Posts Tagged ‘Just Food’

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

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
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?

Savour the season’s best: feasts, fundraisers and more

Friday, May 30th, 2014
Photo: Vicki (via Flickr) Creative Commons 2.0 Generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Photo: Vicki (via Flickr)
Creative Commons 2.0 Generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Feasts

Savour Ottawa Harvest Table – August 17

One of the culinary highlights of the summer, the Savour Ottawa Harvest Table returns for its fourth consecutive year. You won’t want to miss this multi-course, family-style feast prepared by Ottawa’s finest chefs in partnership with local farmers. It always sells out, so get your tickets now! (All tickets are sold in advance – you can’t buy one at the door). Regular admission includes a ticket to the Harvest Table lunch, and two drink tickets so you can sample some of Ottawa’s best craft breweries and wineries. Locally sourced non-alcoholic beverages will also be provided.

A limited number of Cream of the Crop VIP tickets are available for those who want the full foodie experience including a guided market tour, appetizers and cocktails, plus admission to the luncheon.

When:                 Sunday, August 17

Where:                Ottawa Farmers’ Market at Brewer Park

Cost:                     $75/person ($90/person Cream of the Crop VIP)

Info:                     savourevents@justfood.ca.

Tickets:              https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/savour-ottawa-harvest-table-2014-tickets-11590131395

Fundraisers

Ottawa Foodie Challenge – June 1

Calling all foodies! If you’re up for a fun scavenger hunt, join the Fourth Annual Ottawa Foodie Challenge and help out the Ottawa Food Bank at the same time.

The morning of the event, you’ll receive a list of foodie destinations, along with tasks to perform at each. The more tasks you complete the more points you receive and the better your chances of being crowned Ottawa Foodie Challenge Champion. All proceeds go the Ottawa Food Bank.

When:                  Sunday June 1, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Where:                Starting at Shopify Inc, 126 York St; ending at The Albion Rooms, 33 Nicholas St.

Cost:                     $50 per person – teams of two

Info:                      http://ottawafoodbank.ca/2014/06/ottawa-food-challenge/

Food Aid BBQ and Breakfast with Mayor’s Rural Expo – June 6

This annual event raises funds for the Ottawa Food Bank’s Food Aid program, where all money raised goes to purchasing local ground beef, which is distributed to member agencies to give to people in need.

This year’s Food Aid Day welcomes the Mayor’s Rural Expo for the second year in a row, showcasing the businesses of Ottawa rural communities.

Activities will include a $5 pancake breakfast, a BBQ with hamburgers from The WORKS, live entertainment, and more.

Where:                1) City Hall front lawn; and 2) NHCAP-Skyline Building by Tower 2, corner of Baseline and Merivale

When:                  June 6, 7 a.m. at City Hall; The WORKS BBQ 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at both locations

Info:                      http://ottawafoodbank.ca/2014/06/food-aid-bbq-breakfast-with-mayors-rural-expo/

Workshops

Permaculture Institute of Eastern Ontario Workshops – May & June

Ecological Design & Gardening: Introduction to Permaculture

May 31- June 1
Perth, ON

Retreat for Permaculture Practitioners

June 21-22
Rockland, ON

Information:      http://eonpermaculture.ca/

Farmer Training Workshop: Post-Harvest Handling for Vegetable Producers – June 23

Find out why post-production activities are key to successful small-scale vegetable farming at this workshop, presented by horticultural scientist and postharvest physiology specialist Dr. Shamel Alam-Eldein. The session will cover the gamut of harvest-to-sale activities, identifying ways to maintain quality and freshness at each step. Topics will include produce maturity, storage conditions such as temperature and humidity, and preventing pests and pathogens. You’ll also get tips on how and when to harvest, as well as advice on containers and packaging, storage conditions, produce transport and presentation for sale.

When:                  Monday June 23, 6-9 p.m.

Where:                Just Food, 2389 Pepin Court, Ottawa
Cost:                     $30, payable at the door (cash or cheque)
Register:            startupfarm@justfood.ca or call 613-699-6850, x15

Volunteer opportunities

Just Food Farm

The Just Food Farm in Blackburn Hamlet is looking for experienced volunteers available weekdays to help with general farm maintenance and property work – particularly over the spring.  This could include lawn mowing and weed trimming, painting, construction and building repair. Get in touch if you have skills to share and are interested in being a part of a growing farm project

Contact:               leela@justfood.ca or 613-699-6850 x15

Torbolton SPIN Farm

Want to try your hand at food gardening? Or turn your backyard veggie plot into a revenue producer? Join the small plot intensive, or SPIN, garden at the Torbolton Institute, just 20 minutes north of Kanata. Benefit from access to SPIN learning resources, such as grower’s guides and marketing aids, and practice food-growing techniques in the SPIN farm’s outdoor classroom. SPIN farming is a market garden system geared to producing high-revenue crops on as little as half an acre.

The Torbolton Institute is an innovations hub whose goal is to make Ottawa locally food secure by 2020.

