One of the best parts of living in Ontario is the increasingly delicious diversity of food coming from our multicultural populations. Cooking globally-inspired cuisine requires globally-inspired produce, which raises the issue: how do Ontarians find ethnic ingredients in their backyard?
Enter The World Crops Project, a research group aimed at finding global crops that can be grown right in Ontario to meet the needs of our diversified population. The research is being conducted by the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, in collaboration with Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers� Association, The Stop Community Food Centre, and The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation.
Vineland – located in Ontario’s Niagara Region -A� is an internationally renowned research centre dedicated to exploring innovations in horticultural science. Their main objective is to address the demands of the agricultural industry by delivering in-depth and cutting-edge solutions and products for Canadian horticulture. For the World Crops Project, Vineland will be researching which global crops have the most market potential, the largest demand, and are most suitable to Ontario’s growing conditions.
A large part of this collaborative project will be sharing this information on a large scale, informing growers of the what, how, and why of growing these crops. First up are the ‘In The Field’ Twilight Growers Sessions, happening this summer (July 31, August 7, and August 14), which will educate farmers on the market opportunities of ethnic food production. These sessions will be happening from 6-8pm at different locations around Ontario, so sign up quick! Contact Kathryn Goodish at her email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (905-562-0320 x777).
With 250,000 new immigrants coming to Canada every year – and a 61 million dollar market for ethno-cultural vegetables in the GTA alone -A� this research will be vital in making our nation a home to newcomers and creating more opportunities for growers. From the asian eggplant to the tomatillo, more and more world crops are being harvested right in Ontario, decreasing their food miles, diversifying Ontario’s agricultural industry, and increasing people’s ability to express their heritage and culture through food.