Local Food News — Ontario

27 Projects Announced During Ontario Agriculture Week

Ontario Agriculture Week celebrates the 52,000 farmers across Ontario who form the backbone of our $36 billion agri-food sector. At the Greenbelt Fund, we support Ontario agriculture year-round and were thrilled to announce $1.3 million in funding for 27 new local food projects throughout the province. Greenbelt Fund post.


Sustain Ontario Greenhouse – online library!

The site was soft-launched earlier this summer, and now it is equipped with abundant resources and dynamic functions.  Currently, five of the seven initiative areas are launched fully including: local sustainable procurement, food waste, evaluating food initiatives, food systems framework, and food literacy. The greenhouse is a unique online resource portal with targeted research focusing on key topic areas.  It allows the wider food and farming community to share resources and to cultivate an online sharing network to advance food and farming systems in Ontario. Sustain Ontario post. Greenhouse User Walkthrough on Vimeo.


Chef gets cooking at Barrie Hill Farms

“On weekends throughout the season, chef Les will be sampling quick and easy recipe ideas for us right here at the market,” says the farm’s Morris Gervais. “He’s super excited to show people interesting and delicious ways to prepare the fruits and vegetables they buy at the farm.” And the culinary expert will have plenty of inspiration and seasonal ingredients from which to draw— from farm-fresh asparagus to fields loaded with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, pumpkins and more. Simcoe post.


The Mount in Peterborough launches Food Business Innovation Centre

The Mount Community Centre in Peterborough is launching a Food Business Innovation Centre, to help provide emerging entrepreneurs with access to commercial kitchen space, on-site packaging and labeling facilities and an on-site food safety advisor. As announced Thursday (Sept. 29), the Greenbelt Fund and the Ontario Government have partnered to provide $58,000 to the Mount through the Local Food Investment Fund. Kawartha Media Group story.


New, larger home for Peterborough business Chasing the Cheese

When Julie Austin couldn’t buy the Ontario artisanal cheeses she wanted in the city, she decided to bring them in. She started by selling the cheese out of her home. Then, after a year and a half, the volume became too much, so she opened Chasing the Cheese on Water St. Now a completely transformed storefront offers more than double the space than the cheese shop’s previous location, enabling Austin to expand the business. She plans to showcase specialty food demonstrations, educational classes, and private tastings, as well as offering items to go, like cheese plates. Peterborough Examiner story.


Local Food Conference Explores Food Systems and Resilience, November 22-23

Ontario food systems have a mission, and Eastern Ontario Local Food suggests that the mission is resilience!  Mission Resilience, this year’s Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference November 22-23 in Belleville explores the impact of climate change on food and the many ways that food systems create opportunities for greater environmental, economic, and social resilience. Sustain Ontario post.


Provide Feedback for the Development of an Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation Strategy

A new strategy will build on the extensive soils work by OMAFRA and stakeholder organizations, and ensure that both government and the agricultural sector are taking the right actions to address long-term soil issues. The initiative will directly contribute to Ontario’s climate change goals and help the province deliver on its recently released Climate Change Action Plan. Sustain Ontario post.


Ontario apples join regional school nutrition program

The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) Student Nutrition Program is excited to provide Ontario grown apples for school-based meal and snack programs across the region this fall. The “Fall for Ontario Apples” initiative is funded by a donation from The Grocery Foundation and is being offered in partnership with Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op (CLFC). “Fall for Ontario Apples” will help to promote increased consumption of locally grown foods in schools and will help students to learn about where their food comes from. The Dryden Observer story.


Carbon Footprint Initiative Unveiled in Listowel

The new Carbon Footprint Initiative hosted its grand reveal at Trillium Mutual in Listowel Thursday. Deb Shewfelt, the Chair of CFI and a vice chair of Maitland Valley Conservation, says getting local support was key. “We had the idea that there’s probably leaders in the community that can help us. I feel that this needs to be done by the people on the front lines. So we are very fortunate to deal with the businesses we have here and get great support.” Phil Beard, the General Manager of Maitland Valley Conservation, explained some of the things the members of the CFI are undertaking to help improve the environment in the watershed. Blackburn AgriMedia story.


Ontario Farmland Trust talks about the Importance of Farmland and its Preservation

OFT has successfully developed and piloted a new approach to land conservation in Ontario over the past decade, working with farmers, government, and conservation partners to establish farmland easement agreements that permanently protect farmlands for agricultural and conservation purposes. The lands protected by these efforts remain available for farming and conservation forever. An easement is a voluntary legally binding agreement that the landowner and OFT enter together. This agreement is placed on the title of the land limiting its future use to agriculture and conservation purposes only. Sustain Ontario post.




Talk to a farmer and learn about your food

For me, this fall has brought new emotions that span far beyond our traditional worries of weather, prices, and crop yields. I am the sixth generation to farm in Canada, yet I am the first generation that has to go beyond producing a safe, affordable and nutritious product. Today’s consumer wants to know how I treat my pigs, what I feed them, and I how I care for the environment on my farm. Globe and Mail opinion.

Local Food News — Canada

Quebec Food Summit will last for a year

Quebec’s Food Summit will start in October with the first of three preparatory meetings to be focused on the theme of consumers “today and tomorrow”. The second meeting will be in February 2017 and will focus on developing the potential of Quebec’s food industry markets, domestically and overseas. The third consultation session, next May, will focus on the prospects for “agricultural entrepreneurs” and fishermen. Agriculture minister Pierre Paradis launched the initiative at the Jean-Talon Market in Montreal, saying he wanted to develop a bio-food policy for Quebec, the main measures to be funded in the 2018 budget. La Terre de chez nous story (in French).  English summary thanks to Qu’anglo Farm & Food Briefs


Scaling up Through Food Procurement Learning Labs

Newfoundland, a province known as The Rock, is not known for its farmland but is known for its culinary creativity and for making the most of resources on the edge of the Atlantic.  When the School Lunch Association, a charitable school food service provider on the Avalon Peninsula, decided to join the local food movement, they knew there would be obstacles. Local food procurement Learning Labs provide an innovative way to navigate these types of obstacles. These Labs, modelled after those of US School Food FOCUS, bring together key stakeholders to articulate their vision and goals. Participants then agree on a handful of priority actions that can realistically be accomplished in a short time frame. Farm to Cafeteria Canada post.


Death of the farmer

I’ve been spending some time this summer trying to solve a local mystery, who is trying to kill our local farms and why? The mystery started for me with the local grocery stores, No Frills, Sobeys, Food Basics and The Superstore. These are the stores that are immediately available to me in the Beamsville area and every one that I go in to is selling anything but local fruits and vegetables, and this is what raised the question for me — Where is my local produce? St. Catharines Standard story.


