Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Five ways you can be eco-friendlier on your next Forks visit

In honour of Earth Day, we’ve put together a list of eco-friendly things you can do next time you visit The Forks:

Bring a reusable coffee cup or water bottle
The Forks is headed towards having entirely compostable takeaway containers from all vendors on the site, but we’re not there just yet. Whether you’d like a coffee-to-go to keep you warm on the Red River Mutual Trail in the winter or a smoothie to keep you cool while you browse the shops in the summer, why not take your drink to-go in a reusable mug or bottle?

Purchase organic and sustainable products
A number of vendors sell organic and/or sustainably sourced items. For example, Grass Roots Prairie Kitchen is dedicated to cooking delicious take-away meals including perogies, lamb meatballs, and cabbage rolls as well as jams and pickles using organic, sustainably sourced and locally farmed meats and produce. Hempyrean sells organic hemp clothing – a durable alternative to cotton – and other organic hemp products. Generation Green sells a variety of eco-friendly products – from soaps and lotions to household cleaning products – and they offer refill program where anyone who brings in an empty bottle to be refilled receives $1 off.

BYOB (Bring your own bag)
We’ve all heard the terrible stat: plastic bags will take 1000 years to break down in the landfill. If you’re going to be making some purchases at The Forks, come prepared with your own bag to tote your goods around.

Park your car – at home
The Forks is centrally located and well-connected to several bike paths, sidewalks, bus routes, and two major waterways – the transportation options are endless! We offer ample bike parking and even bike valet on busy days like Canada Day, as well as free 3-hour boat docking all summer.

One person’s trash…
Next time you’re in the Johnston Terminal, take a peek downstairs at the Johnston Terminal Antique Mall and see how some of the pre-loved furniture pieces and other items could be upcycled into your living space.

The Forks is dedicated to the planet today and everyday with Target Zero – our mission to have zero garbage, zero waste and zero carbon emissions. Here’s how:

Eighty percent of our “garbage” on the site is compostable. That’s why we started working with an industrial in-vessel composter called BIOVATORTM to compost waste from our five full-service restaurants, 15 fast food merchants, seven fresh food producers, the hotel and all of the yard trimming from the site. We use the nutrient-rich compost in our gardens.

Our Zamboni runs on the oil that cooked the French fries you ate here last month. That’s pretty cool. We filter the used vegetable oil using a centrifuge, and we’ve adapted the diesel engines on our site truck, three gators, refrigerated reefer and our Zamboni so they can be fuelled by the wasted vegetable oil.

Geothermal Heat Pump System
When we needed to replace our old HVAC system, we realized it was an opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint by installing a geothermal system that uses energy stored in the earth, the river, and ground water, and also recycles the energy produced in The Forks Market. Energy is collected from three separate wells. The largest well is located across the Assiniboine River at South Point where 168 closed vertical loops were drilled 300-feet into the ground. There are two large radiators sitting at the bottom of the Assiniboine River, and an open loop right underneath the South West corner of the Market collecting energy from the ground water.

Click here to see more on how we’re loving our Earth everyday.

By The Forks communications intern Larissa Peck

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Easter at Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company

The Christopsomo bread at Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company is the only bread Tabitha Langel knows that will melt in your mouth – and she knows bread.

Tabitha is one of the founders of the bakery, which opened at The Forks in 2002, 12 years after the original Wolseley location opened and became instantly popular. The bakery functions with a huge emphasis on supporting local, organic, sustainable farming, and the community.

The traditional Greek Orthodox Christopsomo sweet bread, which Tabitha says is made up of butter, sugar, eggs and as little flour to hold it together as possible, is flavoured with anise. She says it will make your whole house smell amazing when you toast it.

But that’s not the only Easter treat the bakers at Tall Grass are prepping for the special holiday on Sunday.

Hot cross buns were coming out of the oven smelling spicy and delicious as I was touring through the bakery, where they mill the grain on the same day they bake with it.

Tabitha says often the spices in hot cross buns are dumbed down, but she’s a big fan of flavour, so her hot cross buns are spicy and full of fruit. They are an ancient British tradition and were later adopted into the Christian faith – hence the cross. The buns, along with prayer, were intended to protect families from fire, rats, accidents and shipwreck – all the more reason to invest in some this Easter.

Louis, one of the head bakers, was egg-washing the beautifully braided Easter saffron bread while I was there. The combination of organic flour, rum-soaked raisins, saffron and a little hint of orange makes this lovely bread taste as good as it looks.

One extra-special addition to your Easter basket could be one of Tall Grass’s butter lambs. Leni, an employee from The Netherlands graciously offered up the use of an artifact that has been in her family for over 100 years – a wooden butter press that makes adorable, lamb-shaped butter sculptures. The lambs are $4.75.

Tabitha believes there is no greater miracle than the Earth, and she is doing her part to preserve it by supporting sustainable farming in Manitoba, and she’s offering another little miracle for Easter for each customer – a little satchel of organic grain to plant in time to have a little sprout on your Easter table on Sunday – this one was just planted yesterday:

The Forks Market is open 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. all weekend, including Good Friday. Place your order for Easter treats at the bakery counter, or by calling 204-957-5097 and be sure to check out the Easter specials at Grass Roots Prairie Kitchen, across the way from Tall Grass, including lamb stew, lamb meatballs and saffron rice pilaf.

By The Forks communications intern, Larissa Peck

Friday, 4 April 2014

Model Search: Pancake Billy

Do you have what it takes to be Pancake Billy?

Two Rivers is creating it's own brand of maple syrup called Pancake Billy's Chuggable Maple Syrup. They are looking for someone whom is willing to have their image on the label and on a life-size cardboard cutout to further promote the brand.

This life-size RCMP cut out is Two Rivers original photo-op. Pancake Billy will have one just like this.

Another great photo-op at Two Rivers.
Could you imagine your face as Pancake Billy on this bottle of maple syrup?
One of Two Rivers best sellers. People from all over the world will meet Pancake Billy.
The person chosen will participate in a professional photo shoot. A stipend of $20.00 will be paid to cover parking/transportation. The model may keep the clothes used, including but not limited to, one red and black plaid lumberjack jacket.

What we’re looking for:

- a natural, burley, lumberjack type over 18 years of age
- a male with lots of character in his face
- opposite of “Hollywood”
- body hair, bellies, and beards are all encouraged
- someone who can convincingly express tasting the world’s best maple syrup

What you’ll do:

- submit two (2) photos (a head shot and full body shot) to Two Rivers using the email showcase_manitoba@hotmail.com
- include “Maple Syrup Model Search” in subject line
- include your phone number in the email
- if selected a professional photo shoot will be scheduled
- be yourself – Two Rivers wants someone with personality so no need to be nervous!

Contest closes Friday April 25 2014 so submit your pictures now!