HONEYWOOD, Ont. — Foodstock was a success, drawing an estimated 28,000 foodies, nature lovers and farmers to the event in Honeywood, Ont., yesterday, Oct. 16.
Attendees of the food feast in the forest, organized by renowned chef Michael Stadtländer, weren’t deterred by the wind and rain as they ate food prepared by 100 toques while enjoying musical performances and impassioned pleas from farmers on the main stage.
Conceived to raise awareness about the proposed mega quarry in Melancthon Township, the donate-what-you-can event took place on the prized Ontario farmland where the American-owned Highland Companies is hoping to source limestone.
Highland Companies, backed by a multi-billion dollar Boston hedge fund, proposes excavating the largest limestone quarry ever built in Canada, spanning more than 2,300 acres. It would create a pit deeper than Niagara Falls, jeopardizing the headwater supply for Toronto while destroying valuable farmland.
Bryan Gilvesy, a cattle farmer and the country co-chair of Sustain Ontario, an alliance for healthy food and farming, says losing fresh water by building a quarry is a big mistake. “If we lose this farmland, and turn it into a quarry, we damage the water supply and we lose our life support system for the future. This land does more for us than just feed us; it nourishes us in several different ways.”
Ladling a hearty soup from a giant squash, Stadtländer said “people are so thankful that we put this on, now the people against the quarry, have a real voice.”
That voice just got louder thanks to the huge event turnout and donations, which The North Dufferin Agricultural and Community Task Force (NDACT), will use to offset the costs of fighting the proposed quarry; Stadtländer will also use some funds to create a better connection between chefs and farmers at the Chef’s Congress.
For more information, visit ndact.com.
Photo by Adrian Bell