Local Farm Dinner Recap

Local Farm Dinner Recap

We had an amazing time at our Local Farm Dinner at Devonwood Farm. Thank you so much to all of your who attended to support us, Sarah and Lonny for hosting us, the servers who helped and all the Eat Local staff who supported. We could not have made it happen without the ever talented Zach Keeshig from Naagan, Richard from VeganCo and Ryan from The Nomad Chef. Please check out their socials posted below & continue to show your support for them.

Below are some photos from the evening, we will be hosting our Gala in October and hope you can join us. More information to come!

@eatlocalgreybruce

@devonwoodgreycounty

@chefzachkeeshig

@_veganco

@thenomadhomechef

A Tale of Two Buildings: Part 2

A Tale of Two Buildings: Part 2

396 14th St. W in Owen Sound has been our home since the beginning. Historically, it was the home of Vectacor or Hudson Bay Wholesale, depending on who you ask. More recently we shared the building with the Owen Sound Combat Academy, Hands-On Sport Therapy, and The Warehouse Gym. We have grown into the space as we’ve grown, having started with a 1,426sqft space in 2016 and expanded into 3,857sqft by fall of 2020; we are grateful for the support of the last building owner, Keith Miles, to have been able to do so.

We are supportive of Grey County in their upcoming redevelopment of the site as transitional housing and related services – it is much-needed in our region, and we wish them well as they begin to get the building ready for their needs. 

It’s hard to believe that this week marks the last week in operation in our first home – like many first homes, it’s full of memories. While we’ll miss our current space and breaks along the Pottawatomi, we look forward to making our new space a home and lunch hours by Georgian Bay. We are grateful for the special place 396 14th was for ELGB for so many years.

A Tale of Two Buildings: Part 1

A Tale of Two Buildings: Part 1

The SCP Centre has a storied history in Meaford.  Many locals know it as the former site of Amerock, an American company that manufactured hardware onsite until the 1980’s. Our new home is nestled under the old rooftop oven, with aspects of this history still visible. It later became the home of Scott Clay Products, and the Scott family still owns the building to this day (as SCP Properties) – Terry and Maureen started the business, and their children Shannon and Craig have since become involved as well. The section of the building that ELGB will be in was also the home of the Meaford Factory Outlet for many years.

The building is located at 278 Cook St, a hop, skip and a jump away from the shores of Georgian Bay, just off Highway 26. The Scott family has put a lot of care into the building, and it has seen many upgrades in recent years, with the roof to be completed this spring. Details indicate commitment to environmental considerations, most directly observed by the solar panels on the roof, but also via LED lightning and other upgrades relating to energy efficiency. We continue to work closely with the Scott family and the SCP Facility Manager, Trevor Grose (a former Meaford firefighter and the past, long-time owner of Garnet’s Esso). 

We have felt thoroughly welcomed to the building and the community of Meaford and are thoroughly looking forward to finding out what the next few years and a fresh space will bring our mighty little co-op that could.

Choreographing a Move

Choreographing a Move

As anyone who has ever coordinated a renovation or moved house can likely attest to, there are lots of moving parts and many details that need to be addressed for everything to come together. If done well, much like a well-choreographed dance, there can be little visibility of all that has to happen behind the scenes. With this post, I (Jeannine) hope to shine a bit of light on the flurry of activity currently ongoing behind the scenes at Eat Local Grey Bruce.

As referenced in our last post, the first step was finding a new home, then the real work begins. We must:

  • Prepare the new space – identify needs, secure contractors and materials, paint walls, install utilities, and touch base with Public Health to ensure that the space meets requirements
  • Plan logistical needs – sorting out new routing and schedules based on changes in geography, and planning layouts and warehouse processes
  • Address administrative needs – updating insurance, changing contact info and mailing addresses, ironing out leases and our agreement with Grey County to vacate 396 th 14 th St. W, coordinating new services/utilities and ending old ones, and planning updates to the store to reflect logistical changes
  • Manage the obvious task of getting things moved – book movers, work on layouts, get things torn down and built back up.


As we are a co-operative, there always has to be an understanding and balancing of the needs of all invested parties as best we can as we make our way through this process.

Which brings me to the important part, what I’m sure many of you have been looking to hear: “when is moving day?” We hope to only be closed for one week, the week of April 18th , to relocate our primary infrastructure, and to be open again and “business as usual” as of the week of April 25th . Of course, with any project of this size, there is always the “subject to change” fine print based on potential bumps along the way. There’s still a lot of work that must take place before we move in. We officially became tenants on April 1st (keys in-hand April 4th ) beginning our “fixturing period”, and have secured timelines with remaining contractors, allowing us to be more confident in and able to share our plans. We hope that everything will continue to roll out with the efficiency of a finely-tuned machine, and we’ll aim to keep folks updated if anything changes.