When:                  Saturdays, 1-4 p.m.

Where:                Torbolton Institute, 3924 Woodkilton Road, Woodlawn

Info:                    https://m.facebook.com/TorboltonCommunityGarden or contact retovell@gmail.com

Opportunities for farmers, landowners

Partnering organic farmers with Wholefoods

This is a great wholesale opportunity for local organic farmers and processors to work directly with Wholefoods Market, and there’s no deadline.

Contact:               Stuart.Coleman@wholefoods.com

New funding available

New funding is available to farmers and rural landowners who want to protect water quality. The Rideau Valley Rural Clean Water Program has introduced new project categories to its existing grant program. As a result, eligible landowners can receive funding for up to 90% of project costs and grants of up to $7,500.

Info:                      http://familyfarmingconference.wordpress.com/

 

 Are there any food events coming up that you’d like to share with Earthward readers? 

Cultivate your food gardening skills with these spring workshops and seminars

Friday, April 18th, 2014
Photo by Hazel Owen (via Flickr)  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Photo by Hazel Owen (via Flickr)
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Spring in Ottawa brings a feast of workshops, seminars and other food and farm-related events, all geared to getting people to start growing their own food or thinking about it. The events run the gamut from vegetable gardening and tree propagation to seed-saving and food security.

Here’s a sample of what’s happening over the next few weeks.

Food gardening

  • Beginner organic vegetable gardening workshops

This Just Food workshop is designed for the total novice and presented by David Hinks, from Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton. Choose from 3 different dates and locations.

When &               Wednesday April 23, 6-8 p.m.

where:                 Dempsey Community Centre, 1895 Russell Rd.

Monday May 5, 6-8 p.m.

Lowertown Community Resource Centre, 40 Cobourg St.

Wednesday May 21, 6-8 p.m.

Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre, 2339 Ogilvie

Cost:                      $5.00 or pay what you can

Register:              e-mail communitygardening@justfood.ca or call 613-699-6850 (x12) to reserve a spot on your preferred date

  • Organic Gardening in the City seminars

Put on by Canadian Organic Growers, upcoming seminars include:

Designing an Urban Organic Garden to Support Pollinators, Pest Eaters, and Pest Deterrents, April 22

Prolonging and Winterizing an Organic Garden/Herbs & Edible Flowers, April 29

When:                  7-9 p.m. (both seminars)

Where:                Ottawa City Hall, Colonel By Room, 110 Laurier St. W

Cost:                     $20 per adult; $14 per seminar for seniors and students with valid photo ID. Register for 6 or more and get 1 free

  • Permaculture workshops & courses

Permaculture refers to ecological design principles that can be applied to agricultural, architectural and other systems. In terms of food production, permaculture is often associated with food forests that mimic natural ecosystems and integrate multiple layers such as trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants, cover crops, green manure, root crops and vines. The Permaculture Institute of Eastern Ontario delivers a variety of workshops on permaculture design, including:

Design: Your Life and The Outer Landscape (April 26) and Ecological Design & Gardening: Introduction to Permaculture (May 31, June 1).

Visit http://eonpermaculture.ca for more information on prices and registration.

  • Urban fruit and nut tree propagation workshop

Learn about the abundance of food that hardy fruit and nut trees provide and how you can grow them here.

When:                  May 3, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Where:                Ecclesiax Church, 2 Monk Street

Cost:                     $65 – $125

Info:                      http://ottawa.hiddenharvest.ca/featured/spring-workshop-series-2014

  • Wild edible and medicinal plant course

Amber Westfall of The Wild Garden has been leading plant walks and workshops for several years. In 2014, she’s introducing a 10-class program, spread out over four months. Classes can be taken individually but are structured to build on one another.

Each session contains a short theory portion, learning activities, and hands-on experience with a select group of plants. By the end of the course, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to recognize more than 45,000 species of plants by family, correctly ID dozens of local, edible and medicinal plants, and more.

When:                  10 Wednesdays and Saturdays, May 7-Sept 6

Where:                 Various Ottawa South locations, and Amber’s CSA at the Just Food Farm, 2389 Pepin Court, Ottawa

Cost:                    $165 for 10 classes, $85 for 5 classes

Info:                     http://thewildgarden.ca/weed-walks-and-workshops/2014-wild-edible-and-medicinal-plant-course/

Food security

  • Back to Our Roots: Parkdale Food Centre Gala

Support the work of the Parkdale Food Centre while enjoying delicious food and drinks courtesy of  the Urban Element, The Merry Dairy, Stone Soup Foodworks, Supply & Demand, Beyond the Pale and Stratus Vineyards. Each ticket includes three complementary drinks, with a cash bar also available for the duration of the event as well. The event will also feature a silent auction and live music.

Tickets are limited, so don’t delay if you’d like to attend!

