GUELPH, ON [April 6, 2023] – Falling shortly after the arrival of spring and near the beginning of Ontario’s growing season, the Easter feast is a great opportunity to kick start a season of eating locally grown foods.
With family gathered for the long weekend, and a big menu being prepped for the dinner table, there are plenty of options to include fruits, vegetables, grains, meats and dairy from Ontario farms as the main part of the spread.
“Enjoying locally grown and produced foods makes any feast that much better,” says Peggy Brekveld, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. “Although planting season has yet to begin across the province, Ontario offers an abundance of local food options for friends, family and neighbours to enjoy on their Easter dinner table.”
Ontario farmers grow, raise and produce more than 200 different commodities. Support your neighbours, communities and the economy by filling your Easter plates with an array of home grown products.
- The Appetizers — Your choices are abundant here. Ontario cheese, crackers and cured meats are a good starter. Raw veggies like carrots and greenhouse peppers and cucumbers can be loaded up onto an appetizing tray. Stuffed mushrooms are also a great warm up snack before the big meal; stuff the mushroom cap with a mixture of cream cheese, cheddar and local artichoke hearts (bake at 400°F for about 25 minutes or until the mixture is warm and bubbly). Then take it out of the oven and enjoy the savoury flavour.
- Side Dishes — There is a splendour of vegetables grown in Ontario that are pickled, canned or frozen at their peak of summer freshness, so that they are available to be served year-round, including tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, beans, sweet corn, carrots and more. There are also veggies from cold storage or greenhouses available in the produce aisle. And don’t forget Ontario potatoes; mashed, scalloped or barbecued, they are a staple on the dinner plate.
- The Main Course — Ontario-raised meat and poultry is never out of season. Take a new approach to the traditional Easter ham with an Ontario pork loin roast. If you are opting for the turkey route, Ontario turkeys are high in flavour, low in fat and packed with nutrients. And all Ontario turkeys are raised responsibly without the use of added hormones or steroids. First time with turkey? Try this deliciously simple herb roasted turkey recipe.
- The Drinks — No matter if it is beverages for the adults or thirst quenchers for the kids, there are local options. Every grape in a bottle of Ontario VQA wine comes from an Ontario vineyard. Ontario ciders are made with Ontario apples, Canadian whisky is made from Canadian grains and craft beers may contain locally grown hops. Look for apple juice or grape juice made with local fruits, and the milk in your local store most certainly originates from an Ontario dairy farm.
If you have a question about local food — where to find it, how to cook it — check Foodland Ontario’s availability guide for a full list of Ontario products.
for a full list of Ontario products.
About the Ontario Federation of Agriculture
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 38,000 farm families across the province. As a dynamic farmer-led organization based in Guelph, the OFA works to represent and champion the interests of Ontario farmers through government relations, farm policy recommendations, research, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more. OFA is the leading advocate for Ontario’s farmers and is Ontario’s voice of the farmer. For more information, visit www.ofa.on.ca.
About Home Grown
A public awareness initiative of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Home Grown is a campaign to advocate for the importance of Ontario farms as a source of food, fuel and fibre. Arable farmland is our most important natural resource, but Ontario is losing an average of 319 acres of farmland every day; that is the equivalent of nine family farms paved over every week. It is the objective of Home Grown to raise awareness about the importance of protecting and preserving Ontario farmland, while helping develop a workable plan to guide responsible development in Ontario that will ensure growth to provide housing and support local tax bases in a way that does not encroach on farmland.
Join the conversation on Twitter @OntarioFarms and Facebook /ontariofarms. For more information, please visit homegrown.ofa.on.ca.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
519-821-8883 ext. 218