Locavore News — Ontario

 

Local Food Act called ‘stepping stone’

A leading global food securities expert calls Ontario’s tabled Local Food Act a good first step in food — and job — security. “This is a foundation stone that will be made more concrete in subsequent years, but right now it sounds pretty aspirational,” said University of Guelph professor Evan Fraser. “This is a great piece of legislation that will be seen as a stepping stone. Community groups and workers in the province’s agriculture sector call the act a good first step. CBC story.

How Community Gardens Contribute to Healthy and Inclusive Neighbourhoods

Region of Waterloo Public Health (with support from Ellen Desjardins) published a major study of community gardens in late May. The report shares the stories of local gardeners and documents the several benefits of this increasingly popular health promoting activity. The report is based on hearing the stories of 84 gardeners in Waterloo region. The report is full of gardener profiles and quotes. It also contains an updated map of community gardens in Waterloo Region as well as a timeline of the history of the development of community garden. Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post.

Local food sources beef up

The growing trend of eating locally sourced food has been making headway in Timmins over the past two years, through the Downtown Timmins and Mountjoy Independent Farmers’ Markets. But Taste of Timmins, an organization specializing in promoting the trend, has made unprecedented headway over the past month. The Fishbowl restaurant has started to utilize locally sourced beef from Mattagami Heights Farm in its burgers with resounding success. Rosalia Rivera, head of Taste of Timmins, hopes to capitalize on this landmark moment to expand this trend to more area restaurants.  Timmins Press story.

Regional Council Endorses Food Charter

Regional Council voted unanimously to adopt the Waterloo Region Food Charter at today’s meeting of Council’s Community Services Committee. The document had been pitched to Council by the Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable, which has been developing the Charter through public consultations for several months. The group will now take the document to area municipal Councils, businesses, organizations, and individuals to seek broad endorsement of the Charter. “We’re proud to have the commitment of Regional Council to a healthy, just, and sustainable food system,” said Brendan Wylie-Toal, Co-Chair of the Food System Roundtable. Presentation to Waterloo Regional Council. Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post. Waterloo Region Food Charter

Planning for Agriculture in the Rouge

In late February I received a call from Parks Canada to advise me that the land transfers from Provincial to Federal ownership were nearly complete. The lengthy delay was resolved by an agreement to follow Ontario ecological standards rather than the more relaxed Federal standards. Progress on creating an Agriculture and Food Hub on the agricultural lands within the new Rouge National Urban Park will soon resume. For a better understanding of the immensity and potential of the project, please take a look at The Pickering Lands. This first-class 7-minute video is a “must-see”. A great example of the type of projects these lands could host is shown in the award winning Feeding McGill project. This 3-minute video shows how Montreal university lands are being used to transform the university’s food services. From David Cohlmeyer’s March newsletter.

Growing Good Food Ideas

Sustain Ontario and Powerline Films launched the second round of Growing Good Food Ideas videos to an enthusiastic full room at Queen’s Park on Wednesday April 24, 2013. The event featured special remarks by Premier Wynne as well as several video partners, including the LOFC Network‘s Animator, Hannah Renglich, highlighted by clips from the newly released videos. Local Organic Food Co-ops Network post.

Focus on Food: Pathways to Youth Employment

Focus on Food: Pathways to Youth Employment is now available online. This manual shares information about FoodShare’s Focus on Food Youth Internship Program, including how it works and how its placement model has become part of an effective, successful youth employment program. Details.

‘Food truck alley’ to bring more variety to Hamilton

Ever had a craving for a grilled cheese with a side of kettle corn followed by a fresh baked cupcake? This summer, if all goes as planned, you’ll be able to get all your favourite Hamilton food truck grub in one convenient location. Dubbed ‘food truck alley,’ a portion of land on Aberdeen Avenue at Longwood Road South is currently being leased to host local food trucks throughout the spring and summer when they don’t have other obligations. Graeme Smith, owner of Gorilla Cheese, and Mike Pitton of Southern Smoke Truck teamed up to lease the land. Their trucks are there every Thursday already, but they hope by the summer there will be at least one truck there at all times, every day of the week. CBC Hamilton story.

Help define county food goals

For about two years a diverse group including organic and conventional farmers, folks from various agencies, etc. -O.M.A.F.R.A., Conservation Authority, United Way, Food 4 All, Milk for Moms, municipal councillors, Sustainable Cobourg, Northumberland Federation of Agriculture, Northumberland County transportation and economic development have been working together to prepare a Northumberland County Food Charter. Our primary goal is to build a safe, secure, sustainable food system for all residents. Cramahe Now post.

Ontario PCs seek to add food literacy to Local Food Act

The Ontario Progressive Conservatives announced on Monday their plan to put forward an amendment to add food literacy to the Local Food Act. Ernie Hardeman, Oxford MPP and PC Ag Critic notes that the announcement was made after the governing Liberals said they would welcome amendments to the bill.  While the bill has yet to reach second-reading, the PCs wanted to make their amendment idea pubic. The concept of food literacy was first outlined in the PCs agricultural white paper, which was released earlier this year. “When the bill goes to committee, we will put forward an amendment to open the Education Act and include food literacy as part of the education curriculum,” explains Hardeman. Farms.com story.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

MPPs Debate Local Food Act

I just want to ask us all to reflect a little bit on our experiences of local food. If I think about a time before it was conscious to me that I was eating local food or not, I can remember being really very excited in the summer when August would come, because that was the time when we could get corn. We could get Ontario-grown corn. We would go to pick up—or my dad would pick up on the way home from his office—local corn at Mr. Topper’s farm in Richmond Hill. That was his name, and he was just north of Elgin Mills. We only ate corn in August. We didn’t eat corn any other time of the year. I don’t even know if it was available in stores, but certainly my father had a complete prejudice about Ontario corn: That was the best-tasting corn, and that’s the only corn we should eat. Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne speaking in the Ontario Legislature.

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