Small-scale food processing in Ontario needs regional supports says report
Ontario’s food processing sector is inadequate for many small and medium-scale farmers and should be restructured into regional food clusters, says the authors of a recently published research report. Maureen Carter-Whitney, research director of the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, says through the course of their research interviewing farmers and others they learned tax and food safety regulations are geared more for large processing facilities. The Institute is an independent, non-profit environmental think tank. Other jurisdictions, such as Maryland in the United States, are looking to modify their regulations so they still protect food safety but they apply more to smaller and medium enterprises. Better Farming story.
Training Money For Huron-Perth Local Food
A co-ordinator for the Huron-Perth Farm to Table Network says Huron County’s Taste of Huron Festival is just one of several programs that celebrate locally produced food. Joan Brady says the next step is training producers to take advantage of that market. She says with funding support from OMAFRA they’re able to launch a training opportunities program that will do that. Blackburn Agri-Media story.
Milk program fosters small scale processing
Organic dairy farmers Kathie and Francis Groenewegen have found a way to branch out so their adult children can earn a decent living from their small operation. For the past 10 years the Groenewegens have contemplated establishing an on-farm fluid milk processing business. Now the couple is in the planning stages and hopes to have it established by the fall of 2011. Better Farming story.
Young Farmer Event in Ottawa Next Month
The first National Future Farmers Network will be held next month in Ottawa. Secretary Of State For Agriculture Jean Pierre Blackburn says it will give young Canadian farmers a chance to discuss their concerns and challenges. There will be about 45 young farmers at next month’s event. They’ll be joined by observers from agricultural organisations as well as federal and provincial government reps. Blackburn Agri-Media story.
Sign law tussle signals trouble for Wilmot grower
Pumpkin farmer Kevin Shantz is caught in the middle of a turf war between Wilmot Township and Waterloo Region over the placing of road signs directing customers to his operation. Shantz grows and sells pumpkin and sweet corn on his farm in the township just west of Kitchener. On Sept. 24 and 25, he was making preparations to sell his 25-acre pumpkin crop by putting up eight directional signs on different roads, including regional roads. Two days later, on Sept. 27, the township’s bylaw officer gave him 24 hours to pull most of them down. Better Farming story.
Wilmot, Waterloo meeting a good sign
In an earlier interview, Andrew Martin, Wilmot Township planner and economic development officer, says the township has a legal opinion stating its bylaw prohibiting signs takes precedence over the region’s, which allows signs, including farm directional signs, on regional roads. The township is considering some changes to its bylaw to enable businesses to put up signs at the closest intersections. For the region’s bylaw, there are positional restrictions, but no restrictions on the size or number of signs. The region’s bylaw also doesn’t have any time restrictions. The signs can include words and pictures. Better Farming story.
Taste of Timmins
Taste of Timmins is an expanding website dedicated to sharing information with you about the sustainable food movement that is gaining strength and energy right here in Timmins (even with our growing season being over)! Visit the site to find out about the local farmers in your area and about the sustainable foods they offer. You can also find out where and when they will be selling their goods. You can get information about what will be sold as part of their weekly harvest. And you can visit us to check out the many links to other sites that offer information about all sorts of things local, sustainable and healthy! Website.
Cheese Maker Gets Provincial Reno Money
A Simcoe County cheese maker is getting provincial money for renovations to help it meet the growing demand for it’s products. Silani Sweet Cheese Limited of Schomberg is getting about 844 thousand dollars for the production and packaging area renovations. That’s going to mean up to 35 new jobs and will also support local farmers. Blackburn Agri-Media story.
Fostering Collaboration among Stakeholders in Sustainable Landscape Planning in Southern Ontario
This discussion paper synthesizes existing information on the topic of sustainable landscape planning with the view to improve collaboration and social-learning among stakeholder groups in the southern Ontario context. Stewardship Network of Ontario discussion paper (1.0 MB PDF).
Imagining Sustainable Food Systems edited by Alison Blay-Palmer, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo
This book makes an important contribution to the literature on alternative food systems. It moves beyond enumerating the problems with the current food system (including problems with “alternative” food strategies) and begins to build ideas of what a sustainable food system might include. In particular, the focus on particular strategies, policies, and business arrangements that could be part of a sustainable food system makes this book a “must-read” for those interested in developing a sustainable future. Reviewed by Sarah Wakefield, University of Toronto.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
The Food Printer — Prototypes and Concept Designs for a Digital Gastronomy
If there were no supermarkets, farmers markets, or csas, would you want the option to print your food? This question came out of some of the idea storm at our last food+tech meetup. While it may not be a reality yet, Marcelo Coelho and Amit Zoran, grad students in the MIT Fluid Interfaces Group, have developed a concept design for a digital fabricator for food. Website. Toronto Star story.