The Food 53: Celebrating the most influential people in Canadian food

This summer, the Globe names, and celebrates, the most influential people in Canadian food – chefs and CEOs, farmers and winemakers, plus researchers, restaurateurs and, of course, eaters. In the first of a five-part series, meet The Faithful, the ones who are winning the long game: the first chef to make Indian food buzzy, the $11-billion cheese magnate, Canada’s first family of craft beer and more. The Globe and Mail story.


Market Your Restaurant with Pokemon GO

  1. Advertise the Pokémon you have found (also know as ‘sightings’). Yes, this means you have to download the app and actually play but this can bring in some great business. It’s like you’re playing a game and advertising at the same time. 2. Name a dish of the week after a Pokémon. People love this stuff! Or, even better, make the items look like Pokémon balls or monsters. Lure them – literally. This is by far the best advantage of marketing the game. An important part of the game are PokéStops, which are points of interest that give out in-game freebies. allowing the player to advance in the game. Restaurants Canada blog.


Community Gardens and Local Food Procurement

Community gardens and local food procurement policies and programs are gaining in popularity as health promotion strategies for obesity prevention. Community gardens are defined as the convergence of multiple individuals joining together in diverse settings to grow fruits, vegetables, and other plant varieties (1). Local food procurement refers to strategies to increase the amount and availability of food locally sourced from within a community. This synthesis explores the literature on community gardens and local food procurement in relation to nutrition, physical activity (PA), and body weight. Key Findings: Findings from this synthesis indicate that community gardens and local procurement programs, policies, and initiatives have the potential to result in positive impacts related to nutrition, such as improved attitudes and asking behaviours, and increased fruit and vegetable consumption. Power Up For Health post.


Local Food and Urban Agriculture Strategy

The 2015 Economic Development Strategy includes a recommendation for the City to develop an agriculture and food production strategy with the purposes of diversifying the local economy and reducing dependence on food importation. With financial support from the Canada-Yukon Growing Forward 2 Fund, the City is moving forward with developing the Whitehorse Local Food & Urban Agriculture Strategy. City of Whitehorse post.


Lawns are for suckers. Plant a garden — for the climate!

Ripping out your lawn and planting kale and peppers won’t just lead to great stir-fry — a new study finds it could make major contributions to fighting climate change, too. Two pounds of carbon emissions could be prevented for every pound of homegrown vegetables consumed, according to researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara. And that could add up to a big impact: Give a highly productive garden to every family in California, the researchers calculated, and it would take the state 10 percent of the way to its previous goal of cutting emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Grist blog.


Urban garden goes high-tech in Edmonton

Growing up in Edmonton, Victor Benitez had little experience with farming. But the city kid still loved to grow food. And he loved the idea of helping people. That led the recent physics graduate to develop an urban farming system he thinks can change how people access fresh, local produce. The initial results are good: this summer, Benitez grew 400 pounds of vegetables beside a north-side community rink. The bounty was donated to local residents and the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers. CBC News story.


Community vegetable program bringing 4,000 pounds of fresh produce to Labrador Inuit

Ed Mesher has been going door-to-door this summer, delivering some 4,000 pounds of fresh local produce to Happy Valley-Goose Bay residents who use the community freezer program. Run by the Nunakatiget Inuit Corporation, the program has more than 150 beneficiaries in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Mud Lake. The program provides 400 pounds of greens, 1,600 pounds of carrots and turnip, and 2,000 pounds of potatoes to the community’s seniors and disabled. CBC News story.




You may be familiar with food deserts, but have you heard of a food swamp?

No, it’s not the place from which Guy Fieri sprung. A food swamp is an area with an abundance of fast food and liquor stores, but nowhere to buy real groceries. Beverly Grant of Mo Betta Green MarketPlace in Denver explains the difference — and how to turn a swamp into an oasis — in this new short film from Perennial Plate. Grist briefly.

Local Food News — Ontario

The Economics of Local Food – September 19

Ontario is home to some of the lushest farmland in Canada. Yet, even when local produce is in season, imported tomatoes and cucumbers dominate store shelves. Nationally, we import over 50 per cent of our vegetables and 95 percent of our fruit. How can locally grown food become more accessible and affordable? Join us Monday, September 19 for a talk about the economics of eating local, featuring two guest speakers: farmers’ market manager Cookie Roscoe, and Carolyn Young, program coordinator at Sustain Ontario. Details.


Drive-Thru Access to Local Food

Fresh City, an award winning farm and online farmers’ market, announced a new partnership with Penguin Pick-Up, a network of convenient pick-up locations for online purchases. The partnership will make local, organic food more accessible for the millions of GTA residents who live within a few minutes’ drive of a Penguin Pick-Up. Fresh City, a certified B Corp, farms in Toronto’s Downsview Park and sources directly from over 80 farmers and makers across Ontario. Founded in 2011, they are the largest organic meal delivery company in Canada and deliver produce, groceries, recipe kits, salad jars and smoothies directly to homes and offices. Montreal Gazette story.


Locally grown okra could soon be an option in Canada

It’s no secret that there’s a growing ethnic population of Canadians who have preferences for foods from their home countries. That fact brings with it unique opportunities for farmers to produce crops that haven’t traditionally been grown locally. Okra is one such crop. Over six million kilograms of okra is imported into Canada every year and the demand climbs annually. India is the top producer of the world’s okra, growing more than 70 per cent of the global crop. Other big producers are Nigeria, Sudan, Iraq and Pakistan. AgInnovation story.


Buy more food locally: OFA

The president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture is calling on shoppers to buy more local food as an unusually severe drought continues to plague much of southern Ontario. “Please ask for Ontario products and support your own first. There’s a heck of a lot less for farmers to sell this year,” president Don McCabe, a Lambton County cash-crop farmer, told The Intelligencer. Belleville Intelligencer story.


Is local food good for farmers?

Canada’s social sciences council is investing $2.4 million in local food research. Alison Blay-Palmer has been studying and promoting local food systems for nearly 20 years, and her enthusiasm for the topic is greater than ever. Blay-Palmer is director of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., where she explores the big questions around sustainability. Those big questions include social justice, a factor rarely considered in mainstream ag research. For her, looking into economics means not only farm incomes, but also migrant labour, access to affordable food, and what she calls food “re-localization,” or “closing the loop” — to retain as much money as possible in the community. Country Guide story.


