To say that the 23rd annual Feast of Fields was a great success would be an understatement! This year was the first time I had the pleasure of attending this organic adventure and I am sure it will not be the last.
My windows were down as I drove up Hwy 50 towards Nobleton and I was thankful that what was supposed to be a rainy and overcast day was clear and sunny – the perfect opportunity to sport my new Smiths sunglasses (thanks hun!). Upon arriving at Cold Creek Conservation Area I was welcomed by a smiling Lucy at the media & sponsors tent — what a warm reception. I was (and still am) very grateful for the opportunity to partner with a festival that honours so much local talent!
Like any true host would do, Lucy gave me a Bernardin bag to manage my schwag and a wine glass and then sent me on my merry way. And MERRY IT WAS!
From start to finish, the Feast of Fields is a festival of local luxury and organic DELICIOUSNESS!
To set the stage, Cold Creek Conservation Area is tucked away in beautiful King Township, Ontario and has 190 hectares of land within the Humber River watershed. The exhibitors were set up on the crest of a hill surrounded by a forested area on one side and a historic barn and farmlands on the other. Despite the crowd I felt whisked away to a relaxing, and somewhat enchanting, gourmet community farmers market where I could eat and drink to my heart’s desire.
Each exhibitor was set within a white tent and the smells … OH THE SMELLS … were enough to make me want to walk with a little more bounce (and speed) in my step. Not to mention, the tents were placed just close enough that I could guess what kind of exhibitor was next but did not know what their delicacy was going to be — the perfect mix of knowledge and mystery. Actually stepping foot in front of each tent to see what they were offering was like playing “Secret Santa” but all gifts keep coming to me! My kinda game!
Although not an inclusive list, here are all the vendors and their delicacies that I remember eating/drinking and I’ve put a ✿ beside my favourites …
- Bernardin – Peach Preserves topped with Vanilla Yogurt & Granola
- Best Baa Farm – Varieties of Sheep Cheese
- Birds and Beans – Bird Friendly Coffee
- Black Oak Brewing Co – Summer Saison & other brews
- Centennial College – Black Willow Mild Italian Elk Sausage with Bumpercrop Preserves ✿
- Chef Michael Smith & Sodexo – Venison Blueberry Burgers with Birch Syrup and Onion Confit ✿
- Giddy YoYo – Raw Chocolates
- Goossens Trout Farm – Trout on Crostini with Herbed Vinaigrette
- Harmony Organic – Chocolate Milk & Hazelnut Ice Cream ✿
- Hockley Valley Resort – Pork & Kale Salad and HomeMade Gnocchi
- Kingbridge Conference Center & Institute – Mexican Tamale
- Le Clos Jordanne – Pinot Noir & Chardonnay
- Majic Oven – Beef Meatballs with Spelt Rotini
- Mapletons Organic Ice Cream – Chai Ice Cream ✿
- Nobleton Lakes Golf Club – Bison, Red Pepper & Mozzarella Sliders
- Ontario Natural Food Co-op – Smoked Whitefish with Lemon Basil Aioli on Crustini
- Organic Meadow – Blueberry Greek Yogurt
- Pelee Island Winery – Pelee Pink & other wines
- Rawlly Rawlly Delicious – Coconut Bites
- Richmond Station – Potato Rosti with Wild Boar Tillette and Beet Relish
- Small Holdings & Mad Maple Country Inn – Carrot Cupcakes ✿
- SweetWater Restaurant & Bar at Cobble Beach – Pork Confit on Potato Bread with Pickled Green Beans
- Ted Reader – Rotisseried Yorkshire Valley Farms Chicken Thighs on Foccaccia with Sweet Potato and Apple Butter Honey
- The Bistro at Redcrest – Arugula, Fennel, Pickled Red Onion, Orange and Goat Cheese Salad with Cherry Brandy Vinaigrette ✿
- Vertical Restaurant – Handmade Ravioli & Chicken Liver ✿
- Whole Circle Farm – Ground Cherries & other produce
- Wholicious – Vegetarian Quinoa
Trust me when I say that there were many more vendors than what I have listed here. For example, one of our local Niagara Farms — The Tree and Twig Heirloom Vegetable Farm were also at the Feast of Fields 2012, as well as Spirit Tree Estate Cidery from Caledon. But, there is only so much room in this stomach and even pacing myself over the course of the whole afternoon was not enough to fit it all inside.
Some of the highlights from my day included meeting world-renowned Chef Michael Smith (and getting his autograph), watching Julie from Vertical Restaurant make home-made, organic ravioli before my very eyes and seeing Local-Lux on the Feast of Fields sponsors banner – that’s a first!
All in all, the Feast of Fields is a fantastic event. It is fun, tasty, full of great people and great conversations, and most of all, it is a wonderful opportunity to learn about organic foods and local efforts. I left inspired to start my own organic garden next spring – a small one with tomatoes, herbs and some hot peppers for salsa – and a renewed desire to seek out some more of my local Niagara Organic farmers.
Wish you’d come? … Well, the good news is that the Feast of Fields 2013 is only a year away — hope to see you there!!
- Coming in Sept: 23rd Annual Feast of Fields [Nobleton, ON] (local-lux.com)