Canola Connect City Camp-Keeping An Open Mind (and Heart)

May19

Our first morning of “camp” began with a presentation about how public perception is fashioned and our role in maintaining our own perspective a.k.a “keeping an open mind”. I added the “heart” part because I believe that perception isn’t just about what our brains process but what our emotions tell us as well. Sometimes I get labelled as being “too emotional”, typically by a person who is (in my opinion), too “rational”. In this, and most aspects of my life, I believe that the extremes must meet in the middle to find a common ground. I strive to do this on a daily basis.

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Case in point, I had preconceived notions about what I was going to see and learn about on an agricultural based biotechnical tour, which was the first stop of our day. I imagined robotic machines and rooms of whirring and spinning contraptions with few, if any, people involved in the process. I was surprised to be shown otherwise. Canola plants were lovingly being tended to by real people.

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I love farmers and I am especially fond of the Canola farmers that I have met over the years. They are risk-taking, intelligent, educated, family-centric, land-protecting, animal-loving, community-giving persons who work hard, so very hard. In my mind, I am all for whatever can be done to make their jobs easier. They feed me, my family and the world.

We learned about the making of improved canola hybrids ( simply put: a hybrid is like the offspring of D and I). Scientifically stated: “A cross of specific parent plants using controlled pollination. The resulting seed will produce plants with very specific characteristics.” Just like our son is the perfect blend of my husband and my characteristics… “From the twinkle in the breeder’s eye (tee hee), it takes 7-10 years to develop and make a canola hybrid available to the farmers.” We’re talking disease resistance, water use efficiency, etc. and why this is so important on a Global scale was explained to us the next morning. The lady wearing the gorgeous turquoise gloves above is carrying off the “controlled pollination”. In other words-the Canola Connect group were voyeurs of plant sex!

Having worked up a hearty appetite, lunch was served in the adjacent dining room. Lovingly prepared and catered by Seasons Catering, the menu was an extensive offering of prairie treats:

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The Wheatberry Salad featured was a delightful assembly of cranberries, pepitas and diced apples tossed in a blood orange vinaigrette utilizing Winkler Virgin Canola Oil.  Thick tomato slices of tomato were topped with boccocino cheese, ribbons of basil, balsamic vinegar and East Selkirk Virgin Canola Oil. A third oil -Grandview Canola was highlighted in the Chimichurri. We would learn more about theses artisan oils over the weekend.

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Sablefish (also known as Back Cod) has a high fat content and is perfect for roasting. The dollop of pesto added to its moisture and flavour.

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Dessert was a selection of verrines including Cholocate Panna Cotta with White Chocolate Mousse, Lime, Coconut & Mango and Raspberry & Lemon. All were silky and sublime. We campers were wonderfully nourished, rested and off on our next adventure.

Kath’s quote: “I prefer to regard a dessert as I would imagine the perfect woman: subtle, a little bittersweet, not blowsy and extrovert. Delicately made up, not highly rouged. Holding back, not exposing everything and, of course, with a flavor that lasts.” -Graham Kerr

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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