The Kitchener (About Me)

Hi, I’m Jon, and I spend much of my time in the kitchen, planning and preparing (almost always) delicious local meals.  That time in the kitchen makes me feel that I am more of a kitchener than a foodie or chef.  Thanks for stopping by!

My family and I buy local (100-miles) as much as we can.  This means all produce and meat (which we don’t eat very much of), as many grains as we can find locally, and anything else possible too!  Not everything is grown here and I’m not a purist like the inspiring authors of the 100-Mile Diet, but I feel like most of what my family and I eat is produced in the 100-mile radius where we live.  We live in Kitchener, Ontario, just over an hour from Toronto, about an hour-and-a-half from the Niagara area, and surrounded by beautiful farmland in almost every direction.  It is a wonderful place to live!

I am 32 years old, but this will change.  I am beginning to lose my hair, and I believe this will continue until it has run its course.

I have three young children, all boys, full of energy, and this most likely will not change (although the number could).

I have a wonderful wife, and know that I am very lucky – that will not change.  She works full-time while I take care of the kids.  This year while she’s on maternity leave I have worked at Maurita’s Kitchen at The Working Centre.  You should come volunteer there with me sometime!  I also run a small homebrewing business.

I am a teacher by training (7+ years, does that make me a veteran yet?) and recently received my Ontario Teaching Certificate.  I plan to someday return to that career, once a few things fall into place.

My favorite things to cook are bread and pizza.  I should also add beer to that short list; it seems I have quite the interest in yeast and its potential to help create wonderful things in my kitchen.  100% local bread and pizza are possible in my kitchen, is beer?  I hope to soon find out.

I like to be silly.  I like to be serious too, but it seems most of the time I prefer to be silly.  For some reason this quality in me does not always manifest itself in public.  But sometimes it does.  It just depends on my mood I guess.  I haven’t felt too silly on the blog yet… but maybe in time….


  1. recipeshappen
    April 7, 2013 @ 11:34 pm

    Where are you from?
    My husband wasn’t able to work for a period of time until he got his greencard in the US. 🙂


    • gardenjon
      April 7, 2013 @ 11:39 pm

      Hey, I’m from the US but my wife is from Canada and we moved here in January for a new job for her. I’m still waiting on my residency here…. but it’s given me an opportunity to spend time doing other great things so I’m pretty happy about how it’s all working out!


      • recipeshappen
        April 8, 2013 @ 12:37 am



      • recipeshappen
        April 8, 2013 @ 3:42 am

        Interesting! 🙂
        We live in Ohio, so we’re very close to Ontario. I hope everything works out for you guys. 🙂


  2. Liz
    April 20, 2013 @ 3:33 am

    Thank you for visiting my blog, liking my posts, promoting my soup and for being a neighbour. I really appreciate. I’m glad your favourites are bread and pizza, I shall be getting recipes from The Local Kitchener. Best wishes!


    • gardenjon
      April 20, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

      Hey thanks! It’s great finding neighbours out here in bloglandia! I’ll I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of each other 🙂


  3. laurasmess
    June 11, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

    Love your blog Jon! Gorgeous wholesome recipes and heaps of inspiration! I really wish I had a proper garden. I have a few planter boxes out on my tiny balcony but I yearn for the day when I can enjoy a full veggie garden and some chickens… perhaps some fruit trees for good measure! Anyway, I’m loving your recipes and photos. Thanks!


    • gardenjon
      June 11, 2013 @ 8:16 pm

      Thanks, Laura! Having a garden is great, but sometimes it’s nice not to have one too, like a pet, you always have to get someone to take care of it when you go away! And yes to the chickens, I look forward to that day too! (Sadly we left ours when we moved here, at least they are in a good home with a friend in Atlanta). Anyways, thank you for stopping by and saying hello 🙂


      • laurasmess
        June 12, 2013 @ 12:30 am

        Haha… yes, a very apt comment, as I’m looking after my mother’s garden for two months while she’s gallivanting around Europe! 🙂 Sorry you had to leave your chickens behind. Ah, maybe one day we’ll both have fresh eggs daily 🙂 Thanks for your kind reply.


  4. Edibles&Travels
    June 11, 2013 @ 10:47 pm

    Amazing blog!


  5. Food Retro
    July 10, 2013 @ 12:06 am

    Hello American in Kitchener! An American in Hamilton sends regards 🙂 I like your blog and I look forward to reading you more in the future.

    I’ve nominated you for a Liebster award. Check it out:


    • gardenjon
      July 10, 2013 @ 11:33 am

      Awesome, thank you, Food Retro! This is very flattering and I’m grateful for the recognition and shout out! I’ll enjoy responding to your questions 🙂 And it’s very great to meet another American in Canada!


  6. Jill (@the_fresh_beet)
    July 23, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

    Hi Jon, thanks for the visit and your kind comments! Great name for your blog. I already found some yummy things I plan to make in your gluten-free section 🙂


    • kitchenr jon
      July 23, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

      Hi Jill. Thank you and you’re welcome!


