Food at All Stages of Production with Farm & Food Care Ontario

| January 18, 2018 | 4 Comments

Food at All Stages of Production with Farm & Food Care Ontario

Food. We all enjoy it in one form or another. I feel that it is important to learn about how the food we create fabulous dishes with gets to our homes. Farm & Food Care Ontario feels the same way, too and wants Ontarians to feel as though they can trust how food is produced in our province. Their goal is to give credible information on food and farming in Ontario. They invited Ottawa Mommy Club on their fall tour of farms around the Ottawa area to get a first-hand look at some of the food and farming in our region. I was really excited to be a part of this season’s trip.

 

Food at All Stages of Production with Farm & Food Care Ontario

Food at All Stages of Production with Farm & Food Care Ontario

 

Our first stop was to Schouten Corner View Farm Ltd. This farm is the home to a biogas system. To be honest, I had never heard of this machine, so I was intrigued to find out how it impacted this farm and the community around it.

A biogas system converts organic wastes into methane gas through the process of anaerobic digestion. The main part of this machine is a large tank that changes the waste into methane gas. The waste left behind can be used to fertilize the neighbouring farms in the area.

 

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

Building holding the Schouten Corner View Farms biogas digester.

 

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

Power centre of Schouten Corner View Farms biogas digester.

 

The biogas system on the Schouten Corner View Farm owned by Rick Schouten consists of 500m³ digester, 200m³ liquid waste tank, a pasteurizer, and two solid waste bunkers. It was so interesting to see what the results of the biogas system once the process was complete. It was also fascinating to learn how farms in the same community work together to make their businesses flourish together.

 

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

Dry waste from biogas digester.

 

We then bustled over to Foster Custom Farming, a beef and crop farm owned by Dwight and Ruth Ann Foster and their family. We got to have a first-hand look at the beef feedlot barn (built in 2016) that is like no other within the Ottawa area. To say it huge would be an understatement. It was large enough for our tour bus to fit through the pathway in its centre with ease.

 

Food at All Stages of Production with Farm & Food Care Ontario

Foster Custom Farming

 

Inside, it housed a plethora of cattle. At capacity, it can hold up to 3 000 cattle every year. Adjacent to the feedlot is another large barn where the Fosters can tend to cows one-on-one should one get sick. It was good to see that the cattle were well looked after while at this farm.

 

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

Inside Foster Custom Food Care Feedlot with cows.

 

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

Cows feeding inside Foster Custom Food Care Feedlot.

 

We then went to their grain business, North Gower Grains to learn about the shipment of this product from farm to truck. We stood on the scale where the trucks would park while grain was being poured into them from the grain elevators above.

 

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

Grain silos and elevators at North Gower Grains.

 

We also got a glimpse of the control tower where the technicians would sit and make sure the trucks were the right weight before transporting the grain to their next level of production. It was fun to see how much we weighed and how everything translated from the ground level to the control tower.

 

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

Bottom of grain elevator at North Gower Grains.

 

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

Control in control centre for grain elevators at North Gower Grains.

 

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

Feet standing on a scale at grain elevator.

 

All of this fun made us work up an appetite. We were then bussed off for a fabulous fall-themed lunch at Strathmere. This 200-acre retreat has so many beautiful buildings, and we got the chance to dine in the Garden House during this visit. We had a gorgeous walk from the parking lot to the main doors of this building.

 

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

House on the grounds at Strathmere.

 

ood from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

Front of the Garden House at Strathmere.

 

Once inside, we took our seats at the seasonally decorated tables to wait for our meal to begin. We were really excited to take a look at the menu Farm & Food Care and Strathmere collaborated on to wow us. Below is the menu of our lunch for this trip:

Moroccan Roasted Carrot & Squash Soup

Garnished with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and & Yogurt Crème Fraîche

This soup was a great way to start our meal. It was light, yet warm and with so much flavour. The day was a cooler than many of the other we had experienced. This dish not only helped to shake the chill of the day, it brought everyone at my table closer together as we raved about the deliciousness in front of us.

