Archive for the ‘Local Eating in Toronto’ Category

Seeds are in!

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

seeds from Seedy Saturday

Tanny, Ella and I went down to Seedy Saturday and picked up this year’s crop of veggies. Seedy Saturday was held at the Wychwood Barns this year and it was PACKED!

Our haul for 2009:

  • Tomatoes: Yellow Cherry, Beefsteak, Ruffled Red
  • Pepper: Lipstick Sweet Red
  • Herbs: Italian Large Leaf Basil, Thyme, Italian Parsely, Cilantro
  • Misc: Sugar Snap peas, Brittle wax beans, Scarlet Nantes carrots
  • Garlic: six varieties!

Making a return to the garden from last year:

  • Tomatoes: Blanche Beauty, Black Cherry
  • Sweet Basil
  • Midget Golden Watermelon

This weekend we started all the tomatoes, the basils, the thyme and the peppers. In a couple of weeks we’ll start the melons. The rest we’ll plant directly outdoors.

I’ve already started getting the yard ready for spring. I cleaned up the leaves and debris from our East and South yards (sounds bigger than they are) and some green flowers shoots are already peeking through! We had a nasty infestation of Viburnum leaf beetle that stripped both our snowball trees last year so I’ve been painstakingly pruning all the infected branches.

This year we’re going to convert one of our flower gardens into a vegetable garden since our current vegetable garden is really shaded. We’re also hoping to plant a second fruit tree (to replace a fallen tree) and some Veestar strawberries. It absolutely breaks our hearts to know that we have to clip the flowers from the strawberry plants the first year and won’t get strawberries until 2010!

If anyone has a recommendation for a native fruit tree that doesn’t suffer from neglect and insects but has a plentiful yield – please let us know!

EcoSuave Experience

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

LocalEating @ EcoSuave

Tanny and I have been a little buried with our day jobs (which have recently extended into evening/night jobs) recently so we’re a bit behind with our posts. We’re on vacation currently so the site will get some more attention in the coming days.

As we had written previously we were fortunate to be invited to this year’s inaugural EcoSuave fundraising event. We had a table set up with two laptops connected to localeating.ca and hosted a video testimonial to local eating. Tanny and I had a GREAT time. The event was very well organised, with a lot of yummy local food and a lot of very friendly guests. It’s the first time we’ve ever actively promoted the site and it was fantastic to get feedback from people. I hope some of you found your way to our site after the event!

The video testimonal was setup as a way to enter a raffle for a wonderful gift basket of sustainable goodies. We’re planning to release the video on our site once it’s ready, but due to the excitement and energy level in the room it’s pretty difficult to hear many of the speakers on the video so I will be captioning them before I post it.

LocalEating at EcoSuave

Friday, February 20th, 2009

Josh and I have our outfits picked out and all ready for ecoSuave2009. We feel very fortunate to be asked by the organizers to attend this event. We’ll have a table there to talk to people about eating locally and a special activity that will get you entered into a draw for some awesome prizes. The whole event sounds like fun – there is live jazz and an array of food prepared from local ingredients. The food will be set up at sampling stations and is included in the ticket price. Check out the Enlightened Events website for more details.

If you’re in Toronto, maybe we’ll see you there!

Time to think about seeds again

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Even though we’re still in the middle of winter, last week’s (almost) spring-like weather is a gentle reminder that spring is coming. It’s time to head to your local Seedy Saturday/Sunday to swap and buy seeds, attend workshops and get inspired to grow your own food.  I am obsessed with the heirloom tomato varieties and can’t wait to buy more unusual tomato seeds.  After eating only Ontario garlic this past year (it tastes so much better, a milder taste, not pungent at all), I’m inspired to try growing my own. 

The Seedy Saturday in Toronto is on February 28 this year, at a new location – the Wychwood Barn. The theme this year is potatoes.

Here’s a list of Seedy events in the next month in Canada. 

