7th annual Growing Local Conference
Food Matters Manitoba (FMM) hosted its seventh annual Growing Local Conference in downtown Winnipeg last weekend. The three-day event saw participation from dozens of organizations involved with food issues – including local food shares and sustainable gardening groups, branches of government, and NGOs. Workshops and talks were held Friday and Saturday covering topics from the sustainable management of insects in horticultural crops, to reducing junk food consumption through policy initiatives. The Manitoban story.
Good Food Innovation Awards: The Reveal
In the same spirit of innovation that permeates its faculties all across the various campuses, The University of Guelph created the Good Food Innovation Award to honour food professionals from across the country who strive to provide innovative menu solutions based on Canadian ingredients. There are chefs and restaurants that are the virtual homesteaders of Canadian cuisine. In their evolution, they’ve traveled down different culinary pathways on extraordinary journeys that have led the way for others. They have created milestones. They have created history. Food Day Canada post.
Canadian Cheese Awards
Awards Tasting Show will take place at the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto on April 7. The competition was open to all pure milks produced in Canada. Over 290 entries arrived at the tasting room at the University of Guelph making this officially the largest such competition ever held in Canada. The mega-tasting on the 7th will also include a seminar for cheese-makers on competitiveness in the face of the recent EU ruling. Website.
Buy local funding urges flower shoppers to pick local
British Columbians are being encouraged to pick local when shopping for plants and flowers for Valentine’s Day gifts and throughout the year, and to enjoy the high-quality buds and blooms while supporting B.C.’s economy. The United Flower Grower Cooperative Association is using $62,500 in B.C. government funding to promote its “Flowerful BC Pick Local” brand in a variety of ways including signage for delivery vehicles. The vehicles are used to transport B.C. flowers from growers and buyers and will proudly display the logo with its “pick local” message. BC Ministry of Agriculture news release.
Classroom Garden Program Grows Roots in Calgary
Through its commitment to enhancing agriculture education and awareness efforts in the province of Alberta, Agriculture for Life is partnering with the Calgary Zoo on the delivery of the Little Green Thumbs program in local schools. This collaborative effort will expand agricultural education programming to Calgary students. The Little Green Thumbs program helps young people understand where food comes from and the impact fresh food has on their health, the environment and their community through active participation in classroom gardening. Indoor gardens are living classrooms that make learning concepts such as nutrition, sustainable food systems and agriculture literacy exciting and relevant. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development post.
Community Food Systems – 2 Day Intensive Course
Drawing from leading food system practitioners and best practices from across North America, we will explore a broad scope of community food system opportunities, including land use planning, urban design strategies, bringing food into land and economic development efforts, and successful grassroots initiatives. Emphasizing implementation, we will explore topics such as how to get local decision-makers on board and using social media and other communication techniques effectively. This course is available as part of the Sustainable Community Development Certificate. Simon Fraser University post
Getting Into Farmers Markets
A one-day workshop that will examine selling food products at Alberta approved farmers’ markets, is being offered by Explore Direct and Alberta Farmers Market Association in three locations in Alberta in April 2014. With more than 130 Alberta approved farmers’ markets and over $700 million in sales in 2012, farmers’ markets are big business in Alberta. Entering this market channel with the right skills can shorten your learning curve and enhance your success. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development post.
Local & Sustainable Food Systems Network News
The Food Hubs Working Group met on January 15th and will reconvene on March 19th. In between teleconferences, the Food Hubs Working Group can carry on the conversation via FSC’s discussion page devoted to the topic. The January meeting made it clear that there is a lot of activity underway across Canada to establish food hubs as a way of making local food more broadly available. More information about the Food Hubs Working Group can be found here. Food Secure Canada post.
Vancouver Island farmer calls it quits after lengthy zoning dispute
A Vancouver Island couple is selling their organic vegetable farm near Nanaimo, saying they are worn out from a lengthy zoning battle with municipal authorities. Dirk Becker, who grows about 16,000 pounds of vegetables at Compassion Farm in Lantzville each year, said Monday that he and his partner Nicole Shaw made the decision following a dispute that has seen tempers flare on both sides of a debate over commercial farming in an area zoned for residential use. The Globe and Mail story.
Green Acreages Guide: Stewardship for Small Acreages
The Green Acreages Guide resources were developed especially for acreage, hobby farm and recreational property owners, to help them develop and implement stewardship practices that conserve and protect the valuable natural assets, such as air, land, water, wildlife, associated with their properties. This introductory booklet helps get acreages owners started by providing an introduction to the basics of owning and managing a rural property. Land Stewardship Centre post. Canadian Horse Journal review. The Green Acreages Guide Primer.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
In Japan, train station allotments let commuters garden on the move
Developed in collaboration with station entertainment company Ekipara and JR East trains, there are currently five Soradofarms located across the country’s rail network. The largest, which is part of the Ebisu Green Garden space on top of the JR Ebisu station in Tokyo, is 161 meters squared and is open to anyone, whether they’re skilled at farming or not. For the basic price of JPY 100,440 a year, users get a 3 meters squared section along with use of garden tools and equipment, but can pay more to have their plots weeded regularly as well as expert advice. Springwise post.