Today I attended Karma’s One of a Kind Market hosted by the Social Events Committee. It was great!

Paul Decampo from ChocoSol stood beside the cash displaying his wares on the newly donated table, courtesy of Susan Green of the Social Events Committee! He welcomed everyone with sample chunks of fair-trade vegan organic chocolate. As a vegan myself, I don’t use regular commercial chocolate products for obvious reasons, but this time I indulged. Paul also offered nibbles of dried cacao beans as well as coffee with chocolate added. ChocoSol has personal relationships with about 200 cacao growers in southern Mexico. They are paid directly for their produce, and then it’s made into chocolate right here in Toronto.

My connection with them goes back to when they were just starting out. In 2012 we walked from Toronto to Shelburne to draw attention to the proposed mega-quarry which would have destroyed the aquifer in the highlands north of Orangeville. Public outcry stopped the project.

In the members room, additional tables showcased various items, and a warm atmosphere was created to encourage participants to share about themselves, and to get to know each other better.

Janet Patterson displayed her colourfully hand-sewn cloth bags, including a small back-pack, as well as various fold-up cloth holders (for utensils, for example). Just above the bench, hanging on the wall, were astonishingly beautiful mini-comforters she had made. I had entered an art gallery.

Kelly Sprague, a herbalist, sat framed by these hangings. In front of her were various tinctures and plant remedies she had hand-crafted. It was wonderful to share a conversation with Kelly, who has made it a point to allow herself to be transformed by the lessons plants offer.

Laura Coramai is a registered homeopath, who I first met years ago at a Karma Health Fair, She was selling calendars, with pictures of people marching at the recent Climate Strike, that she made as a fundraiser for the Green Party and Annex Cat Rescue. We have both suffered severe cat allergies in the past. Using homeopathy, Laura’s condition improved to the point where she eventually got a cat named Kaboodle. Under Laura’s care at her home “office”, I also developed an allergy-free relationship with her extremely affectionate kitty. Today Laura told me that Kaboodle recently passed away at the age of 17. We shared a few sad moments of grieving together.

Linda Doran, with jars of her homemade fruit preserves for sale in front of her, sat quietly studying for an exam. All proceeds go to help support a local food bank. Without giving it a second thought, I scooped up a couple of jars. I am tempted to try the preserves, but maybe I’ll just give them as gifts.
Upon exiting the members room, I accepted a couple more Chocosol treats from Paul.

Kelly Sprague, the herbalist, later emailed me to say, “Thanks for organizing such a fun event! It was so nice to meet folks and chat, a great day.”

As I said, the event was great!

Submitted by Tom Smarda, on behalf of the Social Events Committee.