What does this relocation mean for our membership?

As mentioned before, we are hopeful that there will not be significant changes to most. A change in geography will mean some updated routing, which we hope to
communicate before too long – we are working through details at current. We are hopeful for some positive changes, including more efficient operations over the long term, and more convenient pick-up point options for those who have asked. We will be asking for some continued patience and understanding from our membership as we continue to work on getting moved and adjusting to a new space!

I often say that ELGB is as much about building relationships as it is about moving food, and this has come through in spades as we work through this relocation process. We’ve relied on relationships with contractors to secure work during these times of overbooked trades (thank you John Matches Heating & Cooling and Benedict Electrical!). We’ve worked on building new relationships with the Scott family, their Facility Manager Trevor Grose and new-to-us local contractors to ensure that work gets done in a smooth and timely manner. We’ve also worked very closely with the folks at Grey County to ensure respective needs were met as this process rolled out. Meg, Emily and I continue to work together to ensure that logistics and admin changes are completed as smoothly as possible. Our Heavy Lifting Committee, under the dedicated guidance of Board Chair David Walton, works at coordinating additional tasks relating to the move itself and final set-up in our new home. As always, thanks all of you in our wider community as well, for your continued support as we continue on working through this notable event.

Ongoing relocation highlights

  • As of the end of March, SCP (our new landlord) completed many of the preparations required for us to take on the space, including electrical upgrades and the installation of partition walls.
  • Work to prepare the floors for refinishing began on Tuesday (April 5th ), with some late plumbing work to also be completed this week.
  • Finishing of the floors will be next week (the week of April 11th ), in advance of the moving of our walk-in cooler and the rest of our infrastructure the week of April 18th .
  • The week of the 18th will see a whirlwind of activity, as contractors hopefully finish up their work in our space and we get everything moved in and organized.

Behind the Scenes of a Relocation

Having secured a new location is only the first step in the relocation process.  We will be continuing operations as a warehouse and pick-up location; however, we continue to dream about the future via our ongoing strategic planning process.

Work continues to prepare the new space for our arrival. Public Health visited the site this week and we got the thumbs-up on our plans. Walls are up and being finished by the SCP Properties crew, and much of the electrical work is underway. Plumbing and floors are also on the list of things to be done, and contractors are being secured. We plan to complete the relocation at the end of April, when we will move primary infrastructure such as our walk-in cooler, freezers and racking. We are hopeful to only be closed for a week, with the goal of being settled in May.

Some of you who are members might be wondering how this move affects you. The short answer is not at all, at least not yet. We are working hard to ensure continuity of the service that people have come to expect. There may be some changes to routing based on the change in geography, however those are not expected until late April/early May and will be communicated in advance. We are also hoping to resume and increase our use of community pick-up points in the coming months. Do you happen to know of a place that would make a great community drop spot?  If so, please reach out!  

As always, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns, director@eatlocalgreybruce.ca. We look forward to continuing to update via weekly reports on our progress, so keep watch!

Eat Local Grey Bruce Finally Found a New Home

As many of you know, Grey County purchased our building in the fall and we have been looking for a new home. We are pleased to announce that we have located and secured a new location, a unit at 278 Cook Street in Meaford. The building owners, the Scott family, and their staff have been great to work with so far and share our values of community and environmental sustainability.

While Meaford was not where we originally planned to be we are optimistic about the future of our organization in this location. It’s a great space, with potential opportunities for community collaborations and to expand ELGB initiatives in the future.

While we are sad to leave Owen Sound, we are looking forward to becoming a part of the Meaford community and excited about the potential of this location! I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your assistance in this search. We heard from many of you and investigated upwards of 25 different locations in our search for a new home, from Wiarton and Saugeen Shores to Dornoch and Meaford and everywhere in between. Our Board of Directors and staff reviewed the available options and filtered them through a comprehensive set of criteria, and outside professional advice was sought in an effort to ensure due diligence. While we are hopeful that costs will be covered by available funding, there may be additional costs that will become evident as planning continues in earnest.

We will keep you updated with ways you can support if you are interested as we enter this new chapter. There are some needed renovations, and expected tasks include finishing work such as bringing the flooring to standard from a Public Health perspective, painting, some carpentry, as well as helping to get us moved from point A to point B. All of these things are managed by our “Heavy Lifting” Committee, and any interested parties can reach out to David Walton, the Chair of our Board of Directors, at tremwalt@gmail.com.