  7. Real Men Use Reel Mowers | TransitionKW
    July 29, 2013 @ 2:17 am

    […] Kitchen’r Jon lives in Kitchener where he blogs and tweets about his attempts at living an intentional life rooted in his local community. […]


  8. The Novice Gardener
    August 20, 2013 @ 1:21 am

    You have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award! By me! Check it out here,


  9. TinaChase
    August 23, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

    Hi Jon,

    We watched the 100 mile diet and realized while we do try to eat some things locally and in season, it would be very hard for us to do that all year round. There are also certain things that just don’t grow around here that we like (tea or pineapples for example).

    Do you get up to the St. Jacobs market for some of your shopping? I haven’t been there in quite a few years, but we’re thinking about making a day trip out that way. My hubby’s not very familiar with that area, so I thought I’d also show him Fergus, Elora and maybe Guelph too. Are you liking the area? I read you just moved up there from the US earlier this year…

    Anyway, take care… off to read your most recent meal plan.


    • kitchenr jon
      August 23, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

      Hi Tina,

      Yes, we do go to St. Jacobs, but more often the Kitchener Market or Bailey’s Local Foods. In terms of eating local we still eat non-local products (my youngest son is obsessed with bananas) but we try to always stick to fair trade and organic (thus the bananas are more expensive…). Another example, we get our coffee from my father-in-law who imports it directly from a grower in Uganda who he visits as part of an intentional relationship in which he sees to it the farmer is making a fair living wage and then distributes the coffee to various churches and individuals in his community.

      Ultimately eating local for us is about supporting our local economy and farmers and not contributing to a globalized supply chain that emphasizes price and convenience over what’s good for the Earth. We don’t eat much of anything from California anymore and in the winter we enjoy waiting for our favourite spring veggies to arrive! The flow of the seasons is part of our life and we love experiencing it all (although just tonight I got overwhelmed looking at the oodles of peaches and tomatoes that I have to finish canning…. So yes, it’s a challenge and a big commitment but we like doing it and it’s part of our life now.

      And yes, we love it here. We miss our friends in Atlanta but have had such a good time living here now and are very happy. We haven’t checked out Fergus yet but the Elora Gorge was beautiful when we went there in the spring.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  10. Melanie Deland
    September 30, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

    Hi Neighbour Pleased to ‘meet’ you! I am always happy to find another local food blogger.


    • kitchenr jon
      September 30, 2013 @ 1:05 pm

      Yay! It is great to know there are others nearby doing this too!


  11. Deb Weyrich-Cody
    February 4, 2014 @ 10:18 pm

    Hi Kitchener Jon, Welcome to this side of The Lake: )
    Although this is useless info ’til next summer, a blogging friend of mine (from Vermont: ) freezes her tomatoes raw, skin and all. You can find Michaela posting at The Gardener’s Eden (I’d normally just paste you a link here but, as a first time commentor, that would be rather bad form, non?). Loving your style… Later!
    P.S. Don’t have a website. Couldn’t “uncheck” comment luv box, nor could I get the “notify me of follow-up comments” to light up either):


    • Kitchen'r Jon
      February 4, 2014 @ 10:45 pm

      Hey Deb, I’ll check it out right now, thanks! And I’ll see what I can do about the strange check boxes problems. Thanks for stopping by and the welcome 🙂


  12. Chocolate Shavings
    March 2, 2014 @ 9:12 am

    Hi there, you’re the winner of my Ottolenghi cookbook giveaway! Could you email me your mailing info so I can provide you with a copy of the book? Thanks !
    Chocolate Shavings recently shared…Blood Orange, Arugula and Avocado SaladMy Profile


  13. Pam Holenski
    September 25, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

    Hi there,

    I’m wondering if you every do in home classes/instructional courses. I would love to get a few ladies together for a pickling/preserving session. I buy all my fruits/veg from the market, so it would strictly be instructional.
    Please let me know.


  14. Tanya Debski
    October 3, 2014 @ 10:28 am

    Hi Jon,

    It was a pleasure meeting you and your wife. Let me know how your home brew turns out.
    Happy brewing from Grand Rapids MI….Beer City USA!

    Tanya Debski


  15. Ben
    August 8, 2015 @ 11:03 am

    Hey Dude,
    Really love the blog! You have some really cool stuff on home brewing and my brother and I have been looking for somewhere to buy quality ingredients for our own home-brews. Do you sell ingredients or can you recommend somewhere we may find some good ones?


    • kitchen'r jon
      August 13, 2015 @ 12:12 am

      Hi Ben, thanks! Yes, I sell basic ingredients and supplies locally in KW. There are a few options locally as well as a good number of online sellers in Ontario, so just let me know what you’re looking for by shooting me an email ( jon (at) localkitchener (dot) ca )


  16. Mary
    August 13, 2016 @ 5:56 pm

    Can you post your recipe for Zucchini potato soup. I want to can the soup but don’t know how to do it.


  17. Jordan Vanderheyden
    January 2, 2018 @ 12:42 pm

    Hi Jon,

    Been a fan of your blog for a while now. Its been great reading articles about all the awesome places we have in the region to eat. I started a distillery out in Ayr recently and we focus on using locally grown grains and ingredients for all our products. If you ever want to come by and check out the distillery, let me know and we’d love to have you out



    • kitchen'r jon
      February 7, 2018 @ 10:48 pm

      Hi Jordan,

      I’ve been meaning to make it out to your place for a while, hopefully I will do soon!



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