Canada’s Agri-Food Destination
The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI) presents an agri-food strategy for Canada. Since 2009, CAPI has been engaged in a process to develop new ideas for a strategic shift in the agri-food sector. This discussion paper is the culmination of that work. CAPI proposes that Canada’s destination be about having “the most successful good food systems on the planet.” This paper describes the reasons for this approach, the initial targets, and five enablers that can help the sector achieve this goal. Executive Summary (1.7 MB PDF). Report (3.6 MB PDF).
Farmers help bring fruit, veggie snacks to northern Ontario school children
Strawberries, pineapple and melon chunks, mini-cucumbers and cherry tomatoes are now on the menu for school children in northern Ontario thanks to a snack program sponsored by farmers in the province. The program, launched in 2006 as a pilot project following several key reports that underlined the need for action against obesity, will last for 19 weeks at 110 elementary schools in an area where it’s a challenge to obtain fresh, affordable fruits and vegetables. Winnipeg Free Press story.
Farmers and consumers connect
Communities across Nova Scotia celebrated local food throughout the month of February and provided farmers with an opportunity to connect with consumers. Select Nova Scotia, the provincial government’s buy-local initiative, offered non-profit groups $500 grants to create meals featuring local products. The meals required an educational component — for several of the organizers that meant inviting farmers to speak to diners. FCC Express story.
Wolfville Farmers Market to Be Renewed
Eighteen years have passed and it’s been a long and fruitful journey for the volunteers, directors and staff of the Wolfville Farmers Market. Starting with three vendors in a parking lot, this community hub has been transformed into a bustling intersection of business and pleasure. Live music plays prominently every Saturday morning like a piper, enticing neighbours and tourists alike to spend an hour or two taking in all of the flavours of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. Well known for its sensational array of apples, berries, organic produce, and rich, red soils, the region is an integral piece of the Nova Scotia food map. It’s a true coming of age story for the little farmers market that can, and with a big fundraising campaign underway, the Wolfville Farmer’s Market is casting off its outgrown, outdoor shell and will be moving into its new home in September, 2011. Zara Fischer-Harrison post on Good Food Revolution.
Good Food Hero Comic Contest
Do you love good food? Do you know how our food system is affecting your body, the environment and the people that work in it? We want to see your good food ideas and solutions in a comic! Students from across Canada are invited to create their own comic and enter it in the Canada’s Good Food Hero Comic Contest. This is your chance to get creative and create awareness about food in Canada. Winners will receive awesome prizes, and the top 10 entries from each age group will be featured in the Good Food Hero Comic Book, to be printed and distributed across the country in a 32-page colour booklet! Food Secure Canada
Annapolis Valley Farmland’s Future Unsure
An “application to amend the planning strategy in order to rezone and redesignate” 380+ acres of prime agricultural farmland in the Hamlet of Greenwich, Nova Scotia, has been placed with a thud onto the table for the County of Kings’ Municipal council. You’d think, based on a strong reaction by residents, that the Municipality of the County of Kings is completely zoned out. There are a handful of farmers sick and tired of being outside the official Hamlet, which leaves them without any hookup to water, sewage and other infrastructure, of which their immediate neighbours have full access. These farms are on the main thoroughfare between Wolfville and New Minas, the shopping capital of the Annapolis Valley. Situated right in the heart of an agricultural tourism go-to for people from Halifax and elsewhere in the province, this is a big deal. Zara Fischer Harrison writes for Good Food Revolution.
Greenbelt Fund projects promote Ontario food
The Ontario government’s Greenbelt Fund has announced funding for two projects to encourage more use of Ontario food. 100 Mile Market, a group of 160 farmers, will receive funding to provide more Ontario food to daycares, schools, universities and colleges, and hospital and long-term care facilities. AgCanada.com story.
SLOWMONEY — Cook Globally. Eat Locally. Act Neighbourly.
A lot of people blame fast buck artists for bringing on the 2008 economic crash, but few have yet looked to slow money artistry to get the economy moving in a better direction.
For social investment promoter Woody Tasch, however, the crash was an aha moment that led him to take his stand: the buck slows here. Modeling his efforts on the ideas of slow food, he rushed out a book on the subject of slow money and launched a national movement which quickly tweaked the imagination of social investors, community economic development advocates and even business journalists. After a year’s run along the flake axis linking Dallas, Santa Fe, Madison and Shelburne, Vermont, the likes of Time Magazine, the LA Times and the Wall Street Journal gave favorable coverage to the “nurture” investors drawn to the notion of slow but steady returns on ultra-community-friendly food companies. Business Week pronounced slow money the Big Idea of 2010. Wayne Roberts essay.
Harper Government Invests in LED Technology to Support Greenhouse Production
The Government of Canada is investing in an innovative technology for greenhouses that will help growers improve efficiency while reducing operational costs. The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), announced today that GE Lighting Solutions Canada Company will receive close to $1.3 million to develop LED lighting solutions for greenhouses to improve crop yield and quality while reducing energy requirements. Farms.com story
Try these winter whites from warmer climes
A foodie friend once pulled a waiter over to the restaurant table in disgust. “This pasta primavera on the menu – do you know it’s February?” he asked. “Yes,” the puzzled waiter responded. “And do you know ‘primavera’ means springtime in Italian?” my friend said. To which the server nonchalantly replied, “Our peas and asparagus are imported fresh from places like California and Chile. It’s always spring or summer somewhere in the world.” So much for the locavore movement. So much for cooking with the seasons. That said, I’m about to assume the role of seasonally blind waiter – or sommelier, as it were. With wine, the rules are different. Seasonal sipping – light wines for summer, heavy reds for winter – is about the beholder and his or her thirst, not the wine’s peak of freshness. It’s a preserved product, after all, like pickles. Sometimes heavy shirazes and cabernets are bottled in summer, not the ideal time to enjoy them, unless you’re sitting down to a medium-rare sirloin. Many good, crisp whites come on the market in February. Globe and Mail story.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Ghost Lab 13: Plotting a New Course for Architecture
A conference organized by Brian MacKay-Lyons aims to push locavore design to the forefront. In the summer of 1994, Nova Scotia architect Brian MacKay-Lyons and a teaching colleague, Richard Kroeker, took their students at Dalhousie University in Halifax to MacKay-Lyons’s farm and taught them how to actually build a structure with their own hands. It was the first “Ghost Lab,” so named because the land’s rocky ruins mark the ghost of a village, a European settlement from more than 400 years ago. Since then, as MacKay-Lyons has gained an international following for his “plain modern” architecture, his hands-on Ghost Lab has grown into a kind of elite and magical summer camp. Architects and critics from as far away as Australia have made the pilgrimage to the roughly 60-acre farm, spectacularly sited along the rugged Nova Scotia coast, where they join two dozen students who collectively design and construct a building using the vernacular materials and techniques of the local barns, boats, and fishing huts. Architectural Record story.