Organic Produce Purchase Program

Check out some photos from Feast of Fields 2000

What originally began in 1989 as a modest walkabout featuring urban cuisine in a rural setting has become an event guests and participants eagerly anticipate year after year. Imagine strolling through a sweet-smelling field sampling dozens of the freshest, most succulent organic creations accompanied by organic and local wines and beers and you will get a taste of Feast of Fields.

While our successful fundraising initiative is intended to be a leisurely, sumptuous experience, the underlying theme of Feast of Fields is the connection between those who grow our food and those who eat it, and the interdependency of all living things.

To emphasize the plant-to-plate connection, Organic Advocates developed the Organic Produce Purchase Program (OPPP), which helps build and nurture the relationship between farmers and chefs. Each spring, Organic Advocates contracts several Ontario organic farmers to grow produce specifically for Feast of Fields, which is then available to participating restaurants in September. The greater the number of certified-organic producers who participate in the program, the more organic foods will be served and promoted at Feast of Fields. By initiating OPPP, Organic Advocates hopes to motivate chefs and restaurateurs to establish their own contracts and associations with organic growers year round.

As well, at the event, organic growers are invited to sell their delicious selections of organic products and answer questions about their operations and philosophies. As well, non-profit groups provide additional information about organic agriculture, the environment, fair trade and other related issues. Knowledge is power, and the sense of community is strengthened and energized through this kind of dialogue.

And energy abounds at Feast of Fields. Generous, enthusiastic and talented people make this event popular: From the chefs who create amazing dishes over a simple campfire or gas barbecue and the wineries and breweries that continue to innovate with their products, to the dedicated, hardworking organic farmers who work year round to grow the food we eat and the hundreds of volunteers who are committed to the organic movement.

Of course, there is mouthwatering fare to ensure the event's success. It's no coincidence that Feast of Fields takes place in September, the pinnacle of harvest season. This gives chefs an opportunity to take advantage of the unlimited harvest bounty at their doorsteps and what they deliver is incomparable.

One of the unique features of Feast of Fields is that the food is created to be eaten by hand, which eliminates unnecessary paper plates and other disposable items. Chefs have ingeniously served their fare wrapped in crêpes and lettuce leaves, nestled in vegetable cups and tomatoes, layered on top of croquettes and cornbread and even offered on cedar planks and pieces of slate.

Each year Feast of Fields is held at a different scenic landscape, ranging from organic farms and lush vineyards to wooded conservation areas and heritage sites.

This marriage of food and nature is not just a Southern Ontario event — Feast of Fields has been spreading across Canada. FarmFolk/CityFolk has hosted its own Feast of Fields in Vancouver for the past several years. In the Ottawa area, a group of chefs and farmers has organized one Feast of Fields to date, while Earth to Table in Calgary has taken the concept and turned it into a dinner. Groups in Halifax, Montreal and Winnipeg have expressed interest in hosting the event as well.

Funds raised through Organic Advocates' Feast of Fields help support organic agriculture and the promotion and understanding of growing, cooking and eating organics. This includes developing projects such as our own cookbook celebrating Feast of Fields and organic agriculture, The Organic Gourmet, two editions of the Consumer's Guide to Eating Organics, among other things. (Click here to read more about some of the organic initiatives that Organic Advocates has help fund.)

This year's Feast of Fields, entitled Celebrating the organic harvest with chefs & farmers, was held at Albion Hills on Sunday, September 10, 2000. The day was warm, the food and beverages -- as always -- were fantastic, plus the enthusiasm and energy among the participants, volunteers and guests were infectious. Thanks go to all of the people who made this year's event another successful fundraiser.

Some of the offerings at Feast of Fields 2000:

  • Organic Granary Breads with Chevre and Honey
  • Roasted Garlic and Potato Soup
  • Organic Brown Rice Pasta with Vine-Ripened Tomatoes, Zucchini and Hot Chili Pepper
  • Curried Vegetables in a Wild Rice Roti
  • Potato Gnocchi with Mixed Mushrooms
  • Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Organic Ricotta Flavoured with Thai Basil and Smoked Tomato
  • Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Torta with Golden Beet Vinaigrette and Striped Tomato Confit
  • Wild Atlantic Mackerel with Ox-Eye Daisy Capers
  • Casino Clams
  • Hot Smoked Arctic Char with Blue Potato Rosti and Apple Chutney
  • Game Consomme "Tagliarini" with Smoked Caribou and Forest Mushrooms
  • Rabbit and Smoked Bacon Brochettes with Thyme-Scented Jus and Buttered Pears
  • Grilled Fan Fillet of Emu with Sundried Cherries, Roasted Sweet Peppers and Rosemary
  • Smoked Baby Back Ribs with Organic Baked Beans
  • Miso Barbecued Organic New York Sirloin Marinated in Sake Infused with Organic Green Earl Grey
  • Organic Lamb Pogo with Old Fashioned Condiments
  • Terrine of Organic Duck Rillette on Garlic Croutons
  • Bittersweet Chocolate Flan with Chokecherry Foam
  • Almond Sponge Fingers and Orange Buttercream
  • Double Chocolate Cookies
  • award-winning wines and beers
  • organic vodka, gin, juices and coffee
  • plus much more!

Check out some of the mouthwatering scenes at Feast of Fields 2000.