Why the neighbours are buying fresh food at Vos’ Independent in Port Perry

It’s no mystery why Ontario consumers are becoming increasingly hungry for locally grown, fresh food, or why customers of Vos’ Independent in Port Perry appreciate being able to select fruits and vegetables harvested from Durham Region farms. But the roots of the “eat local” movement are deeper. Vos’ Independent customers also want to support Durham Region farmers, says store owner Terry Vos, who keeps his produce section laden with local bounty as much as he can. “We’re a rural area, an agricultural area, so I do my best.” Durham Region post.


NERDs work on local food issues

The NHCT challenge was all of that, namely: how might we ensure that everyone has equitable access to nutritious food in our local area, based on the environmental sustainability of, and opportunities provided by, the North Hastings land base. In other words, the students had to develop new approaches to ensuring that everyone in this area has enough nutritious and affordable locally-grown food. Adding their assistance to the students were representatives from the Metis Nation, the area Stewardship Council, and the Ministry of Natural Resources. Bancroft This Week story.


Over 2,000 visitors dined on Ontario-produced fare during the 2016 Breakfast on the Farm event near Woodstock

But Ontario maple syrup, local mushrooms and fresh-grown strawberries were just a few of the farm-fresh items on the menu at the free event designed to raise awareness about agriculture and the farming experience. Hosted by Evert, Jan and Eric Veldhuizen at Veldale Farms, located on Pattullo Avenue just south of Woodstock, the event also included a tour of the dairy farm’s tie-stall and free-stall barns, as well as 34 different agriculture-related exhibitions from across Ontario. Woodstock Sentinel Review story.


ClearWater working farm in Georgina will provide jobs, food

This includes the installation of the basic infrastructure to make the property usable for commercial purposes under the Ontario Water Centre’s (OWC) lease with the town for nine acres of the former Reed Farm/Sedore property. A $2.5-million capital campaign was launched more than one year ago to help fund work on the site. The OWC must raise at least $1 million in capital for the purpose of improving and operating the farm by August 2017. York Region post.


Agricultural land more than just dirt

Of increasing concern is the invasion of non-farm rural development, such as the human waste storage facility being proposed in Lincoln and the biodiversity offsetting project in Niagara Falls. Such initiatives that buy-out local agriculture land and attempt to petition government to change zoning to permit industrial operations are unethical to our current and future agriculture responsibilities. Initiatives like these place Niagara’s agriculture and environmental future in serious jeopardy. St Catharines Standard voices.




How to start backyard farming: An exclusive expert guide

Julie Pierre’s idea was simple, but brilliant. Find a few neighbors with empty backyards, and start growing food. Give each homeowner fresh produce, in exchange for the use of their space. Sell the rest to people who are passionate about local food. It’s community-supported agriculture, with a twist: The farm is in suburban backyards. Pierre established Our Yards Farm in the spring of 2015, and she has since turned backyard farming into a booming business. ALFREA blog.

Local Food News — World

The Rise of the It Bird

If I had never seen Janet Bonney reënact the mouth-to-beak resuscitation of her hen Number Seven, who had been frozen solid in a nor’easter, then was thawed and nursed back to life—being hand-fed and massaged as she watched doctor shows on TV—I might never have become a chicken person. But a few years ago I happened to watch a documentary called “The Natural History of the Chicken,” which opens with the story of Bonney and Number Seven, and for the first time the thought of owning chickens entered my mind. The New Yorker story.


Good Food Nation Bill in Programme for Government

Pete continued, ‘Nourish believes the Good Food Nation Bill will be an excellent opportunity to protect and progress a rights-based approach to food. A statutory duty on Ministers to create a

towards a food system where we all have access to good food that meets our dietary needs with dignity and choice, and that treats the environment and producers fairly – including through access to land.’ Nourish Scotland news release.


British film crew documents American Harvest Eatery’s ‘farm to fork’ approach

A Springfield restaurant that specializes in the use and preparation of locally sourced food may soon be more famous across the Atlantic Ocean than it is in the capital city. A crew from the Travel Channel was in the Springfield area Aug. 17-19 to film a program called “Flavours of the USA,” a series that airs primarily in the United Kingdom but can also be seen in Germany and France. The episode featuring Springfield’s American Harvest Eatery and a Chicago restaurant will air in September and will focus on the “farm to fork” philosophy of the establishments. The State Journal-Register story.


Local food products up for awards

Coastal spring lamb and Mash Tun Crackers are both finalists in this year’s New Zealand Food Awards. Coastal Spring Lamb and Coastal Lamb, the brainchild of Turakina farmer Richard Redmayne, is a finalist in four categories – one for chilled foods, one for primary sector products, one for business innovation and one for export innovation. Mash Tun Crackers are one of seven finalists in the Novel Ingredients Award. The awards have been going since 1987, and are organised by Massey University. New Zealand Herald story.


Why fresh produce should hit the tourist trail

The report highlights numerous ways in which local communities are developing significant income from food tourism. There are examples such as Tebay and Gloucester motorway service stations that include farm shops selling local produce reflecting the strong local producer networks in those areas. Then there’s the Cornish village of Padstow, which has developed a strong reputation as a local food destination enhanced by celebrity chefs, and Amble in Northumberland, which has a growing food and drink offer that is fully integrated into local economic development plans. Produce Business UK story.


The power of local produce

A year on, as well as promoting teamwork and community spirit – with a view to increasing tourism in the area – promoting local producers has been a key focus of Cong Food Village. Mr Keane explains there are countless benefits for local communities of supporting locally produced food. “When I become a chef 20 years ago nobody cared who made my butter or my salt. Now I know who makes my salt personally and I know who makes my butter. “I can trace everything I buy, and it’s the same in the village, we can all trace everything back to source so instead of giving money to a big multinational, you’re encouraging the community by giving money to a farmer or local butcher or a fisherman. Galway Independent story.


Farming policy debate intensifies

The debate over the future direction of UK farming policy post-Brexit has intensified, with influential conservation bodies putting forward strong views last month on where they believe Government support for the sector should be targeted. While the National Trust emphasised the need to bolster farming’s green credentials, the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s (CPRE) New Model Farming paper focuses more on its social and health aspects, urging support for small producers including new entrants, nearness to markets and particular support for fresh-produce suppliers, pointing out: “We eat too few fruits and vegetables yet national production has decreased and imports have risen.” Horticulture Week story.


How food policy may feature in the White House after November

Food activists may bemoan the low profile given to food in the current campaign but they cannot accuse the outgoing US President of ignoring food issues. Indeed, making the battle against childhood obesity a priority was a defining feature of the Obama presidency, while reform to nutritional labelling and the recent introduction of nationwide GMO labelling legislation reflects the high priority given to food policy during President Obama’s two terms in office. Just Food analysis.


