made their return in May (including Leslieville, Trinity Bellwoods, Fresh Wednesdays at Nathan Phillips Square, East York, Metro Hall at David Pecaut Square just to name a handful) and a long list of others will be joining the market family for the season in June. Given how I’ve been away for the last little while, I’m obviously behind on my market lists but rest assured, they’ll be up this week with updates and the like for markets in the Toronto and York Region area.
I am so happy to be back and to put some things behind me. I needed that time to completely annex myself from the blogging community and from most of the online world with the exception of checking e-mail (unfortunately, there was no running away from that one). So far, 2014 has been…trying, to say the least. Looking for work, dealing with winter, and making some revelations about people in and outside of the blogging community has not been fun. At all. It’s one thing to know when folks are trying to take advantage of you and giving your best one-two punch in return to stand up for yourself, but it’s a whole other can of worms when it becomes blatantly obvious that many will stoop to the level of scum to get what they want and have no issue pulling the rug out from under you when you’re not expecting it. And let me be clear that while some of this applies to me, some of it does not. Some of it is seeing it happen to others. And it has sickened me. Stealing content and ideas. Taking credit where credit isn’t due. Not being up front and playing people as fools. Using someone to pimp them for information. All without shame.
It’s been one hiccup after another and there were times during those low moments when I would think, “what is the goddamn point to all of this? I’ll just stick to my own craft and scrapbook and not share ANYTHING of mine with anyone because people are freakin’ tools and be done with all of this garbage!” And then my mum would remind me, “but your blog is your baby. You gave ‘birth’ to it and you would never give it up.”
And as much as I hate to admit it when my mother is right, she was right. I’ve devoted 20 years of my life to a love of art and food; in spite of all that “garbage”, it didn’t make any sense to let any of this go. It was so important to remind myself why I love doing what I do and the things that make me happiest. Tune out the numbers game that folks try to play, tune out the one-upping, tune out the negativity and just be strong and focus on the pure love and passion for the craft.
So while I haven’t blogged, I haven’t stopped photographing, I haven’t stopped exploring (well, except when it was unbearably cold), and I most certainly have not stopped eating! I started going to the markets again and actually went two weekends in a row at the crack of dawn recently (hopped on a bus at 6:30am!) and shopped and photographed my brains out. Simply because it made me happy. The market at Wychwood Barns moved outdoors earlier in May which made for some beautiful shots and I was able to pick up a ridiculous amount of fresh food: gorgeous baby kale, beautiful arugula (if my memory serves me right, I bought 4 bags), amazing local cheese, black bean vegan burgers and navy bean parsley pesto from Earth & City and so much more. Aside from cupcakeries, tea shops and afternoon tea, markets are truly my happy place because you can tell your story through photos alone.
Cassandra from Earth & City really tugged at my heartstrings during one of those weekend visits when she introduced me to one of their newer hires: “Deb blogs and she was there with us during our first months years ago and we were so excited because, ahhh, press!” And there it was right there, why any of this is meaningful. Because not only can we quietly make a positive impact on others through what we do but along the way we make friends, meet good people that make us believe that the good has a shot at outweighing the bad, and we become special notes and memories in each others’ life stories.
For all of Ate by Ate’s Wychwood Barns farmers’ market posts, click HERE
For all of Ate by Ate’s farmers’ market posts over the years (84 and counting!), click HERE
For all of Ate by Ate’s posts on vegan food producer Earth & City (and plenty of mouthwateing food porn), click HERE
The Stop Community Food Centre Farmers’ Market at Artscape Wychwood Barns is held year-round on Saturdays from 8am-12pm. The park and historic community centre complex is located at 76 Wychwood Ave. just off of St. Clair Ave. West, east of Christie St. and west of Bathurst St. http://www.thestop.org/green-barn-market