It was one of those perfect July days, only it was June, mid-June to be precise. The scene was a well manicured vineyard, a long, 50-foot table ran along side the rows with 80 chairs flanking each side. On the table was a very special tablecloth.
The Ontario Table is a project to promote local food. The project leads with the $10 Challenge. It’s a challenge to all consumers to spend $10 a week on local food. If we all did this, there would be an additional $2.4 billion in our local economy and would create $10,000 new jobs. As the book tour travels from Windsor to Ottawa, everyone who buys a book and takes up the $10 Challenge gets to write their pledge to local food on a white tablecloth. Markets and farms who host a book signing get to draw their logo in the centre of the tablecloth. Everyone who buys a book can write their pledge on the cloth. Some people write about their favourite farmers, others write briefly but to the point; some people are drawing pictures and others both. Consumers sign in black, chefs in red, farmers in green and food media in blue.
To date, there are 16 tablecloths full of signatures, logos and pictures all a tribute to everything grown, raised and produced in Ontario. We call it The Ontario Table-Cloth and on this day we’re rolling it out, dining in the vineyard on food from neighbouring farms and wine from the vineyard.
People, inspired by what they read on the table began talking about their own region, the farmers they know, the markets they’ve been to and the farm experiences they’ve loved. Today they were creating one more memory. Food more than anything else in life brings people together to commune and share in each others life.
These sorts of meaningful meals are important to those who believe that the best part of life is not in accumulating material possessions but in seeking out the very best quality that life has to offer. Look for an ever growing listing of The Ontario Table-Cloth Dinners at www.OntarioTable.com