Friday, November 09, 2012

A Royal Recap

The 90th Annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair continues this weekend in Toronto, through 6pm on Sunday, Nov. 11. It is a fabulous place to bring your kids for a bit of farm fun in the city. Little Boo and I went last Sunday, and spent about 6 hours touring the Pizza Pizza Petting Farm, taking in the Presidents Choice SuperDogs show, riding a child-sized mechanical bull, and more! The giant veggie competition is always a hit. Little Boo was particularly excited to see one of the giant squash/pumpkin that was actually grown right here in Scarborough!

Kids love to visit, touch, and feed the animals. Although we had a tense moment when one of the goats grabbed the cup of food out of LB's hand and gobbled down the whole thing!!
Here's the sneaky culprit. Still hungry and looking for another "victim."
We also spent a fair bit of time at the Grain Farmers' of Ontario "Grains in Your Life" exhibit. We were pretty surprised at the variety of ways soy, corn and wheat are used to create products we use every day. I think the centrepiece of the exhibit for us was the bio-car, shown below. 
This car display focused on the importance of biofuels as a way to lessen the volume of greenhouse gases emitted from vehicles. Ethanol is a biofuel additive in gasoline, and in Canada is made from corn products. On average, ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emission at a rate of 62% compared to gasoline. The car also had a number of grain products incorporated inside and under the hood.  Soybeans can be used in gaskets, seals, lubricants, etc. Little Boo was given a blacklight flashlight to explore inside the vehicle. Hidden symbols throughout the car showed him where grain products were used in production of foam, carpet, and plastic components. He thoroughly enjoyed the interactive aspect of this display and spent perhaps way too much time crawling around in there. But that did give me a chance to check out the living room and kitchen displays.  The fabrics used in the pillows and curtains, for instance, are made from a man-made fibre derived from 100% renewable resources, including 7% soy. According to the information we picked up, "these bio-based fibres require less fossil fuel to produce than traditional hydrocarbon resins and likewise reduce greenhouse emissions." There was also a lovely pair of drapes from Herman Miller, in a fabric (Kira) made form 100% corn. These are also compostable!
Compostable drapes. Whooda thunk.
The main message I took away from this exhibit is one of innovation, and the importance of finding new ways to incorporate renewable resources into our manufacturing processes, as a way to treat the Earth with more kindness.

This exhibit is in the family area in Hall C, so check it out while you're there.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend a media preview event, but was unable. The Grain Farmers and their PR group were kind enough to offer me a pass to bring Little Boo at a later date instead. Coverage of their exhibit was not required, and all opinions on this blog remain my own.

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