Supporting Local Growers

Supporting Local Growers

When Elizabeth and I travel, one of the activities we really enjoy is visiting local farmers markets.

IMG_0432In fact, because we typically prepare our own meals while travelling, seeking out the farmers markets at our destination is often done well before we leave. This way we are able to get the freshest fruits and vegetables (usually organic), great artisanal bread and cheese, and perhaps most importantly, meet and support some really interesting people.

Recently, we traveled to Prince Edward Island where we spent some time with a young family we had met while living in Quebec. Remi and Stephanie are pursuing their dream of building a bakery business. Remi has just completed building a wood fired oven and I was happy to share with him the inaugural baking of baguettes and pizza.

They are slowing building their customer base and one venue they use is the newly created Stanley Bridge Farmers Market. While shopping there I noticed the poster shown here (apologies for the slightly crooked smart phone shot) that very nicely sums up why we should all support the growers and food artisans selling at local markets.

We, as individuals and households, have tremendous financial power. The choice is ours whether we support the grower or producer who lives down the road, or continue to support the agri-food corporations who don’t know we exist.

David Lyon

Abundance Project co-ordinator

Wild Edibles Herb Walk and Workshop

Wild Edibles Herb Walk and Workshop

On June 20, The Abundance Project hosted a wild edibles herb walk, led by Joanna Wiersma and Joy Cameron of Pure Joy Herbal Creations.  The interest in this workshop was tremendous, and we ended up adding a second session that afternoon. The hike took place at Red Cloud Country Retreat, in 50 acres of lush forest and field.

The sun was shining and the groups were eager to learn more about wild herbs that grow all around us. During the hike, Joanna and Joy identified a wide variety of plants and herbs with positive health benefits, whether consumed fresh in salads or prepared in creams and salves. While walking, we picked some wild plantain, took it back to the house and prepared an oil infusion. For the next six weeks, we will put a little TLC into our plantain oil, in preparation for a follow up workshop where we will use the finished oil to make a healing salve.

The Hike












The Workshop






Thanks to Joanna and Joy for providing such an informative and enjoyable workshop. We came out of this understanding more about the wild plants that many of us find in our backyards. Maybe we can even save ourselves some of that weeding next spring.

Stay tuned to see how our plantain salve turns out in our follow up workshop in August.

You can purchase the herbal creations of Joanna and Joy over at their website, Pure Joy Herbal Creations.

Abundance at Percy Centennial Public School

Abundance at Percy Centennial Public School

With our grocery stores full of processed foods, where all you have to do is open a package and chow down, it’s easy for kids to develop unhealthy eating habits. It’s our job to rear them in the right direction, by educating them about healthy living. What better way than to get out there with them to cook, create, and ultimately enjoy the fruits of our labour.

The Abundance Project has been collaborating with the students at Percy Centennial Public School to create programs that promote healthy eating, responsibility, and community involvement. Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to lately:

Cooking Class

Since January 2014, Percy Centennial students have been baking low fat/low sugar muffins for the breakfast program at school. Mrs. Julie Anderson’s Grade 7/8 class has also been coming to the St. Paul’s kitchen for weekly cooking classes. They’ve prepared things such healthy snacks, roasted vegetable soups, and thin crust pizzas. By teaching cooking skills with limited use of highly refined flours, sugars and fats, the students are learning all about healthy snack choices. It’s wonderful to see the students enthusiastic and positive about these classes.


Vegetable Growing Contest

Launched on Earth Day to the whole student population, this initiative is meant to get students involved and excited about growing and eating vegetables.

With the support of the Warkworth Farm Supply, and their seed supplier, Ontario Seed Company, enough packets of vegetable seed were donated for each student to be able to start several seedlings at school.

Mr. Peter Brackenbury worked with the Percy staff to help the students plant their seeds in class. Once the seeds are established, students will be provided with planting instructions and are encouraged to plant their vegetables at home and care for them over the summer months.

In conjunction with the Percy Agricultural Society, a new category has been added to the children’s competitions at the Warkworth Fall Fair. The Abundance Project will be providing a small cash prize for first, second and third place winners in each of the four grade categories.

Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens

On Saturday May 3, a small group of volunteers and students gathered on the front lawn of Percy Centennial PS to build two, 4×8 foot, raised bed gardens. This project was spearheaded by Mr. Peter Brackenbury, who was instrumental in establishing an eco garden on school grounds several years ago. This allows for the senior grade students to have hands on experience in planting and tending vegetables at school. We hope that some of the vegetables grown can be used by next year’s senior students involved in the fall cooking class.









Welcome to The Abundance Blog

Welcome to The Abundance Blog

The Abundance Project is pleased to introduce our new Abundance Blog. From time to time we will be adding posts about the various Abundance Project events and initiatives. We are fortunate to have Melissa Condotta, a new resident in the area and a very talented blogger preparing these posts.

We welcome your comments, feedback and ideas about current and future posts. Our first post looks at the program we have been running in conjunction with the students and staff at Percy Centennial Public School.