Historic Stewart Farm has a tantalizing exhibit starting this weekend that will make your mouth water and perhaps even inspire an interest in gardening.
Curator Lana Panko said the exhibit, From Field to Table: The Pioneer Kitchen Garden Revival, will give visitors a "greater appreciation of food and where it comes from."
The pioneer farm-turned-heritage centre not only has a traditional garden now at its peak, it also has an orchard to provide fresh fruit for tasty treats, like fresh-made ice cream and apple cider, as people tour the space and learn all about growing, harvesting, preserving and serving food.
The event opens this Saturday, Sept. 15 with a crunch, with the B.C. Fruit Testers, master gardeners and the Apple Lady on hand to talk about fruit trees. Panko likened the apple experts to wine connoisseurs, and they will also help people choose heritage apple, pear and grape plants to buy. At 1 p.m., chef Karen Dar Woon will talk about "The Hows and Whys of Food Preservation" and lead people on a garden tour as seen by a chef, and then do a cooking demonstration.
Being an interpretive centre, Panko said she has used old seed catalogues and gardening books from about 1888 for reference for this event. The farm's time period is 1890 to 1920, she explained, but for From Field to Table, visitors will learn about how the Stewart family grew and used their own food, how people banded together to grow Victory Gardens during the Depression, right up to the present day and how interest in home gardens is enjoying a revival.
"We will also have Scottish food because the Stewarts were Scottish," she said.
Panko said the experience and knowledge of the pioneers is relevant today because "people were pretty down to earth and things were basic," and once you have those basics down, you're set to grow a surprising amount of your own food.
"You can garden year round here." Among the special events associated with the exhibit, Thursday, Sept. 27 is an evening program on how to make a Thanksgiving Day meal plan with chef Ryan Bissell from Uli's Restaurant.
And on Saturday, Oct. 13 is a kids program called Veggie Fables where kids tour the exhibit, create their own garden story, build a character from fresh veggies and get a recipe book to take home.
Both these special events have preregistration and set fees. For more information, see www.surrey.ca/heritage.
From Field to Table: The Pioneer Kitchen Garden Revival runs from Sept. 15 to Nov. 3 on Fridays (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Saturdays (noon to 4 p.m.) at Stewart Hall, 13723 Crescent Rd. in South Surrey. Entrance is by donation.