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Celebrating joys of home cooking

Naty King of Hazelmere Organic Farm will be one of 15 women participating in Joy of Feeding

Local residents attending Joy of Feeding this weekend at UBC to learn how to cook healthy meals from scratch may notice a familiar face.

Hazelmere Organic Farm owner Naty King is one of 15 Canadian moms – all from various cultural and professional backgrounds – who will share their favourite family recipes at the May 15 event.

King was invited to participate by organizer Meeru Dhalwala, co-owner of Vancouver restaurants Vij’s and Rangoli, which Hazelmere Organic Farm supplies with produce.

“We’ve been friends for a few years and (Dhalwala) and I share a lot of feelings about food, family, children,” King said. “It’s a very common feeling that we have about what’s going on, especially with children now, they don’t get proper nutrition. So we were saying, why is that?

“When you’re running around with the kids, going 10 different ways, the mom doesn’t get a chance to think about what’s really important for the family, which is to nourish the body with (healthy food).”

The women participating in Joy of Feeding are to share their cuisines, stories and backgrounds, which include Zimbabwean, Turkish, Iranian, and Japanese, to name a few.

The goal of the mom-focused event is to fundraise for UBC Farm – where it is to be held – while also celebrating home cooking with natural, local ingredients and the benefits it has on the entire family.

King, who grew up in the Philippines, knows firsthand the advantages of making healthy food choices.

She gave up her career in corporate finance after her husband, Gary, was diagnosed with skin cancer 25 years ago and the couple decided to focus on what was important to them as a family.

They became organic farmers, providing their four daughters with fresh, organic produce – food they appreciated from a young age.

“My children have never seen the face of a Twinkie nor have they eaten a frozen dinner,” she said. “The kids know what is good. All we have to do is provide them that. Then we will have less problems with childhood obesity and diseases.”

King – who continued to run the 1895 184th Ave. farm after Gary died in 2009, and who now educates the public about the dangers of genetically modified foods – said taking the time to cook at home doesn’t have to feel like a burden.

“(I) never thought of it as a chore and a lot of women don’t think of it that way. We think of cooking as a loving act from a parent to a child,” she said, noting people attending the event will learn how easy home cooking can be. “(It’s) fifteen women from fifteen different backgrounds, showing how we cook meals for our families without a lot of difficulty.”

King will be sharing her family recipe for Filipino chicken adobo.

“You just put [the chicken] in a pot with water, put in the peppercorn, the bay leaves, and everything else, and let it simmer. It’s easy!”

King is inviting people to email a recipe their family enjoys to by noon May 14, for a chance to win two tickets to Joy of Feeding.

The event is scheduled for May 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. at UBC Farm, 6182 South Campus Rd.

Tickets are $50 and include a recipe book with each mom’s story and family recipe. One child under 12 is free per ticket; tickets for additional children ages six to 11 are $25 and available online only. Children under six are free.

Locally, tickets can be purchased in person at Choices Markets, 3248 King George Blvd. They are also available online.

For more information, visit

- with files from Jensen Edwards