As the cool days and nights of fall set in, and the growing season comes to a close, The Our Food Project is shifting its programming away from garden skills and focusing more on cooking with our partner communities. In the Bayers Westwood community we’ve started up our Seasonal Cooking Workshop series again, and residents couldn’t be happier to gather together at the Bayers Westwood Family Resource Centre to share a meal.
Less of a formal workshop, the Seasonal Cooking Series is more of a knowledge swap and social gathering. Friends share their experiences with food, how they use certain vegetables and spices to make their favorite dishes from home, and work together to cook a healthy meal. Given the diverse backgrounds of our participants, we find that our facilitators benefit as much as participants from the rich food cultures and knowledge around the table. It usually makes for a raucous event, with plenty of laughter, some debate, and always a delicious meal to finish it off.
Our workshops usually begin in the HUGS garden. We saunter around, and take note of what is still available to harvest, what is in season. We harvest what we can, and integrate it into the set menu we agreed upon earlier. What we can’t source from our gardens, we source from local farmers and local food retailers. It’s all about connecting people to the source of their food, making linkages from seed to soup bowl. This time around we made a simple butternut squash soup, with some salad from the garden, Hope Blooms dressing and some delicious home-made bread from Local Source Market.
Our Seasonal Cooking Workshop series runs throughout the fall and winter. We’d love hear about any recipes you’d like to share and we’re always looking for volunteers to help out. If you can help with either, get in touch!
Author: Will Hill. Community Food Programmer, Ecology Action Centre.