This weekend an eclectic collection of food artisans will be on site at Upper Canada Village as they host their inaugural Food Lover’s Field Days.
Last fall Upper Canada Village celebrated with Ontario’s top new event of the year – Pumpkinferno, which drew over 35,000 visitors during the month of October. This food event is another first, a showcase of the best of the region’s food and beverage producers from Gatineau, Kingston, Prince Edward County, Cornwall and Iroquois. What better way to represent the “100-mile Diet” and promote artisan food trends which has existed for centuries.
“We wanted to create a new innovative event and this idea seeded,” Said Jancis Sommerville, Events and Special Projects Coordinator for the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. “Everyone loves food, why not a food festival – we have a unique and ideal setting for a celebration of food.”
Upper Canada Village offers a magical experience. The village is based on an 1860’s community, complete with authentic buildings and homes. A longtime producer of good local food, the historical 19th century village is a perfect fit with its wonderful gardens filled with heirloom varieties of vegetables, operating 19th century kitchens, which use authentic recipes and methods on a daily basis.
“We further developed the idea, prepared a business case for funding from our tourism development fund, and were able to bring the event to life. Additionally, some great sponsors came on board to help in particular, Smart Serve, Foodland Ontario and South Dundas Township.”
These days our cooking trends are leaning towards healthier eating and in doing so enable us to strip down and create recipes from simple traditional methods using fresh local ingredients.
“People appreciate local foods, raw foods, slow food, organic food – we see this in research that the community wants the local authentic experience,” said Sommerville.
“What better way than at Upper Canada Village where we celebrate the past daily by making fresh bread, cheese, tending to the gardens, preserving and preparing foods in these traditional ways.”
The festival will be inclusive of the Upper Canada Village experience. Travel across the entrance bridge and experience life in the 19th century. You will find the food producers and farm vendors at the crossroads in the centre of the fairgrounds.
Savour from over thirty food, wine and beer artisans and producers:
World at your Doorstep features samples of food from around the world:
Indian by Aubin Farms; Thai by Toi Thai Cuisine; Ukrainian food by Natasha Fine Foods; Caterina’s Mexican Restaurant; and Mediterranean, to name a few.
Sandbanks Vineyards: taste of the county wines
Casselman Beer: boutique microbrewery featuring honey brown ale, signature brewed white fog wheat beer among others.
Palatine Hills Estate Winery with a specially produced signature 1812 chardonnay and merlot cabernet.
Fresh produce and healthy foods include: Upper Canada bread and cheese; Roth Child Farms with a variety of rubs, spreads and preserves; Perth Pepper and Pestle; Harvest Honey featuring cinnamon honey butter, beeswax lip balms and unpasteurized honey; Love Love Foods; Naturally Delicious, berry love crumble, morning glory muffins and a selection of gluten free products; Kricklewood Farms with Ontario’s finest cold press sunflower oil; Schnitzel Restaurant will be onsite making wood fire pizza in the village garden shed oven using fresh ingredients such as; Upper Canada Village cheese, flour and heirloom tomatoes.
A sweet array of handmade Upper Canada Village fudge, kettle corn, Chrysler Bush maple syrup, maple soda along with Olivia Chocolatiers with their fine artisan and raw fair trade chocolates, and “the worlds first” peanut free and gluten and dairy free hemp milk chocolate and many others.
Village staff will be providing garden tours led by head gardener Brain Henderson. Special features include: growing and preparing horseradish, a wandering minstrel and the travelling Tiltons. Cook’s Tavern, Tenant Farm and Louck’s Farm will also be hosting special food demonstrations and samples.
In addition, two key food experts will offer cooking sessions throughout the day.
Dwight Saunders, a raw food gourmet chef, teacher and wellness consultant from Aura Culinary Arts of Iroquois will host workshops: “Pumpkins Impossible”, “Preserving Today for Tomorrow”, “Wild Edibles and “Non-Diary Cheese Making at Home.”
Lynda Turner, a Scientist with Health Canada and owner of Zenagrry Vegetarian Cuisine, will present workshops called “All About Greens and Cooking With Kids.”
The event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday August 17th and Sunday August 18th. The special event cost for an adult is $17; youth and senior $14; and children under 5 free. Purchase your tickets ahead by visiting uppercanadavillage.com to buy online.
Why not make a weekend of it?
Bring the family along and stay at one of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission campground areas nearby. Pay your camping admission fee and get two free regular adult-priced admissions to Upper Canada Village. At the event you will only be charged the special event cost of $2 to the festival.
Also, if you purchase admission to Upper Canada Village you will receive a free pass to Old Fort Henry in Kingston to enjoy during the summer. It’s a great way not to miss these amazing historical communities.
Don’t forget a cooler bag to take home all the delicious food you’ll find at the first Food Lovers Field Days. For more information and a full list of festival activities and vendors visit uppercanadavillage.com.
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