In Woolwich Township, residents are lucky enough to have fresh, local produce right at their doorsteps. Now, others will be able to sample what locals take for granted.
Through the Taste Local! Taste Fresh! event, local farmers, are teaming up with Waterloo Region chefs to show off what area farmers are growing, in new and exciting ways.
Foodlink Waterloo Region, based in St. Jacobs, has been hosting the event for the past 12 years, and their 13th event is shaping up to be the best so far, say organizers.
Logan Martin of Martin’s Family Fruit Farm is just one of the many farmers that are participating in the public event. He says it is all about sharing the wealth.
“We grow some of the best fruits and vegetables that our country has to offer in Ontario, and in Woolwich. It is sad that so much produce comes into the area when there is already so much here,” he said at a chef and farmer meet-and-greet ahead of the main event. “It tastes fantastic here. Teaming up with the restaurants, the public gets to come out and see that.”Martin’s Family Fruit Farm has been paired with Waterloo restaurant Timeless Café for Taste Local! Taste Fresh!, and Martin says he can’t wait to see what dish they put together using the apples from the Woolwich orchards.
“I think a lot of people think apple pie, but we have been paired with some really great restaurants that have come up with some things that are far beyond what I would ever do,” he said. “It is always really exciting to see what people do with our apples.
Timeless Café chef Jason Hanoski already has the menu planned for the Sept. 11 event.
“With the honey crisp apples (from Martin’s Family Fruit Farm), we are going to be doing a savoury apple tart tatin,” he shared. “We got the apples, and we figured we would throw a wrench in it. Everyone will expect a dessert, so we are going to go in the other direction.”
For Hanoski, it is all about knowing where the food he cooks with comes from.
“It is nice to know that people you know personally have raised everything from the start to when it is on the plate,” he said, adding that he has seen local produce grow in popularity over the last decade. “Even with how popular it has gotten, a lot of people don’t know just how much variety and how much we have going on around here, within less than a 20-minute drive sometimes. It is absolutely incredible what is just outside the city limits.”
Martin wants to encourage as many people as will fit to join in at the tasting event.
“It is a fantastic event with fantastic food. You get to chat with farmers and we are really friendly people,” he said with a laugh. “There is some savoury, some sweet – anything you could be looking for.”
The event runs at Steckle Heritage Farm in Kitchener on Sept. 11 from 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets start at $65 and sell out fast.
For more information, call Foodlink Waterloo Region at 519-513-8998.