The Grickle Grass Festival

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This coming Saturday, May 30 is the 6th annual Grickle Grass Festival at the London Children’s Museum. In partnership with Growing Chefs! Ontario, this event is part fundraiser, part family day of fun! Are you interested in sustainable living, healthy living, art and music? This is your event.

DAYTIME

From 10:00am to 5:00pm the London Children’s Museum will be taken over, both inside and outside, for the festival. It will be a full day celebration of learning, focusing on sustainable living, healthy choices, environmentally friendly food and where it comes from, the importance of fitness, and taking care of the world around them. Bring the whole family for button making, garden planting, dance partying, cooking demos, and so much more!

ADMISSION is the regular Children’s Museum admission of $7 per person, $2 for babies 12-23 months.

EVENING

In the evening, the museum turns into a fully licensed music venue for the adults. Every floor of the museum will be filled with music and art for you to enjoy at your leisure. The evening event is a fundraiser for the daytime programming.

ADMISSION tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. For advanced tickets, purchase HERE.

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Plant a Row, Grow a Row

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Gardeners, green-thumbs, and wannabes, as you are planning and/or planting your summer garden this weekend, consider London’s Plant a Row, Grow a Row Campaign. Founded in 2012 this program encourages you to plant a little bit extra in your garden and to donate that extra produce to the London Food Bank.

DID YOU KNOW?

The London Food Bank is able to easily collect and distribute non-perishables, but low income individuals/families also need the most important part of our diet: fresh fruit and vegetables. While you can imagine the obvious trouble with collecting such items in a drop off bin at a grocery store, they are able to collect and distribute fresh produce when it is brought directly to them.

PLANT A ROW, GROW A ROW

This time of year is the absolute easiest way to contribute to your London Food Bank by making space in your kitchen garden for a bit more produce. Did you grow more zucchini than you can handle? Decide kale is just not your thing? Have more tomatoes than you can can? Rhubarb running wild? Had enough beets for one season? Bring your excess to the London Food Bank! Either make the conscious decision to over-plant or just bring them whatever you don’t want. Pick it at it’s prime and get it to the Food Bank ASAP.

SEEDS

If altruism isn’t motivation enough to get on board with this, Plant a Row, Grow a Row has received a whole lot of seeds to give to you at no cost! Bush beans, pole beans, leaf lettuce, spinach, summer squash, cucumber, kale and beets are available for your garden. Just plant, grow, keep what you want and donate the rest back. See Facebook for more information.

 

 

 

Masonville Farmer’s Market

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The Masonville Farmers’ Market is opening for the season this Friday, May 8, bright and early at 8:00am and will be there until 2:00pm.

The Market is located in the Masonville Place Sears parking lot, off Richmond Street north, just south of Fanshawe Park Road.

The Masonville Farmers’ Market features farmers, bakers, and artisans from London and the surrounding area. This is a delicious opportunity to meet the people who actually farm your food and learn from them how it is grown, where it is grown, and to support them directly. While you’re there, treat yourself to a coffee at the mobile Fire Roasted Coffee truck, buy a sweet treat at one of the bakeries, pick up some specialty bread and some specialty jam to go with it, fresh bacon for breakfast, organic seedlings for your own garden, and of course all of the seasonal fruits and vegetables you can fit in your arms!

IF YOU GO

Remember that this is a local farmers market – you will find the best of the season, not the best of the world. Banana’s, mangoes, and oranges will be imported to the grocery store, not here!

Bring your own reusable grocery bags to cut down on the plastic.

Stop at a bank machine on the way so that you have lots of cash. There is a TD Canada Trust across the street, a Royal Bank across Fanshawe by East Side Marios, and various bank machines in the mall.

There is lots of free parking in the parking lot beside the market.

The Masonville Farmers’ Market is open every FRIDAY until the end of September. Visit weekly to get the best of the season, all season!

Organic Vs. Conventional

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We just had Earth Hour last week and are now into April. With Earth Day coming up, this is a great time to open up a conversation with your children about the earth and caring for our planet. There are many hot topics when it comes to the environment and many views on what the real problem is (or is not!) with our planet. Regardless of your opinion or knowledge on the topics, we have some great little experiments that you can try with kids of all ages to get both you and them thinking. The first is to take a look at organic farming vs. conventional farming.

WHAT YOU NEED

This part is easy – go to the grocery store and buy two of the same fruits or vegetables, one organic and one not labelled organic. Try to get two pieces that appear to be the same quality, freshness, and age. If at all possible, try to get them from the same location (e.g. both from Canada, both from Mexico). We used apples.

WHAT TO DO

Absolutely nothing! Bring them home and put them side by side on your counter somewhere. Then wait a few days, weeks, or months depending on the produce you selected.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

At regular intervals, have your children take a look at the produce and see if they still look the same. Is one decomposing faster than the other? Does one smell different than the other? Do they feel different?

ENDING THE EXPERIMENT

When you have had enough of your observations, cut both pieces of produce in half and see if there are any differences happening inside.

WHAT WE  NOTICED

We kept our apples out for two months. The organic apple’s peel went wrinkly and soft, and the conventionally grown apple’s did not. When we cut them open, the organic apple had begun to rot inside, where the conventionally grown apple had not begun to visibly decompose.

QUESTIONS TO ASK (and perhaps Google!)

  1. What does it mean to be grown ‘organically’? What does ‘conventionally grown’ mean?
  2. Why does growing food organically seem like a good idea? Why does growing food conventionally seem like a good idea?
  3. What else could have made them decompose at different/same rates?
  4. Do you think they taste different from each other? Why or why not?
  5. What does GMO mean? How do you know if something is a GMO?
  6. Why does organic food cost more than conventionally grown food?
  7. What does ‘natural’ mean in reference to food? Do organic and natural mean the same thing?