Posts Tagged ‘Toronto’

Heritage Chicken Tasting in Toronto

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

I heard on CBC the other day that there will be a Heritage Chicken Tasting event at Hôtel Le Germain, hosted by Slow Food Toronto.  What are heritage chickens you ask? They are the breeds of chickens from long ago that actually taste like chickens. In chicken farms nowadays, there are basically two types of chickens: one for their big oversized breasts and one for their year round egg-laying.  Not too much varieties. At this tasting, you’ll be able to try the Jersey Giant, Buff Orpington, Barred Plymouth Rock, and Americauna chickens. Apparently, the Jersey Giant was bred to be large like a turkey.

Here are the details:

Date: January 24, 2010

Time: 2pm

Location: Hôtel Le Germain, 30 Mercer Street

Price: $35 Slow Food members/$45 nonmembers

You can buy tickets from  U of T tix website.


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Ontario Strawberries are Here!

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

I just bought my first pint Ontario strawberries from a local grocery store on Friday.  They are so juicy and red!  Josh’s mom has already made 15 jars of strawberry jam.  We’ll be making our first trip of the season to our favourite strawberry farm - Organics Family Farm for more strawberries tomorrow.

Here’s a list of strawberry farms on our site:

Toronto area:

London area:

Hamilton area:

Niagara area:

 Barrie area:

Kingston area:


Oh no - sunburned tomatoes!

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Well, as Tanny reported yesterday we planted all our seedlings. After work tonight we checked their progress and, to our great dismay, the tomatoes are all limp and lifeless!! It appears we have not hardened our plants properly and they got sunburned under today’s blazing sun.

Hopefully they will recover - we’ve been dreaming of a tomato bounty for weeks.


Maple Sugar Rush

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

This week we ventured out to the Kortright Centre conservation area for their Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival. Tanny and I have a special affinity for the Kortright Centre since we got married there but we have never made it to the Maple Sugar Festival. The centerpiece of the festival is a walk through the forest to visit several interpretation areas (with yummy samples). The guided walk is about an hour. We made our own way along the trail, eavesdropping on the tours when we met them and did it in less than an hour and really enjoyed ourselves. I think that if we didn’t have Ella with us we wouldn’t have taken the entire tour. Some interesting maple syrup facts:

  • Sap from the sugar maple tree is 97% water
  • The ratio of sap to syrup is 40:1!
  • In the old days you had to boil the sap for 24 hours to make syrup - continuously
  • Modern syrup making takes 6 hours
  • Maple trees are one of only four families of trees in Ontario that have opposite branches (i.e., branches and leaves come off the main stem in pairs on opposite sides of the stem). M.A.D. Horse is the way to remember these trees: Maple, Ash, Dogwood and Horse chestnut.

Tanny and I loaded up on maple sugar and maple almonds from their sugar shack. Ella was mesmerized by the pony ride but was a little too scared to get closer than 3m away.

The festival runs until April 13, 2009.

Maple Syrup Festivel Banner


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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!


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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!


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.


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.

 

 

 


Garden activity

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

The peas are taking off like crazy this year and our heirloom tomatoes are getting bigger and stronger by the week. Not much sign of the parnsips. The carrots, while they started out strong, have had to contend with our 1 year old gardener. Still holding out hope that they bounce back! Our basil plants were thriving in the heat of last week but aren’t sure what to make of the cooler temperatures this week.

Some sights from around our gardens:

This year we pruned our pear tree to hopefully increase its yield and grow more pears than the squirrels can eat.

This year we pruned our pear tree to hopefully increase its yield and grow more pears than the squirrels can eat.

Here’s Ella checking up on the peas in the garden - can you see any carrots leaves on the bottom of her shoe?

One of our resident carpenter bees making a home in our fence. At least its not our porch again!

An unusual black butterfly. Anyone know what it is?

A snail chilling out on some clematis.


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