Local Food News — Ontario

Biemonds take the family farm to the next level

The summer of 2015 will be a time for great celebrations as NewCare Farms Biemond Upper Canada Creamery invites the public to visit, tour and view their facility, witness the processes, and shop in their 8,200-square-foot yogurt producing operation nearing completion at the family farm. “It’s our way of taking the farm to the next level,” Josh Biemond tells St. Lawrence News, “and the local food movement combined with micro-business popularity is in full swing in getting people to come back to the farm.” Josh says their father Pieter hatched the initial idea of yogurt production 10 years ago and now, he and brother Rudi will operate the first farm-local dairy processor in South Dundas in more than half a century. Inside Brockville story. Website.


Imagine a Garden in Every School

For the past 2 years, Imagine a Garden in Every School has celebrated School Garden Day on a Friday in May. This year, the date coincides with the World Biodiversity Day called by the United Nations. We know that School Gardens represent Biodiversity by their very nature. Some grow food; some grow native wildflowers – but all engage children and youth with our real and changing world. The Ontario Government is promoting Food Literacy as part of the Local Food Act. What better way to learn what grows in Ontario – and what to do with it – than to plant, harvest and be inspired by a school garden? Website.


Trent U Now Supports Local Dairy

DFO & FAW collaborate to allow for easier on-campus access to local dairy products. Trent University was ahead of the pack when they put out a Request for Proposals in 2013 for a five year food services contract that made increasing procurement of local food a priority. The contract was awarded in 2014 to Chartwells Education Dining Services, and specified that 50% of the food would be Ontario-grown, 35% of which must be sourced within 250km, and 2% of which must be sourced from within the Kawartha Region. With limited direct connections to local producers, Chartwells General Manager Carolyn Bennett reached out to Pat Learmonth, Director of Farms at Work (FAW), for assistance. Farms at Work is a non-profit charitable project of Tides Canada Initiatives, with connections out into the local food community across east central Ontario. Farms at Work post.


A Return to Mixed Farming: At Churchill Farm

Church Hill Farm is a mixed farm, a term that’s not really used anymore. But as recently as sixty years ago the vast majority of farms in Ontario were mixed farms. Up and down our gravel road in days of old, neighbouring farms (including two belonging to my ancestors, some of whom are pictured here) had a variety of animals, a variety of crops, and practiced crop and grazing rotation. Wooden granaries were filled with small grains such as wheat, barley, oats, and rye. Corn (now the primary feed source) was generally considered a forage crop. Under the barn hill, the stonewalled root cellars kept turnips, mangels (mangelwurzel, a fodder crop in the beet family), and other fodder beets fresh for winter feeding of livestock. Haymows were piled high with dried grasses such as brome, orchard grass, and sweet clover. Every farm had an orchard, a large garden, a windmill to pump water, and a smokehouse for smoking meat. Cisterns held water for potential summer droughts. Wash lines dried clothes and root cellars stored preserves for family meals. Edible Toronto story.


Eating healthy: it’s all about local

Hodges laughs: “All we want to do is eat and drink coffee so to fund that addiction we opened this. And we make some really good coffee.” “We wanted to push the envelope,” says Thom. “We were really passionate about coming here. Kingston is exciting. There is more access to local food here than we ever had in Vancouver.” Hodges explains that “local” food in Vancouver came from four hours away. “Here, we can see the farms,” he says as he points toward Wolfe Island from where he’s standing in the Isabel Bader Center for Performing Arts. “What’s available here is so fresh.” Metroland Kingston Region story


Burlington Plant to Produce Healthy Food Alternatives

A 2.6 million dollar grain cleaning, milling and packaging plant is in the plans for Burlington. Harvest Specialty Mills says the plant will offer grains, pulses and dried fruits to customers of all sizes. The company is working with Shopify to develop an online ordering system. In announcing it’s plans for the Burlington facility, Harvest Specialty Mills says ancient grains such as flax, chia and quinoa have become staple ingredients for the modern healthy family. Blackburn AgriMedia story.


Young entrepreneurs bring energy and excitement to Hamilton food scene

Our group, which is comprised of bloggers, restaurant owners and foodies, listens attentively. We’ve stopped by Mr. Robinson’s restaurant as part of an 11-hour food crawl across Hamilton, organized by the city’s economic development team. Mr. Robinson grew up working in his family’s restaurants. He explains his vision to make Burnt Tongue “feel old.” But he also reveals an obsession with keeping the menu fresh “so there’s something new for our Instagram followers on a daily basis.” The Globe and Mail story.


Agriculture grows in Timmins

In January, stakeholders and community partners gathered for Talking Local: A Collaboration on Local Food in Timmins, which was spearheaded by the Timmins Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) and led by My Sustainable Canada, a southern Ontario-based organization with experience with local food systems and supply chains. “Farming was extremely popular back in the 1960s,” Vézina said. “(Timmins) was a highly populated agricultural zone, but we’ve moved away from that as jobs became better paying in the mining industry.” Northern Ontario Business story.


Tea shop swamped after TV station features owner’s harrowing story

Instead of getting revenge on his attackers, Mr. Lewis decided to move on with his life. Shortly after the attack, he signed up for a government skills training program, where he got the idea of starting a “cool” tea company. Mr. Lewis says being featured on TV was the takeoff moment for T by Daniel. The media coverage brought people to the company’s bricks-and-mortar store and increased traffic on its website. Over the following months, T by Daniel sales continued to increase, resulting in a 75-per-cent annual revenue boost in 2014 from the previous year. The Globe and Mail story.


Dear Guelph “Farmer’s” Market

You are not no-frills.  This should not be a free-for-all that paves the way for giant corporate farms and their resulting droughts to take over the world.  For starters you really should be giving guidelines so that your market is not over-saturated with certain products.  And you should be giving local producers priority and space to sell their goods year-round. Zocalo Organics post.




Resisting Globalization Women Organic Farmers and Local Food Systems

When we think about farming, many of us think about green fields and fresh produce. It is disturbing to learn that the institutionalization of new globalized agri-food systems through World Trade Organization (WO) agreements and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regimes means that agriculture and food production has less to do with growing food or feeding people and more to do with power and the restructuring of capitalism. Canadian Woman Studies post.


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