Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 65: Terra Nova Rural park

Chef Ian shows us the layout of the park.

Chef Ian Lia has been talking about us coming out to Terra Nova since the first week of class back in January. A retired chef, these days Chef Ian puts all his energy into this park and the education that comes with it. (As can be expected, he is well-versed in dealing with the city and grant writing!) Now that spring has sprung, and final exams are looming, a group of us took a field trip out to Terra Nova Rural Park to check it out, and collect some herbs and garnishes for our final projects. 

Chef Ian and a project he's been working on with a group 
of student engineers. This contraption generates enough 
energy to run a lap top off a garden hose!

Terra Nova is more than just a park. It's an "outdoor classroom" which promotes the ideas of community, participation, local organic food and making healthy eating choices. I also got the  feeling that respecting and taking responsibility for the land are large areas of their ever-evolving curriculum. 

One of the coolest things they did last year was grow wheat. Then they harvested it, ground it up and made bread out of it - with elementary school kids! Fantastic!

Although it's still early spring, 
we still found a lot of produce to pick.
There's a large community garden on site, as well as a hazelnut orchard, 2 herb gardens, the soup kitchen gardens and a few large fields where they grew oats last year. The pear trees were in full blossom, and we visited the patch where the Japanese Fuki we used during Asia week grew. 

A classmate sampling from the herb beds.

Nice weather for early spring.

 The surprise of the day! You know cat tails that grow in marshes? 
 You can eat the tender part of the stem. It tastes just like melon! 
Here's Chef Ian snipping some up for us. 

And here's what I came home with, from find to fine dining....
(I love taking photos of weeds!)

The flowers off this plant are sweet, and the stem is square, 
the flowers may find their way onto our dessert.
Another flower, the buds on this tastes just like broccoli.
Garlic Chives, another cool garnish.

Thyme. I will never forget picking these 
tiny leaves off the stem at Market. 

Purple sage. My stove partners will be happy! 
I think one of our final exam 
dishes uses a fried sage leaf as a garnish.


  1. Good Job! I only ever have plants that I can eat. ; )

  2. That purple sage looks gorgeous!