Last autumn I was given a chance to work as a canvasser in Burlington for the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. Despite the common belief that canvassing is no fun, this gig turned out to be a really positive experience. More than 90% of the people I spoke with told me they support the Greenbelt! As I went door to door, I listened to people referencing all the good things that come from the Greenbelt; from clean air to fresh water, and from natural heritage to a robust local economy. I had a wonderful time making friends in the blustery fall weather, and getting to know Burlington, a truly vibrant community.
Canvassing for the Greenbelt in Burlington definitely had its benefits, such as the scenery.
One thing led to another and I am now working full-time out of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation’s Toronto office. Among other things with my new position here, I am responsible for managing events—and this year has kicked off to a very tasty start!
On February 28, 2014, the Greenbelt turned nine years old, and we marked the occasion "on ice" with the rink at Celebration Square in Mississauga. We were there with many friends and supporters to recognize the recent work done by Mississauga City Council to bring Greenbelt protection into their urban river valleys. To celebrate, we warmed everyone up with free hot chocolate and served up a delicious carrot cake.
View more photos on flickr.
What makes this cake really interesting is the story behind it. I wanted to use this giant cake as a chance to shine the spotlight on some businesses that are making a real impact in the local food sector, and also to build new connections between a Mississauga bakery and other food businesses in the Greenbelt.
First of all, I thought it would make sense if the cake were baked with fresh Greenbelt ingredients. But I also wanted to work with a company that could bring the produce directly to the bakery. And, of course, I needed a baker that was keen to try something new…
Well, it worked!
Hillside Gardens Ltd. supplied us with heritage varieties of coloured carrots from the Holland Marsh, where they have been growing root vegetables in the rich muck soil for four generations.
Besides carrots, their farm also grows onions, turnips, beets, and parsnips, as well as heritage varieties of beets and carrots.
The eggs in the cake are pasture-raised eggs from Mennonite farms that were aggregated and graded at Homestead Farm, a Registered Egg Grading Station located just one kilometer away from the Holland Marsh.
I then contacted 100km Foods Inc., a delivery company specializing in the sale and distribution of local, sustainable foods. They have a comprehensive offering, including fresh, harvested-to-order, in-season fruits and vegetables, farm-fresh dairy, free-run eggs, artisanally-milled grains and flours, and pantry staples like maple syrup, honey, and beans.
100km Foods then delivered the ingredients to Cake Royale Café, an independent bakery in Streetsville, Mississauga, that bakes treats with a focus on traditional recipes. Cake Royale Café expressed a genuine interest in using quality Greenbelt ingredients. It was a perfect match!
The event turned out wonderfully, and I had a blast sharing Greenbelt carrot cake with new and existing friends. As a bonus, the Greenbelt's 9th Anniversary has served to weave some exciting new connections between food businesses in and around Mississauga.
Celebrating the Greenbelt's 9th Anniversary has been a slice!
Cake Ingredient List
- Wheat flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Cream cheese
-- Communications Assistant