Locavore News — Ontario

Risk of Rain Postpones World Record Soybean Harvest — New Date Monday, October 3

There is just too much risk of rain on Friday, September 3O, for the Harvest for Hunger Committee to put 120+ combines in a 160-acre soybean field in Perth County. The attempt for the world record soybean harvest has been postponed until Monday, October 3 at a farm on Highway 23, 1 kilometre north of Monkton. “The five farmers that have spearheaded this fundraiser for the better part of a year desperately wanted to stick to their Friday plan during a conference call on Wednesday but there was too much risk of wet soybeans on Friday,” said Elbert van Donkersgoed, a spokesperson for the group. Harvest for Hunger website.


Food Policies in Draft Official Plans

Residents of Waterloo Region’s three cities have an opportunity to give input into draft Official Plans which will set land use policy affecting – among other things – urban food access.  The three draft Official Plans, which are available for review online, contain policies governing the placement of community gardens, temporary farmers’ markets, and even food stores.  The comment period is slightly different depending on the city, but all three are requesting formal comments by the end of September, with formal public meetings to be held in September or later in the Fall. Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post.


The Bruce Botanical Food Gardens Finds a Home

Ripley Ontario, in Bruce County, will be home to The Bruce Botanical Food Gardens-Canada’s newest botanical garden dedicated entirely to sustainable market food production and community food security. The Township of Huron Kinloss has adopted the project for the community of Ripley as part of 23.5 acres of municipally owned land at the end of Park Street. The project team is in the plan development stage with a goal of starting site construction in spring of 2012. Bruce Botanical Food Gardens website.


Kitchener woman has her pick of wild foods

When Jackie McMillan wants to make a mixed green salad, she doesn’t need to go any farther than her own backyard. The Kitchener woman plucks a wide variety of edible leaves, roots, berries, seeds and flowers from plants growing there abundantly on their own. “I can harvest meal after meal after meal here and you can look around and not even tell,” McMillan said. Kitchener-Waterloo Record story.


Hospitals try to overcome bad food reputation by going local

Mushy vegetables, congealed gravy and soggy toast have contributed to hospitals’ well-earned reputation for serving bad food. But some Ontario hospitals are trying to change that by serving fresh, locally produced food. On Wednesday for the first time St. Michael’s Hospital will feature Ontario-grown produce on its patient menus. Dessert will be a fruit crisp made with blueberries from the Cedar Lane Blueberry Farm in Simcoe. Including more local food is a challenge for the cash-strapped institutions, which typically have less than $8 a day to spend on three meals and two snacks per patient. HealthZone.ca story.


Taste Local…Culture, Craftsmanship & Community

Over the weekend, I was lucky enough to attend a fabulous local food event, celebrating the foods and flavours of the St. Jacobs region. Coordinated by Foodlink Waterloo Region, Taste Local, Taste Fresh pairs 20 food producers with 20 food presenters. Using local talent and the region’s finest ingredients, each pair creates a truly culinary delight. Having never attended “Taste Local, Taste Fresh” before (it’s in its 8th year), I had no idea of what to expect… Upon arrival, I was led to a table covered in handcrafted pieces of pottery, created specifically for the event. Each piece was unique, and we were asked to choose one – the pottery was to serve as our tasting dish for the afternoon. Local Dish Waterloo Region post.


Homegrown Ontario’s New Guide to Frugal Shopping

Economical cuts of meat are also some of the most flavourful. Check out our list of inexpensive cuts and quick tips on how best to prepare them. Homegrown post.


Healthy Communities and Planning for Food

The growing demand for local food is testament to the desire of many to become more connected to their sources of food. Food systems have long been linked to planning and are a key consideration for complete and healthy communities. Involving community planners in planning for food systems can result in healthier outcomes for Ontarians. Planners are in a unique position to identify problems and challenges within the food system and to lead and foster the development of solutions. Ontario Professional Planners Institute release.


World Crops Grown in Ontario’s Greenbelt Attracts Attention in Diverse Toronto

From soil to sky, this season, Ontario’s field to table menu is going global in rural and urban areas alike. Culinary trend setter, Chef David Garcelon of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, invites crop researchers from Vineland Research and Innovation Centre to plant South Asian Vegetables okra, round eggplant, and red hot peppers on the Hotel’s rooftop garden in Toronto. Guests will learn how to grow and care for these plants from a demonstration planting and have the chance to taste some of the delicious new crops in dishes created by Garcelon. Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation post.


The butcher, the banker, the costly rules maker

For four years, Cottenie’s operated as a processor and retailer of local meat under the inspection of the municipal public health unit.  They never had a problem.  In March 2010, Cottenie’s learned that they were now designated as a Free Standing Meat Plant (FSMP), a meat processor other than an abattoir that must be licensed and inspected by OMAFRA.   Neither Public Health nor Tony anticipated these changes.  Cottenie’s activities did not change, only their designation.  OMAFRA was phasing in the enforcement of the Meat Regulation 31/05 (2005) across a growing sphere, which started with bigger – and now smaller – meat processors.    If they wanted to continue wholesaling burgers, Cottenie’s needed to become provincially certified.  Ever since, it has been a costly game for Tony and Donna to navigate the minefield of regulations and make the upgrades necessary for compliance. The Meat Press blog.




Good Food Policy and Program Ideas

Ontario currently faces skyrocketing health care costs, chronic disease epidemics, a volatile economy, shrinking rural communities, a farm income crisis, and climate change impacts. Good food policies and programs have the potential to grow Ontario’s economy, reduce our health care spending, improve our environmental impact, reduce poverty, and improve educational outcomes. If adopted, the following good food policy and program ideas would not only position Ontario as a leader in food, farming, health, sustainability, and economy, but would ensure the future prosperity and wellbeing of our province. Sustain Ontario post.


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