Ottawa Valley Seed Growers
When you are not able to bring the people to the farm … you do the next best thing and bring the farm to the people. That is exactly what we did … and we brought breakfast too.
Farm and Food Care Ontario has been the driving force behind the Breakfast on the Farm program since 2013, bringing thousands of people annually to experience being on the farm and enjoy a breakfast brimming with local food. This year’s breakfast was presented by about 40 local volunteers in partnership with the Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association and the Carp Agricultural Society.
This was the first drive through breakfast event in Farm and Food Care’s continued efforts to highlight local food and farms and connect the public with the source of their food. On Sunday July 18, visitors had the opportunity to drive through the Carp fairgrounds and see the livestock showcases featuring beef and dairy cattle, sheep and pigs. West Carleton 4-H members were grooming, shearing and displaying their animals. The baby pig tucked under the arm of Ontario Pork and Ottawa Valley Seed Growers’ director Bruce Hudson attracted lots of attention from those in the about 350 vehicles.
Visitors drove through a series of signs highlighting agricultural activities, information and activities. Passing through the fairgrounds, visitors viewed an extensive collection of modern farm machinery from Carp area farms. Combines, tractors, balers, sprayers and planters were displayed with signage and volunteers to describe the equipment and answer questions.
The breakfast bags were the feature of the morning. Pre-ordered at a cost of $20 per bag, one bag fed a family of four.
Visitors could return home and prepare an all-Ontario delicious breakfast of local foods featuring Lanark County maple syrup, P&H Milling Group’s buttermilk pancake mix, Carleton mushrooms, and delicious apple chips. Also included were Gay Lea milk, and butter, a dozen farm fresh eggs, Sun-Tech grape tomatoes and pot barley from Carp’s Ottawa Valley Grain Products. Almonte’s Dairy Distillery sanitizing handrub and a host of recipes and ag goodies also filled the bags.
For those who wondered about the presence of Burnbrae’s refrigerated trailer on the fairgrounds, that was our fridge. The 350 bags were filled the day before by a taskforce of local volunteers and placed in the fridge overnight. Thanks to Burnbrae for the support and sponsorship! And thanks also to all the organizations and businesses who provided products and participated in breakfast from the farm.
Follow-up events included an online trivia competition, and virtual farm tours of Eastern Ontario crop, dairy, egg and mushroom farms. These are available for viewing on FFCO’s website at www.farmfoodcareon.org.
“Our ag community was thrilled to work together with FFCO to bring breakfast to Carp. This was another great example of farmers and food partners working together to enhance public trust in food” says Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association president Robert Dessaint.
This was the first of three Breakfast on the Farm events planned for 2021. Similar events will be held in both Lindsay and London later this year.
For more information visit www.ottawafarmshow.com