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Implementing our closed-loop food system at Summer Wednesdays

Integrating local ingredients, delicious food and on-site composting in a sustainable system

People eating in the Children's Garden Image: Andrea Davidova
Image: Andrea Davidova

Published on August 13, 2019

At Summer Wednesdays, Evergreen Brick Works’ mid-week event, visitors can relax with food and drink in hand, while watching a performance or chatting the night away with a friend.

Enjoying food at Summer Wednesdays also means enjoying food you can feel good about.

At the Wood-Fired Oven, ingredients are sourced from Evergreen's Saturday Farmers Market, Feast ON certified vendors and the new Plant Positivity Gardens on-site. Visitors can enjoy their food on reusable plates and return them to our Waste Free Station for remaining waste to be composed for the gardens on-site. This is an example of a closed-loop food system.

A closed-loop food system like this significantly reduces waste by integrating the resources we already have around us together, limiting the need for food and supplies needed to grow food to travel. At Evergreen Brick Works, this can be tested and showcased at a public event like Summer Wednesdays, where people can see and experience each element in action.

The Ingredients

Isaac with broccoli
Photo courtesy of Aphria Inc.

For over 10 years, Evergreen Brick Works has been operating the Saturday Farmers Market, which has grown to become a bustling marketspace. Each week, local Ontario farmers and Feast ON certified purveyors come to convene, test and grow their local businesses, and market-goers come to meet their food suppliers and take ingredients they feel good about home with them. Surrounding this bustling marketspace are the six new Plant Positivity Gardens, containing more than 50 varieties of plants, including many edible species.

The Food

Plate of food, corn and chicken
Photo by Anthony Masucci

Using these ingredients, Café Belong, the Feast ON certified restaurant at Evergreen Brick Works, fires up the Wood-Fired Oven in the Children’s Garden for Summer Wednesdays. Having a meal served here means both a true farm-to-table experience, as well as reaping the delicious benefits of urban agriculture in action. For a special activation on August 28, the closing night of Summer Wednesdays, ingredients from the Plant Positivity Gardens will be harvested and incorporated into the Summer Wednesdays menu.

The Waste

Child washing dish at waste free station
Photo by Andrea Davidova

Visitors can enjoy this locally sourced, delicious meal in the Children’s Garden, all on a reusable plate with reusable cutlery. After finishing the meal, visitors can wash their own dishes and dispose of their waste at the Waste Free Station at the Garden’s exit. Led by a team of volunteers dedicated to reducing our environmental impact, the organic waste is collected and sorted, to be later turned into compost. This compost keeps the closed-loop system going, by returning the food from the Brick Works back to the gardens.

Implementing the closed-loop system at Summer Wednesdays allows Evergreen to test, improve and expand on our sustainable food systems. By seeing the loop in action, attendees can experience all the elements firsthand, to learn and create more sustainable food systems in cities around the world.