Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Food on the Horizon

While I have not yet figured out what to sink my teeth into to get me out of this slump, I wanted to share with you some events coming up over the next two months that are guaranteed to lift everyone's spirits. They're food events, naturally.

Only three and a half week away, the first annual Toronto Garlic Festival is expected to bring together foodies of all stripes: not just professional chefs but amateur cooks and anyone with a healthy love of garlic. Urban farmers and gardeners are invited to come and ask Ontario garlic growers how to start their own garlic patch at home, and the rest of us can stock up on our favourite varieties for winter and watch cooking demos. The festival would be incomplete without a tasting event where all are invited to enjoy garlic-inspired creations... don't forget your breath mints! The festival runs from 9 am to 4 pm on Sunday, September 25th, at the Evergreen Brick Works. Admission is $5 for adults and free for kids.

If you can spend a little more and want to get a little more, why not come to the fifth annual Picnic at the Brick Works? It's a fundraiser for Evergreen and Slow Food Toronto that features local growers, ranchers, and fishers from different regions in Southern Ontario alongside chefs and brewers who know just what to do with seasonal ingredients grown close to home. Additionally, community partners working on environmental and food issues will be on hand to share their ideas and strategies for action, because everyone who enjoys food should know about the issues! The picnic will be held on Sunday, October 2nd, from noon to 4 pm, at the Evergreen Brick Works. Tickets are $120 and well worth it.

I know it's a little scary to think about late October, but please save the date for the Toronto Food Policy Council's 20th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, October 20th! Come for the conference, the dinner, or both, and commemorate two decades of innovative food policy and action in Toronto. At the conference, ("Together at the Table: The foundation and future of food in Toronto"), food advocates, community groups, City staff, City Councillors, concerned Torontonians, and food systems experts will reflect on the past and imagine the next 20 years of food in our city-region. The conference runs from 8:30 am to 5 pm at St. Lawrence Hall, with the dinner to follow from 6 to 9 pm in the William Doo Auditorium at the University of Toronto. A suggested donation to cover the cost of the food ($10-40) will be collected on the day of the event. Please RSVP with Leslie Troy at ltroy (at) or 416-338-7934.

What kinds of food-themed events are you planning on attending in your neck of the woods in September and October?

Photo of garlic used under Creative Commons from David Goehring (CarbonNYC/flickr).
Photo of picnic basket used under Creative Commons from Steven Depolo (stevendepolo/flickr).
Photo of birthday cake used under Creative Commons from Will Clayton (flickr).


  1. That sounds cool - it's pretty interesting to hear about the food events going on in your area, actually. It sounds like Toronto has a pretty thriving food movement as well. I'm signed up for an anti-GMO/food conference in SF in Sept. Since I'm now based in LA, there's a few community gardens around, but not much else. The food movement here is very corporate, and the real social justice movement is very underground.

  2. Speaking of food events, I attended my very first Operation Fruit Rescue last night and came home happily with a big basket of cherries and a box of apples. All free! I met the director there, and she told me that Edmonton's program was modelled after the Toronto program of Not Far From the Tree! So cool! Now Calgary is interested in modelling Edmonton's program.

    So slowly, it will spread.

    I think Toronto is doing awesome for local food, blazing the way for other municipalities to follow, especially with the Local Food Plus program, I just love that.

    I hope you feel better soon, I can really relate to feeling down and discouraged and all "what is the point anyway?" I feel like that a lot. Sometimes I feel like an alien, walking around, having a different opinion about everyone else I pass on the street... Or when I watch TV and am disgusted by the annoying commercial after commercial of useless stuff that we don't need. Other times I feel good, when my friends and family are joining me in my canning adventures of putting up food...

    Take care of yourself. We need people like you!! :)

  3. Lynn - Yes, the food movement is thriving here, at least in terms of the number of interested parties, and small changes are taking place. The conference sounds promising. It's really important that we talk about GMOs and getting proper labelling on food. Too bad the LA food movement is corporate. That actually sounds like a contradiction!

  4. Sherry - Operation Fruit Rescue is such an appropriate name! I wonder what Calgary will come up with? So glad that the NFFTT model is being spread. That's what I love about these movements - unlike the for-profit sector, these ideas are designed to be mimicked elsewhere; in fact, that's a mark of success.

    That's great that you can get your friends and family to help you preserve food! What a great starting point for getting them to think about the importance of being able to care for ourselves without relying on imports... or even the neighbourhood supermarket!

    We need people like you, too. :)