Harvest Ontario 2015: Your Source for Local
The 15th edition of Harvest Ontario, Ontario’s best source for agritourism attractions, is now available free while quantities last at your local Home Hardware, Home Hardware Building Centres and Home Furniture locations as well as select Ontario Travel Centres. This is most used source for attractions including local pick-your-own farms, on-farm markets, roadside markets, farmers’ markets, wineries, fairs, farm-stay vacations, craft breweries. This year we have included the popular craft cideries as well. There is no better way to explore, experience and enjoy the bounty of good things Ontario then heading out to your local destination on a little day-trip adventure. Please note we are unable to provide copies via mail. A digital version of the guide is available. Website.
Bruce County Event To Be Educational – And Delicious
The President of the Bruce County Federation of Agriculture says tickets are moving quickly for their upcoming meal in a field event. Pat Jilesen describes the July 3rd Real Farm, Real Food, Real Experience event as a chance for non-farmers to interact with farmers and learn about Bruce County agriculture. The highlite of the event is a sit-down meal for 250 people at a long table in the middle of a field just outside Kincardine. The menu is all locally-produced food. Blackburn AgriMedia story.
Greenbelt Expansion in Brant County
Farmer, professor and activist, Ella Haley, notes that “Brant County is known as a breadbasket, one of the very best places in Canada to grow food. Yet Brant also serves as the “relief valve” for growth that is not permitted within the Ontario Greenbelt”. As much as one fifth of Brant County’s foodland has been purchased or is being eyed for future development by developers, land bankers and the City of Brantford. There is also a mad scramble to convert farmland to gravel pits. Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post.
Evaluating Community Food Hubs: A Practical Guide
Supported by the OMAFRA-University of Guelph Research Partnership, Erin Nelson and Karen Landman have developed a practical guide aimed at helping community food hubs conduct evaluation work. The information and suggestions provided in the guide are based largely on conversations with representatives of community food hubs that have proven track-records of success – both in terms of their overall operations, and in implementing effective evaluation strategies. The insights offered by these experts in the field are complemented by information from the literature available on evaluation. Nourishing Ontario report.
McDonald’s Canada Running Sustainable Beef Pilot Project
A McDonald’s Canada spokesman says the restaurant chain is committed to buying sustainable beef from Canadian producers. But Jeff Fitzpatrick-Stilwell says the company has no plans to set up it’s own sustainability standard. He says he expects McDonald’s globally will be make it’s first purchases of sustainable beef from Canadian producers. McDonald’s spokesman Jeff Fitzpatrick-Stilwell says they want to work with the industry to come up with a definition of sustainable beef that works in Canada. Blackburn AgriMedia story.
Local Food Funding For Saugeen Specialty Grains
A Grey County company one of 14 sharing in Local Food Fund money announced by provincial agriculture minister Jeff Leal. Saugeen Specialty Grains is getting up to 200 thousand dollars to buy and install modern steam flaking equipment. That will allow the company to process it’s own grains as well as grains from other local farmers into ready-to-use, readily available products. Blackburn AgriMedia story.
Food literacy a big focus for Ontario’s first local food report
Ontario Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal says in a statement accompanying report that expanding Ontario’s market for local foods is key to helping the sector meet goals set by Premier Kathleen Wynne in 2013. She challenged the agri-food sector to double its growth rate and create 120,000 new jobs by 2020. Ontario Federation of Agriculture president Don McCabe says the report is important for highlighting results to date. “We should be able to build on those results and bring more opportunity in the future.” Better Farming story. Report.
Ontario Farmland Trust Hits Major Milestone
The Ontario Farmland Trust has reached what it’s Chair calls a major milestone. Norman Ragetlie says a deal with the Jesuits of Upper Canada involves protection of 92 acres of the Ignatius Jesuit Centre property. That’s the 10th farm protected by the trust and puts it over the 1 thousand acre mark. OFT’s Farmland Protection Easements are landowner-initiated ‘forever agreements’ that are registered on property titles to prohibit any non-agricultural development on the land in the future. Blackburn AgriMedia story.
Native Rights And Forests Chewed Into Dust
I was moved to hear in the longhouse of the Six Nations Confederacy an effort by the revered Cayuga environmentalist, the late Norm Jacobs, to have the courts defend treaties and the land. He explained that if treaties that protect the land are not enforced, Native rights will simply be ground into the dust by those who seek to exploit our traditional territories for profit. During the last days of the deep cold winter of 2015, one of the worst examples I have seen of Jacobs’ warnings took place. Fifty acres of forest were ground into sawdust in defiance of our treaties that seek to defend the land. First Nation Drum article.
Enhancing Conservation Cropping Systems
The Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario is working to develop and promote the adoption of an effective one-pass spring strip-tillage system for Ontario corn production. Approved for up to $25,000 under the Ontario Farm Innovation Program (OFIP), this project is investigating the new model for its economic and environmental performance and comparing the results to a conventional-till system. The majority of Ontario corn is produced through conventional tillage, which results in unprotected soil surfaces that are highly vulnerable to erosion. Agricultural Adaptation Council post.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Dirty Girl: an urban gardening webseries