Locavore News — Ontario


Ontario Combines to Roll for World Record

A group of farmers want to set a world record by harvesting 160 acres of soybeans in well under 10 minutes on a farm in Perth County. The project, dubbed Harvest for Hunger, is a unique growing project that will raise money for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. The attempt for a world record is the fun part of the project. The primary purpose will be to raise at least $200,000 from the sale of the crop for food projects directed by the Canadian Foodgrains Bank in the developing world. Harvest for Hunger post.


New plan targets food sector as economic engine

Demand for some things may rise and fall with the economic tides – but not food. That’s something people will always need. That simple idea is behind a push to building up the food production and processing sectors across the Greater Toronto Area, including Hamilton. A new study says the sector produces more than $127 billion a year in economic activity – and that could grow significantly if industry and government are willing to seize the opportunity. “We’re at a critical time where we can really develop this sector,” said Sue Coverdale, of the city’s economic development department. “There’s great export potential here and we have the potential to be a major player in this business.” Hamilton Spectator story.


A Perfect Day of Pasta: Waterloo Resident Eats Locally in Italy

Wherever I go, I love to see how people live, and cooking and eating are among the best ways to be part of someone’s ordinary life. My husband and I were excited to go to Italy for the food every bit as much as the art. We decided we wanted to take a cooking class in Italy – to bring skills and taste home with us. We discovered “The Accidental Tourist”: for a very reasonable price, they would pick us up in Florence, teach us how to make pasta and feed us the pasta as part of a Tuscan lunch, before driving us back to the city. Perfetto, as they say in Italy. That it would be a great fit was confirmed when I sent an email to book our spaces in a class, and the enthusiastic response was: Canada! We love Canada! If you bring us maple syrup, we will trade it for our olive oil. Susan Fish blogs on Local dish, Foodlink Waterloo Region.


Popular High Skills Agricultural Program at Risk

The fate of an agricultural program is up in the air with the possible closure of the Chesley District High School. The Specialist High Skills Major in Agriculture has been offered at Chesley for five years. Ron Oswald says it’s an important, hands-on agricultural experience for the students. The Bluewater School Board  is conducting an Accommodation review of the schools in the Chesley and Hanover area. One option they’re looking at would see the closure of the Chesley District High School. Blackburn Agri-Media story.


Garden Hunters

Welcome to Garden Hunters on Toonti!   Here’s how it works: You want to garden but have no space You have a garden but can’t cultivate. We help facilitate your connections!   Here’s how to get started: 1)Join the Facebook Group “Garden Hunters GTA” 2) Then join Garden Hunters Toonti   3) Go to the “Forum” section, there you will post: Your Name:(just first is fine) Your City What you’re looking for. ie. I am looking to garden in Brampton, I have a garden available in Brampton 4) You then check back and see who has responded to your forum message. Website.


Farmer takes his food passion online

What is a Norfolk County farmer doing hosting a channel on YouTube? “We just saw a way to promote our message,” says Jason Persall of The Gourmet Farmer series. “It’s a good vehicle to start educating consumers.” It is also a good way, he feels, to make people understand how blessed we are with so much good food growing all around us. He is the fourth generation of Persalls to work the land around Waterford, growing close to 400 hectares of beans and grains. Five years ago, he and his wife Linda, both avid foodies, realized there were no high-quality, cold-pressed vegetable oils produced locally. They set out to fill the gap, marketing their Pristine Gourmet brand soy and canola oils, first to restaurants in the region, then to retail customers as well. Hamilton Spectator story. Website.


Seedy idea taking root

Those with green thumbs in Timmins are being asked to take a closer look at the seeds they plant this upcoming growing season. Dozens of growers from the area were present Saturday for Timmins’ inaugural Seedy Saturday, an event co-hosted by the Timmins Horticultural Society and Seeds of Diversity. Society president Kees Stryland said with many of their members growing both flowers and vegetables, the event was an opportunity for them to learn more about the seeds they grow. Timmins Daily Press story.


Hungry welcome in Ontario

It’s still unseasonably cold and there’s snow on the ground, but the movers and shakers in the culinary business were gathered indoors Tuesday at the London Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market to network at the annual London Food Connection. Food tourism was a big topic. On hand to learn about the products from about 75 vendors showcasing their products at the Western Fair location was the executive director of the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance, ­Rebecca LeHeup. LeHeup and the alliance are in the midst of a 10-year tourism strategy with the plan to put food first for visitors travelling throughout Ontario. London Free Press story.


Ideas for Improving Local Agricultural  Economies, Dave Hanly, Perth County Planner

On February 18th, 2011, nearly 150 professionals from across Ontario come together at the University of Guelph to explore opportunities for collaboration and new policy directions in agricultural economic development. The Renewing Rural Economies Forum brought together municipal planners, economic development officers and councillors, as well as various provincial ministries and the farm community, to cooperatively respond to the complex economic challenges facing Ontario’s agricultural sector. A planner’s perspective on Renewing Rural Economies.


The Toronto Declaration for Global Greenbelts: Local Solutions for Global Challenges 

On March 23rd and 24th, 2011 over 210 delegates from 16 countries gathered for the first Global Greenbelts Conference in Toronto, Canada. Delegates identified universal and well-established benefits to people who live and work in all greenbelts and surrounding communities. The result: a call to action to establish an International Greenbelt Network.  The Network will maximize greenbelt benefits, and protect and expand their boundaries. Call to Action.




Good Things Grow

New song by Andrew Queen, performed live and featuring Tim Hadley (upright bass), Nik Tjelios (mandolin), and Luke Mercier (fiddle). And Bosco (licking his chops). YouTube video.


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