Had to take a little break there on the updates from the conference – life gets in the way sometimes, ya know? But I’m back in Vancouver, rested, and ready to write!
Day 3 started much the same as days 1 & 2 – I was up bright and early again to make it to the conference centre for breakfast. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate having all of my breakfasts included, but the wake up time was just a bit earlier than my body was happy with.
As with the day before, I had a few bites of Greek yogurt and a chug of green juice – my “just in case” breakfast didn’t consist of foods I enjoy.
Breakfast this morning was sponsored by Kellogg’s, and included a selection of their healthier cereals, and the usual conference breakfast fare – fruit, cheese, baked goods, coffee, tea. I spied some boxes of Kashi (who knew Kellogg’s owned them?!), but they all seemed to be empty. So I skipped out on cereal, and grabbed some fruit, cheese, crackers, and a whole wheat blueberry muffin.
You may also notice a couple of cereal samples there on the left. I can’t remember the name of the cereal, but it’s a new, high fibre variety, and I didn’t enjoy it. Too much fake flavour and too much sweetness.
Kellogg’s was putting on a symposium during the morning sessions, but I decided to attend some of the other ones. My first session of the day was “Making Meals Around The World”, and I loved it! So much discussion on meals and what they mean in different cultures, how this applies to dietetic practice, and how students going through their training may or may not be learning cooking skills and about diversity in cultures. It was a short session – only 1 1/2 hours – but I think they could have easily made it into a 3 hour session. I felt like there was so much to say, and those in attendance were very interested in sharing their experiences. Probably one of the highlight sessions of the conference for me.
Weirdly, we also got a set of drumsticks at this session…I’m still not sure why. But I guess if I ever ruin my Rock Band sticks, I have a replacement pair now!
I actually decided to take a mental break from the conference after the session. See, most of the morning sessions actually ran for 3 1/2 hours, and there was only one other option for the 2nd half of the morning that I was not interested in. So I made a quick stop at the coffee break table, grabbed this Danone yogurt drink (something new – contains plant sterols), and headed back to my hotel to chill for a bit.
I’m just gonna say – not a fan of yogurt drinks. I have nothing against this one in particular, but the whole idea of the little yogurt drink shots kinda creeps me out. But I’m always willing to give these things a go, if only to understand what’s out there on the market. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to practice, right?
I was very excited for my next session. I signed up to go on the farm tour! It did mean I had to miss out on the Sponsor Showcase, where conference attendees get to interact with the sponsors, get information and samples about their new products, and do some networking. I think it would have been awesome, but when I saw a farm tour on the program, I knew I had to get out of the city and do something a little different.
We left even before lunch was served, but fortunately they arranged packed lunches for us.
A turkey wrap, some sort of noodle salad, almonds, and a green apple. Oh, and I grabbed an apple juice.
Within an hour, we were transported out of downtown Edmonton, and arrived at our destination – Good Note Community Farm.
And what a gorgeous day it turned out to be – especially considering it had been cloudy and raining most of the time in Edmonton!
Our group was greeted by Maryann Borch, owner of the farm. She was a great host, explaining to the group the ins and outs of their farm.
They have a section of plots that people can rent for the summer for $50 each, where they can grow their own produce. Very attractive to those living in the city. But that’s not all on the farm. They also have a variety of animals – chickens (both broilers and layers), goats, and cows. I may have gone a little camera happy with all the cute animals out there!
These are the broiler chicks. They are currently being housed until they are big enough to be out in the fields and avoid the predators (ravens). I believe each of these chickens is sold for $10 once they mature, plus 10 hours worth of work on the farm. Not a bad deal for a happy, healthy chicken.
The goats were awesome. Not only were they social, posing for pictures and licking our hands, but they were entertaining as well!
The baby goats were playing what Maryann called “King of the manure pile”. They would climb up the big pile in the field, run around, and jump off wildly!
I managed to get one in flight.
We also had a rather social cow come pose with us for photos. She may have also tried eating my shirt.
We made our way down to where the layer hens were kept. The farm uses a rotating grazing system – the cows and goats are allowed to intensively graze one small pasture, then are moved to the next. The chickens are then moved to the pasture that was just grazed, where they scratch in the manure from the cows and goats, as well as drop there own. That whole sustainable, how it used to be done thing.
Can I just say chickens are so photogenic?
Especially those proud roosters!
We harvested some eggs.
Most of their layer chickens are heritage breeds – they have smaller breasts, allowing them to actually sit and brood their eggs.
We also got to feed the chickens while we were there.
This golden coloured chicken was my favourite – such a beautiful feather pattern.
On the way back up to the house we came across the bull.
Back at the house our host served us some treats from the farm.
Baby spinach leaves and sorrel leaves wrapped around fresh homemade goat cheese. Delicious!
Deviled eggs – that yellow colour is the natural colour of the egg yolks. Stunning.
And some farm-made goat sausage. My first time trying goat!
It was nice to sit around and enjoy the snacks and socialize.
Maryann also brewed up some nettle tea for us to taste.
For being such a gracious host, the chair of the DC Nutrition and Food Security Network, Jackie Ehlert, presented Maryann with a copy of the newest Dietitians of Canada cookbook – Cook!
Sadly, our tour was cut shorter than expected due to scheduling issues with the bus. It did mean I was back in time to head to one more conference event – the Federal Nutrition Policy Update by Health Canada.
I was pretty tired by the time this was over, so I grabbed dinner on the way back to my hotel, with plans of a quiet Friday night in.
I stopped by Wok Box, which was just around the corner from my hotel. I went with the Penang Shrimp & Chicken Stirfry.
It was all sorts of spicy deliciousness. Just what I needed after my long day.
I pulled up some prime real estate on the couch, turned on the tv, and just relaxed. Sleepy much?
I also realized that I was rocking one sweet sunburn on my chest.
Good ol’ necklace, blocking the sun’s rays. Whatever, it couldn’t damper my favourite day of the conference!
Only one more day to finish off my DC Conference experience – coming up tomorrow!