At this year’s ACORN organic farming conference, we’re thrilled to be featuring an entire stream of workshops dedicated to educating eaters about organics and training the community in valuable food skills. Our passionate and informed speakers will impart a lot of good food for thought, but will largely be providing practical skills to help you lead a more local organic lifestyle. After the “how-to” workshops, the day will close with a plenary for all ACORN Conference participants on the links between organic eating and health. See the full line-up of workshops in the series below and be sure to check the Speaker Bios page for more information on our presenters.
Register here and be sure to look into the bursaries we have available.
Friday, November 22nd
Sourdough Bread-making 101 with Tegan Wong-Daugherty & Speerville Flour Mill
Learn all about the unique properties and deeply localized nature of sourdough leavened bread. You will learn how to start and care for your own sourdough at home as well as try your hand at shaping prepared dough and baking them off in Speerville’s Panyol wood-fired oven. All participants must come with their hair tied back and if possible your own apron. Recipes will be given and you will get to taste the results at the Friday lunch!
Demystifying Food Labels: Understanding the Organic Claim with Jodi Koberinski
This workshop will unravel some of the complexities and misconceptions of organic foods. Jodi will help the audience to better understand food labels and understand the legitimacy of the organic claim. Included in this will be a discussion of the difference between claims and labels such as organic and natural, sustainable and ecological, and a comparison of these with the concept of ‘local.’ With an explanation of how certification works, listeners will understand how they know that their food is organic and how to find it.
*Chef Stefan Müeller will lead us on a brief tour of his rooftop garden and beehives from 11:45am-12:00pm*
Organic Vegetable Growing From the Ground Up with Alyson Chisholm
This workshop is a brief introduction to the world of organic vegetable growing and will cover the principles of organics, choosing a garden site, soil building, composting, garden planning for a continuous harvest and pest, disease and weed management. Because of limited time topics will be covered very briefly and there will be lists of resources given for more information.
Preparing Whole Foods with Diane Savoie
With plenty of instructional demos, this workshop will deliver some of the basics of cooking from scratch. While the focus will be on food preparation, participants will learn the whole cycle of food transformation: from starting with whole ingredients fresh from the garden to preparing them without creating waste, except what can be returned to the earth as compost.
3:15-4:00pm CLOSING PLENARY: Demanding Organics for Health with Jodi Koberinski
Jodi Koberinski, Executive Director of the Organic Council of Ontario, will begin by providing a brief overview of Canada’s organic sector – its history, the development and adoption of national standards, and the current state of the sector. She will then look at some of the studies being used to discredit organic foods and how their findings are being misused to draw conclusions by addressing common scientific “blunders” like “third-party authority.” Finally, she will walk the audience through the overwhelming body of evidence pointing to the health benefits of organic foods as well as the many environmental benefits of organic agriculture that are often unacknowledged by negative press.