First all-Ireland luxury sleeper train begins week-long rail tour

While guests will be dined and entertained on board at night, head chef Alan Woods promises the finest local produce dominates the menus — they include Killarney venison, Donegal turf-smoked salmon and crab cannon, and warm Kildare wild elderberry and plum compote. Irish Examiner story.


Humanure: the end of sewage as we know it?

Laura Allen, a 33-year-old teacher from Oakland, California, has a famous toilet. To be honest, it’s actually a box, covered in decorative ceramic tiles, sitting on the cement floor of her bathroom like a throne. No pipes lead to or from it; instead, a bucket full of shavings from a local wood shop rests on the box next to the seat with a note instructing users to add a scoopful after making their “deposit.” Essentially an indoor outhouse, it’s a composting toilet, a sewerless system that Allen uses to collect her household’s excrement and transform it into a rich brown material known to fans as “humanure.” Allen is a founding member of an activist group devoted to the end of sewage as we know it. Her toilet recently made an appearance in the Los Angeles Times—which might explain why she didn’t seem surprised when I emailed her out of the blue to ask if I could use it. The Guardian story.




A ravenous suffix

Locavore has been one of the most popular new food words of the 21st century since its explosion in popularity in 2007 when it was Oxford University Press’ Word of the Year. As eating locally has gone from trend to common practice, locavore boosted the lexical stock of the -vore suffix, spawning new words and reviving older ones. The opportunivore eats anything available: It’s essentially a rebranded dumpster diver. Vegivores are not-quite vegetarians, eating occasional meat or fish: You could also call these flexible eaters flexivores. The Boston Globe story.

Local Food News — Ontario

It all started with Max…

From those bright-eyed beginnings, our real food team has grown (a lot!) and Real Food for Real Kids now serves fresh, nutritious, and delicious meals and snacks every day to over 15,000 kids in child care centres and elementary schools in the GTA. A wise woman once said, “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” We like to think we can hear her cooking, too! Real Food for Real Kids website.


Metro Inc bolsters its locally sourced food program, allowing smaller producers to supply chain

As food margins get thinner amid a deepening price war among grocery retailers, Metro Inc. has bolstered its sourcing capabilities to get more local produce from Ontario suppliers, a program similar to one it rolled out in Quebec three years ago. Canada’s third-largest grocery retailer says its enhanced local purchasing policy will allow much smaller farmers and food producers in the Ontario to supply to the chain, a move that allows the company to carry a higher percentage of local produce in its stores during key growing seasons. Financial Post story.


A Food Lovers Guide to Ontario’s Favorite Swim Spots

If all the sun and sand is working up on appetite on the beach, look no further than the Casero Food Truck operating right on site. Using locally sourced produce and meat (Kilannan Altbier battered Georgian Bay whitefish tacos, anyone?), this Mexican-style food truck will have you coming back for seconds. And make sure to try one of their fresh, made from scratch paletas! Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance post.


Eastern Ontario Local Food Challenge!

(Re)discover local food in Eastern Ontario during the second annual Local Food Challenge August 12 to 28. Throughout the two weeks,  residents are challenged to (re)discover the local food sources in their community by choosing more local food and sharing their local food experiences online.  All participants are eligible to win prizes from local sources. Participants must register no later than August 24 to report the local products that they pick, buy and catch from August 12-28. Sustain Ontario post.


Together We’re Bitter Brewing

As a multi-stakeholder co-operative, we’re running things a little differently. Workers and community supporters own the business and have a say in how things unfold at TWB. Our aim is to make our community a more vibrant place to live by celebrating the intersection of creativity and craft beer. There’s a co-operative brewing. Website.


Campus food providers under pressure from student tastes to revamp menus

The University of Toronto’s downtown campus will cut ties with its food service provider, Aramark, later this summer and start running most of its on-campus dining options itself, the latest school to satisfy what appears to be a growing appetite for fresh meals. Chefs, for example, will cook soups and sauces from scratch instead of ordering from a production facility, Macdonald said. Such changes were called for by students, faculty and staff in focus groups leading up to the decision not to renew Aramark’s contract, she said. BC Local News story.


Local groups launch Food Policy Council to create sustainable food system

On the morning of June 16th, local groups took the first step toward creating a more sustainable food system, unveiling the Middlesex-London Food Assessment and announcing the creation of a food policy council. The collaborative team of London Community Foundation, the Middlesex-London Health Unit, the City of London and Middlesex County, proudly unveiled the Community Food Assessment this morning at Covent Garden Market. Alongside the presentation of the assessment, the Middlesex-London Food Policy Council was announced with a call for applications asking Londoners who are passionate about food to submit an application to join the council. London Community Foundation post.


Local Food Week – Investing $1.5m in Ontario’s Agri-food Sector

During Local Food Week this June, the Greenbelt Fund announced over $1.5m in new investments in projects across Ontario to increase the purchase of local food. Investments ranged from increasing the local field-grown produce sold in Subway sandwich shops during the harvest season, to launching a local food hub in Temiskaming, to developing a daily meal sourced entirely from Ontario products for Dana Hospitality’s broader public sector clients. Greenbelt Fund post.


Rural Summit explores strategies to retain and attract youth to rural, remote and northern areas of the province

Youth from across Ontario joined community, business and municipal leaders at the Rural Ontario Summit at Stratford Rotary Complex this week. With its theme of Building the Future, the daylong session focused on attracting and retaining the next generation to the province’s rural and northern communities. Workshops explored issues like education and training, jobs and entrepreneurship, social infrastructure and civic leadership. Stratford Beacon Herald story.


Protecting Farmland Forever

Ontario Farmland Trust recently released Protecting Farmland Forever, its new video featuring local farmers, land owners, and farmland advocates who make the important connection between local food and preservation of local farmland. Video.


Adding value through the Species At Risk Farm Incentive Program

The Species at Risk Farm Incentive Program is a cost-share program that is designed to help farmers implement on-farm projects aimed at enhancing, protecting, or creating habitat for species at risk, such as the Snapping turtle or Monarch butterfly. The program promotes a number of on-farm best management practices to support species at risk that can be applied to croplands, grasslands, wetlands and woodlands. Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association post.




Andrew Coppolino’s top 10 reasons for shopping at farmers’ markets

While supermarkets – both small and large – have taken their cue from farmers’ markets and have attempted to feature more local food (and good on them for doing so), farmers’ markets are one of the best ways to find great local food in season. They have a long and important history of bringing people, food and commerce together. So, in descending order, here are my top ten reasons for shopping your local farmers’ market. CBC News story.

Local Food News — World

Why would a city defy convention and run its own farming operation?

