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Accomplishing Three Goals at the 2016 Conference…

Growing Connection 2016 Guelph Organic Conference

by Amanda Vandenberg

The 2016 Guelph Organic Conference was a weekend filled with like-minded enthusiasts who support organic foods and farming. 

The Conference is the perfect place for farmers and consumers to meet. Every single person I talked to at the conference spoke with such passion.

It was inspiring to see so many young people at the show thriving to learn more.

I went to the show with 3 main goals:  To educate myself on growing my own food, to speak to local businesses and to taste something new.

Growing Connection photo for blog#1  Educating myself on harvesting my own food

One booth that stood out to us was “ The Growing Connection”.  Robert Patterson had very inviting energy .

He spent  30 + years with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN working on project design and implementation so it was no surprise that he developed the growing connection box. 

The box is an easy –to – use system for growing plants. It is so easy to assume we cannot grow our own food but this is so far from the truth. This box can be virtually used anywhere to grow a variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs and ornamental plants. The box is made from 50 % recycled plastic and uses very little space (That’s right condo dwellers, no excuses!!)

Robert gave us a demo and I was instantly convinced.  The product is simple to use, very little experience is required.

Birds and Beans coffee display at 2016 Guelph Organic Conference#2   Speak to local businesses

 It was a pleasant surprise to see my local coffee joint at the show.  Aside from the fact they have a no charge soy policy this local business sets the bar high for sustainability. 

Some of their sustainable offerings include:

  • Bird friendly coffee ( the 1st company in Canada to do so) . Bird Friendly certified coffee is guaranteed to provide wintering habitat for our migratory songbirds and other wildlife.
  • All food products are certified organic (from the cinnamon to the organic meat slices from Beretta Farms)

I could talk all day about the sustainability of this local business. I recommend next time you are on Lakeshore Blvd in Toronto you stop in and grab an Americano . The breakfast cookie is also a local favourite.

Amanda trying Live Kombucha#3  Taste something new

 I can confidently say that I have never been a fan of the taste of Komucha. 

That was until I came across the Live Kombucha booth fully equipped with a sampling keg.

On Saturday they were sampling: Orange Oolong, Lemon Ginger, Naked Blend and Citrus Heat. 

Naked blend was my favourite of the 4. It was refreshing and had nothing to hide. 

We were lucky enough to meet Lorman  (Founder of Live Kombucha ).

Lorman has always had an interest in the mystery and mystical properties of the leaves.  Live is Guelph’s 1st brewed fermented Kombucha Tea  and is family owned. They value nutrition , health and environmentally sustainable methods.  

The tea can be purchased at many retailers across the GTA.  I myself purchased a 12 pack at the show.

In Summary…

I enjoyed my time at the show and would urge any person interested in organics to attend and speak to our local farmers. The show is free to the public and offers the chance to buy directly from organic food suppliers.  I can’t wait to go back next year.