Check out the great events that happened across Canada on December 10, 2011 for Terra Madre Day! The stories below are a selection of the Canada stories originally published on Slow Food International. See what cities in other countries did to celebrate here!
SLOW FOOD CALGARY: THE PLEASURE AND POLITICS OF FOOD
On December 10th, 2011, about 75 citizens came together at Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Centre in Calgary to celebrate Terra Madre Day by sharing fantastic food they had prepared using local ingredients, to engage in vital conversations about our local food system and to enjoy a glass or two of delicious local beer, provided by Brew Brothers. Slow Food Calgary partnered with Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association in hosting this great event. Proceeds from the sale of the great beer and donations made by those present amounted to $250.00, which was donated to the Calgary Food Bank in order to help them with their efforts at alleviating the food distress experienced by too many local families.
This being Canada in the winter, root vegetables abounded, and the conversations around the tables tried to get to the root of both the difficulties and the great and as of yet not fully realized potential of our local food system. Local meat- bison, beef, turkey, pork, chicken and goat were also well represented on the heavily laden tables, and the feeling of many of those present was that the meat of the matter, when it came to discussing food systems, was that the fostering of dynamic, positive relationships of producers and co-producers comprising the food system was the key to creating a resilient and healthy local food system.
A passionate presentation was given by Darl Hobsbawn, a graduate of the Culinary Arts program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, introducing the nascent Slow Food Youth movement in Calgary and inviting all youths to join with him and others in building a vibrant and active youth contingent affiliated with Slow Food Calgary.
Participants were asked to engage in conversation springing from 10 questions about the local food system and to give us written feedback on these 10 questions. The ideas and inspirations offered in this feedback will be used to give both Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association and Slow Food Calgary a better understanding of how their two organizations can better serve the community in helping to promote and build a better local food system.
The most frequently offered comment received by the organizers of the event was that there was need to have such events not only on an annual basis, but more often, perhaps even on a monthly basis, with the serious issues and questions pertaining to our local food system being discussed in a more focussed and systematic fashion.
LOCAVORES GONE GLOBAL (CALGARY)
By Meghan Vesey
A small group of friends started getting together every few months to discuss books about international issues. Everyone was somehow involved with different NGO’s in Africa, from health initiatives to libraries. After many potlucks and endless hours of discussion, we always seem to come back to the same topic: what else, besides working for our NGO’s, can we do every day to help the planet and its people? The answer: food!
In our research concerning global problems of hunger, poverty, health, conflicts over resources, and climate change, we started to understand how everything is connected. And, our language started changing too! Carrots are no longer just carrots. Carrots are “Poplar Bluff” carrots. Potatoes are “Eagle Creek” potatoes. That beef roast is “Ravenwood Ranch” beef and that flour came from “Grainworks”. Food is now personal; it has an origin and a story. Food also has so much more variety! Carrots are purple, or orange or yellow. Potatoes are blue or red. Dinner takes more time to source and prepare than before but everyone has some sort of adventure to tell about how they acquired the ingredients, whether it was dried herbs from their community garden in the summer or a visit to a farm.
Together, we have changed our lives and have influenced those around us to think about what we are eating, how it is affecting us, our planet and those who live far away. Preparing a beautiful meal with friends is one of my favourite ways to spend a Saturday. We share food, we share stories: we give instead of take. On Saturday, we celebrated Terra Madre day together!
SLOW FOOD NOVA SCOTIA: A TURIN REUNION
On Terra Madre Day, Slow Food Nova Scotia hosted a passionate group of members who had all, over the past years, attended Terra Madre, Slow Food’s world meeting of food communities held every two years in Turin, Italy. The group also welcomed those who are likely to go as delegates in the next edition in October, 2012, who were eager to hear about the life-changing experience that is Terra Madre.
Filmmaker Warren Young showed a short documentary that he made about Canadian participation in the 2010 meeting. The success of the recent Slow Motion Food Film Fest held by Slow Food Nova Scotia in november was also a topic of discussion.
Slow Food Vice President Vandana Shiva will be visiting Nova Scotia in February 2012 so much of the reunion was spent discussing her visit and her powerful speeches at previous Terra Madre gatherings. There is a palpable buzz throughout the Canadian Slow Food community knowing that such an impassioned member of Slow Food will be visiting the region, said Michael Howell, Slow Food Nova Scotia leader.
The group enjoyed a locally sourced luncheon with Italian inspiration: goat cheese ravioli in hubbard squash soup, linguine alle vongole, local free range chicken braised with wild mushrooms and Gala apple pie.
Other concurrent activities in Nova Scotia on Terra Madre Day included a potluck supper at Sugar Moon Farm and a special visit to the first artisan cheese house in Nova Scotia, Fox Hill Cheese.
SLOW FOOD VANCOUVER: THE JOY OF PRESERVING: FOOD, CULTURE AND KNOWLEDGE
Slow Food Vancouver hosted an early Terra Madre Day community celebration on November 19 to look at the big picture of preserving food and learn about different cultures’ traditional methods. Vancouver has a population of over one million within the city limits, but the city is surrounded by large bedroom communities and we suffer from many of the same issues as other urban sprawling areas including land grabbing, farmland erosion, food security and social justice with both immigrant and local farm workers.
The event was held in partnership with FarmFolkCityFolk at W2 Media Cafe in Downtown Eastside, where most of the city’s homeless live. Although the area is being gentrified (by BIG, FAST money and developers), it is still known as “Canada’s poorest postal code”. This location provided an opportunity to include the food communities servicing the neighborhood and a wide range of participants. Over 400 people attended including 16 community organizations; 8 chefs paired with local producers; 19 producers; 3 musical groups and diplomats. Activities on the day included 14 Taste Education workshop, speakers on issues like raw milk and wild salmon, and five beverage tastings.
SLOW FOOD ELORA: COOKING WORKSHOPS
In the small town of Elora, some 50 km west of Toronto in rural Ontario, the local convivium decided to celebrate Terra Madre Day with a cooking workshop at the local farmers’ market.
There were more than a hundred people attending the workshops, which included a knife demonstration, cheese and apple cider tastings and cooking demonstrations. Two Slow Food Elora youth also demonstrated making a kale salad. Kale grows very well in Elora’s climate, but requires careful attention. A yummy recipe for a nice kale and pasta salad can be found at Slow Food Elora’s website.
“It was overall a great opportunity to communicate the mandate of Slow Food,” said the local Convivium leader, Chris Jess.