Ontario

Date

City

Location

Saturday Feb 21

Port Burwell, ON

Trinity Church

 

Hamilton, ON

Royal Botanical Gardens

Saturday Feb 28

Mississauga, ON

Unitarian Congregation, S Service Rd

 

Sault Ste Marie, ON

Sault College-Native Centre-G Wing

 

Toronto, ON

Artscape Wychwood Barns

Saturday March 7

London, ON

Siloam United Church

 

Ottawa, ON

Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre

 

Peterborough, ON

St. James United Church, Romaine St

Sunday March 8

Pembroke, ON

Fellowes High School, 420 Bell Street

Saturday March 14

Kingston, ON

Kingston’s Central Branch Library

BC

Date

City

Location

Saturday Feb 21

Victoria, BC

Victoria Conference Centre

 

Prince George, BC

Exploration Place

Saturday Feb 28

Vancouver, BC

VanDusen Botanical Gardens

Sunday March 1

Nanaimo, BC

Bowen Park Auditorium

Saturday March 7

Courtenay, BC

Filberg Centre

 

Fernie, BC

Fernie Community Centre

 

Enderby, BC

A.L.Fortune Secondary School

 

Robert’s Creek, BC

Robert’s Creek Hall

 

Richmond, BC

Terra Nova Barn, 2631 Westminster Hwy

Saturday March 14

Kelowna, BC

Rutland Centennial Hall

 

Cobble Hill, BC

Cobble Hill Hall

 

Powell River, BC

Community Living Place, Artaban St

Manitoba

Date

City

Location

Saturday Feb 21

Garson, MB

 

Quebec

Date

City

Location

Sunday Feb 22

St. Appollinaire , QC

83 rue Boucher

Saturday Feb 28

St. Vallier de Bellechase, QC

école La Ruche de Lanaudière

Sunday March 8

Lanaudière, QC

Centre communautaire Le Rodriguais à Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez

Nova Scotia/New Brunswick

Date

City

Location

Saturday Feb 28

Truro, NS

Holiday Inn on Prince St.

Saturday March 7

Cocagne, NB

Ecole Blanche Bourgeouis

Saskatchewan

Date

City

Location

Saturday March 14

Saskatoon, SK

Princess Alexandra School

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

There are a couple of events happening in Toronto related to local eating and organic food. 

ecoSUAVE 2009 presented by Enlightened Events

An evening of live jazz music and local food and drinks.  The purpose of ecoSuave is to raise awareness about local and sustainable food production.  Sounds like a fun way to mingle with like-minded people. The $20 ($18 online) ticket includes samples of food and drink.

Date: Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Time: 8pm-Midnight

Location: Canada’s National Ballet School (400 Jarvis, Toronto)

For more information, visit Enlightened Events.

 

Growing for Nourishment presented by Canadian Organic Growers

A one day conference on sustainable farming, benefits of organic food and the latest research on organic food. A great forum to learn more about the science behind organic food.  The $65 ($85 after Jan 30; $55 for COG members) ticket includes an organic lunch.

Date: Saturday, February 21, 2009

Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Location: 89 Chestnut St, U of Toronto Conference Centre

For more information, visit Canadian Organic Growers.

The Stop’s Green Barn Market

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

Yesterday, Tanny, Ella and I went down to The Stop’s Green Barn Market near Christie and St. Clair. It’s not far from our house and with our CSA deliveries on hold over the holidays we were tired of staring at empty produce bins in our fridge. 

It’s a nice little market. Everyone is super friendly. It’s bigger than the market at Distillery (at least the last time we were there) but not as big as the market at the Brickworks. The market is held at Artscape’s Wychwood Barns – a converted TTC streetcar repair barn. It looks a bit like the Distillery Farmer’s Market, though much much smaller; the Distillery is also an Artscape project. The Stop, which runs the market, is an organisation which works to increase access to healthy food. 

We picked up some sweet potatoes from Round Plains Plantation. They have Tanny and Ella’s favourites: Chinese purple sweet potatoes. They also had O’Henry sweet potatoes of which we bought one to try. 

We got some eggs and ground beef from two vendors and some white potatoes as well. That night we made sheppard’s pie with the ground beef and potatos and it was delicious! They potatoes were the most favourful we’ve had in months.

