Local Food News — Canada

What Premier Wade MacLauchlan ate for dinner, and why we care

Premier Wade MacLauchlan told a group of dignitaries what he had for dinner Wednesday, and why he gave some to federal MP Gail Shea. Both were on hand Thursday to announce provincial and federal dollars for a food research and marketing program called Canada’s Food Island. MacLauchlan’s story was an allegory for that program. He had for dinner, he said, a pizza he made with toppings of bar clams from Annand Clams of Conway, kale from the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market and Jeff McCourt’s pizza gouda cheese from Glasgow Glen, where Thursday’s press conference was held. The Guardian Charlottetown story.

New Whitehorse grocery store aims to bring local food home

Two Yukon farmers are pooling their life savings to open a new grocery store in Whitehorse. The owners of Farmer Robert’s hope to help people grow more food and stock the shelves with local produce year-round. Co-owner, Simone Rudge, says the store will stock produce, meat and bulk goods from farmers in Whitehorse and Dawson City, as well as fruit from British Columbia. She says she and business partner Robert Ryan, who runs Ibex Valley Farms, want to make it possible for smaller producers to find a market. CBC News North story.

FEED provides fresh idea and fresh food for Comox Valley

Patients at St. Joseph’s General Hospital, residents at Glacier View Lodge and students at North Island College are enjoying freshly picked vegetables, thanks to a project geared at increasing the supply of local food in public institutions. The project — dubbed FEED (Food, Environment and Economic Development) Comox Valley — is establishing a new food model for institutions that is not dependent on imported vegetables from the U.S. Comox Valley Record story.

Rick Doucet hopes local food survey will shift culture

The New Brunswick government is hoping to get a better understanding of people’s views on local food as it builds a strategy to get people buying more food that was produced in the province. The Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries launched an online survey this week, asking citizens to share their local buying habits and their opinions on the issue. Agriculture Minister Rick Doucet said the online survey is designed to give consumers a chance to express their views on the importance of supporting local producers or what can be done to improve accessibility of local food and beverages. CBC News New Brunswick story.

Harper Government Announces Support for Greenhouse Project in Northwest Territories

The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council today announced support for the development of a commercial greenhouse that will utilize hydroponic technology to provide locally-grown, high quality, affordable produce.

Head of the Line Services Inc. (HOTLS), an Aboriginal business based in Fort Simpson, NWT, will receive support through CanNor’s Northern Greenhouse Initiative to undertake the project. The greenhouse is expected to grow produce which will be sold to local, retail, and camp markets as well as providing employment for local people. Canadian News Wire story.

Food Day Canada explores tastes and flavours of our nation

If you don’t have any plans this coming August 1, why not throw a party. After all, it’s Food Day Canada, a time to rejoice in the flavours of our nation – and everyone from sea to shining sea is encouraged to set a table and celebrate all good things to eat that Canada has to offer. So says award-winning author and activist Anita Stewart, who has been at the helm of Food Day Canada since its conception. “When I began this event back in 2003, the goal was to collectively celebrate the foods of Canada – specifically beef, and the devastation in that industry at that time,” Stewart says. Edmonton Sun story.

Goal of Compost Study to Increase Soil Production

Soil health is being blamed for lagging potato yields in New Brunswick compared to yields in other North American potato production regions, but researchers are working hard to change that. “For New Brunswick, the industry looked at crop insurance data and, in the last 20 years, tuber yields have pretty well remained the same,” Zebarth says. Matt Hemphill, Potatoes NB executive director, says recent research suggests a soil health and soil conservation challenge. FCC Express story.

Farming, not oil, should be Canada’s future focus as temperatures rise, economist says

The second motivation for writing the book was to alert Canadians to the economic opportunities that climate change will bring. While rising levels of atmospheric carbon denude much of the value of the country’s high cost oil reserves, climate change will make other resources more valuable. None more so than the country’s arable land and its fresh water supply. In a time of climate change and ever-tightening restrictions on carbon emissions, Canada stands a much better chance of becoming an agricultural superpower than an energy one. Vancouver Sun interview with Jeff Rubin.

Harper announces expansion of Rouge National Urban Park

Mr. Harper said an additional 21 square kilometers of new lands will be added just east of Toronto in both Pickering and Uxbridge, increasing the park’s boundaries by 36 per cent to 79.5 sq. km once fully established. Mr. Harper assured that the park will be granted the highest protections of any urban park in the world, with its own legislation – the Rouge National Urban Park Act, which is said to provide investments to both conserve and restore it and ensure its enforcement year round. Globe and Mail story.

ALUS Manitoba Projects Underway

Manitoba producers Charles and Meriel Tavenor are one of the first three ALUS Manitoba projects started up this summer. The Tavernor’s emigrated to Canada from England nine years ago, purchasing a 1110 acre farm just north of Basswood, MB along the south side of the Little Saskatchewan River Valley. After having converted much of the annual cropland to perennial forages, they carefully custom graze 300 head of cattle using a mob grazing effort on small paddocks. The latest ALUS effort is part of ongoing improvements that has seen them restore and enhance wetlands, repair cuts and gullies, install offsite watering systems, planting shelterbelts and setting up rational grazing systems. Alternative Land Use Services post.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

Unleash your Midas touch: Adopt these seven habits of Canada’s top farmers

Country Guide asked Jack Thomson, president of the Outstanding Young Farmer organization, Rob Saik, CEO of The Agri-Trend Group, and Jerry Bouma of Toma & Bouma Management Consultants to share their insights on the things that top modern farmers do that explain why they’re ahead of the pack. Country Guide story.

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