Each summer, we invite a couple hundred of our closest friends to downtown culinary tours and local food workshops. As the only truly local and community-based food tour in Peterborough, we take our role as hosts very seriously — even if it is mostly smiles and laughs while presenting and sharing.
During the culinary tours, which depart from The Peterborough Downtown Farmers Market (a true growers/producers market), we learn about the significance of local food, seasonal food, area agriculture, and food security. We discuss the social and economic benefits of shopping and eating locally. We celebrate the vibrancy (and importance) of our downtown core. And we introduce patrons to the extraordinary community that makes our food scene so special.
While we definitely do enjoy the area’s freshest foods, prepared by our most talented chefs, the event is more than just a food tour. It’s also an educational program that has acted as an incredible word-of-mouth promotional tool for downtown Peterborough, as well as a strong economic driver for the community. As Donald points out to the smiling groups each week: “watch out, you might accidentally learn something!”
While it’s not first and foremost in our marketing plan, we hope just that: We hope that people learn and pass on this knowledge. We hope that they both share what they’ve discovered about local food, the importance of city cores, and the nature of our food community, and that feel like they’ve become a part of the community they have just learned so much about.
Through our tours, workshops, and media outreach, Farm to Table Peterborough has introduced thousands of people to Downtown, and created countless new customers and diners for the businesses there. It’s exciting to see faces that had never before dined downtown becoming regular patrons. It means that what we do is working.
It’s doubly exciting to bump into them at the Wednesday market, shopping for local food that they didn’t know was available before taking the tour. It means that our local food system is working.
In this, our 9th summer of tours, we would like to say how honoured we are to be a part of this unique and incredible local food community. Everyone involved (the growers/producers, the chefs, the business owners, the economic development and tourism partners, the local food educators/advocates/organizations, the Downtown Market) work incredibly hard to make Peterborough such an incredible culinary destination. They are the ones that make Peterborough stand out above other cities of our size.
We want to thank everyone involved in both the tours and the local food scene. And we promise to continue to showcase you to the best of our abilities.