Brantford, Ontario has been getting even more serious when it comes to identifying locally grown food, ever since bananas and oranges started showing up at 'Buy Local! Buy Fresh' designated farmers’ markets. So a group of local farmer’s wives banded together (they know who grows what around these lolling farmlands) and together they go into participating restaurants to do Bountiful Brant inspections.
The Homestead Café passes muster, especially so when they make their famous strawberry rhubarb pie each summer, while the Blue Dog’s apple fritters are made from apples from the orchard just down the road.
The ‘Bountiful Brant Buy Local! Buy Fresh’ map is available at locations throughout Brantford and the surrounding areas, leading you directly to farm gates and retail outlets listed by farmers, be they meats, vegetables or fruits.
Here’s a simple springtime rhubarb recipe from an Ontario town that pushes up its sleeves, knocks on doors, and makes sure that buying local is truly all that it's meant to be.
4 cups rhubarb, chopped
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1. Mix together rhubarb and sugar and leave at room temperature in an 8 x 8 pan for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, salt, rolled oats, brown sugar and butter together and sprinkle over rhubarb. Bake in 350 oven for 40 - 50 min.