Thursday, October 18th, 2012...2:12 pm

Making Dough Rise: Learning & Eating at Harvest Noon Cafe

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Harvest Noon is a co-operatively run café located above the G.S.U pub, now in its second year of operation. Open 10am-2pm Monday-Friday, the café is a space where the community (not just students) can eat, cook, learn about and express their love for food. As someone who loves doing most of those things (the cooking part is debatable), I wanted to check out the space and volunteer on a Monday night shift, which involves helping with the baking of bread and making of hummus.

Bread hands hard at work.


Every Monday this occurs, and yesterday I found myself amidst a crowd of 12 other volunteers. Amy, our bread connoisseur was happy to see the turn-out and we got to work kneading the dough for the two kinds of bread used by the café: a sourdough flatbread and a sourdough onion loaf.

The sourdough onion loaf (an a wee braid-bread) awaits the oven.


I was also able to help Volken with the making of hummus that will be used by the café for the following week (that means a whole lotta chickpeas). This was great practical experience, and a yummy one too (taste-testing was encouraged – sanitarily of course).

This is what hummus dreams are made of.


The taste-experience didn’t end here. While we worked away at our respective jobs (some people were helping with hummus, some were washing dishes, some were kneading, some were chopping garlic), Willie prepared the dinner meal for us. He’s been involved with Harvest Moon “since almost the beginning” and he explained that all of the ingredients used at the café are locally sourced. One of the café walls graphically demonstrates that nothing comes much further than Madoc, Ontario, where the Red Fife Flour for the bread is produced. The meal we shared together was delicious, not to mention a great way to share some conversation with fellow members and first-time volunteers such as myself.

Where some of the Harvest Noon’s ingredients are sourced (they’re ALL local).


The café aims “to serve local, sustainable, and organically produced food and to support principles of food justice and accessibility”, a mandate supported by its co-operative members. I was overwhelmed with the welcoming atmosphere, and the organic production of not just the food, but the community itself. I left feeling high spirited and a definite supporter.

So how to contribute? There’s a few ways:

  1. Eat at the café – grab a full meal for $3-$5 dollars after a one-time life-long membership fee of $5 (or opt out of the fee and add 10% to the price)
  2. Attend the Annual General Meeting on October 25th, where you can meet more of the community and add contributions and input. Everyone is welcome, regardless of past involvement. The point of the meeting is to incorporate the larger community it serves.
  3. Volunteer at the café. Whether its just regular shifts, or during bread-making times on Monday nights, the café is always looking for help. Email volunteers AT harvestnoon dot com, and check out the link for more information regarding hours and time commitments.
  4. Attend a workshop and other events: The café has been fortunate enough to generate some profit, as well as being the recipient of a Carrot Cache grant. This cash is re-invested back into the community, through the organization of upcoming workshops. The first one? A full bread-making workshop that will teach you the entire process, on November 7th. Check the website for upcoming details!

Why not get involved in this great initiative on campus? Eat a little, learn a little, work a little, love A LOT!

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