Locavore News — Ontario


Grain Farmers of Ontario Has ‘Resident Chef’

Grain Farmers of Ontario has hired a chef. Jonathan Goodyear is the organisation’s first ‘Resident Chef’. Goodyear was a Top Chef Canada finalist. He’s the Executive Chef at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club and oversees seven restaurants in the Toronto area. His job with Grain Farmers of Ontario will be to share original grain dishes through television segments and at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Blackburn Agri-Media story.

Why is food manufacturing dying in Ontario?

Kellogg’s is the latest food manufacturer to announce it is shutting down an Ontario factory. Andreas Boecker is an associate professor of food, agricultural and resource economics at the University of Guelph. He says it comes down to the almighty dollar. CBC Radio Kitchener-Waterloo interview with Andreas Boecker, University of Guelph

St. Jacobs Farmers Market Rising From the Ashes

The new-look St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market opened Thursday. The dome-shaped Harvest Barn houses about 50 of the original 60 vendors. Most of the others are expected back in the next month or two. The main two-storey market building was destroyed by fire on the Labour Day weekend. Since then, Britespan Building Systems of Wingham erected a temporary steel-and-fabric structure on the original site. Natural light from the translucent domed roof makes it much brighter inside. Blackburn Agri-media story.

Next Phase in Ontario’s Education Strategy

In response to the call for feedback regarding the Next Phase in Ontario’s Education Strategy, members of Sustain Ontario (a project of Tides Canada Initiatives Society) and the Ontario Edible Education Network would first like to extend our appreciation for the opportunity to comment. In short, we would like to encourage the Ontario Ministry of Education to take a whole-school approach to healthy eating and to ensure that food literacy opportunities are firmly established within all schools. Sustain Ontario and the Ontario Edible Education Network submission re Ontario’s Education Strategy.

Where chickens come home to roost

As chicken accommodations go, the coop that Chris Leclair has built in his backyard on Toronto Street is rather ritzy. “It’s kind of like a doll house. It has a lot of interesting features,” he says of the big coop that houses four chickens he bought in the spring to lay eggs for his family.  Leclair, who knows of two other houses on his short street just south of downtown that have backyard chickens, thinks he’s part of a trend, one that could easily expand. “I definitely think if more people knew about it, they’d do it,” he says.  Leclair has the handyman skills that go with working for a small home-renovation firm, and he admits he got “carried away” when he built his coop. It includes a doll house-like front balcony with a curved awning over it, second-hand windows that open and have screens behind them, and even “30-year shingles to make it match our house,” he says. Guelph Tribune story.

Supply Management 101: What Are Our Flocking Options?

On August 1, 2013, Sustain Ontario hosted a webinar in support of our ongoing Flocking Options campaign. The webinar served as an introduction to the supply management framework in Ontario and discussed the quota system, agricultural markets, lessons from other municipalities, and ways forward to creating a more flexible poultry sector here in Ontario. Presenting on the call was Christie Young of FarmStart and Anne Freeman of the Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network. Sustain Ontario post. Video.

Congratulations to the Winners of the Farm to School Challenge

Congratulations to Primrose Elementary in the Upper Grand District School Board, Westgate Collegiate & Vocational Institute in the Lakehead District School Board, and Queen Elizabeth II Public School in the Lambton Kent District School Board. Winners will receive a Fall Harvest Package which includes kitchen tools and equipment in addition to educational materials. While all participants rose to the challenge, Primrose Elementary has taken Farm to School  to a new level and is an inspiration for schools across the province.  We look forward to seeing what schools are up for competing against Primrose in the spring round of the Ontario Farm to School Challenge. Sustain Ontario post.

VQA Wines Will Soon Hit Farmers’ Markets!

The province is making it easier for you to choose VQA Ontario wine by expanding the LCBO’s new “Our Wine Country” destination boutiques and allowing VQA wines to be sold… wait for it… at farmers’ markets! This announcement came on the tails of the expansion of the renewed Wine and Grape Strategy.   Launched in 2009, the strategy has supported significant growth in the sector, including doubling the number of VQA wineries, creating 2,000 direct jobs, record grape production, and the development of prime tourist destinations, from the Niagara Peninsula to Prince Edward County and Lake Erie North Shore. Ontario Culinary tourism Alliance post.

From the Ground Up

Toronto Public Health’s guide for testing soil in urban gardens won a Brownie Award! The TPH initiative From the Ground Up – Assessing the Risks and Maximizing the Benefits of Gardening on Urban Soils won the award from the Canadian Urban Institute. The CUI recognized winners in seven categories from across Canada for their leadership, innovation and commitment to building sustainable communities. The project was a collaboration with Parks, Forestry and Recreation, and the former Toronto Environment Office. Many TFPC members contributed to the development of the guide. Toronto Food Policy Council post. Guide.

A Report on Why Building More Sustainable Communities Will Save Us Time and Money

In the Greater Golden Horseshoe, urban sprawl is hurting our wallets, our environment, our economy and our health. Sprawl developments rely on government policies that create hidden subsidies for sprawl developers (and home purchases). All too often the municipal fees charged to sprawl developers do not cover the full cost to provide municipal services, such as water pipes, to a sprawl development. Frequently, there are funding shortfalls, which are paid for by those living in more efficient houses and neighbourhoods. Environmental Defence post.


Maximising the potential of rural enterprise hubs

Rural enterprise hubs could be key nodes in the flow of knowledge within the rural economy – both within the hub and between the hub and the wider economy. They are finding it harder to let units and are therefore suffering a reduced income at a time when overheads are rising. A north east network of enterprise hubs combining rural and urban hubs should be set up. Future economic development policies should be mapped on to the existing and potential hub infrastructure. The potential to generate more demand for vacant units in the existing hubs should be explored. A Hub Business Support Programme should be formed. (This paper is summarised from Newcastle University’s Centre for Rural Economy Research Report “Honey Pots and Hives: Maximising the potential of rural enterprise hubs” by Paul Cowie, Nicola Thompson and Frances Rowe.) RuSource Briefing 1893.


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