Local Food System Series: Food as Responsibility

One of the biggest and most impactful shifts that supporting local food systems can provide is moving away from consumer cultures that embed themselves in narratives of competition and individual notions of rights towards responsibility. It is almost impossible to govern food chains as “public commons” when notions of ownership and entitlement govern how people choose to spend their money and their time.

By seeing local food system creation as a form of responsibility – we remove both the social and financial burden from individuals – often farmers within our communities – to a collective one. It is only through stepping into our collective responsibility to food, the land, and the earth that we can see sustainable, ecolonical, and ultimately ethical relationalities to each other and food. This is a huge reason why Eat Local Grey Bruce uses a cooperative model to sustain ourselves – and ensure we all share the bounty and responsibilities of local food systems.


Eat Local Recipe Series: Vegan Pesto

Ingredients

1 cup sunflower seeds from ONFC or A&E (walnuts and almonds also work great in this recipe!)

2-3 cloves new garlic from Sideroad Farm or Stewart’s Fresh Produce

1 cup garlic scapes from Lena Landei (optional! If you don’t have scapes, just add another clove of garlic or an extra handful of herbs)

3 cups carrot tops (I happened to have carrot greens on hand but spinach, mizuna, arugula or just more herbs will work wonderfully!)

1 cup fresh basil (or try mint, dill, parsley – any leafy herb will do! For herbs and greens (above) check out Persephone Market Garden, Burdock Grove, New Life Farm, Stoeckli Organics and others on the online store)

1/3 cup nutritional yeast from ONFC

1 lemon, zest and juice from Pfennings Organic Vegetables

½ cup olive oil or sunflower oil from Rallis Olive Oil or Huron Sun

Generous pinch of Himalaya pink salt from A&E

Pepper to taste

Simple Pesto Recipe (Vegan!)

Pesto is an incredible condiment! So versatile and fresh tasting, it’s perfect for spicing up summer dishes. Try this pesto spread on a toasted slice of Caraway Rye Sourdough from Aster Lane Bread with some Sheep Cream Cheese from All Sorts Acres Farm. It makes a great veggie dip as is or mixed with yogurt from Saugeen Country Dairy – grab some carrots from Bruce Huron Produce Auction, mixed cherry tomatoes from Burdock Grove or some snow peas from Twin Creeks and dip away! For a bigger meal, stir into any pasta from the Ontario Natural Food Coop (ONFC) and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese or keep it vegan with Plant Parm from The Frauxmagerie (tip: reserve some of your salted pasta cooking water to mix with pesto before stirring into pasta for extra sauciness).

All of the above amounts are only approximate and are suggestions. This recipe can be totally improvised based on your own taste and preferences. I usually don’t measure when making this – it’s as easy as hucking things into your blender or food processor, giving it a taste and adding a little more citrus, salt or herbs – whatever suits your fancy! This recipe makes about a 500mL mason jar of pesto but yield could be different based on what you choose to substitute.

Procedure

Toast the sunflower seeds in a pan on your stovetop over medium heat, giving them a gentle stir every now and again– keep an eye on them as they toast quickly! I find this step enhances their flavour and gives them a lovely, soft texture for pesto.

If using garlic scapes, I like to also chop and sauté those in a pan with touch of oil to soften them a little. Add garlic, scapes, and sunflower seeds to your food processor and pulse until a still-coarse paste begins to form.

Add chopped greens, herbs, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and zest, olive oil and salt & pepper to food processor. Pulse again until combined, scraping down the sides if needed.

And that’s it! At this point your pesto may still be warm (it’s a great time to snack on some!) – let cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container in the fridge where it will keep for several days. Note that the colour may deepen a little and some herbs may brown over time – this is totally normal and it will still taste amazing! If you’re planning to freeze your pesto, you can blanch the greens and/or herbs to help them retain their vibrant green colour through the freezing and thawing process. I usually skip this step because I eat the pesto too quickly to worry about storing it for very long!

Enjoy!

Check out our many awesome producers here and let us know if you try it out!


Eat Local Recipe Series: Camem-Pear Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

Beans – Use your favourite kind of bean! This time I decided to use canned

Botanic Cam vegan camembert from The Frauxmagerie

Anjou or Bosc Pears from Pfennings Organic Vegetables

A couple slices of hearty bread (I used a Currant and Pumpkin seed loaf from Rising Sun Bakery – also check out Aster Lane Bread and Thornbury Bakery for some tasty sourdough options)

Red Pepper Jelly from New Life Farm (This product does contain butter and is therefore not vegan – Dijon mustard from ONFC makes a great alternative!) – or use both!

