Farms for Change raises more than $100,000
The New Farm has combined the best in cuisine and live music, nourishing over the years an annual event that satisfies both the foodie and the music fan.
The hot-ticket Farms for Change event promises a chance to taste some of the best food around, served at stations set up on the organic farm located near Dunedin.
Hosts Gillian Flies and Brent Preston welcomed close to 900 guests to The New Farm June 10 for the ninth annual concert in the barn, this year with Joel Plaskett and his band The Emergency.
Great food and live music in a beautiful rural setting (maybe even a celebrity sighting) gives Farms for Change its cachet and every year people hustle for tickets.
The event has evolved out of Grow For The Stop, which started as a fundraiser to supply produce to The Stop Community Food Centre in Toronto, and has become just as much about food as it is about music, if not more. This year’s event raised more than $100,000.
Last year, the event was rebranded Farms for Change to reflect an expanding effort to connect other food centres with organic farm produce. Preston and Flies in partnership with Community Food Centres Canada and with the support of dozens of volunteers, have expanded the effort to make good local organic food available for everyone.
On one of the hottest days this summer, it is only logical to start with a cold drink. The bar was well stocked with Creemore Springs beer, Dillon’s Distillery cocktails, Duntroon Cyder House cider and Sap Sucker maple water.
Then itʼs off to sample food from some of the trendiest restaurants in Toronto – Momofuku, Café Boulud, The Broadview Hotel, Montecito, Epic at Fairmount Royal York, Drake Hotel, Harvest Kitchen, Planta, Gladstone – and those closer to home – Azzurra, The Pottery. Diners plan their strategy, scoping out which restaurants are offering what, before committing to a line-up. Food stations are serving chickpea crepes with lamb, chicken curry, cassoulet and ceviche, to name a few options. The first few hours of the evening are spent sampling dishes at picnic tables or sprawled on blankets on the lawn in front of the house, while serenaded by bluegrass band The Barrel Boys.
Meanwhile, the VIPs were wined and dined by Richmond Station in the New Farm Kitchen.
In the barn, it is always magical to watch the sky transition from twilight to dark through the cracks between the barnboard as the band revs up. Plaskett said from the stage he was honoured to have been invited to take part in such a great event and a worthy cause. The audience was thrilled to be treated to a special surprise appearance by Sarah Harmer, who joined Plaskett for a duet.
At the end of the night, emerging from the barn, nothing could have been more welcome than the pressed grilled cheese sandwich made with bree and milk chocolate, served up by Ace bakery on one of their brioche buns.