All posts in category “Food Security”

  • 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).”

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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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  • Peach Tree
  • Welcome back: Niagara’s seasonal farm workers return for the season

    I moved to Simcoe as a cub reporter at what may have been the worst time of year.

    It was January and an ornery one at that. I remember so well the aserbic wind and cold, the banks of snow and their regular growth spurts that made me think it would be impossible for them to ever fully melt. Mostly, I remember how closed up everything was, dormant, even. Everyone seemed to be in hibernation.

    Snow snuffed the frozen tobacco fields like the thickest down duvet, stifling all signs of fertility and life that Norfolk’s sandy soil was famous for generating year after year.

    And then there was the oppressive darkness, mostly my own. The weather, the long nights, the seeming lack of life everywhere made me wonder if this was what the weight of a million pounds felt like. It was oppressive. Time moved like sludge through a pipe and it was depressing.

    I truly wondered if I’d make it as a newly minted reporter and equally green Norfolk County resident.

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    Category Food Security, On the Farm

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