Hi all!

 

Here is the link to the Food Works page at www.food.com:

http://www.food.com/recipe-finder/all/foodworks

 

There are a few recipes from today that aren’t up yet, but I will get those posted in the next couple of days.

Have a great day! Happy cooking!

Megan

It’s been a great year for One Tomato 🙂  

We started last January with a vision of what we’d like to do, and money to do some of it, thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Sun Life Financial. Another big communal garden in Sarnia, more in the county, more classes in Food Works, free soup, and even more urban farmers growing food for the food banks – our wishes for 2013.  Well, talk about getting wishes fulfilled!!

Goodwill Industries – Essex Kent Lambton joined the food-not-lawn movement and tore up the entire front of their corporate head office for naturalization and food production. Shawn McKnight of Return the Landscape has created a gorgeous natural oasis with the Laura Santina Braun naturalization gallery on a busy intersection in the city. This corner is next to a high school and on the walking route for dozens of elementary school children. On the second half of Goodwill’s property, we installed a communal garden. St. Clair High School’s horticulture class tends this garden with some help from Goodwill staff. It is a beautiful and productive garden, growing hundreds of pounds of food for people living in the neighbourhood, as well as for the food banks of Sarnia.  Goodwill was the recipient of TD’s Friends of the Environment fund (with Sobey’s), as well as the Scott’s ‘Give Back to Gro’ award for 2013 with One Tomato. We are honoured to be a part of these projects!

One of the high notes for the year was the launch of the Scott’s garden at Goodwill in Sarnia. Premier Kathleen Wynne attended the opening of the garden, and was a fantastic guest of honour. She was kind and engaged with the grade 7/8 students from Queen Elizabeth II elementary school in Sarnia, asking them questions and learning how to peel a turnip. Students were equally excited to meet Mayor Mike Bradley, and he was just as excited to talk with them! What an opportunity for these students, and we are so thankful for it!

Awesome Foundation Sarnia was … well, awesome to us, and gave us a $1000 grant in the summer to hold Souper Day. Souper Day was awesome too 🙂  In spite of a torrential downpour that fell exactly during our soup time, we still managed to hand out between 150 and 200 bowls of vegetable soup, made from local veggies by Dave at Blackwater Coffee and Tea Company. Dave has been a great supporter of us and we are thankful for Awesome and Dave (who is also awesome!).

Fall saw us starting up Food Works, our 8 week hands on cooking class for intermediate grades, in 22 classes throughout Lambton County. We were able to do this thanks to a Creative County grant from the County of Lambton, as well as a grant from General Mills ‘Champion for Healthy Kids’. Twelve dedicated and patient volunteers worked for 8 weeks teaching 550 students about cooking healthy, local foods, and safe food handling skills.  Kids also learned about the importance of being active, and the connection between food and health. Students were able to earn a radio ‘shoutout’ from Sarah at 99.9fm the Fox in Sarnia if they did exercises with her every morning during her radio show. Many classes had teachers take note of the exercise, and had their students do them as school started. All of us were consistently blow away by the skills students told us they learned, things like ‘courage to try new things’, ‘teamwork’ and ‘initiative’. There were a few bumps along the way, and a steep learning curve with so many students throughout all of Lambton County, but we have learned and are going forward. We are thankful for our amazing volunteers who are the sole reason we can deliver this program to students!

Our goal for Food Works is 1000 students each year in the program. 2012 saw 1050 students in the program, but we really want to see 1000 each school year, not just in a calendar year 🙂  Here’s a wish for this year, that we find the funding and continuing support to reach our goal 🙂

Looking forward to 2014, we hope to continue with the programs that we have, helping to make sure everyone can participate in a food secure and sustainable community. Our mission is to grow healthier communities, one tomato at a time, and we are working hard every day to do just that. This could be a big year for One Tomato, as we look to build a regional food hub, a community food centre, and expand our programs.

Thank you so much for your support. We know that none of this would happen without YOU – and most of all we are thankful for you and allowing us to do what we love.

Happy New Year! All the best for you in 2014!

 

Good morning!

Thanks for everyone who stopped by the Sarnia Sunday Farmers’ Market yesterday to sample our grilled pizza.

Here is a great website that give great, straightforward instructions about grilling pizza: http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2011/07/the-pizza-lab-how-to-top-grilled-pizzas.html

I’ll post more info here in the next couple of days.

Have a great day!

One Tomato was launched by Megan O’Neil and Darren Hakker on Earth Day in 2009 to encourage residents in Sarnia, Ontario to plant, grow and eat more vegetables, giving their extras to local food banks.

