Locavore News — Ontario

 

Recipe: The Children’s Teaching Kitchen

Ingredients: children, youth, diverse community members, an organic garden, fresh fruits, veggies, energy, enthusiasm, caring, outstanding volunteers, dedicated staff, straw bales, plaster, photovoltaic panels, a green roof, solar water heating system and a rainwater harvesting system!

Preparation Method: Take your first 11 ingredients and mix them together in the organic garden. Teach the first three ingredients about healthy eating, organic gardening, cooking with fresh fruits and veggies and caring for our environment. Lastly, add the final ingredients to create a model of “green” building. Adding your vote to our recipe will help us build the healthiest facility possible for our community and our environment.

Recipe Yields: One environmentally friendly kitchen and thousands of happy, healthy community members. Children’s Eco Programs website.

The Rocky Balboa of Gardens – On resilience and our first harvests

The past few weeks have taken the Regent Park rooftop garden from toddler-hood into full swing. It’s been busy but luckily our volunteers can keep up! I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the differences in growing on a roof compared to in ground. I’ll discuss the differences of gardening above, and share about our first few harvests. Food from a Roof blog.

Ontario Farmland Trust Selected as Junior Farmers’ 2013 Provincial Charity

This award recognizes OFT’s important work promoting agriculture and farmland preservation for future generations, and will see JFAO’s 30 local clubs and hundreds of members raising support for OFT over the coming year. JFAO is a network of young farm leaders (ages 15-29) across Ontario, and a long-standing organization dedicated to building future rural leaders through self-help and community betterment. OFT is excited to be building a stronger relationship with JFAO and working together to raise awareness of farmland protection. Junior Farmers’ post.

A New Kind of Farmers’ Market

Started in June – and going until late October – The Regent Park Farmers’ Market is offering a lot more than fresh Ontario produce from established farms. This market will also be selling locally grown goods from small plot growers and rooftop gardeners from around Toronto who normally can’t access the sought-after booths at most farmers’ markets. And what would a farmers’ market be without entertainment? Regent Park will have plenty of musical and artistic programming throughout its season to entertain more than just your tastebuds! Ontario Culinary Tourism post.

Stratford Meeting Discusses Local Food Issues

Local food was the subject of a roundtable hosted by Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece in Stratford Tuesday. Held at the Local Community Food Centre, the event was a chance for constituents to express their views on issues related to local food. Participants noted the lack of an abattoir in Perth County – the need for sensible and limited regulation to encourage local food production and processing – and the need for clear language and improved labelling. They also talked about the need for a centralized regional food distribution centre, among other ideas. Pettapiece says the PC caucus policy white paper on agriculture suggests building a new regional food terminal to bring local food closer to consumers. . Blackburn News story.

SPECIALITY CROPportunities

This is a resource designed to assist growers transitioning to production of new, specialty or non-traditional crops. The Crop Selection Tool will assist growers in identifying crops suited to their growing region and operation. The menu provides general agronomic and marketing information on specialty crops. This tool is designed to provide a general overview of production information on a variety of specialty crops. Website.

Asparagus growers reach into new markets

Research and commercialization efforts -– not to mention local food — are moving Ontario asparagus growers to a new plateau. The growers’ commodity group, now called Asparagus Farmers of Ontario, is stepping up its commercialization of OAC Millennium asparagus, an extremely popular “homegrown” variety. The AFO says “the traction of point-of-sale marketing, the burgeoning local food movement by Ontario consumers and significant penetration into the eastern U.S. promises a continued bright future for Ontario asparagus growers.” Owen Roberts post on FCC Express.

Linking Land Protection & Stewardship

This project provided a forum for meaningful dialogue between groups that previously lacked opportunities to discuss challenges, overlapping priorities and mutual interests. Workshops also provided a learning opportunity for those working in land protection and stewardship, particularly around the work of the Ontario Farmland Trust, the multitude of land securement tools available to them, and understanding how to build stronger relationships with the farming community. Workshop participants shared over 100 unique recommendations for new or enhanced cooperation between conservation groups in their local communities. Ontario Farmland Trust post. Report.

Models and Best Practices for Building Sustainable Food Systems in Ontario and Beyond

It was designed to build on the findings of earlier reports, and help support practical initiatives seeking to create more sustainable local food systems. While the report presents a number of models and best practices based on research across the province, these examples represent a far from exhaustive list of the impressive array of local food activities happening in Ontario. Nourishing Ontario report.

Focus on Rural Ontario – components of population change in rural Ontario

This set of fact sheets features information on what accounts for the population declines or growth seen in the different counties and areas of the province.  For example, how many children are being born versus deaths and the numbers of people moving in or out of areas from elsewhere in Canada. The number of immigrants arriving in each partially or fully non-metropolitan Census Division is provided in relation to historic levels. The recent 2012 data provided should be of great interest to the diverse stakeholders working on newcomer attraction and retention. Data is presented on changes in the number of seniors in each area compared to the number of people in the working age population. This “dependency ratio” is very meaningful in reflecting the levels of human or health services needed in particular areas and the proportion of people on fixed incomes.  Based on Statistics Canada data, these easy-to-read fact sheets highlight the changing dynamics of rural Ontario’s population, communities and economies. Canadian Rural Research Network post.

Biodynamic Farm Tour at River Glen Biodynamic Farm

Saturday August 10th, 10am – 4pm, 230 Davidson’s Side Road, Ottawa, ON. Please come prepared for the weather, rubber boots are always welcome. This is a working farms/market gardens and the hosts/mentors have a wealth of knowledge about farming and gardening biodynamically, so feel free to ask questions. For more information call David Burnford 613-721-7063.

Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable Events Page.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

31 Things to Do With Confusing CSA Vegetables

As a CSA subscriber, sooner or later you’re bound to end up with strange, inexplicable vegetables you have no idea what to do with in your share. And you panic, and you freeze up, and they sit in your fridge, and then they rot, and you waste your money, and then everyone’s sad. So! Herein are some doable, delicious ideas for how to cook and eat a few of the most often problematic or over-abundant CSA suspects: kohlrabi, garlic scapes, turnips, chard, beets, and sugar snap peas. Because they deserve to be eaten, and you deserve to eat them. BuzzFeed post.

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