All posts in category “Food Security”

  • Grape Expectations: Meet fruit scout Michael Kauzlaric

    Michael Kauzlaric of the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.

    An apple a day keeps the doctor away. It also keeps fruit scout Michael Kauzlaric at work.

    Kauzlaric travels the world on behalf of the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, looking for the next big thing in fruit for farmers to grow and for everyone to eat.

    In the latest episode of Grub, he dishes on finding great fruit and determining whether we should make room for it in Canadian orchards and grocery stores. He’s got his eye on new (to these parts) varieties of apples, pears and table grapes.

    Vineland is a testing site for six new varieties of green and blue table grapes to grow locally. I sampled three when I interviewed Kauzlaric last fall. I’d invite them into my kitchen — and belly — anytime. They were lively with flavour unlike those woody orbs from faraway places.

    I also sampled different varieties of Pink Lady apples that Kauzlaric is growing at Vineland. My fingers are crossed one of them proves itself perfect for Ontario’s growing seasons. I love me a Pink Lady. I’d love her even more if she were from around here.

    Another Cut from Grub

    The previous episode of Grub is about terroir in beef, in case you missed it. Niagara chef Michael Olson and Marty Carpenter from the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence discuss the sense of place in steak. It’s an unexpected subject for a vegetarian me, but the influence of the natural elements on flavour fascinates me. I need to do an episode on terroir in tofu some day, if only because I’m a huge fan of alliteration.

    Happy listening!

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    Category Food Finds, Food Security

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  • Peach Tree
  • Garden City Food Co-op fundraiser enters final stretch

    The Garden City Food Co-op is nearing the end of its capital campaign and is at risk of falling short.

    My column, Eating Niagara, runs every second Wednesday in the St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Falls Review and Welland Tribune.

    Sandy Middleton envies other neighbourhoods in St. Catharines.

    They all have something her downtown community doesn’t: a full-service, professional grocery store.

    That means when she needs a can of tomatoes to make supper, she has to get in her car and try her luck with traffic on Geneva Street, Fourth Avenue or through Old Glen Ridge to get to a store that sells what she needs.

    She’d much rather walk or bike, both possibilities if there was something closer to home.

    “I believe in a smaller footprint,” Middleton said. “Downtown St. Catharines should be no different (than other neighbourhoods).”

    Read the rest of the story

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    Category Food Security

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  • Peach Tree
  • Cheering on the culinary misfits

    This post was done in partnership with TVO and Food Bloggers of Canada.

    I took a roadie with some unlikely travel companions a few weeks ago.

    It was 200 pounds of Kieffer and Bartlett pears bound for Great Lakes Beer in The Big Smoke. The Kieffers were rescued Thanksgiving weekend, their fate to become compost were it not for a small group of volunteers who gave up their time to harvest them. The Bartletts were seconds from Torrie Warner’s Beamsville farm; more knobby and scuffed than some of their relatives who fetch a higher price at market with their flawless appearance.

    I made the trip with mixed feelings: excitement for what was to become of these pears — the castoffs of the fruit world — but also feeling a little guilty. Two hundred pounds is a lot of pears and someone would have to chop and freeze them to use next spring to make the second — and larger edition — of Great Lakes’ Kieffer Your Hands Off My Pears saison. I only hope Great Lakes has an intern or two.

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    Category Food Finds, Food Security

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  • Peach Tree
  • Lessons in blogging: Saying yes to a big brand, then saying no

    Source: Shutterstock

    It was a thoughtful pitch. Solid, even.

    The PR consultant knew my name, that I hated celery, that my food blog was intensely Niagara-focused.

    Those personal touches made it tough to ignore, unlike the myriad of other poorly researched and impersonal offers I get to be a brand ambassador for coffee, or to write a review about everything from medjool dates to exercise equipment.

    That’s why, rather than hitting delete, I considered writing a review of the new Sobeys store in St. Catharines. Not only was it a local story, it was right in my neighbourhood and, the consultant pointed out, the store now carried many products with a Niagara connection.

    I’m always very reluctant to do sponsored posts or take up a company on a product review offer. In fact, I can count on one hand those that I’ve done since starting this blog five years ago. I’m careful who I lend this virtual space to, not wanting to shill for anyone and everyone because I got something free. After all, it’s my reputation, my brand, as it were, that’s on the line.
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    Category Food Security

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