Well, date night with Farmer Feed Cities! It’s rare that the SassyHubby and I manage to squeeze in a date night these days, so when I received an invitation to attend Farmers Feed Cities in London Ontario last week we decided to clear the calendar and go for it! Carpools were arranged, sitters put in place and I dusted off some of my “date shoes”. Seriously, the black boots needed dusting, it’s been that long since I went out on a date with my Hubby!
For the second year in a row Garlic’s of London hosted Farmers Feed Cities, a celebration of Ontario agriculture and local ingredients. It was an evening of elegant cuisine, a learning experience, and an opportunity to really appreciate the local food and the farmers that produce it. The Fresh From The Field event focused on year-round foods, fresh from the region’s farmers, while raising awareness for the local food movement and celebrating growers across the province.
After the SassyHubby and I made our way downtown London, we settled into our beautiful window seat and got ready to enjoy a fun night of local cuisine and a good old fashioned date. We were presented with a menu that was nothing short of inspired.
For our second courses SassyHubby had Elk.. Yes, local Elk! Renecker Farm’s Elk Osso Bucco with slow roasted root vegetables, russet potato puree, in an Ontario red wine stock reduction. Not as brave as him, I went back in for some more cheese. Goat Cheese & Potato Gnocchi avec C’est Bon chèvre gnocchi, marinated mushroom, local sweet potato and roasted cherry tomato. I would love to show you a picture of the beautifully plated Elk, but SassyHubby dove into it SO fast, my picture is ridiculously blurry!
Then it was onto dessert! Rhubarb & Pear Custard with Bosc pear and Ontario rhubarb stew featuring McComb Eggs vanilla custard and cinnamon tuille. Yummmmm.
In between all of the mouth watering courses we were given the opportunity to hear from local Farmers and ask any questions our heart desired. As we listened to the Farmers speak what struck me the most was the pride. To state that a farmer works hard would be just pointing out the obvious, to learn about the amount of care and concern shown for crops and livestock was inspiring. Never did I think I would enjoy hearing a Goat Farmer regaling us with tales of his “current and retired girls”, his beloved goats, but I did! He explained that his 200 or so working milking goats are important to him, not by simply stating so, but by letting it slip that each and every animal has a name. Such sweetness. No wonder that goat cheese was so darn good, it is created by the milk of the happiest goats in the area. Each farmer took their turn speaking with pride about their crops, their livestock and where we can go to purchase their products. Not only did I feel good about eating the food on my plate, but I am now more determined then ever to support local Farmers. I will endeavour to be more cognisant of where my food comes from and buying local whenever possible. Why on earth would one want to purchase food that has travelled thousands of miles on the back of a truck when clearly you can support Farmers like this in our own back yard?
A huge thanks to all the speakers from Farmers Feed Cities, who took the time to share their knowledge and answer the questions of us city folks.
A note of congratulations to all the organizers of Farmers Feed Cities, I’d say the Second Annual event was a huge success! I hope the next time you head out to the grocery store you take a moment to think, and try to buy local.