How was our food grown?
What resources went into raising it?
And why are summer strawberries available all-year round?
There is so much we don’t know about what we eat. Food nourishes the body and the soul but somewhere, on the way to the drive-through, we lost our connection with what we eat. There is much to discover, and so many questions that need answers. The first step though in this long journey of discovery? To get more familiar with our food, and those who grow it.
Let’s meet our farmers.
SAY HELLO TO…
Pat and Paul Orsak and the Orsak family
The Orsak family live and run their farm in Binscarth, Manitoba. I met Paul and Pat for the first time in Ottawa at a conference a couple of years ago. Then when I went to the #CanolaConnect harvest camp in September 2019 they invited us into their home. That meal, under the Manitoba sky, beside their home and their apple orchard, was memorable in more ways than I can count. You can read about my visit here.
I am honoured to share a peek into their life as farmers. The photos are courtesy @CanolaEatWell.
Here is an excerpt from my conversation with them:
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING A FARMER?
Pat: Watching crops grown with care and knowing that they are part of a bigger picture. As a Home Economist, quality food and good nutrition are very important to me. I know that our farm is part of that. Being part of a family business that is run with pride and dedication.
HOW CAN CONSUMERS SUPPORT FARMERS?
Paul: Of course buying as much Canadian product as they are able, but also we hope, consumers will try to gain a better understanding of what we, as farmers, are trying to accomplish. Farmers try to grow food in the safest and most sustainable way possible. It is important to do things right to keep our market both domestically and internationally. Recognize that farmers are experts at what they do, and are always using science to improve safety and sustainability. So, before joining the bandwagon on the next fear tactic or Facebook post, check the information with a reliable source – a farmer or one of their commodity groups.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TRADITION AROUND THANKSGIVING?
Paul: Because we are most likely to be harvesting, we really don’t make plans around Thanksgiving. In the case that we are not harvesting, which usually means the weather is bad, we look forward to having our children home and a house full of noise & laughter.
Pat: We usually have a big Thanksgiving dinner, whether in the field or in the house. Wherever it is, the most important thing is to have our family here. Having them and their partners, and now a couple of little ones, is what makes Thanksgiving.