Planning for Food-Friendly Municipalities in Waterloo Region
The report includes a review of:
•Zoning by-laws that can permit temporary farmers’ markets and community gardens in all land use designations and zones;
•supportive licensing by-laws and regulations for temporary farmers’ markets;
•incentives such as reduced or waived fees for temporary farmers’ markets; and
•other policies specific to community gardens. Report.
Ontario Farm to School Challenge, Webinar, September 24, 3:30pm
This is the lead-up to the October 1st launch of Ontario’s Farm to School Challenge (October 1 -31), farm to school program leaders will come together to share their own stories of success that are set to inspire schools and help them access the tools they need to set the table for local foods. The webinar includes pilot farm-to-school projects in Windsor and southwestern Ontario that include a team of secondary students preparing food for the Meals on Wheels and Student Nutrition Programs as part of a culinary, co-operative learning program. Register.
The Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable is calling on Foodies in Waterloo Region to join in the work to advocate for more food-friendly municipalities in Waterloo Region. The first organizing meeting will be held Wednesday, October 2nd. It will focus on a new report by Krista Long which outlines ways to create more supportive environments for community gardens and temporary farmers’ markets in Waterloo Region. Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post.
Launched as fundraiser 10 years ago the street-long locavore lunch now tourist draw
“Excuse me, miss,” Jaime Vega whispers to a passerby he’s mistaken for a server. “Your corn is so fresh and tender. Can I get another?” Alas, the sell-out crowd of 600 has left Warkworth’s famous Long Lunch short on seconds. Every ear is spoken for by the hungry hordes who’ve descended on the village for a midday feast at tables laid end-to-end down the length of Main St. And anyway, Vega, who made the 90-minute drive from Toronto for the annual event last Sunday, needs room for dessert — a healthy wedge of homemade apple crumble pie. Toronto Star story.
Spirit Tree making locavore cider in the English tradition
The recipe is classic, but the apples the Caledon estate ‘cidery’ turns into its cider are from its own orchards. Where once there were just a handful of ciders available in this province (whether produced here or elsewhere), now there are dozens available. Just look at the shelves of any LCBO, and you’ll see plenty of the fermented apple beverage, a traditional mainstay of English pubs and the Normandy countryside. Even the big brewing conglomerates are getting in on the game, with varying degrees of success (Molson Canadian Cider, for one, isn’t half bad. And Strongbow — the cider you’ve probably had if you’ve only ever had one — also has its defenders). But the best of the bunch is made right here in the Greater Toronto Area. Caledon, to be precise. Toronto Star story.
Bringing More Local Food to Universities and Hospitals
With funding support from the Ontario government, the Greenbelt Fund continues to support projects that increase Ontarians’ access to more fresh, local food through institutions such as universities, colleges, and hospitals. New Farm ($59,000), an organic farm in Creemore, and Meal Exchange ($80,000), a national youth-driven charity educating university students about local food, are the newest grant recipients. Ontariofresh.ca story.
Agriculture and Food in the GTHA
Our Local Food industry continues to grow and grow. We will soon overtake Los Angeles as the largest food producing and processing cluster in North America! But it is difficult to see from here. The American PBS television network highlighted our region in a recent half-hour show. (It highlights some of my clients.) The credit for this growth must be attributed to the amazing GTAAAC partnership of municipalities within the regions. With rural and urban partners working for mutual benefits, it is indeed possible to rebuild the dynamics that created great cities around the world. This is being further supported by the new Premier of Ontario (who is also the new Minister of Agriculture). At first, farmer neighbours felt this turn of events would result in them being ignored even more than usual. But now they understand that having the urban media surrounding the Premier traipse around the countryside is a great way to reveal agriculture to urban customers. David Cohlmeyer September newsletter.
The Good Food Economy
So this all got me thinking about money – and I realized that there were other ways to meet my needs and wants besides using that piece of plastic in my wallet. That spun me into the world of self-provisioning and barter and trade. So, I exchange CSA shares for farm work. I “pay” someone to work in my farm kitchen doing baking and making jams with room and board for the summer. I trade produce with other farmers – like my tomatoes for their potatoes. So we each diversify our market stands with less work. And so on. Theresa Schumilas post, Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable.
Bridging the Gap: Helping to Connect Good Food with Low-Income Communities, October 9, 12-1pm
Featuring Gillian Flies of The New Farm and Ayal Dinner from the West End Food Coop, this next event of our webinar series will discuss strategies for connecting low-income communities with fresh, local and sustainably produced food. The webinar will explore lessons learned from Community Food Centres Canada’s ‘Share the Health‘ initiative which raises funds to integrate good food into programming at CFCs and the West End Food Coop’s ‘Coop Cred’ program which enables low-income community members to participate in the health benefits of local, organic and sustainable food sold at the cooperative. Register.
Bring Food Home 2013: Building Bridges Together, November 17-19, Windsor
Bring Food Home is Ontario’s biennial conference connecting those individuals and organizations who are working towards a sustainable food system. This year’s conference will run from November 17th to 19th and will feature a wide range of workshops, new farmer training, compelling keynote speakers and a feast of local flavours. The Bring Food Home Conference is where the story of the new Ontario food system is being rewritten. This is the time and place for those who believe in a just and sustainable food system to join the composition. – Mark Winne, Author & Community Food Activist. Registration.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Making Detroit Better, One Soup at a Time
Every month, about 300 Detroiters each pay $5 for soup, salad, bread, and a vote to support a creative local project for social change. The music is exciting, the lights are dim, and people sit on the floor around old doors and boards that are converted into temporary tables. We are ready to listen to, and collaborate with, people who want to make Detroit better—from a 12-year-old boy who wants a clean park next to his school, to a 40-year-old woman who wants to help others learn financial literacy. The opportunities are open for anything to happen! Champions of change post. Website.