Local Food News — Ontario

JK: The Jamie Kennedy Cookbook

Canada’s most celebrated chef reveals his food and his story. No chef in Canada is more respected for his devotion to local, seasonal, sustainable gastronomy, and his relentless pursuit to define and celebrate Canada’s unique regional culinary character, than Jamie Kennedy. Kennedy has been at the forefront of Canada’s farm-to-table, slow food and local food movements. In this journey, he has helped to nurture and strengthen the community of like-minded producers, chefs and consumers. Moreover, he has inspired others to join him in following this traditional yet revolutionary philosophy. Harper Collins Canada book description.

 

Workshop On Making The Family Farm Sustainable

The Grey County Chefs’ Forum wants to help make the family farm sustainable. Spokesperson Linda Reader says they’ll be explaining what they’ve done in Grey to link family farm operators with chefs and food retailers. She says the presentation will include hearing from a couple of the farmers and a chef involved in the Forum. Workshop attendees will also be surveyed about what their needs are and whether they’re interested in the kind of exchanges between farmers and chefs and food retailers the forum is facilitating in Grey. Blackburn News story.

 

Local food conference sprouts on campus

As general manager of Hospitality Services, Joli Manson has tried to include more locally and provincially grown ingredients in food options on campus. Her efforts have been so successful that Queen’s now spends 63 per cent of its food dollars on produce from Ontario. To spread the word about the benefits of locally sourced foods, Queen’s is hosting a conference to bring together producers and institutional buyers. Queen’s University post.

 

Grey Food Hub Will Help Smaller Farmers Reach Customers

A new way for smaller farmers in Grey County to market their produce is now up and running. The Grey County Chefs’ Forum has opened what they call the Hub. The Chefs’ Forum was created to directly connect local farmers with chefs in the G-T-A. Coordinator Linda Reader explains the Hub is a location in Flesherton where farmers can drop of their goods which will then be delivered to restaurants. Blackburn News story.

 

Garden expected to yield fruitful results for Agape Centre

A team of volunteers and staff planted 40 more trees at the forest, which is located on the property of Fountaingate Christian Assembly in Cornwall, on Thursday, October 30. The initiative is supported by a grant from the Edible Trees program through Tree Canada. Helping the Agape Centre dig deep to feed the city were six Canada World Youth (CWY) members. The group of 17 young adults from across Vietnam and Canada are spending two months volunteering in Cornwall. Seaway News story.

 

Stop the move to scary food at Hamilton’s St. Peter’s

Halloween witches bearing delicious, good food and rotten, scary food plates will, this Friday, October 31 at 12 noon, join hospital staff mobilizing to keep the in-house kitchen at St. Peter’s cooking. Recently Hamilton Health Sciences announced that the on-site kitchen at St. Peter’s would be closed and patient meals outsourced. But with a focus on seniors’ care and patients with chronic illness, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 7800 says maintaining the in-hospital capacity at St. Peter’s to provide patients with healthy, nutritious and appetizing meals while in hospitals, should be the priority. Canadian Union of Public Employees media advisory.

 

Researching New Ontario Tender Fruit Varieties

It’s an investment intended to help Ontario producers get a bigger market share in the fruit sector. The federal government is investing over 410 thousand dollars to develop new varieties of tender fruits and fresh grapes suited to the province’s soil conditions and climate. The Ontario Tender Fruit Producers Marketing Board will lead that effort. Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) is evaluating plum, peach, nectarine and apricot trees from the University of Guelph’s breeding program in terms of superior varieties that meet consumer preferences. Vineland is also scouting the world for fresh grape varieties better-adapted to our local climate. Blackburn News story. Ontario Tender Fruit Producers post.

 

Group Looking For Ways To Certify Small-Scale Organic Farms

A working group is looking into why many small-scale farmers are choosing not to certify their farms as organic. It’s made up of organic consultants and farmers. A survey of farmers across the country got almost 200 responses. A common concern was that a certification process designed for international and national trade doesn’t work well for diversified small farms focused on local markets. Blackburn New story.

 

Ecological Farmers of Ontario Conference 2014, December 4-6

In celebration of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario’s (EFAO) 35th Anniversary, we are launching our first annual conference! The conference is presented in partnership with FarmStart along with supporting partners Farms at Work, Everdale and The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security. The vision for this conference aligns with EFAO’s core mandate “to support and promote a vibrant community of ecological farmers through education, training and knowledge sharing.” We expect over 250 ecological growers from across the province and are offering over 30 intermediate and advanced level workshops. Website.

 

Festival of Dangerous Ideas: Food For Thought, November 15

Ideas have the power to change the world… The Festival of Dangerous Ideas: Food For Thought is a dynamic event which will explore our relationship with our food system through the convergence of music, art and conversation. Our day-long festival will examine some ‘dangerous ideas’ about industrial agriculture, genetically modified organisms and the unsustainable nature of our current food system. Throughout the day, speakers will present new ways of thinking that can support the transition towards earth democracy, a just food system, and a world beyond pesticides. After an afternoon of engaging with academics, agricultural activists and NGO moguls, we will gather for a tapas reception and a keynote presented by the revolutionary Dr. Vandana Shiva. At night, we will put on our dancing shoes and enjoy a proper dance party, consisting of local producers and DJs. Website.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

The Ecological Hoofprint: The Global Burden of Industrial Agriculture

The great merit of Tony Weis’ excellent The Ecological Hoofprint: The Global Burden of Industrial Agriculture is that it offers a highly readable, tightly-argued structural analysis of the contemporary world food system, predicated as it is on both inequality and inefficiency. The introduction lays out the central argument of the book: that the historically unprecedented and rapidly-expanding ‘meatification’ of diets is not “natural, inevitable or benign” but is integral to a “dominant system of agriculture across the temperate world” in which “the biological and physical foundations of agriculture are being rapidly undermined…in ways that hinge upon the unsustainable use of non-renewable resources”. Canadian Food Studies book review by Tony Weis.

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