For the year 2000, to continue raising greater awareness for organic agriculture, Feast of Fields will contract with a number of Ontario organic farmers to grow selected crops that will be used by selected chefs on Sunday, Sept. 10th at the 12th annual Feast.
Chefs may not realize that farmers are quite willing to develop a working relationship with them. But when it works, some interesting and unique food statements and menu opportunities can result.
Feast of Fields is currently working to be the link for organic food purchasing on a small scale for this one-day event, but we hope our work will encourage organic growers and chefs to directly set up their own deals and contracts.
Some of Feast of Fields' annual chef-participants such as
Gary Hoyer of Millie's Bistro, Daniel Gilbert of Daniel's of
Nobleton and Philippe Trépanier of the CIBC Leadership
Centre have been working to establish strong local-purchase relationships
with organic farmers. The goal is to secure a steady supply of
fare for their restaurants. The experience has
Organic foods reflect great diversity. Examples of this are "True Gold" corn, "German Fingerling" potatoes, or "Sweet Potato" squash. Expensive and imported varieties like"Anaheim" chillies and 'Daikon" radish are also being grown to show that they can be developed economically here in Ontario. Some other varieties traditional to Ontario have also been chosen and these include rutabagas, celeriac and blueberries.
The aim and goal of the OPPP is to generate as much information for the chefs and farmers leading to an understanding of "what the other party expects."
It is hoped that each will get to know the others' needs and expectations, not to mention seeing the contrast between agricultural growing conditions vs. the chef's economic/foodservice demands. This relationship can and will be strengthened.
Organic Advocates - Knives & Forks feels this to be a very important program for promoting organic farming and that the results will be tasty and tangible.
If you are a farmer who would like to participate in the Organic Produce Purchase Program, please contact us. Also, if you are a chef who would like to contract farmers directly, we may be able to connect you with some producers. E-mail us!