Locavore News — Ontario

McConnell Foundation Announces New Institutional Food Procurement Fund

The program will fund projects that will build on public institution’s purchasing of healthy, local and sustainable food to transform existing food systems: “Hospitals, long-term care facilities, universities and schools have a critical role to play in food system change, both because they are publicly funded and because stakeholders such as students, patients, doctors and parents can influence the purchasing policies and practices of these institutions toward greater sustainability.” Sustain Ontario post.

 

Why Food Literacy Matters

Reviewing the Conference Board of Canada’s “What’s To Eat” Report. The report looked at why food literacy is important, how an increase in food literacy can affect household food choices and what differences in knowledge exist between socioeconomic and cultural subgroups. As household food purchasing behaviour and nutrition knowledge drive government and industry food policies, giving all Canadians the tools to build their food literacy skills will greatly influence how our food system grows to become more sustainable and equitable in the future. Sustain Ontario post.

 

Urban Agriculture Course Series

The Chang School is offering students who complete the four urban agriculture course electives in the Food Security program official University recognition of having completed a course series in Urban Agriculture. This offer is open to both new and past students. Those students who have already taken some of the urban agriculture courses can return and complete the course series. Likewise, certificate students can add a specialization in urban agriculture to their Food Security certificate. Ryerson University course information.

 

Beer Belly: The Greenbelt’s Bursting Beer Industry

The demand for local beer is paralleled with the surge in farmers growing local hops, such as recent Greenbelt Fund grantee, Bighead Hops. Hop farmers now feed their supply to more than 53 breweries across Ontario, where the crop is mulched, fermented and transformed into lagers, ales, porters, wheat beers, stout beers and pilsners. Greenbelt Foundation post.

 

Permaculture Design Certificate Course

Jennifer and Tim at All Sorts Acre are offering an 8 month, 100+ hour Permaculture Design Certificate course at their place near Guelph. The course runs one weekend a month from April until November. You will experience the natural cycle for all seasons. The course covers all of the standard PDC material set out by Bill Mollison, and extends it to cover areas that are relevant to our climate and living situations. It doesn’t matter where you live – an apartment, house, farm, or cottage, all aspects of life can be improved with permaculture – from landscape and garden design to handling livestock to business structures, we will be exploring them all. Course outline.

 

Urban Fruit Propagation Workshop

Learn what fruit grows well in the GTA – in your backyard, balcony or rooftop garden.  Join us for this one-day intensive workshop where you will learn the basics of urban orchard design, four methods of fruit tree propagation, and how to collect, store and root fruit cuttings. Learn about exotic varieties like pawpaw, persimmon, asian pear, & heartnuts. Foggy River Farm Eventbrite post.

 

Community Workshops TO

Community Workshops TO is a free resource that connects community groups and agencies with skilled workshop facilitators from across the City of Toronto. Through this site you can connect with dynamic facilitators offering workshops on a wide range of subjects, or sign yourself up to offer workshops in your community or throughout the city. Community Workshops TO promotes local resilience by creating training opportunities that build healthy, dynamic and environmentally sustainable communities. Website.

 

New Land Use Planning Policies Released

Ontario released the Provincial Policy Statement 2014. This is the government’s consolidated policies for growth and development in Ontario’s communities — providing for consistency and better, smarter planning across the province, while giving municipalities flexibility to ensure their plans meet their unique needs. Different regions of the province face different challenges and the Provincial Policy Statement 2014 offers greater flexibility in how policies are applied in northern and rural communities to help them continue to prosper. Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing news release. Provincial Policy Statement.

 

Ontario’s Greenbelt, Nine Years and Growing

“The Greenbelt protects our land and water for today and for future generations – this was something that Peter Orphanos strongly believed in when he first began this process. I applaud the leadership Mississauga has taken in fulfilling Peter’s legacy by moving one step closer to protecting more land as part of the urban river valley designation,” says Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. “Everyday we see the positive attributes that surround us in Ontario’s Greenbelt. By expanding the protected area, we all win.” Greenbelt Foundation press release.

 

Hands-On Urbanism: How to Make a Difference, January 9, 2104 – March 7, 2014

The exhibition “Hands-On Urbanism. How to Make A Difference” is devoted to a history of ideas of appropriating land in urban space and reveals potential for initiatives by citizens willing to take action in crisis situations. The symposium is conceived of as both an exchange of ideas and case studies and a collaborative working towards the production knowledge. A keynote lecture by Elke Krasny on Friday, 02.28.2014, will give a historiographic overview on Hands-On Urbanism since the mid-19th century. Practitioners, architects, curators and community organizers, will share their work from a practical standpoint and talk about challenges they are currently facing which require them to think outside the box and to enter into new, and at times unexpected, alignments and collaborations. A symposium will take place on Saturday, 03.01.2014. Centre for City Ecology post.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

With Climate Change, What’s Better For the Farm Is Better For the Planet

Often, feeding the world in the face of climate change is viewed as a solely technological problem.  If we could just get farmers new and improved drought resistant seeds, the argument goes, or more fertilizer, yields could rise and everyone could eat. But researchers at the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) – a global consortium of major agricultural research groups with almost 10,000 scientists and staff around the world – says very low-tech adaptation and mitigation strategies for farmers is essential in the face of changing weather.  In fact, many of the methods farmers can use to adapt to increased variability will also make their farm more resilient. Forbes post.

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