Posts Tagged ‘Local Eating in Toronto’

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.

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. 

Our Local Eating Experience: a reflection

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

We’ve been trying to eat locally since the beginning of the year, and since June, our meals are mostly local.  We’ve been getting our meats from Fresh from the Farm and The Healthy Butcher, and our fruits and vegetables from farmers’ markets and our CSA share.  We’re not your hardcore locavores, but we try to eat locally when it’s affordable and convenient.  Let’s face it, we’re very busy with both of us working and taking care of a toddler.  Time and money are precious commodities around here.  With that in mind, I’ve compiled lists of our experience so far:

What’s local in our kitchen:

  • all meat
  • all fruits
  • all vegetables
  • eggs
  • most cheese
  • some spelt flour
  • yogurt
  • maple syrup
  • wines
  • most beer

What’s not local in our kitchen:

  • rice
  • pasta
  • cereals
  • olive oil
  • vinegars
  • milk
  • flour
  • spices
  • condiments
  • baking ingredients
  • dried herbs
  • bread

New foods we’ve made since we’ve gone local:

  • cream of asparagus soup
  • strawberry bread
  • roasted roots vegetables
  • homemade burgers
  • parsnip mash
  • maple syrup pork chops
  • rhubarb sauce
  • strawberry jam

New foods we’ve tried:

  • rhubarb
  • green garlic
  • garlic scapes
  • parsnip
  • kale
  • odd sprouts
  • rutabaga
  • and all the heirloom tomatoes that we’re growing
  • the best chocolate milk – Harmony chocolate milk

This is just the beginning.  I’m sure we’ll be trying lots more different fruits and veggies as they’re harvested.  I’m really looking forward to the harvest of our own little garden.

Sprouts update – Week 5

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

McMullen tomatoes - over 3 inches tall

Sweet Basil

Golden Midget Watermelon brown leaves

With the exception of the watermelon, my seedlings are doing quite well.  Most have at least one set of “true” leaves.  The McMullen tomatoes are over 3 inches tall! I’m supposed to pinch back the weaker seedling in each pot, but I can’t bring myself to do it just yet. One more week.

This weekend (Victoria Day Weekend) marks the beginning of the growing season for us in the Toronto area.  I didn’t start my seedling early enough to transplant this weekend, but I will be sowing some carrots, parsnips and peas directly in the garden.



The Challenges of Eating Locally

Monday, May 12th, 2008

We’ve been eating locally (mostly) since the beginning of the year.  Being from Toronto, we are lucky to have numerous year-round farmers’ markets.  A quick search on our resource page shows 19 local food suppliers within 10 km from my house.  And yet, I find it difficult to maintain this local eating lifestyle.  It was easier when I was on maternity leave – Ella and I would have daytrips to farmers’ markets and specialty stores during the week.  Now that I’m back to teaching, I’m exhausted at the end of the day, and I still have hours of housework and lesson planning to do.  The only time we have to shop for grocery is late at night and on the weekends.  The 24-hr Dominion down the street is just so tempting, we shop there more often than we’d like to.  Sometimes, I just don’t have the time or energy to go to the market or the specialty stores.  At the same time, I get frustrated shopping at the big supermarkets. The local food selection there is very limited, and the organics section looks pitiful.  Just last weekend, I had to throw out half a bag of organic onions we’d bought the week before – they’ve gotten rotten and moldy. I don’t know if it’s because the non-organic produce has chemicals to make them last longer, or that the organic produce sits on the shelf for longer, I find the quality of organic produce at big chain grocery store to be of poorer quality.

Anyway, I can’t wait for the new season of farmers’ markets to start and I count down the days (24) to my first CSA share from Plan b Organics.  I look forward to the summer months where I’ll have more time to garden, shop for food and try out new recipes.

What has your local eating experience been like? What are your tricks to “stay on the wagon”?