New local food week good for business say ag groups
Representatives from some of Ontario’s agricultural organizations say that, despite the fanfare, Ontario’s “Local Food Week” is about sharing information about the industry with consumers and highlighting the benefits of supporting local farms. In that spirit, Wuermli says her organization has partnered with Farm and Food Care to “kick off” the week’s inaugural run with a media tour of a beef feedlot near Alliston. While the tour is not an open event, Wuermli says Farm and Food Care and Beef Farmers of Ontario focused on urban media sources, such as Canadian Living, in their invitations; those in attendance, she says, come from a variety of different professional backgrounds ranging from chefs and food bloggers to dietitians and other media persons. Better Farming story.
A local food hub looks to locate at Gallipeau Centre
The idea is to bring food producers, processors, buyers and distributers together to merchandise local food – locally. It’s not a new idea; in fact food hubs as they are called are a fast growing phenomena. “Smiths Falls is right in the middle, and we’re looking to the Gallipeau Centre for food processing space,” said Bill Dobson, reeve of Montague Township and member of the Two Rivers Food Hub’s working group. “The former Rideau Regional used to prepare 9,000 meals a day they have incredible facilities.” Inside Ottawa Valley story.
Add one million acres to Ontario’s Greenbelt and create Ontario’s first Food Belt
Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt (MLGB) – mayors and councillors from across the GTA – urged the Ontario government to take some bold actions and stand up for Ontario’s green spaces, watersheds, farmland and natural heritage systems. The MLGB co-Chairs – Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, Ajax Mayor Steve Parish and Toronto Councillor Glenn DeBaeremaeker – were at Queen’s Park today to urge Ontario to take the following steps: Expand the Greenbelt by an additional 1 million acres; Create Ontario’s (and Canada’s) first Food Belt consisting of 200,000 acres for farming; Reduce red tape for municipalities who want to grow the Greenbelt in their communities. City of Guelph post on behalf of Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt.
Sowing seeds of success: Local farmer honoured with community award
Ian Stutt didn’t come from a farming family. He grew up in Montreal and originally moved to Kingston to study global development at Queen’s University. Yet over the past eight years he has made quite the impact on the local farming community, and on March 7 was named Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year by the Frontenac Soil and Crop Improvement Association. The award recognized his leadership in assisting fellow farmers and promoting the local food system, while at the same time balancing a successful business at his own organic vegetable farm, Patchwork Gardens, which he operates yearround with his wife, Megan Joslin, and business partner, Eric Williams. The Land Newspaper story.
Vibrant agri-food sector hinges on farmland preservation
For Ontario farmers – and Ontarians who rely on local food ? farmland is our greatest and most important resource. But despite the vast and diverse area of land that makes up Canada’s second-largest province, less than 5% of it is suitable for food production. And once farmland is gone, it’s never coming back. That’s why the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is calling for the protection of Class 1, 2, 3 and 4 – the land that supports most agricultural activity. The OFA is also calling on government to protect a farmer’s ability to farm when urban expansion and aggregate extraction are occurring on or next to a farm. Ontario Federation of Agriculture release.
Growing Good Food Ideas: upStream Aquaponics
The York Region Food Network is embracing soil-less agriculture as part of building a healthy food-secure community. YRFN’s project, upStream Aquaponics in Newmarket, is a water-based soil-less agriculture system that replicates a natural system that recycles byproducts from living fish to fertilize edible plants. The facility was built over a year and started production in August 2013, growing a variety of lettuce mixes that are being sold to local restaurants in Newmarket as well as being used in YRFN programs. Sustain Ontario post. Video.
Tri-Cities Gleaners Guild
A very old practice is laying down new roots in Waterloo Region! The Tri-Cities Gleaners Guild is looking for volunteers of all kinds! Tired of seeing your fruit trees drop rotten fruit all over your yard? We can help! Love eating freshly picked food and spending time with like-minded people? Harvesters will receive 1/3 of the harvest to enjoy themselves, as well as the satisfaction that hard work and friendly companionship brings! Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post.
Local Food Expo at Oakville‐Trafalgar Memorial Hospital
Halton Healthcare Services (HHS) is celebrating Local Food Week, designated from June 2-6, by hosting its first Local Food Expo on Wednesday, June 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Oakville‐Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) auditorium, located in the lower level of the hospital. “We are very excited to be able to host our first food expo at the hospital, and we hope it will be the first of many. We invite everyone from all our HHS communities, as well as our staff, physicians and volunteers to come out and join us,” explains Marianne Katusin, HHS Manager, Operational Readiness ‐ Food Services. “What a great week to learn about the local food chain in Ontario and see how we are incorporating local foods into our hospital menus. Come out and taste samples, purchase sweet treats and talk to the growers and manufacturers themselves.” The Independent Free Press story.
Feastival — London’s Premier “Local Food” Event
London Training Centre Presents London’s Premier “Local Food” Event. Our 5th Annual Fundraiser at the farm where we grow food ecologically is a Feast in the Field in support of our Local Food Skills program. Feastival is London’s most unique celebration of local seasonal food – a food experience not to be missed. London Training Centre post.
Go Fish! Ontario Family Fishing Events run July 5-13
Ontario Family Fishing Week gets underway this weekend, and clubs and service organizations across the province are getting ready to host family-friendly events. During the week of July 5 to 13, fishing derbies and festivals will be running in more than 50 communities, including several in the Toronto area. The popular initiative is designed to bring families together in the outdoors to enjoy fishing on one of Ontario’s more than 250,000 lakes and countless rivers and streams. Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters news release.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
“This is a life-wrecking event” — Margaret Atwood
Our idyllic village has become ground zero in the fight to preserve Canada’s fast-disappearing farmland and natural areas from sprawling mega-developments — all because the Ontario Government made a special loophole in the ‘Ontario Places to Grow Act’ allowing a private developer to turn Midhurst from a village of 3,500 into a city of 30,000. We started a petition demanding the Ontario Government close this unprecedented loophole and save Midhurst. Through the magic of twitter, Margaret Atwood found out about our petition and was inspired to lend her support!. Margaret Atwood explains. Change.org petition.