Tuesday evening Roots and Shoots Farm and Waratah Downs Organic Farm jointly hosted a potluck and provided a concert venue for the cross-Canada Wheely Slow Cooking Tour.

Singer songwriters Shera Kelly and Julia Spitale are from Vancouver. They have rounded out the trio with Jessica Gates, a freelance video producer who is documenting the tour.

How do they describe the Wheely Slow Cooking Tour?

“Two crazy musical gypsies from the city are touring Canada July 25 – Sept 17, 2011 in support of sustainable farming by performing, cooking and volunteering on farms. On the blog you can watch their interviews with the farmers and footage of the adventure!”

It was no surprise that Roots and Shoots Farm of Manotick Station co-hosted with Waratah Downs of Iroquois. They are both very committed to organic farming. Roots and Shoots was recently certified but Waratah Downs has been certified since 2000.

Colleen shared her remarkable organic corn. Waratah Downs is the only farm now growing organic corn in the area.

We were one of the early arrivals but eventually the tables were groaning with delicious dishes from the participating guests.

Once the crowd settled with their first helping, I managed a shot of my Greek Salad with Mini New Potatoes. This 2006 LCBO recipe by Marilyn Bentz-Crowley was shared with me by a special foodie friend, BS, who has been tearing it up in the kitchen Ramsay style lately. No fear. He just goes for it.

For my dish I used produce from my latest CSA basket. The peppers. The red potatoes. The cucumbers. Some of the garlic.

Although the bowls were just about licked clean, no one went away hungry. The mint Nanaimo bars were a particular hit with Julia Spitale.

Thanks to our great hosts for this special event.


Robin Turner, Proprietor and Farm Manager at Roots and Shoots. (Loving the organic corn!)


Jess Weatherhead, Farm Manager at Roots and Shoots. (Talking to Jessica Gates, freelance video producer from the Wheely Slow Cooking Tour team.)


Danny B, Expert Veggie Farmer at Roots and Shoots.


Colleen Ross, Owner of Waratah Downs Organic Farm. (A farm she works with her husband, John Weatherhead.)

Thanks to the wonder of science and many extension cords, Julia and Shera gave a full post supper show, sharing their own brand of music that had us thinking Lilith Fair. Some heartache. Some country. Some personal insights. Some cheeky, clapping and toe-tappin’.

The skies threatened.

And did ‘sweat’ for a moment.

But we managed to stay dry enough for the show to go on.

Shera Kelly’s ‘Cowboy Vagabond’, is a song she wrote at the request of her father, is still humming away in my brain. Take a listen.

And here is a taste of Julia Spitale with her song, ‘Simple Life’.

There were no organic marshmallows for the post concert bonfire, but we gathered anyway to dry out, enjoy the warmth of its glow and share a poke at the branches.

One strong impression for me from the evening was realizing how glad I am to be hitched to a CSA farm that is organically certified. There are many local farms selling local produce. But few are organic. Many still use the pesticides we are trying to get away from. Last summer when we began CSAing, I was originally just looking to shop ‘local’. Our choice to go with Roots and Shoots Farm was random. We saw their ad at Bridgehead and they had shares available. I realized on Tuesday, that I now know I want more than local. I want organic too.

And so ended another great night on the farm. Food. Music. Community.

Best of luck to Julia, Shera and Jessica on their trek back West.

Advertisements