Canadian Organic Growers Conference

Yesterday I attended the Canadian Organic Growers Conference for the second year.  Yet again COG put on a wonderful conference.  What I really appreciate is that they had all new sessions, new speakers, new content.  (Some conferences seem to repeat the same speakers every year.)

Let’s be honest.  The ticket price is totally justified JUST for the food.  May I tempt your taste buds?

Raspberry coconut muffin.

I don’t remember everything on my plate for lunch but it was all amazing.

Dessert … of course = vanilla cupcake with coconut frosting.

All organic, all delicious.  There’s no other conference that serves a lunch quite this good.

Okay on to the sessions.

Opening Keynote: Kristin Kimball, author of the The Dirty Life

Kristin was a city girl and a writer who fell in love with the subject of her writing, a farmer.  Now she owns and operates a farm and full diet CSA.  Her background, her commitment to food, and her dedication to farming and her family are so inspiring.  I’ll be perfectly honest, it made me want to haul Brad out to the country to start a farm and write a book.  GREAT keynote!

Session 1: Gardening 101 – Sun, Seed, and Soil

We got to talk about composting, my favourite topic.  One of the best quotes of the day was from speaker Zora Ignjatovic: “every backyard, every balcony has potential” to grow food in Toronto.  Great point!

Session 2: Deconstructing Organic Prices

We heard from the National Farmer’s Union about farm sizes, number of farms, income of farmers, and the changes that have happened over the last decades.  Yes food prices are rising, but farmers are making less and less profit.  One of the best ways to ensure that farmer’s are making the money they need to continue to operate is to buy from farmer’s markets.

Session 3: Is Organic Food Accessible For Everyone?

What I wanted this session to cover was information and discussion about accessibility for consumers.  It didn’t.  But the panel was still very interesting.  I loved hearing about FoodShare and the work they do from their community kitchens, gardens, work in schools, and good food boxes.  Then the conversation switched over to healthy food for hospitals.

Another fabulous conference that renewed my commitment to food and made me look forward to a second year in my vegetable garden.

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