We owe much gratitude to our friends at the Rotary Club of Sidney, who helped the farm hugely a couple of years ago with a generous donation towards the construction of our magnificent walk-in cooler. The cooler has been a complete game-changer for the farm, allowing efficient storage of fresh produce for sale at local markets, restaurants and retailers. It also lets us keep the ingredients of our food box program fresh and available to our subscribers.
We’ve maintained good relations with the club, and a couple of our board members are members, including the club’s past president Cosmo Pessoa. Another, our tireless treasurer Naomi Ellis, organized a thank-you dinner for the club members last week. Haliburton’s Board Secretary Peter Liddell, together with the farm’s Education Lead, farmer and board member Elmarie Roberts, took club members for a tour round the farm to work up an appetite by seeing where their dinner was grown and harvested.
Featuring some of the farm’s finest seasonal delicacies, Naomi’s menu – beautiful green and Greek salads, zucchini patties, roast potatoes, roast chicken, fruit crumble and chocolate zucchini cake – was brought to delicious life by a team of volunteers including our departing interns Rachelle Bramly and Lindsay Kathrens, farmer Kristen Miskelly, and board members Heather Robinson and Ann Eastman. The food, aside from the Cowichan Bay chickens, was all grown on the farm by our talented farmers.
Resident holistic nutritionist and board member Rhona McAdam also helped in the kitchen and provided some fermented condiments and bottles of kombucha flavoured with apple and blackberry juice. Because of the demands of the summer harvest, only two of the farmers who contributed ingredients, Mike Nyberg and Noémie Messier-Guimont of New Mountain Farm, were able to join in the meal. An organic bouquet and a very handsome food basket of farm produce and farm-made preserves were raffled off to club members at the end of the evening.
There was a maximum of socializing, and a modicum of speechifying: by Naomi, who introduced the board, the farmers and the dinner; by the club’s president Jack Gallop, who outlined some of the many and diverse causes the club had helped over the years; and by Elmarie, who said the farm’s official thanks and farewell to our interns, and presented the food basket and flowers.