The Gut Karlshof farm site is located well within the limits of one of Europe’s fastest growing cities, even though it would violate handfuls of bylaws, regulations and zoning restrictions almost anywhere in Canada. The historic farmyard is located on 273 hectares (675 acres) of prime agricultural land, and it and nine other sites called estates in and around the city add up to 6,300 acres farmed by the municipal government. By German standards, such a farm operation is enormous. Country Guide story.


Britain’s meal ticket? Food and drink at heart of referendum debate

It is no coincidence that food and drink is at the heart of so much of the debate about whether we are better off in or out of the EU. Worth £80bn a year and employing 400,000 people, it is our largest manufacturing sector and a big exporter and importer. Moreover, 38% of its workers are foreign-born, placing its demand for cheap labour at the centre of arguments about immigration. The common agriculture policy (CAP) swallows up nearly 40% of the total EU budget; it has reshaped not just farming but our landscape in the decades since Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973. The free movement of goods, people and capital – enshrined in EU treaties – and EU common policies adopted on trade, fisheries and regional development, as well as agriculture, have been the framework through which the UK has globalised. The Guardian story.


This City Is Home to 820 Urban Farms and Quickly Becoming America’s Urban Ag Capital

As Co.Exist reported, Chicago is quietly becoming the country’s urban agriculture capital with 821 growing sites across the city, from small community gardens to multimillion dollar indoor farms, according to the Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project. Even O’Hare’s Terminal 3 is home to the world’s first airport aeroponic garden. EcoWatch post.


Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project

Since 2010, the Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project (CUAMP) has sought to collaboratively map and inventory urban agriculture and community gardens in Chicago. The project includes representatives from not-for-profits, community organizations, universities, and practitioners, all of whom agree that collecting information collaboratively will lead to more and better publicly accessible information about urban agriculture in Chicago. Website.


Furniture Giant IKEA Wants to Help Restaurants Build Their Own Indoor Farms

The company—which has put further emphasis on becoming more environmentally sustainable—recently introduced “The Farm,” a hydroponic garden that would allow them to grow the food served at their stores directly inside the IKEA restaurants. The in-store cafes—known for their Swedish meatballs, cinnamon rolls and lingonberry everything—are just one small slice of the company’s $2 billion-a-year business. However, IKEA is hoping to use The Farm as a model for restaurants everywhere to take a more holistic, home-grown approach to the food supply chain. Food & Wine story.


This New Startup Wants To Be The Airbnb For Local Farm Tourism

Despite the growing popularity of local food—sales more than doubled between 2008 and 2014—most small farms struggle to survive. A new startup called Farmcation is designed to offer a new source of income by connecting farmers with nearby city dwellers who want to visit. At a test event for the startup, now in beta, Bay Area visitors traveled to an organic family farm in the Central Valley, where they met the farmer, got a tour, picked strawberries, and ate a picnic lunch spread out on a long table next to an orchard and cooked by chefs from a San Francisco restaurant. Co.Exist story.


Hungry for your next Food Adventure? Explore with Zingerman’s Great American Food Tours!

Zingerman’s Food Tours has used food as a way to connect to the history of a region, the spirit of its people and the regional rhythm of daily life. Zingerman’s Food Tours is your concierge to the best local guides, food, and cultural experiences. Our tours give you the chance to relax while enjoying and experiencing the best our destinations have to offer. We’ve scoured the globe to make connections in the food and travel world. After experiencing one of our tours, you’ll take home some pretty unique souvenirs: a deeper understanding of a unique region, a sense of their place in our increasingly connected lives, fantastic images, tasty memories, recipes to share, and a sense of discovery fulfilled. Taste the Local Difference post.


Urban Farm Pot

“Let’s grow our own food inside an urban space, be it living room, balcony or roof top of your home or in an urban park for large scale production. The future pods will have a new form of mediated arboreal culture, to integrate the biological and mechanical elements more closely, to transform the object into one that grows and changes symbiotically. This project sets out a direction for healthy biological exchanges with urban inhabitants, and to contribute to the life of urban ecosystems.” spoga+gafa blog.


How Nanotechnology Will Keep Your Bananas and Mangoes From Rotting

A Canadian team has invented a new way to make sure that fruit stays fresh for longer, by spraying them with a nano-scale formula. Jay Subramanian, a professor of tree fruit breeding and biotechnology at the University of Guelph, and his group have developed a treatment that extends the shelf life of fruits like mangoes, blueberries, and bananas, which could have huge implications in the battle against food waste, and help farmers, too. Subramanian’s new formula could change that. Motherboard story.


Doing a Little Soul Searching: Keeping It Real

Over the course of the past two decades, we’ve witnessed a profound shift in consumer behaviors toward deeper interest and participation in food culture driven by the desire for quality life experiences and healthier foods, concerns for the environment and the search for higher-quality, fresh food and beverage products. These cultural movements, which in their various ways focus on the recovery of soul, are where the energies that will shape the next cultural era lie. Those businesses that understand and serve these movements will be in the best position to thrive in the coming decades. Hartman Group post.




How to Prepare Your Edible Garden for Summer Storms

The Summer Monsoon season is upon us. The winds howl and the rain pours down with very little warning. Is your edible garden ready for the onslaught of massive amounts of water hitting it in a very short amount of time? Here are a few tips to prepare your edible garden for summer storms. Agriscaping post.

Local Food News — Canada

Dishing it out for Fort McMurray

Three of Vancouver’s top gourmet chefs are dishing it out to Fort McMurray in an extremely tasteful way. The trio – Jefferson Alvarez, Kris Barnholden and Hamid Salimian are joining forces to produce some signature dishes to raise money for the northern Alberta city. It didn’t take long for the food vines to start producing added help for the ventures and food purveyors, farms and wineries have already jumped on board to support the venture. “Firstly, we are all Canadians and have a tradition of helping each other in times of needs and this is a wonderful way to both help and expose our homegrown food expertise and products to as many people as possible,” she added. Business Wire press release.


Stetski tables bill to establish national local food day

In a bid to recognize and encourage the local food movement, NDP MP Wayne Stetski for Kootenay-Columbia has introduced a bill to establish a National Local Food Day on the Friday before Thanksgiving every year. A number of community figures in the Kootenays came out in support of the concept, including Sophie Larsen, project coordinator of the Cranbrook Food Action Committee. Revelstoke Mountaineer story.


Port-Royal restoration to mark 75 years with food, drink

The day will also offer a trip along the Taste of Nova Scotia Good Cheer Trail, where visitors get a passport stamp and sample local food and drink from Good Cheer Trail members — the province’s wineries and craft-beverage producers — in the reconstructed room of where the Order began. The Chronicle Herald story.