Local Beer Cheese Sauce served with Fine Herb Fingerling Potato Wedges

Orchard Plum, Apple & Pear Streusel Crumble

With Butter, Brown Sugar, Spiced Oat Topping

Each course we were served was superb! This soup was a great way to start our meal. It was light, yet warm and with so much flavour.

 

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

Moroccan Roasted Carrot & Squash Soup at Strathmere.

 

I am still dreaming about this burger. The beef patty was really thick and juicy. The Local Beer Cheese Sauce gooey and went so well with the Onion Jam on this sandwich. What put this burger over the top was the double-smoked bacon. All of these flavours blended to create a smoky, saucy dish that I wished I had more of to enjoy.

 

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

Local Beer Cheese Sauce served with Fine Herb Fingerling Potato Wedges at Strathmere.

 

The Streusel Crumble was out of this world. Out of all of the meals, nothing said fall better than this dish. It was sweet and homey. It was fun to taste the fruit blend separate from the streusel crumble, but when a spoonful of all of this dessert’s components was the best way to eat this dish. I was really sad when my bowl was empty.

 

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

Orchard Plum, Apple & Pear Streusel Crumble at Strathmere.

 

The day was a cooler than many of the other we had experienced so far in fall. This meal not only helped to shake the chill of the day, it brought everyone at my table closer together as we raved about the deliciousness in front of us.

Our tour ended where most of our food begins: at the growing stage. We visited Mike Mederiros at Carleton Mushroom Farm. I was expecting to be outdoors for this last portion of the trip, but I was in for a surprise once we arrived.

The first thing that came into my head when I thought about mushrooms was dirt. When we were ushered inside the facility, I was taken back at how sterile it was. I was beginning to wonder what we were going to see. Mike showed us the shipping bay and how each of the state-of-the-art rooms were controlled from the outside by the panels. Air quality, lighting, and temperature could all be seen from this point.

 

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

 

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

Control panels for growing rooms at Carleton Mushroom Farm.

 

We then got the opportunity to see where all of the magic happened. Besides the mushroom beds, everything was so clean. We got to see mushrooms at different stages of growth. We also learned about how long it takes to grow mushrooms ready for consumption (about 10-14 days), and that little was wasted at this farm to improve on the quality of the mushrooms they were producing. It may sound weird to say, but it was a beautiful farm to visit and to see the process this product goes through was fabulous.

 

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

Stage 2 of Mushroom growth in a mushroom bed.

 

Food from All Stages of Production with Farm and Food Care Ontario

Cutting stage for mushrooms in mushroom bed.

 

The Farm & Food Care Fall Tour was an experience I will not soon forget. I learned so much about the food cycle and the care that is put in at every stage. It was also inspiring to see the positive direction in which food production is headed. I was truly honoured to have been a part of this trip and to see how well this corner of our province is doing to care about the food and produce being put on its citizen’s tables.

Curious to find out more about Farm & Food Care Ontario?  I paid a visit to their website and connected with them on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube pages to learn out more!

 

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Category: Blogs, Dining, Food, Home & Garden, Living, Tips, Weekly Themes

About the Author ()

My name is Lian Wright. Born in Toronto, I came to Ottawa as a student to study Political Science at Carleton University, and came away with an Honours Degree, and decided to stay. I'm a huge sports fan, have a love of reading, and like experiencing new things whenever I can. I am now a mother of three children (11, 1 and 7 months old) and am kept constantly on my toes. My blog, Pieces of Me, is my way of sharing what I have enjoyed and encountered in my life so far as a mother. So far, being a mom has had it's expected ups and downs, but that's what makes being a parent so fulfilling for me. I've loved and learned from what's happened so far, and I can't wait to see what's in store for me next. I hope you enjoy the journey with me!

Comments (4)

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  1. Lynda Cook says:

    This sounds like a great tour to go on and it’s very educational , I would love to go on a tour such as this!

  2. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    Wow, what a splendid day that must have been and to top it all off a great meal to enjoy before heading home.

  3. Rosie says:

    This is so wonderful, educational, and lots of fun, and yummy food, too. I would love to do this. Lucky you!

  4. AD says:

    I love knowing where my food comes from!

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