Last week we hosted a workshop with about 50 people to discuss options for new local food distribution ideas in the Niagara-Hamilton region. Over the years I have spent a lot of time in Niagara, biking in the Tour de Greenbelt, visiting numerous wineries, hiking the Niagara Escarpment, and oh yeah, my mom lives there too.
I love Niagara peaches… peach crumble, peach pie, peach jam, peach sorbet, peaches in my salad and let’s not forget peaches in their plain old juicy and delicious state. I know I’m not the only one out there who likes peaches. We have held many peach give-away events, like “What All the (Peach) Fuzz is About” and “Reach for a Peach” at Union Station and the CNE. These events have been major successes, and we’ve always run out of peaches way before the end of the day. Running out of peaches illustrates not only mine, but Ontarians’ love of Niagara peaches.
Getting more local food to vendors, restaurants and institutions in Hamilton-Niagara makes a great deal of sense. It’s good for the economy, good for the environment and good for the taste palette. And participants at the workshop had many ideas for alternative solutions to get local food onto the dinner plates in the region. There is a demand from consumers, who want to purchase more local food, and there is a willingness from growers/producers to supply – and the workshop identified several ways on how to bridge this gap.
I’ll report on the ideas soon in this space, in the meantime, I look forward to peach season.
-- Burkhard Mausberg