The children played, sang and gave the rest of us much joy...

The children played, sang and gave the rest of us much joy…

It was a familiar scene for the old Carp Memorial Hall: families, seniors and singles getting together for a meal, children playing, people singing a few carols and the community raising food and funds for those less fortunate.
The Dec 8 event was a group effort, with volunteers from the Carp Ridge EcoWellness Centre, funding from the Carp Ridge Learning Centre, (a registered charity), donations of food from growers at the Carp Farmer’s Market and individuals contributing their cooking and help setting up and cleaning up!

Mother and daughter Tanya and Jessica enjoy the event (and were a huge help in setting up and tearing down--big thanks!)

Mother and daughter Tanya and Jessica enjoy the event (and were a huge help in setting up and tearing down–big thanks!)

The goal of this event is many-pronged: to fund raise for the local food bank (7 large boxes and $1100); increase awareness of our local food supply; share knowledge of nutritious eating; support area families and seniors; bring community together as sponsors/speakers; strengthen our network of sustainable services; and learn tools for healthy living in the often stressful modern world.

Naturopathic doctor Chelsey Corrigan talks about the benefits of replacing white sugar and artificial sweeteners with healthier alternatives.

Naturopathic doctor Chelsey Corrigan talks about the benefits of replacing white sugar and artificial sweeteners with healthier alternatives.

The theme for this first dinner and talk was Healthy Sweeteners, with naturopathic doctor Chelsey Corrigan separating out “the good, the bad and the ugly”, encouraging us to replace our white sugar and artificial sweeteners with more wholesome and natural varieties which were on display for people to try.  A useful handout will no doubt be pinned to several fridges!

The Craig twins add their festive spirits.

The Craig twins add their festive spirits.

Almost fifty people of all ages attended, with much appreciation for the healthy and delicious food cooked mainly by holistic chef Kim Trott from Carp.  The highlights were shepherd’s pie with sweet potatoes, a chickpea curry with coconut milk and an apple-rhubarb crisp with yogurt and local maple syrup.

Thanks go to the following donors of food: Dobson Farms/grass-fed beef; Nelson Water Systems for purified water and a stand; Maple Holme Sugar Bush for syrup; ServiPro Farm for some crispy Jerusalem artichokes; Chamomile Desjardins for his famous hot sauce; the Hemp Cookie Company for gluten-free hemp cookies; Russell and Abigail Corbett for their splendid raw honey; Kricklewood Farm for local organic, cold-pressed sunflower oil; tasty apples from Harvest Moon Orchard; a fabulous bean dip made by Sallie Storey; and delectable devilled eggs concocted by Sandy Rawson.

The next dinner and talk will sometime in the New Year.  If you are interested in helping or would simply like to attend, please contact Carla Brown at: 613-839-2224 or check ecowellness.com for more information.