Top photo: Harvest Hastings board member, Jenny Cook of Knuckle Down Farm, along with Stone Soup coordinator Michele Vindum of Plainfield Heritage Farm, present the two cash awards to Joanne Reynolds of Harvest the North and Cassandra Kardos of St. Phocas Community Farm. Bottom photo: Paulette Kinmond of Catherine's Kitchen asks the audience to consider how it feels to live in a state of food insecurity
Community, Connections and Conversation!
We had a wonderful afternoon attending the inaugural Stone Soup event that was organized by Plainfield Heritage Farm on Saturday, September 10. We’d like to extend our thanks to Michele Vindum and her team for creating this opportunity to stimulate dialogue and generate immediate funding for local food projects in Hastings County. We were so impressed and inspired by the proposals that were submitted for consideration! At the event, the audience heard from farmers and community groups and then voted to award the collective ‘pot’ of monies raised for their two favourite projects.
Congratulations to the award recipients,
St. Phocas Community Farm and Harvest the North!
  • St. Phocas Community Farm¬†at St. Mary of Egypt Refuge provides grocery support to local families, seniors, and individuals in need. They share organic produce from their garden in the form of food baskets and plan to use the award to expand their distribution services to reach individuals who do not have the means to travel directly to the farm for pick up.

  • Harvest the North¬†will be using their award to expand their community gardens by creating more raised beds. They also want to become more sustainable by¬†venturing¬†into¬†permaculture operations and planting fruit trees.

After the event, additional donations came in, so the two awards were each $490, just $20 short of Michele’s goal of a $1,000 prize pot! There was plenty of energy and excitement to support these projects and the attendees had a hard time choosing how to cast their vote.¬†In addition to the two award recipients, we enjoyed some delicious local food and heard great presentations from:

  • Just Bee Cuz Honey Farm¬†– improving¬†irrigation for their pollinator beds

  • Woodland North 62 Lavender Farm¬†– expanding their farm and culinary workshop offerings with a new community herb garden

  • Catherine’s Kitchen¬†– adding more locally produced ingredients, especially protein, into their community meal program

  • North Hastings Community Cupboard¬†– replenishing supplies for their vertical grow tower project with the York River Public School Horticultural Club, which produces fresh vegetables for the food bank, grown by Grade 5 and 6 students

  • Belleville and Quinte West Community Health Centre¬†– creating an accessible garden share program to bring communities together to share gardening knowledge, trade and share seeds, produce and recipes

  • The Emerald Earring¬†– establishing a community garden and hub for learning about growing, food production, preserving, cooking and more

Two other farms were selected to present but were unable to attend. We’d love to share what they are up to:

  • Arcadia Permaculture Farm¬†– hopes to start¬†a You-Pick strawberry and raspberry operation at their farm

  • Earth Haven Farm¬†– expanding their¬†Three Sisters Food Sovereignty Project, with the goal¬†of growing food, seeds, knowledge and community, as well as contributing to local food sovereignty

We highly recommend that you get in touch with any of the above farms and community organizations to learn more about their projects and find out ways to support them!¬†There are already plans for another Stone Soup event and Michele invites farmers and community members to consider submitting a proposal, volunteering to help organize, or hosting Stone Soup. Please visit the¬†Facebook page¬†of Plainfield Heritage Farm to see how many volunteers, businesses and community groups pitched in to make this zero-budget, zero-waste fundraiser happen – it takes a village! You can get in touch with Michele by email at¬†[email protected]¬†

Upcoming Events in Hastings County


Ontario Garlic Week¬†is from September 23 to October 2 — how will you celebrate garlic this year?¬†

Teachers! Did you know that you can order free lesson plans about garlic? 
From the Ontario Garlic Week website:

Toronto Garlic Festival has created the Ontario Garlic in the Classroom lesson plan. Starting with Autumn planting this versatile guide takes students on the garlic growing journey through the school year. It incorporates modules in Math, Science, Humanities and Language Arts and is suitable for grades 3-5 but is easily adapted for other grades. Garlic is a forgiving plant offering great rewards. Created with help from teacher/farmer Shawn Stevens, the Ontario Garlic in the Classroom lesson plan will engage your students on many levels:

  • It brings them closer to the soil
  • It helps them gain a better understanding of where food comes from
  • It gives them an opportunity to participate in a team activity
  • It helps them understand their connection to other cultures through garlic
  • It channels their new-found interest in Ontario garlic into an interest in cooking and diet

Order your copy of the Growing Ontario Garlic Teacher Guide (and Student Booklet) here.

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