Tis the season to celebrate all things Ontario agriculture!
While we try to do just that year-round (it’s kind of our jam), this week (October 3-9) provides a special spotlight on the farmers and food producers who are feeding the province year-round and helps us show a little thanks for another great harvest.
Our Top 5 Ways to Celebrate Ontario Ag Week
There are SO many ways to support your local food and ag scene but here’s a round-up of our favs!
1. Visit a Farm
Getting to know your local farmers is one of the most powerful ways you can support your local food system. Whether you’re visiting a roadside market or perhaps picking your own apples, talk to the farmers about what they grow and how they grow it.
Knowing what you’re eating and where it comes from is important. The best part? Creating a relationship with local farmers is a great way to access the freshest ingredients, cook with the seasons and experience all the hard work that goes into your food!
2. Ask Questions at Your Local Grocery Store
If we all spent $10 more dollars a week on locally grown food, the economic benefit to our local communities would be astronomical. Next time you hit the grocery store, why not ask them where their local food section is?
See something from abroad that’s grown right here? Ask about that too! It’s amazing the impact that the right question can have and the more we encourage grocery stores to carry Ontario-grown and produced food, the better off we’ll be.
We also highly encourage you to do your grocery store at a market nearby that carries Ontario-grown products or directly from the farm itself!
3. Visit a Feast On® Restaurant
Did you know Feast On®-certified restaurants go through an audit process of their financials to ensure at least 25% of their spending is on Ontario-grown and produced food? In most cases, these restaurants exceed those expectations!
Why not check out our list of Feast On® restaurants and go out for dinner one night this week? They span across the province, so chances are there are a few on this list you haven’t tried. You’ll be able to enjoy a great meal AND support Ontario agriculture!
4. Try a New Ontario-Grown Ingredient
Have you ever had a bison burger or Ontario-grown edamame? How about purple garlic? There are so many different and unique ingredients grown right here in Ontario to explore. Why not find out where it’s grown near you and throw one into a recipe this week?
Not into cooking? No worries! One of our favourite ways to enjoy Ontario ingredients (besides the Feast On® restaurants) is by grabbing a craft spirit or beer made with local ingredients like a crab apple sour beer or gin made with cranberries right from Bala. Your options are pretty darn endless!
5. Buy Tickets to Feast On® the Farm
Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t do a shout-out to our final Feast On® the Farm event of the year in Niagara Benchlands!
This event will take place on October 16th at Vineland Estates Winery and will feature 5 fantastic Ontario chefs who will be creating inventive dishes (smoked trout with Ontario corn chowder anyone?) with delicious Ontario-sourced ingredients.
In addition to the food, there will also be craft beer from Bench Brewing, a selection of Sustainably Certified VQA wines and more to still be announced!
Happy Ontario Ag Week!
No matter how you decide to spend it, we hope it’s filled with local food and those you love. #OntAgWeek