Great Taste awards turn spotlight on our local food producers
In 1995 the Guild of Fine Food was formed in order to support and celebrate small artisan food and drink producers in the UK and Ireland. It has over 1300 members and their Great Taste Awards are now recognised as the Oscars for food and drink producers. Since their inception, they’ve judged over 80,000 products and to be able to display one of their iconic gold stars on your product, is a symbol of true quality that’s universally recognised. Farming Life story.
Local Food Cycle will explore farms
Prairie Rivers of Iowa and Story County Conservation are hosting The Local Food Cycle, an eating and biking event, on Sunday, Sept. 7. It’s a 40-mile bicycle ride that celebrates healthy, sustainable food systems in Central Iowa. Riders will explore farms in Boone and Story counties and savor local foods prepared by area chefs – for example a breakfast treat made by Arcadia and a dessert created by The Café (both in Ames). The Des Moines Register story.
Urban Farms Build Resilience within Singapore’s Fragile Food System
At a local FairPrice Supermarket in central Singapore, you’ll find baby carrots grown in Bakersfield, Calif. — the same ones for sale at my local grocery store in Washington, D.C. Such well-traveled vegetables aren’t unusual in the tiny island state, which imports more than 90 percent of its food from some 35 countries. Singapore may be one of the most affluent countries in the world, but it depends heavily on others for basic foodstuffs. A new crop of farmers is trying to change that. Just as property developers build up when they can’t build out, so, too, are these agricultural pioneers. Vertical farming is taking hold across Singapore. The Salt blog.
Tremont Healthy Corner Store Initiative gaining nutritional traction
If you plant an oasis in a food desert, will people come and eat what’s good for them? That’s the hope behind the Tremont Healthy Corner Store Initiative. A sociology graduate of John Carroll University, Smetana recently was hired by Tremont West Development Corporation to continue the project she began under their umbrella. She’s committed to proving again that people who live near fresh food outlets are healthier. Cleveland.com story. Healthy Food Financing Handbook.
A Leader in Resilience
With the help of many volunteers and staff from the YMCA of Greater Toronto and ACJ-YMCA Medellin, we were able to build two vertical farms in Colombia that are growing various types of leafy greens and herbs. One is a “Growing Wall”, which we attached to a concrete wall at ACJ’s community centre in the city of Medellin. And the other is a “Growing Pillar”, a 5 foot tall cylinder that stands alone, at their farm about an hour outside of Medellin. YMCA of Greater Toronto post.
When local food producers go big
Demand for locally grown products by larger buyers, such as retailers, restaurants and institutions, is increasing in our region, and that is welcome news. A recent Gazette story, “Big food retailers going local,” highlighted the efforts of a few large buyers, BJ’s and Big Y, to purchase from local growers. But this is only a small part of the story. Hospitals, schools, colleges, nursing homes, restaurants and retailers are more interested in local sourcing, thanks to the increasing demand from local residents who recognize the many benefits of locally grown food. GazetteNET story.
For Food Startups, Incubators Help Dish Up Success
“The food incubator model has really grown in the last several years, from virtually no food incubators to probably about 200 [or more] in the U.S.,” Andrea Bell, the founder of Chef’s Kitchen in Los Angeles, Calif., tells us. And why such growth? With the booming demand for specialty and artisanal foods, incubators can help hungry entrepreneurs get started in a licensed kitchen at a fraction of the price of leasing their own space. National Public Radio blog.
Fighting back against invasive species with a knife and fork
The ponds near Melanie Gisler’s Corvallis, Ore., home were lousy with bullfrogs. Whenever the restoration ecologist went hiking, the banks would come alive as they hopped to safety. Their exodus to the waters resembled a swarm of lemmings. The cacophony of chirps and croaks was deafening. So Gisler found a pragmatic approach to tackle the invasive species: She ate them. The Globe and Mail story.
Wanted: Young Farmers to Grow America’s Food
Third generation farmer Joel Salatin emphasizes following the cycles of nature and rejecting any pesticides, fertilizers, or hormones. Polyface offers apprentice and internship programs which have become a sought-after opportunity for young farmers. The day CBN News visited, we found the parking lot filled with intern cars from all over the country. Every year, hundreds apply for a few coveted spots. “I think the pendulum is beginning to swing around now to where young people are beginning to realize that sitting in a Dilbert cubicle, working for ‘the man’ in a Fortune 500 company, doesn’t do it for me,” Salatin said. “I want to touch what I’ve made.” Christian Broadcasting Network story.
Countryside is undervalued, says Prince’s fund
With 5.5 million people employed in the rural economy, the Prince’s Countryside Fund says it’s time to rethink the value of the countryside. The research was published to coincide with National Countryside Week (14-20 July 2014). It reveals that a significant number of people undervalue the contribution and value of the British countryside. In a separate recent YouGov poll, nearly three in ten (28%) of people surveyed believed the contribution of Britain’s rural economy to be less than it is; 19% of the overall UK economy. Rural Services Network post.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
A brighter future for market towns?
Initiatives set up under the 2000 Rural White Paper to help market towns may have passed into history, but their legacy lives on, finds Brian Wilson. A paper has been published by Gordon Morris which is partly about the ambitions for autonomy of rural or market towns (or more precisely their Town Clerks). It also explores the extent to which they recognise market town initiatives that came about through the last Rural White Paper some fourteen years ago. Hence the paper’s main title, What’s left, what’s been done and what next? Rural Services Network post.