There are piles of fresh, local, peaches, zucchini and sweet corn at the local farmer’s market, an unmistakable chill in the morning air, and a strange quiet on the beaches. There’s no denying it: it’s back to school time.

Even as adults, whether you’re navigating the back-to-school aisles or blissfully child-free, there’s something about the season that still feels transitional. It’s a time for getting a little more concrete with the schedule, for sticking closer to home, for buckling down. That fresh pencil feeling had us wondering what it might look like to go to back to school as an adult — to seek out opportunities to stretch into a new possiblity — even in our off-hours.

A friend recently took a beekeeping course at Trent University diving head first into learning all she could about that world. A few years later, she’s living in the country with a whole lotta hives, and she’s the really experienced apiarist new “beeks” call when their hives run into trouble.

Taking a class changed her life.

It seems we’re not the only ones thinking about going back to school — many farms, and Festivals are offering learning opportunities for curious foodies, and weekend workshops on everything from foraging to bread-baking abound. Our pals at Cultivate: A Festival of Food and Drink have a whole weekend’s worth of seminars from chefs and cookbook authors on everything from DIY cocktail bitters to the fundamentals of food photography (with a live soundtrack provided by Said the Whale and Fred Penner)!

This month, we’re determined to take a page from the kids, step out of our comfort zone, and learn something new. Are you in?

Here are a couple of stories from August we thought you may enjoy.


Pan American Food & Music Festival

Photographer Jeannette Breward captures all the fun at the 5th annual Pan American Food & Music Festival. This free event is presented to reinforce the growing cultural identity shared among Canadians and the 40 other countries of North, Central and SOuth America and the Caribbean.


Fairmont Royal York’s Bee Hotels

After a recent visit to the rooftop garden at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York, we were intrigued by the “bee hotels” we saw providing habitat for native species, alongside the hotel’s own honeybee hives. We spoke to Jacqueline Tyler, Fairmont Royal York’s Marketing and Communications Manager, and got some specialized info from Victoria Wojcik, Research Director at Pollinator Partnerships.