In 2010, One Tomato volunteers handed out 500 tomato plants in one day at an environmental and art street festival in Sarnia called Artwalk. Hundreds of plants were also pre-planted as ‘bucket gardens’. This initiative exhausted all tomato plants in Lambton County. Shortly after this event, One Tomato created a small vegetable garden at the Sarnia Library, open to all. Concern was raised by those who wanted to pick vegetables, because there never seemed to be any ripe. It was discovered that the homeless people who used a nearby park relied on the garden for their daily food intake.

In 2011, One Tomato and its intrepid team of volunteers built a 100′x35′ vegetable garden in the heart of downtown Sarnia. A major barrier was lack of funding, but this was broken through long-term sustainable support from local businesses and individuals who gave of their time and products. What was once an overgrown site of concrete and weeds quickly became a breathtaking vegetable garden for all to use and appreciate. Throughout the summer, plants produced delicious vegetables and fruit, often barely ripe when freely picked it to eat.

At the same time, Scouts Canada launched the One Tomato badge, to encourage children to actively participate in healthy eating and turn sod into edible gardens.

On June 4 and 5, 2011, One Tomato Project further helped to promote the creation of edible gardens during Artwalk. Throughout this one weekend, volunteers handed out 1,000 tomato plants (equal to 5,000+ pounds of produce) generously donated by DeGroot’s Nurseries; assisted in creating 200 ‘bucket gardens’; gave away 1,000 garden stakes made with reclaimed wood and branded with the One Tomato logo; handed out 540 colouring books to children, featuring custom illustrations; and taught festival-goers about the importance of urban nature and gardening. There were cost limitations on the effectiveness of this weekend’s initiative, so One Tomato secured corporate funding through Sun Life Financial to ensure all of its ambitions could be fulfilled.

From June 14-17, 2011, Megan and Darren participated in Spring Days, coordinated by Lambton-Kent Agriculture in the Classroom. At the event, they helped to teach 350 children and 50+ volunteers about the value of farming and eating healthy. More than 600 tomato plants and information kits on sustainability were given away.

In the fall of 2011, One Tomato received funding through the Sarnia Community Foundation to run an in-class elementary school program called Food Works to prepare youth with the basic culinary skills required to make healthy food choices in their homes. The program targets grade seven students and teaches them about food groups, healthy living, food skills and environmental responsibility.

On November 3, 2011, the One Tomato Project was awarded the prestigious Suncor Sustainability Award, a mark of distinction and recognition for contributions to social equity, ecological integrity and economic prosperity demonstrated in Sarnia.

Most recently, in 2012, One Tomato launched an exciting partnership with Goodwill Industries

Hi One Tomato-ers!

Here’s a link to a cool article about front yard vegetable gardens.  How do you feel about them – do you think they are ugly, will they drag down neighbourhood property values, or are they completely awesome?

I think I’m in the completely awesome camp and am eager to grow some corn in my front yard. However, I know that I’m (it’s Megan) an enthusiastic spring gardener, but as soon as it’s mid-July I lose steam. It’s hot out – I’d rather be … not hot. And I think that being radical – which front-yard vegetables are! – requires some good care if I’m setting the example.

There’s no by-law in Sarnia regarding front yard gardens, as long as there are no noxious weeds in it and sight lines along the driveway are maintained. Maybe I’ll give it a try.

If anyone has pictures of their own veggie gardens, we’d love to see them!  Share them here or on Facebook and inspire us!

Have a great day.

Hi One Tomatoers!

Just a little update about what we are working on right now, both for One Tomato and for the Local Foods Coordinator.

Right now our big focus for One Tomato is finding enough funding to run Food Works, our 10 week  cooking program for grade 7 students.  We have had an AMAZING response to the program this year, with over 500 students registered to take part. The program costs about $2000 per classroom – but being frugal people, I’m sure we could do with a little bit less – and we have 30 classrooms registered. We’re working on more funding, but are always open to any ideas that you might have!

As the Local Foods Coordinator, I (it’s Megan) have a few big projects on the go right now. First is a community report card, an update for everyone on where we are now, based on where we were in 2010. We picked 2010 because that’s when the Sarnia-Lambton Food Coalition did their community roundtable events, and from those sessions they created the “Healthy Community Food System Plan for Sarnia-Lambton”. With that document, which is publicly available, we are putting together a report card of what has been accomplished in Sarnia-Lambton since that time.  Our committee has developed the goal and mission of the report card, which is to “Feed people, support farmers!”.

Have you done anything for local foods that we might not know about?  Comment, message, email, phone, or <gasp> snail mail us some info so we can add it to the report card. We’d love to know what you’ve been up to!!

Have a great day!

 

Don’t worry, we’ll have some content here soon!