A couple weeks ago I got to meet Nikki Wiart of Terra Informa and be part of a food series show they were putting together for this week.
The show will be airing today, January 29th at 5pm on 88.5 fm. You can also listen to the podcast on the Terra Informa website right now or whenever it works for you. There is lots of great information on the Terra Informa site about the speakers and local food organizations you can connect with.
On the podcast there is also interviews with Crystal Sherris and Raj Patel! Raj Patel is coming to Edmonton tomorrow and will be giving a lunch time talk at City hall and is a guest speaker Wednesday night as part of U of A’s International week. Raj is one of my heroes, so was pretty excited to get included in the same podcast as him and am looking forward to hearing him speak tomorrow.
Have you ever tasted OFRE cider? If so, I bet you agree it’s the best in town! It’s unique, it’s pedal-powered, every batch has different variety of apples in it, and it’s made by volunteers who build sweat equity and go home with some cider for their efforts. Sounds like a win win, right?!
What is in store for OFRE in 2013? OFRE has applied for a micro-grant funded by The Carbon Farmer to get some funding to help us build a community cider shack! We want to build on the success of the small cider events we have held in the past to having a permanent location for processing cider. This would be a place for OFRE members to come together to process their apples and walk home with cider for their efforts. Pressing cider is a family friendly event. Everyoen can get involved from the old to the young. Sweat equity is encouraged followed by generous consumption of delicious cider from apples grown right here in your city!
OFRE’s vision is to get the fruit in the hands, mouths, and minds of Edmonton’s citizens. Help us get more fruit picked, pressed, and enjoyed and reduce the waste that ends up in the landfill!
What can you do to help? Vote for us on the Facebook contest page. You can vote once a day for the whole month. It’s a highest number of votes wins kind of contest, so vote often if you can!
Thank you for your support!
This past week Avenue magazine had their annual Top 40 under 40 awards where they recognize people they feel are leaders in the community and are contributing to the building of a better Edmonton. OFRE is pleased to announce that 2 of the recipients were core OFRE members who have been contributing to OFRE by volunteering as fruit pickers, visioning crew members, fruit captains, and spreading the word about the good work OFRE is doing. Those winners are: Kevin Kossowan and Amy Beaith-Johnson. Congrats to all of the 40 winners!!
To read each of their stories, click on their names above. To see the full list of 40 winners, check here.
As the Director of OFRE, I often get more requests for interesting partnership projects than we can handle in a season and it’s hard at times to say no. But, that is sometimes the case when you are working a volunteer run organization. One project that came by our desk this year was a partnership with MacEwan business students to donate apples to their campus foodbank. One of the group leaders of this project is Jacquie Lycka who joined OFRE this year as a Neighborhood Fruit Captain, approached us about the idea. When we heard what they wanted to do, we couldn’t help but say yes! She has been a instrumental volunteer with OFRE and I knew with her energy and joy for apples, this project would get off the ground and be a success.
Here is a great short video the students put together on their apple project. Please watch and show your support for this great cause to increase healthy food donations to foodbanks on campuses. It’s inspiring, fun, and may cause you to think outside the kraft dinner box! Enjoy!
It’s so great when we do get an opportunity like this to partner with other organizations and help build a stronger food community in Edmonton. Thanks Jacquie and congratulations on your project!!
P.S. follow updates about the project via Twitter: @MacEwanApple
Posted in About us, etc., Pickings
Tagged 2012, apples, campus, community food security, edmonton, food banks, food-security, foodbanks, MacEwan Apple Project, OFRE, partnerships
This post is LONG, LONG, overdue! Earlier this summer, I received a call from a Slow Food Edmonton Convivium member to let me know that I had been nominated to attend Terra Madre in October in Italy for my volunteer work as Director of Operation Fruit Rescue. They and us believe that OFRE helps build stronger food communities and they wanted us to be recognized for that. I was humbled to be nominated and owe a big THANK YOU to Slow Food Edmonton for this honour!
We would also like to thank Food & Beverage Canada for helping to fund our trip through the Alberta Technology Innovation Program (ATIP), which means that Mike Johnson, another OFRE volunteer and OFRE cider brew master, got to come along as well.
One of the many interesting things at Terra Madre is that all delegates spend some time volunteering at their countries booth, and if they are a producer, they are to bring samples and will be paired with a local chef to make an interesting dish to give out. OFRE was invited to bring their award-winning cherry amaretto syrup!!
Terra Madre will be eye-opening, jaw dropping, head-scratching, satisfyingly great experience! There is everything from learn to cook workshops, food tastings, food security and food sovereignty lectures, and more! There will be people from all over the world sharing their love and interest in good, clean, fair food for all! We are honoured to be selected to represent some of the exciting food initiatives happening in Edmonton! We also look forward to the possibility of making connections with artisan preservers to learn new and old ways of preserving fruits, making cider, etc.
Upon return, Mike and I hope to put together a series of presentations on what we learned there and how this knowledge can contribute to building a stronger food community in Edmonton. Stay tuned!
Posted in About us, etc.
Tagged 2012, awards, edmonton, Evans-cherries, food, Food & Beverage Canada, Italy, October, OFRE, Slow Food, Slow Food Canada, Slow Food Edmonton, Sour cherry syrup, Terra Madre, Turin, volunteers
This fall OFRE volunteers: Amy Beaith & Molly MacDougall be official canning instructors with City Arts Edmonton offering a series of 2 canning courses on different foods and techniques. These courses will show you what you “Can” do with locally grown fruits and vegetables, and hopefully prepare you to get out there and preserve some of the rich bounty that grows in the Edmonton region.
Molly and I both love to can! We have strong experience as home preservers and have each taken a canning course in the past year. We have taught many OFRE workshops together over the past year and are the ladies behind the unique OFRE products sold at farmers markets. Amy Beaith was also the canning instructor with Eat Alberta this past April teaching two sessions on canning focusing on locally grown Evan’s Cherries in the fruit class and peppers for the pickling class.
To sign up for these exciting new classes offered for the first time through City Arts Edmonton, click on the class titles below. There are 2 classes in the canning series running during the months of Sept and October. Sign up early so you don’t miss out!