Tag Archives: local food


If there was anywhere in the United States that I could see myself feeling comfortable, it would definitely be Portland, Oregon. Yes, it’s true, I haven’t been to all of the places in all of the 50 states, but Portland would certainly give any other candidate a run for its money. And here’s why: 1. the local food system is sophisticated and supported by the community, such that one can procure much of what one needs or desires at one of the many farmers’ markets throughout the week; 2. there is excellent coffee found on every corner of every intersection in every neighbourhood; 3. the cycling infrastructure is user-friendly and comprehensive such that anyone could get from point A to point B in order to eat one’s way across the entire city with no problem; 4. White Pinot Noir. Need I say more?; 5. it’s delicious and has a great sense of humour. Full Stop.

Highlights from Portland

  • Saturday Market (on Saturdays and Sundays) full of artisans and knick knacks, and highly entertaining.
  • Saturday Farmers’ Market, with 140 vendors, live music, chef demos, many prepared foods for the muting right there, and a dedicated staff pleased to help you navigate and make the most of everything it has to offer.
  • The Japanese Gardens and the Rose Gardens. WHOA!
  • Alberta, Mississippi, Hawthorne and Alphabet neighbourhoods.
  • Great restaurants including (links on the Restaurant Rundown page): Higgin’s, Wildwood, Beast, and Little Bird

Wolfville Farmer’s Market – One Brick at a Time

The Plans - Photo Credit, Bruce Dienes

Eighteen years have passed and it’s been a long and fruitful journey for the volunteers, directors and staff of the Wolfville Farmers Market. Starting with three vendors in a parking lot, this community hub has been transformed into a bustling intersection of business and pleasure. Live music plays prominently every Saturday morning like a piper, enticing neighbours and tourists alike to spend an hour or two taking in all of the flavours of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. Well known for its sensational array of apples, berries, organic produce, and rich, red soils, the region is an integral piece of the Nova Scotia food map. It’s a true coming of age story for the little farmers market that can, and with a big fundraising campaign underway, the Wolfville Farmer’s Market is casting off its outgrown, outdoor shell and will be moving into its new home in September, 2011.

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Greenwich, Nova Scotia Rezoning and the Future of Farmland in the Annapolis Valley

Greenwich, Nova Scotia

Please visit

Good Food Revolution

to read my ideas on Greenwich, Nova Scotia’s farmland rezoning issues and the  Kings County Municipal Council decision to defer their decision.

Article on Gremolata.com Covering the Conscious Food Festival

ChocoSol Direct Delivery


Union 72 Lunch

Suppliers for Union 72

It was my father’s birthday. He doesn’t really care about his birthday, but my mother and I decided to make a little fuss, or at least acknowledge that it was a special day for him… I suggested we lunch at Union 72 on Ossington. Having been there for dinner months ago and thrilled with the food the first time, I thought it would be a perfect spot to entertain the folks. My parents have very good taste. They are very good eaters. And they have very high standards. It’s never a good idea to just suggest any old place. I enticed them to move out of their comfort zone (L’Espresso by Bar Mercurio), and venture to the relatively grotty Queen West/Ossington hot spot.

Our meals were very good. Both my mom and dad went for the Croque Madame topped with bright yolked fried eggs, frites with mayo, and tender green salad slathered with mustard seeds. I went for the trout fillet and chili oil with creamy-crunchy radish mashed potatoes and bright green chard. Divine! Topped it off with lemon-verbena tea and spent the rest of my day cycling by the lake in the sun. Ah, the life of leisure.

Mommy and Daddy's Croque Madame

Trout Fillet with Chili Oil

Impromptu Dinner on Harbord with my BFF

So, I’ll set the context. Picture Banana Republic at Bloor and Bay full to the brim with enthusiastic Waterloo alum, anxious to score with the discount on all store merchandise, and looking for a little networking/style advice. A couple hundred young professionals clutching their winter coats (and bike helmet, oh, that was just me…) roaming around a store with Naked Grape (I hate to advertise for them here…) spritzers sipping through straws and wondering why they decided to spend a precious Thursday evening milling about with strangers. It was hot in there, busy, and poorly organized. Alex and I spent most of our time in one of two fitting rooms which we co-occupied trying on bleached denim shirts and canary yellow dresses that fit more like scalloped chiffon curtains.

We needed comfort food. A chilly, somewhat directionless, walk south-west found us on Harbord. So many choices. Harbord Room, Tati, The Boulevard Cafe, but we decided to sample the local fare at The Harbord House. Months earlier, I happened to be cycling behind a guy who wiped out on some loose gravel turning a corner. I sat with him for a while to make sure he was okay. We spoke for a while, I wanted to make sure he didn’t have a concussion, and he turned out to be the owner of The Harbord House, and since then I had meant to go in and check it out.

I am very fond of French Onion Soup. I love the often sweet-salty, aromatic, and slippery qualities that come with those short handled bowls of yummy. But, arguably, the best part of a French Onion Soup is the bubbly, melty, stringy, browned, chewy, oily CHEESE on top!!! Cheese became the theme of both of our dinners, as Alex opted for pub classic, Mac and Cheese boasting cheddar, jack, parmesan and ermite on penne.

Veg Friendly Apple-Thyme French Onion Soup at The Harbord House

This veggie-friendly version of the classic was the perfect companion to the debriefing of a ridiculous event, catching up on the gossip, and weighing the pros and cons of opportunities that lay ahead.

The menu certainly promotes it’s effort to work with local flavours. Berkshire Pulled Pork Sandwiches, the Hoser Burger with certified Angus beef and peameal bacon. It does a good job, could do more, but the price is right, the atmosphere casual, and a great spot to stop in and have a bite sans pretension.

Lunch at Calico Cafe

Calico is a great new-ish restaurant at Bloor and Brock, using many locally sourced ingredients and offering a veggie/vegan friendly menu of freshly made, whole and hearty foods. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner.