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.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

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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Local Food News — Ontario

Grey to Green Conference, Toronto, June 1-2, 2015

Join leaders in the fields of urban design, green infrastructure, and sustainable agriculture for the Grey to Green Conference in Toronto on June 1st and 2nd, 2015. Presentations, tours and training sessions explore new developments in urban agriculture and green infrastructure that are enabling leading designers and practitioners to integrate food production into the built environment. •Explore detailed case studies of North America’s leading rooftop farming projects including Brooklyn Grange and the new 17,000 square foot Whole Foods project in Lynnfield, MA. Website.

 

Are we heading for another farm financial crisis? May 26

A free mini-conference (half-day) is being held in Guelph at One Stone Road on May 26, entitled “Are we heading for another farm financial crisis?” It looks to me like it has superb story potential. The conference is sponsored by the Institute for the Advanced Study of Food and Agricultural Policy in the Department of Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics at the University of Guelph. Registration is required. Website.

 

Cut Down Your Grocery Bill: Foraging in the Waterloo Region

In a 2 year-long ethnographic study in Seattle, researchers found several social benefits of foraging such as, “…building community, engaging in spiritual practices, connecting with nature, supporting stewardship, having fun and recreating”[2]. A main finding was the bond foragers form with each other and the local land. By fostering a community of practice, foragers feel a sense of togetherness and pride. At the same time, foragers develop a deep understanding of natural cycles and ecosystems. Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable blog.

 

Create a healthy food environment at Cobourg Community Centre

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit congratulates the Town of Cobourg for seeking public input into the types of food and snacks that people would like to see served at the Cobourg Community Centre. The CCC is a state-of-the-art facility that is the envy of many other communities. To help build on that success, the health unit would encourage the Town to ensure healthy, local food choices continue to be made available to visitors through the canteen. Northumberland News letter to the editor.

 

2015 Official VQA Wines of Ontario’s Legislative Assembly

The Grape Growers of Ontario, with the Honourable Speaker of the Legislature, Dave Levac of Brant County, hosted the 36th Annual Wine Tasting event at Queen’s Park on Tuesday, November 4. Bill George, Chair of the Grape Growers of Ontario, along with Debbie Zimmerman, CEO, are pleased to announce that the following have been chosen as the official wines of Ontario’s Legislative Assembly for 2015: Red Wine: Burning Kiln Winery 2013 Strip Room, White Wine:  Fielding Estate Winery 2013 Pinot Grigio. “This event to select the official VQA wines continues to grow in popularity and the Grape Growers of Ontario are pleased to have so many Members of Provincial Parliament attend the 36th Annual Legislative Wine Tasting,” says Bill George, Chair. Grape Growers of Ontario post.

 

Craft Beer Festival drawing strong interest

The first locally organized craft beer festival in Thunder Bay is set to take place from Aug. 14-15 at Prince Arthur’s Landing. And with roughly 50 different brews available to sample from across Ontario, organizers of BrewHa say the local response has so far been outstanding. “We knew it was going to be a hit,” said Jon Hendel and Kerry Berlinquette, the two people planning the festival. “Craft beer is such a significant movement going across Canada right now and there is a gap in this community.” Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal story.

 

Experts Find Family Farm Strength in Land Ownership Study

Magnan says it will be interesting to see what happens to provincial farmland ownership in the future. “What are the implications of a large scale change of ownership over the next 10, 20 or 30 years? We are talking about a valuable and important resource. For the last 100 years or so, the model has been the family that lives and works on the land, owns that land for the most part.” Magnan says the study demonstrates strength in the family farm, with some examples of large corporate entities being unsuccessful. FCC Express story.

 

St. Lawrence College, Sustainable Local Food Certificate

Field to Fork: Introduction to Local and Global Food Systems, Understanding Sustainable Farming: Principles and Practices, Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens, Food Security and Food Justice in Canada, Between Farm and Table: Local Food Businesses and Co-ops, Food Policy and Trends. Course Schedule 2015-2016.

 

Online Certificate in Food Security, Starting May 4, 2015

The certificate explores the challenges of creating sustainable food systems based on social justice and democratic decision-making that will ensure the right of dignified access to healthy food. The program’s perspective on food security is local and global covering both rural and urban situations. Participants will learn how to strengthen the sustainability of city food systems through the development of innovative urban agriculture policy and practices.  They will also learn the challenges facing rural farming communities worldwide and explore the possibilities for supporting farming livelihoods and rebuilding local food systems for the public good. Ryerson University post.

 

Supporting Environmental Stewardship and Livelihood Benefits in Ontario’s Greenbelt: Assessing the Potential Contribution of the Alternative Land Use Services Program

This research study assesses the potential of the Alternative Land Use Services Program (ALUS) as a tool for promoting agricultural viability and associated land stewardship in Ontario’s Greenbelt. An Alternative Land Use Services program would pay farmers for the provision of environmental services in the public interest. Using a qualitative methodological approach based on a literature review, a review of government and non-government organization documents and interviews with key stakeholders, this study compares the potential contribution of the ALUS program with that of other reasonable alternatives currently available to promote farmland protection and farm stewardship. Thesis.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Celebrity chef Jamie Kennedy talks ‘field-to-fork’ at Durham College

  1. The field-to-fork philosophy is very popular right now, but you were one of the first chefs to pioneer the idea. How did you become a proponent of local food?
  2. I started off as a young cook always thinking of food as an expression of art, and as an artist you’re always looking for genuine experiences, things have to resonate on a deeper level. The more I learned about food, and the trade of cook, and the status quo in terms of supply, the more I realized there was not a lot we were getting from the local market…it seemed strange to me. I grew up as a kid in Toronto having food memories that were always in the context of something we anticipated each year. Asparagus in the spring, strawberries in the summer, it was a celebration when something came in season. When I was training as a cook that anticipation and celebration of seasonal bounty was not there. The luxury of fine dining was that you could have asparagus in December and strawberries all year round. But, they were terrible except when they were in season. So, about 10 years in, I decided to really turn my attention to supporting local food procurement. Durham Region post.

Local Food News — Ontario

JK: The Jamie Kennedy Cookbook

Canada’s most celebrated chef reveals his food and his story. No chef in Canada is more respected for his devotion to local, seasonal, sustainable gastronomy, and his relentless pursuit to define and celebrate Canada’s unique regional culinary character, than Jamie Kennedy. Kennedy has been at the forefront of Canada’s farm-to-table, slow food and local food movements. In this journey, he has helped to nurture and strengthen the community of like-minded producers, chefs and consumers. Moreover, he has inspired others to join him in following this traditional yet revolutionary philosophy. Harper Collins Canada book description.

 

Workshop On Making The Family Farm Sustainable

The Grey County Chefs’ Forum wants to help make the family farm sustainable. Spokesperson Linda Reader says they’ll be explaining what they’ve done in Grey to link family farm operators with chefs and food retailers. She says the presentation will include hearing from a couple of the farmers and a chef involved in the Forum. Workshop attendees will also be surveyed about what their needs are and whether they’re interested in the kind of exchanges between farmers and chefs and food retailers the forum is facilitating in Grey. Blackburn News story.

 

Local food conference sprouts on campus

As general manager of Hospitality Services, Joli Manson has tried to include more locally and provincially grown ingredients in food options on campus. Her efforts have been so successful that Queen’s now spends 63 per cent of its food dollars on produce from Ontario. To spread the word about the benefits of locally sourced foods, Queen’s is hosting a conference to bring together producers and institutional buyers. Queen’s University post.

 

Grey Food Hub Will Help Smaller Farmers Reach Customers

A new way for smaller farmers in Grey County to market their produce is now up and running. The Grey County Chefs’ Forum has opened what they call the Hub. The Chefs’ Forum was created to directly connect local farmers with chefs in the G-T-A. Coordinator Linda Reader explains the Hub is a location in Flesherton where farmers can drop of their goods which will then be delivered to restaurants. Blackburn News story.

