Local Food News — Canada

New cook book launched to help grow Nova Scotia’s local food economy

In an effort to encourage Nova Scotians to eat —but more importantly, buy – local, Select Nova Scotia has launched a new cook book, written by local chefs who invented recipes with a variety of homegrown ingredients. A book launch was held on Wednesday at the Halifax Seaport Market, where Minister of Agriculture Keith Colwell called the new recipe collection a key to encouraging more residents to stock up on local produce. MetroNews Canada story.

Foodie culture puts Duncan, B.C., on startups’ map

The survey, which drew on data from Statistics Canada and interviews with local businesses, polled more than 100 Canadian cities to find out how friendly they were to independent business owners. It examined three broad areas: presence (how many small businesses existed), policy (how positively local government policies affected business conditions), and finally perspective. This describes small-business owners’ attitudes towards business and living conditions in their local cities. Financial Post story.

Hot cuisine: Abundant local farms create high foodie expectations

Ottawa restaurateurs know customers ‘want to taste Ottawa,’ food critic says. The abundance of local farms and farmers markets have created an educated group of eaters in Ottawa, forcing local restaurants to try new recipes with new technology as they search for their next masterpiece, according to local food critic Anne DesBrisay. As a result, DesBrisay adds that Ottawa is becoming a vibrant food destination. CBC News Ottawa story.

Upcoming workshop reminds us that “local food needs local seed”

Farmers, gardeners, and others interested in food are invited to an upcoming gathering about saving seed. Planting for the Future: Building Capacity for a Regional Seed System will take place Saturday, Nov. 15 in Inverary. The event is being organized by KASSI, the Kingston Area Seed System Initiative, which has been encouraging regional seed saving and production since 2011. “Almost everything we eat begins with seeds, so whoever controls seeds, controls food,” says Kathy Rothermel, a Wolfe Island farmer and member of the KASSI. “As a result, we want to build our region’s capacity to grow its own food and its own seeds.” Metroland Kingston Region post.

Alberta Farm Receives National Pollinator Award

The award collects nominations from across Canada and is given annually to recognize the contributions Canadian farmers make towards protecting our country’s pollinators and pollinator habitats. While the Coens have been practicing sustainable farming since the late 1980’s, son Takota has recently started investing in agroforestry on the family’s 250-acre farm located in the Aspen Parkland Biome near Ferintosh, Alberta. Takota has diversified several acres of farmland where livestock graze between rows of planted fruit, nut and timber trees. This approach provides immense benefits for local wildlife, most notably pollinators that gain increased habitat and food supply. To support the longevity of their “forest farm”, the Coens have also sought to involve their local community by creating a unique community supported agriculture method, where people can purchase a share and over several years receive the value back in the form of nuts, fruit, honey, herbs, meat and more. Canadian Federation of Agriculture post.

New Glasgow Farmer’s Market ready to expand

If someone told Melissa Zimmerman seven years ago that she would soon be selling her products in a heated, expansive building, she would thought they were dreaming. But on Saturday (Nov. 8) that dream became a reality when the president of the New Glasgow Farmer’s Market, along with many other vendors, were on hand for a substantial federal government funding announcement that will see the market expanded into a permanent, year-round building. “We stared over in the Keltic Building – no windows, no electrical outlets, no lights.  At most we had a dozen vendors and than we moved over to old Zellers building on Provost Street had challenges with no parking,” she said following an announcement Saturday by Central Nova MP Peter MacKay about new federal funding for the expansion of the market. Farm Focus story. Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency news release.

Government expands pilot encouraging local sustainable food, rural economic growth

The Manitoba government is investing more than $73,000 in the second phase of the Local Sustainable Food Pilot Project, which helps institutions identify ways to increase the amount of locally grown food purchased while working with farmers to meet these demands, Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today at the Food Matters Manitoba Golden Carrot Awards held in Winnipeg. “Funding for the Local Sustainable Food Procurement Pilot Program will support both farmers and purchasers, with the goal of having more local foods in more locations across the province. This is great news for the rural economy,” said Kostyshyn. “We have already seen good results from the first phase of this project, and along with the upcoming conclusion of recent consultations for direct-farm marketing, Manitobans will soon have more choice than ever when it comes to buying locally grown food.” Manitoba NDP post.

6 crops to plant if you want to save money

As we celebrate the harvest here in B.C., there’s more reason than ever to consider growing your own. A new report says the drought in California could mean the price of fruits and vegetables may rise by 34 per cent in the next year. But Claire Smith says it’s easy to save money by planting a garden. Smith is teaching a course at VanDusen Botanical Garden Wednesday evening called Maximize Nutrition from your Harvest. Garden crops that will save you money: radishes, peas, polebeans, greens, squash and blueberries. CBC News British Columbia story.

Harper Government Invests in Improving Vegetable Produce

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today an investment of $411,627 to Productions en Régie Intégrée du Sud de Montréal (PRISME) to improve the quality and safety of vegetable produce. This support from the AgriInnovation Program’s Research & Development stream will help PRISME better identify pests and evaluate produce resistance to fungicide to improve the productivity and profitability of vegetable farms. PRISME will also partner with Bishop’s University on the Delia fly pest project. Bishop’s University today presented the results of their research on pests in vegetable crops at the Société d’entomologie du Québec’s annual meeting in Wendake. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada news release.

Future of B.C. farming in question as land policy changes

This year, the B.C. Liberal government overhauled the Agricultural Land Reserve for the first time, creating two zones that will make it easier for non-agricultural development on protected farmland outside the most productive regions. The provincial government says the changes will enhance agriculture because they will allow farmers more options to supplement their incomes, but critics fear the new rules will drive land speculation within the reserve’s boundaries. The Globe and Mail story.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

Peter Anderson: Protect the Experimental Farm

The division of the Central Experimental Farm is an attack on heritage designations and federal science. On Nov. 3, John Baird announced the transfer of 60 acres of the Farm from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to the National Capital Commission who then offered a dollar-a-year lease to The Ottawa Hospital to build a new Civic Hospital campus. The Farm, founded in 1886, is a National Historic Site of Canada and an important federal research station. The announcement is troubling when read alongside deep cuts across federal research institutions, including the cancellation of the long form census, the closure of libraries at Environment Canada, the attempts to shut down the Experimental Lakes Area in Northern Ontario, and the mishandling of Library and Archives Canada. Ottawa Citizen post.

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