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The Clean Air Partnership is a registered charity, founded in 2000. Our mission is to work with partners to achieve clean air, facilitate the exchange of ideas, advance change and promote and coordinate implementation of actions that improve local air quality.

Sustainable Pickering Day Grows the Local Food Movement

As March draws to a close and spring starts to rear its leafy green head, my thoughts always turn to three things:
  • Cycling in the sunshine,
  • Gelato and
  • Fresh, delicious local produce
On the final day of March, in the middle of Pickering Town Centre, over 250 people gathered to celebrate the latter of those three indulgences as the city celebrated the 7th Annual Sustainable Pickering Day Celebration.  This year, the focus of the event was Local Food and Urban Agriculture, an area of increasing activity and promise.  Growing, transporting and storing food consumes large amounts of resources, and often results in consumer dollars leaving the community.  By exposing residents to the various local producers and farmers’ markets available to them and encouraging them to grow their own produce, the City of Pickering hopes to both reduce the environmental impact of the food consumed within the City and to keep consumer dollars circulating within the local economy.

Musicians from Creative Math & Music entertain the crowd

A pair of Pickering youngsters milk Maple the cow

With music provided by artists from Creative Math & Music, residents took in a myriad of activities ranging from creating edible planting cups with Pickering Blooms to milking Maple the Cow to building a pollinator home with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to decorating canvas bags and playing a game of “guess the food” with Durham Farm Fresh.  Residents were also treated to some delicious local chocolate milk courtesy of Durham Farm Connections and vegetable seed packets courtesy of the City.

In what is easily the cutest photo on this blog so far, a Pickering child decorates a canvas shopping bag at Sustainable Pickering Day.

Residents make edible seed cups - they're sort of like a Chia pet, but made of burlap, and grow things like sprouts. OK, so they're almost nothing like a Chia pet except that stuff grows out of them. But Chia pets are pretty cool, right?

In addition to all the fun and giveaways, there was also some great educational opportunities for residents interested in learning more about gardening.  Gardening expert Ken Brown was accompanied by some of the gardening zen masters from the Durham Master Gardeners, ensuring that residents could ask questions related to growing herbs, fruits and vegetables regardless of whether they have a backyard, a balcony, a patio or just a few pots in their window.  If you missed out and aren’t sure how to grow your own veggies in a small space (like a patio or a balcony), you can still attend the Vertical Vegetables Workshop THIS SATURDAY, April 14th.  And if you have a bit larger space, be sure to drop by the City’s compost giveaway and plant sale taking place on Saturday, May 12.

A Pickering Family poses for a keepsake photo at Sustainable Pickering Day

The event also offered a preview of the Pickering Town Centre Farmers’ Market, which returns for another season starting on June 26th.  Local vendors had produce available for sale, and, as usual, it was snapped up by savvy shoppers, with some vendors even selling out before the end of the event!

Fresh, Local produce sold like hotcakes throughout the day.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Liason Culinary school was also there, providing samples of some of their delectable creations and wowing the crowd as they created a sugar sculpture throughout the day.

Liason Culinary School chefs show off their kitchen prowess

Sustainable Pickering Day continues to be an amazing springtime tradition in Pickering, one that heralds the arrival of warmer weather and fresher produce, as well as more sustainable actions with each passing year.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s high time I start planning my garden.

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  1. Sustainable Pickering Day | Durham Master Gardeners - April 26, 2012

    […] group was thoughtfully mentioned in a post over at the Clean Air Partnership blog: Gardening expert Ken Brown was accompanied by some of the gardening zen masters from the […]

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