A Day In The Wildland

One busy day in the St Lawrence market, “Tomorrow there is a Marathon in the city, fortunately we don’t open on Sunday, haha” Mr. Fincol said with a big laugh.

As I walked in the market, I saw so many fascinating ingredients lying all round the place. Everyone of them is yelling ” Come take a look at me, I am the best”. All shiny and alive. I wandered in the “Maze of food”, looking for my ideas so eagerly. “Hey, young man”, I thought I heard someone called out for me. “Yes, you, here” I turned around, a tall but ratherly slim gentleman standing next to a pile of tomatoes, he looks like in his mid 40s with a pair of bright eyes, “Do you want to try a little bit of our finest product? You seem to be that kind of guy who might love trying new stuff.” The gentleman said to me with a friendly face. “Why not?” He got me, I could not resisted the temptation.

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After the first bite of that ripen tomato, I can not hold back any more. It is so sweet and juicy yet with a taste of  the earth. All complex in a single fruit, so amazing. “How did you grow these little cuties into such a beauty?” I am always a good student, trying to find out as much secret as possible. “Hey, that is a business confidentiality” he returned with a joking expression. “You just have to throw your love in them, you know, just like they are one of your own, feel their pain and joy, and take good care of them.” Even I know he is joking , I can still feel that at some point he does mean it that way.  ” What makes you become a farmer in the first place?” I found this Mr. Fincol is very talkative and generous person. so I wanted to dig deeper.” Oh, you know, it is family business,  my parents raised me and my brothers and sisters in a farm, when they hit their retired age, we just come along.” Then he points to the next stalls of vegetables, “See, that is my sister and brother”

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There were tons of potatoes stack on each other, like a small mountain. White, yellow, red, all spreading at the corner. “Our farms are just next to each other, we grow different products so we don’t have to compete with each other but to add more varieties to the family.”

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I asked them whether if they ever ran into some kind of difficulties. “Oh, damn right about that.” He suddenly turned very serious. There was a market crashed a few years back, and there was a storm hit them unexpectedly, so those years were the worst, they were even in debt of almost 300 thousand dollars. Hopefully, they got insurance covered partial damage and loss, also their parents did leave some family fortunate to help out a little bit, plus they stay with each other as whole. We once wanted to quit,” He said, ” but how can we? we love farming so much, we just can’t give up, it is like your baby, you would rather sacrifice yourself instead of them” I was so touched. Finally they overcome the debt crisis, now they own almost 400 acre land.

After I heard the story of how they come back to the business in the end, it was so inspiring. I mean, no matter what profession or business you do, the same principle applies. You have to be persistent and believe in what you are doing. If you don’t love what you do, maybe you are good at it, but you will never be great. So Chefs, do your best and be bold.

Experience Canada’s Largest Year-Round Farmers’ Market. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2016, from http://www.stjacobs.com/Farmers-Market-General-Information.htm

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