Mayonnaise from ONFC

Salted or Unsalted butter from Millbank Cheese & Butter

Freshly ground pepper to taste

I love a grilled cheese sandwich – classic, filling, simple, delicious – but every now and again I like to get a little fancy and spruce it up with some unexpected ingredients. Adding fruit or veg, sweet or savoury spreads or a new cheese you have yet to try, can turn this humble sandwich into something special.

This sandwich is incredibly adaptable! The first time I made it, I fried up some bacon from Twin Creeks Farm, added it to the sandwich and then grilled the whole thing in the bacon drippings – it was so, so delicious! If you can’t find pear, try it with an Ontario-grown peach, nectarine or apple.

Serve this sandwich on its own or with a fresh, green salad tossed with sesame seeds from A&E and sesame tamari or vegan caesar dressing from the Ontario Natural Food Coop (ONFC). Find any number of tasty greens from Burdock Grove, Persephone Market Garden, Twin Creeks Farm or Sideroad Farm and sprouts from Zettel Family Farms, Stewart’s Fresh Produce, or New Life Farm. Or grab a thaw and heat soup from Redwillowhouse to serve on the side.

This recipe can be made vegan by replacing the butter and mayonnaise and by ensuring that the jam, jelly or preserve you are using does not contain gelatin or butter.
Makes 1 sandwich.

Procedure

This recipe comes together much like any other grilled cheese sandwich!

1. Slice your bread and butter the outer sides

2. Thinly slice a pear and the camembert cheese

3. Grab a pan (I love my well-seasoned cast iron but any pan will do) and preheat over medium heat

4. Spread the mayonnaise and dijon mustard and/or red pepper jelly onto the inner sides of your bread slices

5. Assemble sandwich: Place one slice of bread, butter side down, onto your hot pan. In an even layer, pile on cam cheese and pear. Crack some pepper over top and add the second slice of bread, butter side up.

6. When both sides are golden brown (this usually just takes a couple minutes each side), I like to turn the pan to low and put a lid over top to let the cheese melt completely.

Pop on a plate, cut in half, eat immediately and enjoy!

Check out our many awesome producers here and let us know on instagram or facebook if you try it out!


Eat Local Recipe Series: Popcorn, Two Ways!

Ingredients

Popcorn kernels from Backwoods Preserves or A&E

Sweet

Maple Syrup from Beaver Valley Maple or Miner’s Maple Products

Salt from A&E

Butter (salted or unsalted) from Millbank Cheese & Butter

Cinnamon from A&E or Ontario Natural Food Co-op

Salty

Butter (salted or unsalted) from Millbank Cheese & Butter

Nutritional Yeast from Ontario Natural Food Co-op

Salt from A&E

Freshly Ground Pepper

This week’s recipe is a simple one – a tried and true go-to snack in my household: Popcorn! Much of the time, I love classic buttered popcorn with a little salt and pepper but sometimes I whip up a special batch to keep things interesting. Below you’ll find two different ways I like to dress my popcorn – a sweet version that I swear tastes like cinnamon buns and a savoury version that always hits the spot. Whip these out for a night in front of a movie or on a summer afternoon to tide you over until dinner.

All topping amounts are eyeballed and done to taste – experiment to find your favourite proportions!

Procedure

Prep popcorn like you usually would. I happen to have an air popper but I also frequently make my popcorn on the stove top.

Use a heavy-bottomed pot, turn the burner on to med-high, and pour in a little bit of neutral oil and throw in just a few kernels – cover and wait until those few kernels have popped before adding the entire amount (I will often make ⅓-½ cup of kernels, I find that is enough for 2 adults).

Take your pot off the burner and let sit for 30 seconds with the lid on and then pop back on the element – popcorn should start popping relatively quickly. Shake your pot periodically to keep the kernels from burning. Once you can’t hear any more popping sounds, remove the pot from the burner and leave covered for 30 secs to let any remaining kernels pop before removing lid, pouring your popped popcorn into a bowl and adding toppings.

While popping my popcorn I like to melt the butter in a separate pan or small pot on the stove. You can also melt it in the residual heat of the stovetop after you’ve turned off the burner and distributed the popcorn into serving bowls.

Choose your toppings!

For Sweet: add melted butter, maple syrup, salt and lastly, cinnamon. Mix!

For Salty: add melted butter, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast. Toss!

Eat right away! So, so easy and yet so satisfying!

Check out our many awesome producers here and let us know if you try it out!