My friend Miriam Strieman is on the phone and she excitingly running off a list of chefs, menu items and local Dufferin and Grey County suppliers, not least of which The New Farm. Miriam’s day job is creating and running Mad Maple, the ‘Country Inn and Agritourismo’ she founded with her husband Neil Epstein near Creemore, Ontario this year. Moving from Toronto to the countryside hasn’t hampered her commitment to good food activism: Mad Maple is close to the site of the infamous Mega-Quarry development proposal, and the farm hat held ‘Foodstock’ the massive, chef-fueled protest held against it last fall. Miriam also shares a long standing commitment to The Stop Community Food Centre with The New Farm’s Gillian Flies and Brent Preston. The chefs she’s naming are cooking at an event at The New Farm, on July 7, that will raise funds for Grow For The Stop, an program that raises funds for fresh, sustainable food from their farm to be integrated into The Stop’s efforts to feed people who are down on their luck decent food.
“There’s so much energy in the area,” enthuses Miriam, adding that pulling together top name chefs was no problem, especially when the evenings entertainment was revealed: big time indie rockers Stars.
When I reach Gillian Flies a little later, she explains a number of the members of Stars have a connection to the area and were happy to help out. “We were lucky that they’re not on tour this summer, so they could do it,” she explains.
“But what about all these food and music fans trampling on your micro-greens?”, I asked. She laughs and tells me they rope of the lettuce fields and keep the concert, food, wine and beer to the barnyard. This is their second event and Flies is looking forward to a great party.
The New Farm barnyard is only so big, so tickets are limited. Click here to get them while they last.
Malcolm Jolley is a founding editor of Good Food Revolution and Executive Director of Good Food Media, the not-for-profit corporation which publishes it. Follow him at twitter.com/malcolmjolley