GUELPH, ON [December 14, 2022] – There’s no denying that a home-cooked meal tastes better when the ingredients come from your own backyard.
This year, while perusing the aisles of crowded grocery stores and markets for items to make the perfect Christmas dinner, seek out local food options to elevate traditional holiday recipes. In the search for these fresh, locally grown finds, shoppers may even stumble upon inspiration to try out something new for their family feast.
While it may come as a surprise given the cold weather, there are many local options from which to choose. Ontario Farmers grow or raise more than 200 different commodities; from meat, to veggies, to decadent cheeses, the local possibilities are endless.
To spark the imagination of inner chefs even further and support local farmers, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) offers some suggestions to line up your tasty home-grown meal from start to finish:
- The Appetizers — Your Instagram followers are sure to love it when you start off a holiday feast with a signature charcuterie board. Create a visually stunning spread with Ontario cheese and cured meats and fresh raw veggies like carrots and greenhouse peppers and cucumbers. For some inspiration on how to make a board that is sure to please your crowd, check out the entertaining ideas section from the Dairy Farmers of Ontario.
- Side Dishes — The growing season may be over, but there are still plenty of options for home-grown food in December. Local squash, carrots, mushrooms and the ever-versatile potato are still available and fresh during the cold winter months. Not to mention the bounty of pickled, canned or frozen vegetables and fruits that were preserved at their peak of summer freshness, including tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, beans, sweet corn and more. Try Foodland’s Grilled Mushrooms with Prosciutto and Cream to receive a “chef’s kiss” from your dinner guests.
- The Main Course — Whether you are going traditional with a turkey or trying something new with other meats, like a Glazed Veal Tenderloin with Apple Cinnamon Stuffing,as a secondary option, Ontario-raised meat is never out of season. Ontario turkeys are high in flavour, low in fat and packed with nutrients. And all Ontario turkeys are raised in free-roam conditions without the use of added hormones or steroids. Learn more about Ontario turkey and how to ensure the bird you choose is local at ca.
- The Drinks — No matter if it is beverages for the adults or quenchers for the kids, there are local options. Every grape in a bottle of Ontario VQA wine comes from an Ontario vineyard; find the perfect pairing for your menu on their website. 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.
The OFA’s Home Grown campaign is raising awareness about local foods and the importance of preserving the land where our food is grown and raised. If in question about local foods in season, please check homegrownofa.ca/whats-in-season.
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 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.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
519-821-8883 ext. 218