Growing Connections with the Grain Farmers of Ontario

On Saturday, Princess Peach, Little Dude, my mom and I attended the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. To me it was my first time attending although my mom said I had attended once before as a child. Clearly, I didn’t remember. I really had no idea what to expect. Sure, I knew there would be animals, farmers and food but I didn’t realize the size nor the educational aspect to the Fair.

While we were there we visited the Grain Farmers of Ontario Trailer which is a 53 foot interactive trailer that is sure to entertain and educate people of all ages! From 2-year-old Princess Peach to my mom (she would kill me if I revealed her age) we were all engaged!  The trailer highlights grains from the farm to fork to fuel. The Grain Farmers of Ontario represents over 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. Princess Peach absolutely loved the interactive screen. She loved touching it and seeing the videos and pictures of how grains are grown and harvested.


Here are some interesting grain facts:



·        Grain corn is grown on 51 per cent of Ontario’s cropland each year

·        Other types of corn grown in Ontario, like sweet corn and popcorn, are only grown on 1 per cent of Ontario’s corn acres.  Most of what we see in fields across the province is field corn


·        Soybeans are the only common plant food containing complete protein and all essential amino acids for human health


·        1 acre produces enough wheat flour to make bread to feed a family of four for 10 years


They also had a famous chef doing cooking demonstrations. I don’t’ know about you but I’m a huge reality TV fan especially of Food Network  Canada’s Shows. Masterchef, Top Chef Canada, The Next Food Network Star, Chopped. I watch them all! I was so thrilled that Top Chef Canada’s finalist Chef Jonathan Goodyear was doing cooking demonstrations in the trailer. He has paired with the Grain Farmers of Ontario and created some very easy and delicious grain based dishes that are healthy and a crowd pleaser.

chef jonathan

We saw him make Avery Island Salad. It was so easy to make, and looked delicious! I know I will be trying out the recipe and so will my mom! You can make it too. Here’s the recipe!


Wheat berries – 100g (1 cup)

Avocado – 1 chopped

Mixed bell peppers – 100g (1/2 cup)

Diced cucumber – 50g (1/4 cup)

Cold-pressed soy oil – 30ml (2 tbsp)

Lemon juice – 30ml (2 ½  tbsp)

Garden cress – for garnish

Crème – for garnish

Avery Island Aioli – for garnish



  1.  Cook wheat berries in well salted water, bring to a boil and simmer until tender.
  2.  In a large mixing bowl combine the avocado, bell peppers and cucumbers. Dress the salad with the soy oil and lemon juice.            
  3. Once well mixed, plate the salad on favorite plate and put a few dollops of the Avery Island aioli, crème and garden cressgrains

We also checked out the Grain Discovery Zone which is found in the aMAZEing Food Journey in Hall B. The Grain Discovery Zone has a HUGE corn box that the kids could play in. Princess Peach jumped right in, sat down and started playing with the corn. She had the best time. The box was packed with lots of kids her age. I wish I would have taken a picture of the corn trail that happened in our house when we got home and she took off her boots 🙂 I think there was a trail of at least 20 pieces!


The Growing Connections Trailer will be at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair until Sunday November 10, 2013 in Hall B. Make sure you stop by, say hello and learn something interesting about grains in Ontario!

What is your favourite grain?

Disclosure: We were given free admission to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in exchange for a review of our experience at the Growing Connections Trailer. As always, the opinions and experiences are my own.


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