The staff at Earth + City are super passionate about creating the best products they can using local, organic and seasonal produce, made with sustainability in mind.
Get to know the awesome people who prepare the food items that you love and find out how they joined the Earth + City team. This week we chatted to Kate, one of our team’s amazing Managers...
Pictured above: Kate out on a morning hike during one of her many camping trips in 2018.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you started working at Earth + City ...
My name is Kate and I’ve been working for Earth + City for just shy of four years. I started with Earth + City right out of my undergrad which had very little to do with food, it’s actually a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (a BLA if you will).
When I started, I worked solely in production, working four days a week, making everything from onion flatbread to cookies. From there, I progressed into taking on market sales starting with the Cabbagetown Farmers’ Market and working up up to Wychwood Barns (where you will still find me each Saturday). Following that I’ve moved up through various roles. I’ve worked as a Market Lead, as a Wholesale Assistant, now I work as our Wholesale & Orders Manager, Markets Manager and Social Media Coordinator. It’s a lot of roles. But one of the many perks of working for a small business like Earth + City is that all of my roles and responsibilities are quite fluid, so some days you’ll find me chatting with prospective wholesale clients and the next I’ll be busy making Coconut Yogurt.
Pictured above: Kate at Wychwood Barns with her recent purchase of mushrooms.
What do you love about food?
I’ve always had a passion for food. I love its versatility, its history and its ability to create and foster a community.
I grew up surrounded by agriculture, on a dairy farm to be exact, so it always allowed me to have a different perspective on how and what we ate. There were a lot of meals prepared around meat, potatoes and vegetables but my family also hosted a number of international students over the course of my growing up. So that meant I was also exposed to a lot of other food and culinary styles during my formative years - which helped shape my perspectives on food. As I moved through school and university and different food-based workplaces, I was fortunate to be surrounded by people that helped educate me in other areas of food - including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, etc.
To this day, one of my favourite things around food, is to explore local grocery stores and farmers markets when I travel. I love observing how food is sold, packaged and consumed by different people around the globe.
What is your favourite Earth + City product?
Out of habit, I would say the Cowgirl Cookie, because I can come back to it again and again and again. If I was going savoury, I think it’s the Wild Leek & Garlic Scape Pesto that comes out in spring and early summer.
Pictured above: one of the many variations of Earth + City's Spring Pesto from 2018
Which season is your favourite?
Honestly, I don’t think people appreciate it as much as they should, but I love the spring! The days keep getting longer, you get that fresh just-after-its-rained smell, everything is starting to grow and turn green again. It’s perfect! Plus you get the first of the seasonal produce - asparagus, rhubarb, wild leeks, garlic scapes, spinach, and morels. It’s a fresh start.
Pictured above: foraged wild leeks and asparagus freshly harvested from Kate's parents garden.
Mushrooms! Hands down! I will always have mushrooms in my fridge because I use them in everything! If you asked our friends over at Fresh and Tasty Mushrooms (who we sell beside at Wychwood Barns each Saturday) what my favourite type of mushroom is, they would tell you that it’s shiitake (or King Oyster - when it’s available). They always make sure that I get some before they sell out. And if I ever want some foraged goods, I head on over to Forbes Wild Foods for whatever wild mushrooms are in season at the moment.
Pictured above: Kate's favourite way to eat avocado toast - covered in pan fried garlic and shiitake mushrooms (purchased from Fresh and Tasty Mushrooms at Wychwood Barns Farmers' Market)
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Did you know that one of your favourite Earth and City products is a collaboration with another awesome Toronto-based small business? That’s right...our crackers contain leftover nutrient-rich juice pulp from Village Juicery’s cold-pressed juices.
These days there are apps for everything from playing with someone else’s dog to sailing on someone else’s boat. There’s even one for using other people’s toilets!
It’s called Garden Sharing... the idea is to build a sense of community, give people access to green space and create a supply of healthy, local and organic fruits and vegetables.