For all gardeners, this is the best time of year – when spring labours are coming to fruition with many vegetables, berries and herbs reaching their peak of goodness.
“Our gardens are bursting and we want to celebrate it and share it all with everyone by having a Summer’s Garden of Plenty event on Saturday, Aug. 15,” said Chanchal Cabrera of Innisfree Farm and Botanic Garden. “We’ll be celebrating nature’s summer bounty in a number of ways, including cooking demos and tastings with Chef Joseph Forest. Starting at Noon, he’ll be giving three demonstrations that highlight the vegetables and herbs that are in abundance right now. And he’ll be sharing the recipes as well.”
With 35 years of experience in the culinary field, Chef Forest is also an author and television personality whose passion for cooking expresses itself in the preparation, presentation and teaching of whole foods as a path to health and well-being.
“Food is the original medicine. This idea forms the basis of traditional healing systems around the world,” says Forest. “One of the things I will be focusing on is the taste profile of ingredients and when people understand that, they will know that ‘season to taste’ is much more than reaching for the salt shaker.”
He also adds that by combining the best ingredients at their peak, not only will you create a tasty dish, you’ll know you are making the most of the healthy benefits those ingredients have to offer. A simple swap of kale and walnuts turns a regular pesto into a dish that lowers your cholesterol, help manage Type 2 diabetes and provides you with an added boost of vitamin C and Omega-3 just to name a few of the health benefits – just one of the dishes Forest will be demonstrating.
The gardens open at 10 a.m. and while the food demonstrations start at noon, guests are welcome to come early and tour the vegetable and berry gardens, take a meditative walk in the oyster shell labyrinth, relax by the pond or lose yourself in the natural woodlands on the property. Don’t forget to visit the Farm Shop where you can pick up Thierry’s Garlic Dressing made with this year’s garlic or one of the most unique creations Chef Forest will showcase – garlic roasted chocolates. Entry fee is by donation in support of the botanic garden.
Innisfree Farm and Botanic Garden is located 10 minutes south of Courtenay on Trent Road in Royston. The gardens are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays. Safety protocols in place – 50 people at a time. Visit innisfreefarm.ca or call 250-336-8768 for more information.