Take the $10 Challenge
If every household in Ontario spent $10 a week on local food, we’d have an additional $2.4 billion in our local economy at the end of the year. Keeping our money circulating grows those dollars to $3.6 billion and creates 10,000 new jobs.* The Ontario Table is more than a cookbook, it is an agricultural journey designed to introduce you to the people, food and culture of Ontario’s local food.Website.
One-of-a-kind Program Brings New Products to a Farmers’ Market Near You
Farmers’ markets are continuing to increase in popularity, growing at an annual rate of more than 8 per cent a year. In 2011 alone, they were estimated to provide a direct economic impact of $400 million for Ontario. The funding helps farmers to purchase small-scale equipment to support eco-friendly ways to extend the growing season, develop new products for sale, and strengthen the overall economic success of farmers’ markets. Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation release.
The Truck Stops Here
There’s something happening in Hamilton. Something incredibly inspiring and extremely delicious. As last weekend’s return of the hugely successful food truck festival Sew Hungry indicated, the farm to fork connection is only getting stronger in Steeltown. Although I grew up in Niagara, Hamilton is where I really grew into my own. Having spent my undergraduate (ie. “formative”) years at McMaster University, it was a delight to zip back into the city last Friday afternoon for Sew Hungry, Canada’s Largest Food Truck Rally. Julia Gilmore post Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance.
The Preston Farmers’ Market is a locavore’s dream
As one of the newest local markets to open up in Ottawa, the Preston Farmers’ Market will soon be closing its doors for the season as the cooler weather arrives. This outdoor market has seen major success over the summer, as visitors and residents make their way to Little Italy to shop for fresh produce and munch on comfort foods provided by small restaurants trying to make a name for themselves. In an interview with Apt613, Leela Ramachandran, operator of the vendor Chelsea Gardens, said that all of the businesses featured at the Preston Farmers’ Market are just some of many that are pushing for the Canadian capital to become a more locally-centred city. Ottawa Tourism post.
Farming first in Brant, forum told
An alliance of native, agricultural and public advocacy organizations is moving to oppose attempts by Walton International to develop on thousands of acres of farmland it has acquired across Brant County. They are also opposing attempts by aggregate companies to open new gravel pits in the county, or expand existing ones. Over the past week, the alliance has attempted to serve notice on Walton officials to “cease and desist” from activities aiding their development interests, and some members have taken steps to “evict” company officials from property on Tutela Heights that is slated for a residential subdivision. Brantford Expositor story.
Toronto mobile produce truck: fresh produce to poor areas
Kelin Geng held up a white globe in a Scarborough parking lot the other night. “What is this?”
I wanted to know too. We were digging through bins pulled out from the back of a truck, as if we were at a flea market. But we were shopping for fruit and vegetables. Was it a melon? It’s a gourd,” another shopper told us. We should cut it in half, sprinkle it with brown sugar and bake it, she advised. That sounded good. I put one in my basket. Catherine Porter post Toronto Star
The Great Food Swap – in our very own KW
What a treat it was to be part of this event and share in the harvest of such a range of lovingly prepared foods… This annual event is hosted by Karin Kliewer of Little City Farm, whose workshops are an inspiration to me. I traded home-harvested rhubarb, elderberries, and homemade jam and borscht for canned peaches and pears, salsa, muffins, and herbs. Steffanie Scott Post on Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable.
A worthwhile food strategy
Catherine Porter’s story about the Mobile Good Food Market was both humorous and heartwarming, but also a sad revelation about the full extent of how Toronto has failed to provide for its poorest and most vulnerable. These mobile grocery vans do more than just provide antidotes to common health problems such as obesity and diabetes — they help poverty-stricken Torontonians learn how to eat well, one mysterious vegetable at a time. Toronto Star letter to the editor.
Provincial government proposes Local Food Act
The Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ted McMeekin is preparing a new Local Food Act, that would support the agri-food industry in Ontario, and promote consumer choice of local produce, especially in what has been called the “MUSH” sector – municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals. “It’s a chance to celebrate much of what is good about Ontario, its produce and its producers,” McMeekin says, recognizing hat agriculture, with all of its offshoots, is still the “single biggest economic driver in the province.” Bradford times story.
PC Ag Critic Not Happy With Local Food Act
A number of Ontario agriculture organisations are welcoming the province’s proposed Local Food Act. But Conservative Agriculture Critic Ernie Hardeman’s not impressed. He says it should be renamed the Government May Report on Food Act. The Conservative MPP argues there are no targets or procurement direction for public sector organisations in the bill. Blackburn Agri-Media story.
Scaling Up Urban Agriculture in Toronto: Building the Infrastructure
“These papers are intended to be at once pragmatic and inspiring – looking to craft responses that more meaningfully connect food to critical societal issues such as health, urban sprawl, poverty and hunger, declining farm incomes, and communities at risk,” Sandy Houston, President, Metcalf Foundation. Metcalf Foundation story. Report.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Driving through Drayton
“I’m one of those guys that said, ‘Piss on this, I’m not farming’,” John Varty recalls with a smile. Instead, he earned his PhD and became a history professor. His career path marked a definite split from tradition, as for the preceding six generations his family enjoyed a proud farming heritage in Hastings County. But it was his decision last summer to abandon his Hamilton apartment and position at McMaster University that really ostracized the 41-year-old from his family. “My mom is mad at me,” Varty said with a laugh on June 15 in downtown Drayton aboard the mobile farmhouse he is pulling across Canada behind a Massey Ferguson 1660 compact tractor. Wellington Advertiser story.
News from The Backyard Urban Farm Company
The BUFCO Bulletin – Fall Edition.