"Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious."
– Ruth Reichl
One of the most beautiful season in Ontario is here and the best way to welcome Autumn is to celebrate our connection to the generous earth and nature at it best. Harvest festivals and fall fairs are organized in big and small cities around the province giving people opportunities to share values of supporting local produces, local art culture and food education. Why is local important? Besides learning where our food comes from, keeping in touch with the seasons and improving our health, by buying locally grown food we strengthen our community by investing our food dollars close to home. Did you know that every dollar you spend on food grown or harvested in Ontario or made from Ontario ingredients, contributes 300% more to local economy than if you bought an import? Or that every dollar you spend on VQA wine, for example, instead of imported wine has 11 times the economy impact in Ontario? (Ontario Local Food Report). So, when last week I was invited to take part in a three day food and drink festival held in the heart of downtown Port Hope, about an hour east of Toronto, I was excited. After all, who doesn't want to spend a Sunday eating freshly prepared local food, drinking craft beer (not me, but my husband) and fair trade coffee, listening to local bands, cooking with chefs, tasting winning pies from a pie-baking competition, drawing at the community coloring book and sticking fingers in a pink cloud of cotton candy made with organic sugar...
Lots of really nice things are happening at Cultivate: A Festival of Food and Drink and if you have a chance, go and participate next year. Go and celebrate a wonderful community that gathers to connect to Ontario's harvest season, to great local food, to local producers, knowledgeable chefs and to each other. A community that is aware of the importance of the farm-to-fork movement and food literacy. A community that knows that what we eat and how we eat it can change the world... Yes, it can!
Do you have a favourite Fall event?