The garden project came together for a variety of reasons. Andre and I both had our own gardens last year but when he purchased a new home and found himself without a suitable yard, we decided to team up and create a garden with a greater purpose. I had two small raised beds but with an extra acre at my disposal, plus two young children, two dogs, a horse and a thriving catering business, pairing up seemed like a good thing.
I grew up reluctantly helping my parents with their numerous hunting and gathering projects. There were two gardens plus numerous trips to "pick your own" farms that resulted in what seemed like hours of prepping, preserving and freezing enough food to get us through the winter. There was clamming, fishing, raising a pig and cow at my aunt's house and an assortment of game animals hanging in the carport. There was no shortage of exposure to knowing exactly where your food came from. In the end, what seemed like drudgery, paid off for me. I have a wonderful career in food, due in part to that experience.
Ottawa has numerous local suppliers to provide Epicuria with outstanding produce. Our long time friends at Bryson Farms deliver to us weekly their tasty greens, heirloom carrots, beets and more. So why start our own garden when there is no shortage of great produce? Simply, we want the experience of taking an ingredient from start to finish on a larger scale. Not only do we want control of the actual product we are growing, we want to know the cost, the time and more importantly the frustration of knowing exactly what we don't know and the joy of something accomplished. It should be an interesting ride.