Late summer sampler: Ottawa events include seed-saving workshop, urban farm tours, cooking classes and more

Seed saving Photo: Kt.ries (via Flickr) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ca/

Seed saving
Photo: Kt.ries (via Flickr) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ca/

The last Earthward post (Feast on, Ottawa) rounded up the city’s best celebrations of the local harvest, such as the Savour Ottawa Harvest Table, Canadian Organic Growers (COG) Feast of Fields, and the Harvest Noir picnic.

But there’s more than feasts to Ottawa-Gatineau’s food and farming scene. The next few months will see a variety of events offering you the chance to brush up your food skills while enjoying the last weeks of the season. Check them out.

Seed-saving workshops – Aug 20 and 27

Our food supply has come to depend on a handful of crop varieties, making it more vulnerable to disease, pests and climate change. Saving seeds promotes genetic diversity in crops and helps ensure a secure, resilient food supply. To learn more about this traditional practice and save your favourite fruit and vegetable varieties from year to year, join Just Food’s Community Gardening Network in an instructional workshop led by Greta Kryger of Greta’s Organic Gardens.

When + where:                     Aug 20, 6 -8 p.m., Dempsey Community Centre OR

August 27, 6-8 p.m. at the Bayshore Park Fieldhouse

How much:                            $5 or pay what you can

Info/register:                        email CGNintern@justfood.ca or call 699-6850 x12

8th Annual Urban Agricultural Bike Tour – Aug 23

Just Food invites you to participate in this fun, popular event aimed at increasing awareness of and support for Ottawa’s community gardens, and sparking dialogue about the importance of accessible local food.

The full 12 km bike route tours six community gardens; a family-friendly 7 km tour takes in four gardens.

When:                                  Aug 23, 10 a.m.

Where:                                Strathcona Park parking lot (off Range Road in Sandy Hill)

How much:                      $5 donation to the Ottawa Food Bank or pay what you can

Info/registration:       email Olivia at cgnintern@justfood.ca or call  613-699-6850 x12.

Just Food Start-Up Farm 2015

If you’ve ever wanted to start your own farming business, check out Just Food’s Start-Up Farm Program.  It offers a low-risk way for new farmers to test their business ideas and develop additional skills, experience, markets and networks before committing to a larger, longer-term farm operation.

Applications for the 2015 growing season will open in September, but to learn more now, call 613-699-6850 x15, or email leela@justfood.ca

Urban Element hands-on cooking classes

Urban Element is featuring three late-summer classes designed to hone your kitchen skills, inspire fresh meal ideas, and thrill your taste buds. All classes will be held at the Urban Element on Parkdale Avenue. For more information or to register, visit http://www.theurbanelement.ca/#/home.

A Berry Midnights Summer Dream with Chef Bruce Wood – Aug 19  

On the menu: Lugtread-, garlic- and chili-sautéed prawns with salsa verde; pork back ribs with beer and rye-infused barbecue sauce; summer fruit and vegetable slaw; roasted corn muffins; and chilli- and rum-grilled pineapple with fresh berries and coconut custard.

When:                                  August 19, 6 – 9 p.m.

How much:                      $120/person

Summer BBQ Series: Part IV – Resident Chef Anna March – Aug 23 

Prepare a BBQ feast of: grilled shrimp and corn chowder with coriander and corn; hot smoked planked trout with grilled potato salad, crème fraiche, fresh dill chive and parsley herb salad; flank steak lettuce wraps with butter lettuce, balsamic and soy marinade, chimichurri sauce and avocado; and much more.

When:                                  Aug 23, 6-9 p.m.

How much:                     $160/person

Late Summer Picnic – Chef Bruce Wood – Aug 26

Join the chef to prepare: Bay scallops tossed with anchovy, preserved lemon and scallion vinaigrette; Jamaican jerk chicken with a cold salad of rice and peas with spicy vinaigrette; sweet potato scones with whipped herb chèvre; and maple liqueur-soaked summer berries with lemon chiffon cakes.

When:                                  Aug 26, 6-9 p.m.

How much:                     $120/person

Celebrate Organic Week – Sept 20-28

COG’s Organic Week is Canada’s biggest celebration of organic farming, food and products. Events can include pickling workshops, recipe contests, farm tours, and organic food and drink tastings in retail locations nationwide. Every organic grower or advocate, every school, retailer and chef can participate.

Search the COG events page for Ottawa or plan an event in your community that COG can post on its website.

Just Food’s September Farm Workshop Series

Interested in learning more about beekeeping, growing mushrooms or wild and medicinal plants? Just Food will hold a series of three workshops in September, presented by some of our very own local producers at the farm. These workshops are open to the public, farmers, gardeners and anyone looking to gain new skills. No previous farm experience or knowledge is necessary. Bring your friends and come learn new, creative and tasty ways to appreciate local goods this fall! Registration is required.

When:                                  All workshops run from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

                                                Sept 13:   Beekeeping with Ron St. Louis of Radical Homestead

                                                Sept 20:   How to Grow Mushrooms with Shelly Lambert and Lukasz Wozniak of Nanabush Food Forests

                                                Sept 27:   Wild Edibles and Medicinal Plants with Amber Westfall (see my post about farmer, forager and herbalist Amber Westfall’s and The Wild Garden CSA).

Where:                                Just Food Farm, 2389 Pepin Court, Ottawa

How much:                     $10/workshop or $20/all three

Register:                            Send an email to startupfarm@justfood.ca with your name, email address, and indicate which workshops you would like to attend.

 

What would you like to learn about food and farming this fall?

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