Edmonton hasn’t hit peak food truck—yet

It’s back, bigger than ever—and the lines are part of the fun. It’s What the Truck?!, of course: Edmonton’s homegrown food-truck festival is back for another round of five street-eat celebrations over the summer months. This year will see food trucks gathering at Northlands for a two-day kick-off on May 28 and 29—the first two-day event in What the Truck?! history—followed by evenings at Blatchford (June 18), Northlands’ Park After Dark (July 8), Telus Field (August 20) and Churchill Square (September 25). VUE Weekly story.


Buy New Brunswick 2016 initiative launched

“The Buy Local campaign fits with the growing trend of food tourism,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet. “This presents a perfect opportunity for us to promote our local producers, markets and food festivals. Some of the best products in the world are grown and processed right here in New Brunswick, and they are all featured at our world-class food tourism events.” Sackville Tribune Post story.


Welcome To Apple Heaven

A chance to visit Apple Heaven while still on earth! Every year we celebrate our apples at The Salt Spring Island Apple Festival. Salt Spring Island, BC grows over 450 varieties of apples ORGANICALLY, with an apple history dating back to 1860. Salt Spring Island is a small island (80 square miles) of 11,000 people in the Strait of Georgia between Victoria and Vancouver, BC, Canada.  We are accessed via BC Ferries routes to Fulford, Vesuvius and Long Harbour, and by float plane.. Website


Why Buying Local Really Means Supporting Your Community

But “fast and convenient” has weakened our communities. As the African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Big food corporations want to grow fast so they go alone. But for our local communities to go far, we must go together. And homegrown businesses are a critical link for a strong, vibrant, healthy community; nowhere is this more prevalent than our local food economy. Huffington Post Canada blog.


Green Party of Canada supports local farmers and eating local this summer

“This will give millions of Canadians an opportunity to support local farmers: agriculture is vital to the economy of many parts of the country,” said Jean Rousseau, Green Party of Canada Agriculture Critic – East. “Hundreds of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in direct spin-offs to local communities bring people together with a common objective: to nurture the tradition of buying local at public markets,” Mr. Rousseau said. “When people buy food grown closer to home, it is not just our local farmers and food processors who benefit, but our environment as well.” Northumberland View post.


Portrait of an urban farmer

You could say farming is in Leila Trickey’s genes. Her homesteader parents and five siblings lived on an Ontario farm, and her childhood was shaped by wide open spaces and fresh earth. When Trickey grew up, she moved to more urban pastures, but she still felt a nostalgia for the land. It’s no surprise she jumped at the chance to rent a plot in the agricultural land reserve so she could grow her own food. She now runs a small farm with her partner, Dave Carlson, in Burnaby’s Big Bend area. They have goats for milking, fresh eggs, honeybees and an abundance of organic produce. They grow squash, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, beans, peas, kohlrabi, fennel and kale. Burnaby Now story.


A full-time commitment to stewardship

The transition from a tobacco farm to Texas Longhorn ranch in southern Ontario’s foremost tobacco-growing region wasn’t without turmoil for Cathy and Bryan Gilvesy, but the rewards far outweighed regrets as they reinvented the farm to better reflect their philosophies on agriculture and life. The latest material reward came in the form of Ontario’s environmental stewardship award (TESA) presented by the Beef Farmers of Ontario in February. Canadian Cattlemen story.




This Indonesian Startup Lets City Dwellers Play FarmVille In Real Life

Someone living in a high-rise in Jakarta may not have a balcony, let alone a garden plot for growing food. But an Indonesian startup is working to turn city dwellers into virtual farmers: Through the platform, called iGrow, someone can invest in seeds for an underemployed farmer in a rural area, and then get regular updates as the food grows. When the crop is sold, seed investors share in the profits. Fast Company story.

Local Food News — Ontario

Steve Peters now a general manager at Salt Creek Farm Market

Steve Peters’ career path has come full circle in a rather satisfying way. Peters, a former speaker of the Ontario legislature, was working at a St. Thomas supermarket in 1991 when he scored a dark horse victory in St. Thomas mayor’s race that kick-started his political career. When he was elected a Liberal MPP and became minister of agriculture, he became a big promoter of Ontario food. Now in his new job as general manager of Salt Creek Farm Market, Peters is back to selling groceries, but with a rigorous focus on locally grown and processed products. “I’ve always had this vision of creating the Ontario store,” Peters said. London Free Press story.


Ontario and Greenbelt Fund Bringing More Local Food to Ontario Colleges

The Greenbelt Fund, in partnership with the Ontario Government, is providing Mohawk College with $100,000 in funding through the Local Food Investment Fund (LFIF) to develop the first provincial local food procurement model for Ontario colleges.  Along with increasing local food literacy and availability at Mohawk College, the pilot project is expected to increase local food purchases by $1.5 million over two years at three participating colleges. Greenbelt Fund post.



Operated by a not-for-profit board, Food Starter focuses on helping early-stage food processors commercialize and scale the development of their food products. With an emphasis on baked goods, hot and cold fill products and confectionery items for both traditional and ethnic markets, Food Starter provides access to a provincially inspected food production facility that offers shared food production and packaging equipment, business advisory services and structured training to help companies scale and grow their food processing businesses. Website.


Eating local in Lambton County

Breakfast on the farm is being held for the third time since it’s inception in 2014. After being held at Kevin and Melissa Forbes’s Dairy farm for the past two years, this year’s breakfast will be served at the farm of Brian and Joan Pelleboer, a goat dairy farm where they also have cash cropping and calves. Community Economic Development Officer and organizer Tracy Ranick said they first heard about farm breakfasts being held in other parts of Ontario and Michigan, and decided to put something together in Lambton County, a major hub for farming. Petrolia Topic story.


Not Far From The Tree

Not Far From The Tree is a Toronto-based fruit picking project inspired by 3 things: the spirit of sharing, the desire to give back to our community, and a passion for environmentally sustainable living. Torontonians with fruit-bearing trees often have fruit to spare – everything from apples, pears and grapes to sumac, apricots and elderberry! Once they register their tree, we’ll pick their fruit and divvy up the harvest 3 ways: between the homeowner, our volunteers, and local food banks, shelters and community kitchens. Website.


Mohawk College goes local for its food

During a news conference June 8 at Mohawk College’s food court, the Ontario government and the Greenbelt Fund announced it will be providing $100,000 for a 14-member advisory committee to develop a plan for the college to establish locally-sourced food procurement policies that will be adapted for implementation across the province. Mohawk College, said Griffiths, will contribute $100,000 to the project. Hamilton News story.