When:                  May 1, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Where:                Urban Element, 424 Parkdale Ave

Cost:                     $150 (with a $65 tax receipt)

Info:                      http://www.parkdalefoodcentre.org/2014/04/01/uepresentspfcgala

Seeds and seeding saving

  • Seed justice: A talk with Tesling Andrews of Aster Lane Edibles

Presented by Transition Ottawa, this talk by Telsing Andrews of Aster Lane Edibles will cover the different reproductive strategies of plants, germination requirements of seeds, plant selection, and ways to share your seeds including swaps, seed libraries and public domain plant breeding.

When:                  April 30, 7-9 p.m.

Where:                Jack Purcell Community Centre, Room 201, 320 Jack Purcell Ln.

Cost:                     Free; donations are encouraged and go towards room rental fees, guest speakers, and other Transition Ottawa initiatives.

Info:                      http://transitionottawa.ning.com/events/seed-justice-tesling-andrews-of-aster-lane-edibles

  • Seed-saving workshop for farmers and serious gardeners

Learn about the benefits of seed saving, selecting seed crops and varieties, how to plant and produce crops for seed, when and how to harvest, seed cleaning and storage, and record-keeping. The workshop will focus on producing peas, beans, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and brassica greens for seed and is part of Just Food’s new regional seed bank program being developed in partnership with Seeds of Diversity. The workshop will be facilitated by Greta Kryger of Greta’s Organic Gardens which specializes in certified organic, open-pollinated, heritage varieties of vegetable seed.

When:                  April 28, 6-9 p.m.

Where:                Just Food Farm, 2389 Pepin Court, Ottawa

Cost:                     $30 (payable at the door)

To register:       Contact mailto:startupfarm@justfood.ca or 613-699-6850 (x15)

Info:                      http://justfood.ca/start-up-farm-program/farmer-training-workshops

Starting a farm business

  • Is starting an agricultural business right for you?

The course is designed to help aspiring farmers learn what is involved in starting and managing their own farm business and also looks at other possibilities to participate in agriculture. Course content reflects agricultural trends and opportunities in the Ottawa region.

When:                  Course is held over 4 Wednesday evenings: May 14 and 28, and June 11 and 25. All sessions run from 6 to 9 p.m. and cover different content.

Where:                 Just Food Farm, 2389 Pepin Court, Ottawa

Cost:                      $225 (includes manual and visit to an area farm. Reduced cost for a second person from the same potential farm).  Pay when you register.

To register:       Contact Leela at leela@justfood.ca or 613-699-6850 x15

Info:                      http://justfood.ca/start-up-farm-program/farmer-training-workshops

 

What food will you grow in your backyard or on your deck this year?

Best places to find local sustainable food

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Whether you buy it from a farm or a small food business, sample it in a restaurant or to grow it yourself, there are many ways to enjoy local, sustainably produced food in Ottawa. What works for you will depend on your needs and budget, as well as the amount of time you have. Here are some options.

1.  Visit a farmers market: The Byward Market may be one of the oldest and largest in Canada, but there are many other farmers markets that serve the region (typically from May to October).  Besides fresh produce and locally raised meats, you’ll often find preserves, baked goods, flowers and crafts. Ask vendors if the food they’re selling was grown in the area and whether it’s chemical-free. For the market nearest you, consult Just Food’s Buy Local Food Guide or Farmers Markets Ontario.

2.  Join a CSA. When you subscribe to a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) farm, you pay a flat rate for a share of what it produces that season. In return, you collect a weekly basket of fresh-picked produce from the farm gate or a drop-off spot. You also have the chance to visit the farm, get to know the farmer who grows your food and meet other CSA members. The farmer benefits by knowing how much he or she must produce and by having the money to grow it at the start of the season. Visit Just Food for a list of area CSA farms.

3.  Buy at the farm gate (or on-farm store if there is one) or PYO: If a farmer in your area grows for the local market, ask if you can buy from their farm.  Pick-your-own (PYO) operations are also available throughout the region.

4.  Grow your own. There’s nothing more satisfying than growing – and eatingyour own food and you don’t need much space to do it in. Raise herbs and veggies in traditional containers or use structures that allow you to grow up vertical surfaces like walls or railings.

5.  Join a community garden. A community garden is a piece of land worked collectively by a group of residents. Just Food lists new and existing gardens across Ottawa, and provides support that includes workshops on organic vegetable gardening, food preservation, and starting your own community garden.

6.  Buy from businesses that sell or use local foods. Savour Ottawa lists restaurants, caterers, hotels, B&Bs, retailers and microprocessors in the region who source a certain percentage of food from local producers. In addition, some local products, such as Heavenly Honey and Hummingbird Chocolate, are available from Foodiepages.ca, an online storefront that features products from artisanal food businesses across Canada.

7.  Sign up with Ottawa’s Good Food Box program. The Ottawa Good Food Box is a non-profit, community-based program that distributes fresh fruit and vegetables, at wholesale prices, to people who may not have access to them for income, health, or other reasons.  Operating as a community buying club, the Good Food Box purchases items in season and grown as close to home as possible.

What’s your favourite way to enjoy local sustainable food in Ottawa?