It’s Monday morning, and I’m eating dessert for lunch. Make that eight desserts. I’m at Bobier Villa, one of three homes, which make up Elgin County Homes, and one of six Greenbelt Fund Local Food Challenge grantees. Bobier, the “little home with a big heart,” is located in Dutton/Dunwich, a tiny municipality (population: 3,876) in Elgin County. This day, they were celebrating local food, their 16th anniversary, and the next phase of their project with a dessert bake-off.
The three homes, Terrace Lodge, Elgin Manor, and the Villa, invited staff to submit their best recipes, and held their bake-offs simultaneously. Judges at Bobier included Mayor Cameron McWilliam, John Kersten from maintenance, and three residents who are on the food committee.
Entries were scored on taste, appearance, and use of one or both of the key ingredients; Ontario honey and local berries. Staff brought them out one by one, and the resounding “ooohs and ahs” rewarded their phenomenal efforts. Let’s just say it’s a good thing I skipped breakfast. There was Red Velvet cake with Ontario raspberries, Berry Crepes and mini trifles. There Sour Cream Peach Pie, Queen Elizabeth Squares, and a banana cake (no, bananas aren’t local, but the honey was!).
In the end, first prize at Bobier went to Barb Trudell from housekeeping for her crepes. The real winners are our farmers and Ontario food. With five months to go in the Challenge, Elgin County Homes have purchased more than $18,000 in local food, proving that even small projects can make a big impact.
Keep visiting for more stories about our Local Food Challenge grantees!
-Kelly Hughes, Education and Outreach Specialist, Greenbelt Fund