Metro Expanding Local Food Purchasing Plan To Ontario

Metro has announced it’s expanding it’s local purchasing program into Ontario. Metro is a food and pharmaceutical distributor in Quebec and Ontario. It’s more than 600 food stores include Metro, Food Basics, Metro Plus and Super C. The local purchasing program is intended to promote local agri-food products and increase access to them by all consumers. Blackburn News story.


Ontario Self-Guided Brewery Discovery Routes Bigger and Better for 2016

Self-guided Brewery Discovery Routes Maps provide five complete itineraries for folks looking to get out and explore breweries, cideries, Feast On restaurants, and local attractions. Along the way, participants can indulge in the flavours of artisanal cheeses, lovingly prepared culinary treats using fresh, local ingredients, premium craft beverages, farmers’ markets and scenic outlooks. Marketwired press release.


Celebrating 25 years of success: Ontario’s Environmental Farm Plan

The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP), one of Ontario agriculture’s flagship programs, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The EFP, which has been adapted across Canada and its workbook shared with more than 30 countries, provides training, self-assessment, and action plan development for 23 environmental areas on and around the farm and outlines best management practices. Since EFP’s inception, over 40,000 Ontario farm businesses have voluntarily participated in almost 3,550 educational workshops, resulting in a total estimated investment of $390 million in on-farm environmental improvements, supported by associated incentive programs. AgInnovation post.


2015/16 Ontario Local Food Report

The agri-food sector in Ontario is made up of hundreds of thousands of people: farmers, food and beverage processors, distributors, retailers and restaurateurs. Within those ranks are countless local food champions who drove the local food movement forward in 2015/2016 – from nutrition programs supporting students in Northern Ontario to innovators in Cornwall turning shipping containers into hydroponic farms. Report.




How Robots in Restaurants Will Change the Way We Eat and Live

The first step in understanding what automation means, is realizing the moment has already arrived. Wendy’s and McDonald’s locations, for example, have begun implementing tablet-based ordering stations in the front of restaurants, and Cali-based mini-chain Eatsa (more on that, later) can be viewed as an early nonpareil of what seamless automation should look like. “At McDonald’s, a lot of what they are cooking is automated, but needing a human touch at some point,” Templeton said. “In the front of house, automation has been popping up in the form of tablets — replacing waiters — and I can only see that becoming more widespread. We will probably see a lot of restaurants letting people order food with their phones, too.” Thrillist story.

Local Food News — World

3rd-graders learn value of local agriculture

Estes Elementary School third-grade Academically Intellectually Gifted students are working on a Farm Community Awareness Campaign. We want people to know more about farms, but we also want people to realize that farms are not just cows, pigs and other animals that you think of as basically boring. Farms are more interesting than you might think they are. Mountain Xpress post.


Year After Year, the Same State Ranks as the Best for Local Food

When a Vermont-based nonprofit that advocates for local food initiatives finds, year after year, that Vermont is the most locavore-friendly state in the country—that is, the state that makes it easiest to eat locally grown food—it may be tempting to write it off. Still, despite Vermont’s coming in first place for the fifth year in a row in the Strolling of the Heifers 2016 Locavore Index, released Monday, the ranking is more than a vanity project—it offers a compelling look at the state of small farms, and the policies that support them, across the country. TakePart story.


Localizing Distribution to Make Better Food Accessible to All

As we think about rewiring the food system for the better, we should aspire to collapse the distribution chain instead of adding to it. The solution is to eliminate middlemen, not simply replace them — Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) and tech companies like Farmigo are already applying just-in-time models to directly connect consumers to farm-fresh food, harvesting only what’s ordered to maximize freshness and reduce waste. Food + Tech Connect guest post by Benzi Ronen, Founder of Farmigo


What If The Food Industry Ended Monoculture Farming?

Since 1974, the average number of items in a grocery store has increased from 9,000 to almost 44,000 today. Yet today, 75 percent of the world’s food is generated from only 12 plants and 5 animal species, finds the Food and Agriculture Organization. So while the range of products available has widened, the range of crops grown to produce those products has narrowed over the last 40+ years. This is a food system dominated by monoculture. Food + Tech Connect post.


Homegrown edibles trend in county

County residents are investing in more homegrown fruits, vegetables, and chickens, according to three local business officials. Jon Hefley of The Lumberyard in Hillsboro has noticed more people have started to grow potatoes, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and other common foodstuffs instead of purchasing them at grocery stores. “Homegrown food just tastes so different,” Hefley said. “Prices are going up on a lot of groceries, and with the drop in beef prices, people are scared, too. There is a lot of uncertainty.” The Lumberyard has stocked small chicken coops, some of which look like little red barns, to meet another trend Hefley has noticed. Hillsboro Star-Journal story.


There’s something cooking at the Vogelmorn Club

Homegrown food businesses will be able to operate out the Vogelmorn Club’s newly installed kitchen this spring. The kitchen will be rented on an hourly basis so goods can be produced for markets in accordance with food safety laws. The Vogelmorn Community Group came up with the idea after asking Brooklyn people how they’d like to use the old bowling clubrooms on Mornington Road. Many requested a place with a proper hygiene certificate to press, package, and make goods they could sell in markets around Wellington. Stuff.co.nz story.


How Small Grocers are Banding Together to Change Food Retail For the Good

So he told Sarah Weiner, who co-founded and runs the awards via the Seedling Projects, that he thought stores like his and other independents needed to pool together as the presenting sponsor of the Good Food Awards. “Through the process of talking through it and testing the idea out with a few people, the idea of the collaborative was born,” Mogannam said. The initial idea was two-fold. They would create a network of independent retailers who could sponsor the Good Food Awards collectively as an entity. They would also help to grow the sale of organic and sustainable products by championing the producers and pushing sales in their stores. Civil Eats story.


Beijing’s First Culinary Incubator, Hatchery

Based in Beijing, China, Hatchery is an innovative platform that brings together entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and local communities to develop, test, launch, and enjoy exciting new food and beverage ideas. Since our founding in 2015, we have been working hard to bring more of the world’s unique flavors and cuisines to China. Hatchery is currently headquartered at a multi-purpose space in Tuanjiehu, Beijing. Within the venue is a 250-square-meter dining area with seating for up to 100 diners, fully stocked bar, private dining rooms, and a table-tennis table. The Hatchery kitchen occupies 180 square meters with bakery, large food preparation areas, professional kitchen equipment and food storage facilities. The Beijinger blog.


Agrihoods: A new housing trend is taking root

“How ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm?” asks the old song. The answer may be: Build them an agrihood. Feeding off the continuing interest in eating fresh, local food, developers are ditching golf courses and designing communities around farms, offering residents a taste of the pastoral life — and tasty produce, too. The latest incarnation of harvest homes is The Cannery, a community designed around a small farm in Davis, about 20 miles west of California’s capital, Sacramento. Press Herald story.