Since we’ve been slow to upload recipes, here’s my Mom’s Sheperd’s Pie Recipe:

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 cup water*
  • 1 beef boullion cube*
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 stick of celery (chopped)
  • pinch of thyme
  • dash of worchestershire sauce
  • milk (to taste)
  • a few parsley sprigs
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • (optional) 1 carrot (chopped)
  • (optional) 1 cup corn kernals (cooked or canned)

* You can substitute 1 cup of homade beef stock for the 1 cup of water and boullion cube

  1. Brown beef and onions
  2. Stir in salt, pepper, flour, beef boullion*
  3. Add celery, water*, thyme, worchestershire sauce (and carrots)
  4. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
  5. Meanwhile or before: peel and boil potatoes
  6. When cooked, drain and mash with butter, milk and salt
  7. Put beef mixture into an oven-proof dish
  8. (optional) Add layer of corn
  9. Top with mashed potatoes
  10. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley
  11. Put in oven at 400F for 25-30 minutes

p.s. We left our camera at my parent’s house at Christmas so the blog will be pretty textual for a while.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Happy New Year

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2009!  We’re happy to be celebrating our first anniversary at LocalEating.

We rang in our New Year with some local rib eye steaks, maple glazed carrots and roasted sweet potatoes.

 

Local Eating on CBC

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

This morning Tanny heard a story on CBC (Metro Morning, Toronto) about local eating. The host interviewed Jamie Kennedy. Link to the audio file is here. Let us know if it expires. UPDATE: The link has expired – thanks Laurel!

From Tanny:

Here’s the gist of it:  

Jane and Jamie discussed the local eating movement in the Toronto area, focussed mainly on the restaurant owner’s perspective. Jamie partnered with Thermador and worked with local growers to film vignettes showing his take on local eating and how you prepare a winter feast using locally grown produce.   Jamie is currently working with local growers to set up a chefs’ wholesale market at Evergreen Brickworks to make local produce more accessible to restaurants.  He hopes that by allowing the growers connect directly with the end users, the prices of local produce would become affordable for more people.  There’s a new winter farmers market in Toronto – Green Barn Farmer’s Market at Wychwood Heights.

 

 

 

Off the wagon?

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

We’ve enjoyed our summer of local and organic farm fresh vegetables, thanks to our weekly csa share from Plan B.  It made eating locally so easy.  When it ended a couple of weeks ago, we decided to sign up for their fall/winter share as well.  While they have a “local only” option, we decided against it.  I was getting a bit tired eating apples and pears only for fruits, and could not fathom the idea of eating only apples, pears and root vegetables all winter.  I figured by participating in a csa, I’m still supporting the local growers, which is one of the main reasons we’re eating local.  When I picked up my first fall share, I was very excited to see bananas and oranges.  I haven’t had them since our trip to Hawaii.  They were so good (not as good as the fresh off the tree ones in Hawaii, but pretty good).  I hadn’t realized how much I missed my citrus fruits and bananas.  Ella and I thoroughly enjoyed our oranges this week.  

Does it mean that we’re off  “local eating”? No, not really.  We’re still supporting the local farms by buying a fall/winter share at a local CSA, and we’re still buying our meats from Fresh from the Farm.  Tonight, we had a very seasonal and mostly local meal of Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken with Butternut Squash Apple Cranberry Bake.  We’re changing our rules for local eating in winter make it work for us, so that when Spring comes, we’re ready to embrace the next growing season. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 13th, 2008

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. Over the course of the weekend, I’ve made two interesting food discoveries – about chestnuts and pumpkins.

Josh’s parents have a great big chestnut tree in their front yard. This year, they managed to collect a few handfuls of chestnuts before the squirrels got to them. With the instructions on how to roast chestnuts in hand, freshly printed from a google search, the experiment began. While waiting for the chestnuts, I raved about the roasted chestnuts I used to eat in Hong Kong, freshly roasted in hot sand. They were delicious. When the chestnuts were finally ready, we all had a taste – the chestnuts were bitter and awful. Nothing like what I remembered. As it turns out, we had horse chestnuts, not the edible chestnuts. After a quick search on the internet, we learned that: horse chestnuts are slightly poisonous to humans, best left for the squirrels; the chestnuts with much spikier shells are the edible kind.

horse chestnut

Horse chestnuts. source: wikipedia

chestnut

Chestnuts. source: wikipedia

As part of our CSA share last week, we got a pie pumpkin. I’ve never made pumpkin pie with fresh pumpkin before, so I looked it up on the internet. Did you know that canned pumpkin puree is not made from pumpkins? It’s Dickenson Field squash, a squash that’s cross pollinated with the butternut squash. It has tan colour skin and bright orange flesh. It tastes just like pumpkin to me, but then again, I’ve never tasted “real” pumpkin.

Dickinson squash

Dickenson squash. source: Long Island Seed Project