From November 2-11, 2018, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair celebrated 96 years of getting ‘agri-cultured’, showcasing the best in agriculture, local food and equestrian competitions from across the country.
After successfully hosting our Local Food Symposium at the Royal last year, the Greenbelt Fund was proud to partner with the Royal again for 2018 – this year as a sponsor. Every year, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair connects people with the farm community, increasing understanding about farming and the benefits of choosing local.
We partnered with the Royal to bring local to the Culinary Academy, pairing local producers with celebrity chefs for five live cooking demonstrations to audiences of 30-40 people. The demonstrations highlighted featured ingredients from Ontario producers, including cauliflower from Pfenning’s Organics and duck breasts from King Cole Ducks, as well as pork tenderloin from Hog-Tied Farms.
An important part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair’s mandate is increasing local food literacy among young Ontarians. Participants in the Culinary Academy included a group of grade 11 students from Kingston, and they were eager to learn about their connection to rural communities through the food they eat. The Greenbelt Fund has invested significantly in understanding local food literacy among young people and investing in increasing food knowledge, and participatory experiences like the Culinary Academy are a great way to engage students.
The Fund also sponsored the Craft Beer and Cider Awards, celebrating locally-made drinks using Ontario hops and apples. The Greenbelt Fund has invested in bolstering the connection between the burgeoning craft beer scene and the local food and farm community. Brewery Discovery Routes make the connection between farmers’ markets, Feast On restaurants and craft breweries and cideries across Ontario.
Enhancing local food literacy is crucial to our goal of getting more Ontario food onto Ontarians’ plates. By increasing local food knowledge, we can increase the demand for all the delicious food grown and raised in Ontario.