Small farmers in Canada are ‘a dying breed,’ but what does that mean for our food supply?
The plight of the family farmer — about half of whom require a second job to make ends meet — caught the eye of Canadian filmmaker Ari A. Cohen, who made the documentary to tell the story of everyday life on a small farm in Canada. The film is is both beautifully shot and soberingly relevant. The Family Farm airs on the Documentary Channel on Nov. 18 at 9 p.m. National Post film review.
Hard journey to food security in Nova Scotia, five-year study finds
Results of the study, led by Mount Saint Vincent University’s Food Action Research Centre and the Nova Scotia Food Security Network, were released Thursday in Halifax. “We wanted to learn more about community food security in this province because it is connected to our health, to our well-being, the vitality of our communities and the quality of our life, ” said Patricia Williams, director of the research centre and professor of applied human nutrition at the university. Recommendations include more co-ordinated efforts to ensure people have adequate incomes, creating conditions that support healthy and sustainable food systems, and building successful community supports and resources. The Chronicle Herald story.
Real Food Connections seeks local investors to expand
Real Food Connections is moving closer to hitting an investment goal that willallow the Fredericton-based business to expand into Saint John and create a local food distribution network in the province. Real Food Connections is trying to raise between $220,000 and $290,000 through local investors by using the Small Business Investor Tax Credit program. But the business has run into a series of barriers, mainly because of red tape associated with signing up investors. Levi Lawrence, the store’s owner, said the process, in order to get investments of between $1,000 to $2,000, has become “a real mess.” CBC News (New Brunswick) story.
Farm to Cafeteria: Canada Digs In!
I am pleased to present the first issue of Farm to Cafeteria: Canada Digs In! This quarterly newsletter aims to provide those keen on getting more local, healthy and sustainable foods into Canada’s public institutions with timely highlights of programs, policy, evaluation and events across the nation. Our promise is to keep our newsletters brief! You will find no more than 3-5 key national announcements per issue. Newsletter.
Can homegrown food win the climate change war?
When U.S. President Woodrow Wilson declared that planting a garden would win the war during the First World War, Victory Gardens became both part of the economic and psychological landscape of North America in ways that would be considered revolutionary today. In these instances it was connected to clear political and social implications that both encouraged everyday citizens to do their part that, together, had profound collective consequences for the war effort. Doing so managed to connect the personal sphere and troubles of the war to the social and political goals of the national and international cause. Why is this important? Because today, we face a similar task of epic proportions: climate change. And gardening might be one the best and brightest ways that we can both individually and collectively face this challenge, particularly in developed countries. Global News story.
Family farm stakes future on edamame
Edamame? If you’ve been to a sushi bar, you know it. It’s a type of immature soybean, still in the pod. Usually steamed before eating, it can be found in every Japanese and most other Asian restaurants in Canada, as well as health food stores and major supermarkets. Just 1 per cent of the edamame consumed in Canada is grown here, says Mr. MacKellar. The rest is from China. That means working with a crop that, in Ontario at least, is unconventional, and working without a rulebook. Globe and Mail story.
Seed Facilitation Fund
The goal of the Seed Facilitation Fund is to help build a diverse and resilient seed system by strengthening the capacity of ecological vegetable seed and field crop producers. The Fund provides financial support to organizations and individuals who share the values and goals of our program. Applicants may submit proposals for a maximum of $8,000per project. In total, approximately $200,000 will be allocated across the country in 2015. Nourishing Communities blog.
Seed bank sprouts at Dalhousie’s agriculture campus in Bible Hill
A seed of survival was planted at Dalhousie University’s agriculture campus on Monday. “Up to 10,000 plant species or maybe more are at risk of extinction,” said Stephanie Hughes, regional co-ordinator for the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security. That said, Hughes and partners Dalhousie, USC Canada and Seeds of Diversity Canada announced the first regional seed bank in Atlantic Canada, to be housed at the university’s plant and animal science department. The bank is intended to help farmers create a stronger local food system, while focusing on high-quality, diverse, local seed that has agronomic, historical and cultural importance to the region. The Chronicle Herald story.
Kids Dig It at Common Roots Urban Farm
The garden is a community project, inspired and designed by children and their families that frequent the farm. The initiative began with a sponsorship from Clean NS (Celebrating 25 Years grant) to host design workshops, led by Rhea Dawn Landscaping. These took the form of community conversations with volunteers, parents and youth to understand what farming families would like to see in a garden dedicated to kids; how would they want to engage in a garden of play and curiosity? These conversations were then transformed into design data, resulting in a clay model (again, created by kids!) to guide the building process. Key elements of design include a log sandbox, hiding and sitting corners, places for guardians and parents to perch, tunnels and teepees, and a nursery of native plants. Adventures in Local Food blog.
Chef Jamie Kennedy discusses Canadian local food movement
These days, farmers markets are popping up in every park, and it’s not hard to find a restaurant serving heirloom carrots or grass-fed beef from just down the road. But in the 1970s, the farm-to-table idea was far from fashionable. Chef Jamie Kennedy helped change that by championing the local food philosophy for decades. He traces that evolution in his new cookbook, called J.K., The Jamie Kennedy Cookbook. CBC News tweet.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Dalhousie Urban Garden Programming Officer
The Dalhousie Urban Garden Society (DUGS) is pleased to announce that we will be hiring one part-time staff member for the campus urban garden. The staff position will provide support on various fronts for the DUGS executive team as they transition into the 2015 gardening season. Hiring will be completed in January 2015. FoodWork.ca job posting.