Have you ever looked down at a burger or a plate full of bruschetta and thought about the distance the ingredients have travelled to make it onto the plate in front of you? Ya, it’s ok — not many people do, but we would like to change that.
Manitobans are a grateful bunch, especially when it comes to our short growing season. We plan, plot, and dream about the seeds we will plant. We proudly savour the harvest from our acres, backyard gardens, raised beds, and patio pots. We look forward to all of the harvest, but the tomato?! Come. On. Nobody appreciates a tomato like a Manitoban appreciates a tomato (this is an actual fact, isn’t it?).
Ok, back to that burger and bruschetta. When you order a menu item that includes tomatoes as a main ingredient or even a garnish, we are proud to tell you that we know exactly where that tomato is from. You don’t have to wonder what chemicals were sprayed on the tomato, or many thousands of miles it travelled — all that ‘stuff’ that unfortunately is a reality for most of the tomatoes we buy. During the growing season, we exclusively serve tomatoes from our partner farm — Oak Knoll Farm — located 4 miles from Pineridge Hollow. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning throughout tomato season, Becky — Oak Knoll Farm’s Head Gardener — harvests ripe tomatoes from the rows of plants trellised in the greenhouse. She weighs them and loads them into the vehicle for the 5-minute trek to Pineridge Hollow, where the tomatoes are handed off to one of the chefs. The chefs will often have to change menu plans around the variety of tomato they are given; there are times they want slicers, but get a bucketful of cherries, but like we tell our children, ‘you get what you get and you don’t get upset’.
To learn more about Oak Knoll Farm and their regenerative farming journey, experiences, and practices, please visit www.oakknollfarm.ca