Mixed Dozen – mixing up the concept of food
A Mixed Dozen meal is a celebration of the local and of neighbourly ways of being. It captures the old essence of swapping tomatoes over the back fence and brings people together to consider ways to repackage that. In a superficial sense, Mixed Dozen is a meal. But, it is more than that. It is spirited, playful and driven by a desire for us all to reconnect with the local. Youth Food Movement Australia post. Mixed Dozen manifesto.
West Cork must embrace “gastro-tourism” before it’s too late warns top food writer
ONE of Ireland’s top food writers has warned the hospitality industry in West Cork that it must embrace the “gastro-tourism” revolution or face an ever-declining share of the food tourism market. “I firmly believe the solution lies in gastro-tourism or food tourism, which would benefit not only the restaurateurs but the wider community of West Cork as well and that would require West Cork restaurants positioning the world-class produce of the region to the very fore on their menus.” West Cork Times story.
The Milkman’s Comeback Means Dairy At The Door And More
All over the country, trucks are now delivering fresh milk, organic vegetables and humanely raised chickens to your door — though in New York, the deliveries come by bike. Fifty years ago, about 30 percent of milk still came from the milkman. By 2005, the last year for which USDA has numbers, only 0.4 percent was home delivered. But while we don’t yet have the official government numbers on this trend, there’s no doubt that bottled milk is once again showing up on stoops in the pre-dawn hours. National Public Radio story.
Ballynahinch to hold unique food conference
The market town of Ballynahinch, Co. Down will shortly play host to a unique conference bringing artisan and smaller local food companies in Northern Ireland (NI) together with government policy makers, opinion formers and key decision makers to examine their role in Northern Ireland’s food sector. The ‘Local Food: Making Small Producers Part of the Big Picture’ conference is part of a research and business development programme with small local food companies undertaken by Down District Council in partnership with the Ulster Business School, University of Ulster. Agriland story.
Australian Capital Region Food Hub Information Session
The event began with Colin McLean, Executive Officer for RDA Southern Inland providing an overview of the role regional food plays in the Southern Inland region. Having set the scene, Colin handed over to Mark Spain from Canberra City Farms and SEE-Change Canberra. (See links to these organisations below). Mark introduced the audience to systems thinking and the term ‘bio-regionalism’. and then walked us through the findings from our producer, distributor and consumer surveys. Mark concluded the presentation by inviting the audience to identify gaps in the mapping and make suggestions on how to make progress towards our own regional food hub. Regional Development Australia – Southern Inland post.
Planting for Profit, and Greater Good — Soil Sensor Does Much of the Work
A lemon tree springs from the soil in Jason Aramburu’s backyard in Berkeley, Calif., alongside rose bushes, birds of paradise, strawberry plants and squash blossoms. The garden is thriving, but its upkeep requires almost no effort from Mr. Aramburu. Instead, a foot-high soil sensor does much of the work. The plastic-and-stainless-steel device, topped by a tiny solar panel, determines the amount of water to be delivered to the garden each day, using Mr. Aramburu’s Wi-Fi network to communicate with a valve attached to his irrigation system. The New York Times story.
How Brazil Cracked the Local Food Distribution Puzzle
In 2003, under then-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil introduced a public food acquisition program which included not just schools but community centres, food banks and other charitable associations. Then in 2009, parliament passed a new law requiring that 30 per cent of the food purchased by the federal government for school meal programs come from small family farms. That year, procurements totaled $337 million, and included 130,000 small family farms. Farm to Cafeteria Canada post.
New network aims to revolutionise local food production
The UK community supported agriculture (CSA) movement has launched a crowd funding campaign to raise £19,140 to support its work encouraging farmers and growers to work in partnership with their local communities. The funds will give the new CSA Network UK, which launched in December 2013, the chance to support and promote CSA schemes across the country, building new relationships between farmers and consumers. Farming UK story.
Public-sector agricultural research priorities for sustainable food security
There is widespread agreement that our ability to deliver sustainable food security for all will be challenged in three dimensions—population growth, constrained natural resources, and climate change. The latest Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) report, The State of Food Insecurity in the World (FAO 2012), estimates the number of undernourished in the world at around 850 million persons (averaged for 2010–2012). The period of relatively steady decline since 1990 was interrupted after 2007 when food prices spiked, and the numbers have remained substantially unchanged since then. International Food Policy Research Institute publication.
Common Agricultural Policy (EU) greening and cross compliance
The new CAP greening measures require farmers with more than 15 ha of arable land to maintain 5% of it as Ecological Focus Areas. The EU regulations provide a range of options which Member States can choose to offer. The Minister has announced that he will limit the options to land lying fallow, buffer strips, catch and cover crops, nitrogen fixing crops and hedges. He has done this to minimise the complexity of the controls which would be needed. Even so farmers adding hedges may get delayed SFPs. Also the number of GAEC requirements placed on farmers is to be reduced from 17 to 11. RuSource Briefing 1992. Full UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs statement.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Café for cats set to open in London
Located in the borough of Tower Hamlets, the café offers a typical menu of tea, coffee and cakes — as well as its own merchandise range — but also has its own roster of 11 cats-in-residence sourced from rescue homes across London, which customers can play with in the designated cat room. Visitors pay a GBP 5 cover charge and will need to wash their hands before and after entering the room, but while they’re in there they can stroke the cats until their heart’s content. The design of the tearoom is friendly to cats, with plenty of features for climbing and scratching. There’s also a cats-only garden where the pets can go if they’ve had enough of human attention. Springwise post.