Local Food News — Ontario

ECO Wants Local Food Conversation Expanded

Ontario’s Environment Commissioner calls the provincial Local Food Act an important starting point for a much larger conversation. Gord Miller’s recent report suggests increasing the focus on food production as close to market as possible is one part of creating a food system that encourages consumers to make more sustainable choices. But Miller says the test will be whether the Minister of Agriculture seizes the opportunity to establish and implement quantifiable and ambitious targets. Blackburn AgriMedia story.

Garden Feeds Residents at St Paul’s College

After 6 months of hard work and perseverance, my dream became a reality. I hoped that this could become a space for learning about local and sustainable food issues, for community-building and for students to experience an improved connection to the land and their food. I did my best to ensure its success at St. Paul’s and hoped that it could influence the broader University of Waterloo community as well. I had no idea how far it would go. Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post.

“Niche to mainstream” a hot topic at fourth annual Local Food Conference

Local food is a powerful source in our agri-food system, yet not all local food shoppers are buying the same. Kingston hosted the Fourth Annual Local Food Conference— where local food business owners, producers, distributors and those passionate about local food explored the topic of creating space in a crowded market or staying niche. The two-day conference on Nov. 24 and 25 was presented by Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), in partnership with Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO); it launched with a tour of local businesses. Attendees visited MacKinnon Brothers Brewery Company, Patchwork Gardens and Farm Boy, where a representative discussed ways of getting local products into the store. KingstonRegion.com story.

Food365: What is local food?

There are a number of benefits that support Local Food practices. One of the most obvious is the reduction of distance and therefore, time required to transport food products. The transportation of food products requires the burning of fossil fuels. The longer the travel time, the greater the amount of CO2 is produced and the more unstable global climate change becomes. Local production also allows for less packaging, preservatives at an ideally lower cost. In addition, the food will be much fresher because it hadn’t needed to travel thousands of kilometres. UeaT – University of Toronto post.

 

Guelph community food hub gets $267,000

A $267,300 seed has been planted to grow a new organization aimed at eliminating poverty and food insecurity in Guelph in a new way. Seed Community Food Hub Project, known as The Seed, received the Trillium Foundation funding Friday. Guelph MPP and Ontario Minister of Education Liz Sandals called the announcement “extra special,” and the result of exemplary, broad-based community involvement. “It’s always a delight when you’ve got an issue and you see it come through, with the community coming together in a way to solve a problem and to create something that’s new and exciting,” Sandals said. Guelph Mercury story.

Making It Simple To Give Local

The items listed below come packaged in our reusable burlap shopping bags, and are ready-to-give, with vibrant tissue paper already included. This year, we’ve incorporated an extra special element, as the bags will feature artwork by local artist Julia Veenstra. We have chosen a delightful selection of local products that will make your mouth water! All bags will contain the same items, except for the option of choosing icewine tea or seasonal coffee. The Mustard Seed post.

Halton Healthcare Services Receives Ogvg’s First Local Food Week Award

The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) are pleased to announce that Halton

Healthcare Services (HHS)/Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital site has received the first OGVG Local Food Week award. HHS is a multi-site healthcare organization and is comprised of three hospitals serving the communities of Milton, Oakville, Clarkson and Halton Hills in Ontario, Canada. OGVG General Manager, George Gilvesy, and Foodservice Representative, Nancy Hewitt, presented the first Local Food Week award to Marianne Katusin (HHS Manager, Operational readiness, Food Services) and Elma Hrapovich (HHS Director of Nutrition and Foodservices). This team developed multiple locally-themed OGVG promotional displays creating a lot of excitement and awareness about this celebratory week. Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers post.

Hamilton Sustainable Victory Gardens

The Hamilton Victory Gardens is a non-profit team of community volunteers dedicated to alleviating hunger and food insecurity in our communities by transforming empty city lots into places of community, education and growth. Through an innovative approach which combines urban agriculture and charitable giving, students and  volunteers learn about the sustainable agriculture methods we employee to grow thousands of pounds of fresh produce for local food banks and hot meal programs. Website.

ECO Wants More Effort On Soil Health

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario wants OMAFRA to institute a process for identifying the province’s innovators in soil health and determining the key factors in their success. Gord Miller’s latest report highlited three of those farmer innovators. He suggests integrating that information along with more detailed and effective educational material into the Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan, updated Best Management practices, seminars and workshops. Blackburn AgriMedia story

Walmart–Evergreen Green Grants

Walmart Canada and Evergreen have partnered to offer this national program, funding community-based initiatives across Canada. Projects supported through the Green Grants program include, but are not limited to: native planting initiatives, community food gardens, environmental workshops and educational events. Amount offered: grants of $10,000, $5,000, and $3,500 are available (up to 50% of the total project budget). The 2015 deadline for applications is Monday, February 2, 2015. Evergreen post.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

New partnership launched to protect water quality and support Ontario agriculture

The Canadian Fertilizer Institute (CFI) and the Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) are piloting 15 4R Demonstration Farms as part of the project entitled, Expanding Marketability of Soybeans through Roundtable for Responsible Soy. The project is funded through the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) program. Producers will receive grants for committing a portion of land to field trials under a 4R Nutrient Stewardship management plan. Analysis of this pilot will allow Canadian producers to better understand the current demands for sustainability in the marketplace, where the operational challenges are, and modifications and improvements necessary to meet consumer and retailer demand. Canadian Fertilizer Institute post.

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