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It’s Back! Foodland Ontario 2023 Calendar

Ah, how I’ve longed for the annual Foodland Ontario (FO) Calendar to show up at the end of my supermarket’s checkout line! I’m not sure they even published one during the height of the COVID Crisis. If so, I missed it. In every sense of the word. Now, the 2023 edition has landed at your supermarket, like a bumper potato crop…

Apples - © newsread.inFresh Crop Ontario Apples: Abundant, available, ambrosial…

Foodland Ontario is a high-profile promotional organization whose mission is to, “help you choose fresh food from close to home, all while supporting local farmers and businesses.”

Sounds simple, but it’s a massive job, when its members grow or raise such a tremendous range of meat and vegetable products. And they all have different ‘seasons’ in which their growers want the max publicity, along with the brightest spotlight they can get, when their produce at its peak.

With recent developments agricultural technology, seasons have become even longer f0r some food. For instance, tomatoes can be grown year-round, under plastic, even here in my home town. In spite of the fact that we’re often reminded that Ottawa is one of the top ten coldest capitals in the world! That makes for a lot of seasonal crossover and competition for space in a publication with a fixed size and length, like a calendar. But somehow, they manage to do it without smothering the reader.

Lots of goodies…

The Calendar is not just a bunch of recipes, one for each month of the year. The recipes are easy to make, and each features a simple list of easy-to-get ingredients spotlighting Ontario produce. Part of the magic is, these dishes also celebrate the cultural diversity Canada is so proud of. And this leads naturally to a carefully curated selection of dishes that introduces home cooks to a world of cuisines spanning a whole slew of cultures.

One much appreciated extra I often refer to is the centre-spread chart of fresh produce nutritional profiles. This allows you to evaluate a whole spectrum (literally dozens) of buy local opportunities on a level playing field. Buying local also lets you choose produce that’s as fresh as you can get, at a product’s nutritional and flavour peak. A companion chart inside the front cover tells you when in the year a product’s harvest season falls, and how long a storage season it has.

Conventional features

And let’s forget a couple of conventional features those of us who love and use conventional calendars really appreciate: Big ‘day’ boxes for your write-in notes, and type fonts large enough for most of us will be able to read without having to deploy the hand magnifiers.

You also get a very complete list of the major holidays and observances around the year. I still find being able to flip a page or two in a paper calendar more convenient and less frustrating than Googling for things such as, “What day of the week does Christmas fall on this year?”

Bonuses include the outstanding photography and dish presentation we fans of the Calendar have come to expect. That’s something that enhances, rather than degrades the decor of any room in which you hang it.

What more could you ask for?

How about getting it all free for the grabbing, on your way out the supermarket door? Well, you do. The whole beautiful, glossy production is paid for by the Foodland Ontario partners and the agency. No purchase required.

Up-to-date details of the 2023 edition of the Foodland Ontario calendar will soon be available online, for those who prefer that method of access.

My take

I recommend you take a look at the Lamb Skillet Lasagne (February) and the Skillet Gnocchi Dinner (vegetarian). Both are implementations of their form that I don’t remember having seen before.

And remember the FO motto: “Good Things Grow In Ontario!”

With my new calendar on the kitchen wall, I feel I’m truly ready for 2023!

~ Maggie J.