The World’s First Floating Urban Dairy Farm Will Be Built In Rotterdam

The Floating Farm will be home to 60 urban dairy cows that will produce local milk, cheese, cream, butter, and yogurt. “Our idea is to create as much food as we can locally,” says Peter van Wingerden, director of Beladon, a building developer that specializes in floating structures and that envisions building fully floating cities in the future. “The long-term idea is to create cities that are completely self-sufficient on essential elements like clean water, energy, food, and waste—to create this inside these cities on oceans,” he says. Fast Company post.




Review: The War on Food

At what point will any of us have the balls to stand up and say ‘you know what, it’s time for a new corporate model, one that is a mod of incorporation’ and be ready to throw tomatoes instead of capsicums, even though we have no tomatoes to throw…and that’ll make sense if and when you see the show. Which you must, because there is a wonderful economy of homegrown talent happening here, and it’s important to foster this produce. Fresh in thought and in fun, ‘The War on Food’ will leave you thinking and hungry for more. And considering the ending, there is more to come from this fantastic mob of passionate young creatives. And that’s a good thing…a very very good thing. OUTinPerth review.

Local Food News — Ontario

Brian Gilvesy of Y U Ranch Named Food Tank Hero

Y U Ranch® proprietor Bryan Gilvesy was named among 17 Farmer Heroes for Sustainability, Equality, and Defense of Traditions by U.S.-based not-for-profit, FoodTank whose work is focused on “building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters.” FoodTank recognized seventeen farmers from eleven countries around the world for their work to support innovation, sustainability, the environment, and local economy.  In honouring Bryan Gilvesy, Food Tank noted his role as ecological agriculture champion in Ontario, the sustainable ranching practices of Y U Ranch, and his active work with Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS), which supports farmers in restoring and preserving natural resources throughout Canada. Sustain Ontario post.


State-of-the-art research greenhouse opens in Vineland, June 3

The largest, most modern pre-commercial horticultural research greenhouse in North America is making its official debut on June 3. As part of the grand opening of the 40,000 square foot facility at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, the public is invited for a tour of the greenhouse. Vineland Research and Innovation Centre post.


5th Annual Day of the Pig showcases local food in Eastern Ontario

A stretch of Highway 38 just South of Sharbot Lake was abuzz on Sunday May 22nd, where Seed to Sausage hosted its 5th annual Day of the Pig. The event highlighted Ontario artisan food where event-goers discovered new flavours while supporting local businesses. The event showcased 15 food and drink vendors and 20 market vendors. There was live music, cooking demonstrations and multiple pig roasts for all to enjoy. Sustain Ontario blog.


Five young entrepreneurs get ‘hooked up’ with $1,500

Five young local social entrepreneurs are the recipients of a $1,500 micro-grant through the “Hook it Up” program spearheaded by the Socent7, a collective of youth social entrepreneurship organizations funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation to foster a culture of entrepreneurship throughout Ontario. The initiative provides a small injection of capital to help young entrepreneurs aged 13-35 test out their concept and turn it into a reality. The area’s successful applicants include a tool library, building and expanding local food production operations, an all-female Aboriginal drum circle, and the Algoma University People’s Garden. Soo Today story.


Eat Local Grey Bruce

Eat Local Grey Bruce is a co-op of 20+ farmers that delivers  healthy, locally grown food right to your door. Producer members offer frozen meat, refrigerated dairy, veggies, bread, fruits, flours, and some preserved goods, plus we buy additional items from the Ontario Natural Food Coop and other suppliers. Consumer members order online and receive their products via home delivery (or group drop-off in rural areas). Orders are fully customizable, with no minimums and requirements to order on a regular basis. All local products are traceable back to the producers. Website.


NERDs work on local food issues

This week, current and past Northern Environmental Research (NERD) students, as well as graduates of NHHS’s Northern Outdoor Studies (NOS) program, gathered at the Faraday Community Centre to answer a challenge from North Hastings Community Trust. The session was part of the ICE initiative of the Ministry of Education. ICE stands for Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship, and is designed to help students develop the creative problem-solving and teamwork skills they will need in their careers. The challenge students tackle must be an important and ‘real-world’ current community issue. The NHCT challenge was all of that, namely: how might we ensure that everyone has equitable access to nutritious food in our local area, based on the environmental sustainability of, and opportunities provided by, the North Hastings land base. In other words, the students had to develop new approaches to ensuring that everyone in this area has enough nutritious and affordable locally-grown food. Bancroft This Week story.


Huron Food Action Network Wants Food Charter Adopted

The Huron Food Action Network is encouraging every municipality in the County to get more involved in local food policy. Local Food System Co-ordinator Nathan Swartz made presentations at both Central Huron and Bluewater council meetings last night. Swartz explains there is a food system in place, but it largely targets imports and exports. He says what they hope to do is make it easier for local producers to get their products to local consumers. Blackburn AgriMedia story.


Introducing Open Food Network Canada

Open Food Network Canada (OFN-CAN) is a newly registered not-for-profit organization that is leveling the technology playing field and empowering small scale producers, artisans and food hubs to ‘get on-line’ with a new open source platform.  The Open Food Network (OFN) acts as a directory, advertising space, online marketplace and tool for sharing information and resources about sustainable food systems. Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post.


Homesteadin’ off the Grid

Urban homesteading is a growing national trend promoting sustainable self-sufficiency in an urban environment, and Waterloo Region is no exception. But why? Posing this question to some of the region’s homesteaders, I heard many responses, and in every instance noticed that homesteading is about starting something; a move towards personal and environmental health by way of simplifying and becoming more self-sufficient. For some people who grew up in the 1960s, the things we call “homesteading” skills were normal activities. Community Edition blog.


Top Organic E-Grocers Join Forces

Fresh City and Front Door Organics (FDO), two of Toronto’s top organic delivery companies, are teaming up to deliver more local food to the GTA. The acquisition was announced on Monday – the combined businesses will operate under the Fresh City banner. “Welcoming FDO customers to Fresh City means we can further enhance our service and get more local, clean food on GTA tables” said Goel. “That’s something both companies are extremely passionate about.” Montreal Gazette story.




Fund merger fears

Members of Ontario’s agricultural sector question whether the merger of two provincial funding programs disguises massive cuts to rural funding. The Ontario government has decided to merge the long-running Rural Economic Development funding program into the Jobs and Prosperity Fund, and many in the province’s agricultural sector fear the move is a shell game designed to slash funding to rural areas. Better Farming story.