The world of dry measures - pints, quarts, etc. have little poetry in them even though they have been with us for as long as we've transported food.
Niagara has an intimate relationship with dry measures - we're the fruit belt. At the farmer's market in St. Catharines, the apples and potatoes are displayed in the traditional wood veneer (or cardboard) baskets and bushels. When we buy our 4 quart or 6 quart basket of potatoes, the transfer to a plastic bag happens. The basket goes back to the vendor to fill for the display.
The sizes are half pint, pint, quart, 4 quart, 6 quart, half bushel, and full bushel. During jam season, out come the trays that hold up to 12 quarts. Walking around with a 12 quart tray of strawberries is almost as good as walking around with a puppy.
These familiar baskets are still available from the original supplier - Vineland Growers Co-operative. They have been selling these supplies for over 100 years - since 1913. I drive by the corporate head office/retail store in Jordan Station and the retail store in Virgil on the East West Line. They have the distinction of being the longest continually run co-operative in Ontario.
From their website: "The history of Vineland Growers' Co-operative closely parallels the development of the co-operative movement in Canada. The original directors and those who have followed throughout the years have been steeped in the spirit of co-operation, coming as they did from hardy Pennsylvania stock that immigrated to Canada in the early 1800's, when barn-raisings and other co-operative activities were commonplace".
The original directors have familiar Niagara names: Honsberger and Moyer. The Honsberger Estate Winery is located in Jordan today. Nearby in Vineland is Cherry Avenue Farms - the home of the Moyers family - in operation since 1799. I drive by Cherry Avenue Farms on a regular basis. They sell all kinds of fruit - fresh and frozen.
Today's picture comes from the Royal Botanical Gardens Orchid Show on the weekend. There were many beautiful specimens arranged together into garden-like displays. While Longwood Gardens has the big display wow factor of hundreds of orchids in an arch or column, this show has the beauty of a miniature garden. Both are wonderful experiences.