 

Garden expected to yield fruitful results for Agape Centre

A team of volunteers and staff planted 40 more trees at the forest, which is located on the property of Fountaingate Christian Assembly in Cornwall, on Thursday, October 30. The initiative is supported by a grant from the Edible Trees program through Tree Canada. Helping the Agape Centre dig deep to feed the city were six Canada World Youth (CWY) members. The group of 17 young adults from across Vietnam and Canada are spending two months volunteering in Cornwall. Seaway News story.

 

Stop the move to scary food at Hamilton’s St. Peter’s

Halloween witches bearing delicious, good food and rotten, scary food plates will, this Friday, October 31 at 12 noon, join hospital staff mobilizing to keep the in-house kitchen at St. Peter’s cooking. Recently Hamilton Health Sciences announced that the on-site kitchen at St. Peter’s would be closed and patient meals outsourced. But with a focus on seniors’ care and patients with chronic illness, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 7800 says maintaining the in-hospital capacity at St. Peter’s to provide patients with healthy, nutritious and appetizing meals while in hospitals, should be the priority. Canadian Union of Public Employees media advisory.

 

Researching New Ontario Tender Fruit Varieties

It’s an investment intended to help Ontario producers get a bigger market share in the fruit sector. The federal government is investing over 410 thousand dollars to develop new varieties of tender fruits and fresh grapes suited to the province’s soil conditions and climate. The Ontario Tender Fruit Producers Marketing Board will lead that effort. Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) is evaluating plum, peach, nectarine and apricot trees from the University of Guelph’s breeding program in terms of superior varieties that meet consumer preferences. Vineland is also scouting the world for fresh grape varieties better-adapted to our local climate. Blackburn News story. Ontario Tender Fruit Producers post.

 

Group Looking For Ways To Certify Small-Scale Organic Farms

A working group is looking into why many small-scale farmers are choosing not to certify their farms as organic. It’s made up of organic consultants and farmers. A survey of farmers across the country got almost 200 responses. A common concern was that a certification process designed for international and national trade doesn’t work well for diversified small farms focused on local markets. Blackburn New story.

 

Ecological Farmers of Ontario Conference 2014, December 4-6

In celebration of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario’s (EFAO) 35th Anniversary, we are launching our first annual conference! The conference is presented in partnership with FarmStart along with supporting partners Farms at Work, Everdale and The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security. The vision for this conference aligns with EFAO’s core mandate “to support and promote a vibrant community of ecological farmers through education, training and knowledge sharing.” We expect over 250 ecological growers from across the province and are offering over 30 intermediate and advanced level workshops. Website.

 

Festival of Dangerous Ideas: Food For Thought, November 15

Ideas have the power to change the world… The Festival of Dangerous Ideas: Food For Thought is a dynamic event which will explore our relationship with our food system through the convergence of music, art and conversation. Our day-long festival will examine some ‘dangerous ideas’ about industrial agriculture, genetically modified organisms and the unsustainable nature of our current food system. Throughout the day, speakers will present new ways of thinking that can support the transition towards earth democracy, a just food system, and a world beyond pesticides. After an afternoon of engaging with academics, agricultural activists and NGO moguls, we will gather for a tapas reception and a keynote presented by the revolutionary Dr. Vandana Shiva. At night, we will put on our dancing shoes and enjoy a proper dance party, consisting of local producers and DJs. Website.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

The Ecological Hoofprint: The Global Burden of Industrial Agriculture

The great merit of Tony Weis’ excellent The Ecological Hoofprint: The Global Burden of Industrial Agriculture is that it offers a highly readable, tightly-argued structural analysis of the contemporary world food system, predicated as it is on both inequality and inefficiency. The introduction lays out the central argument of the book: that the historically unprecedented and rapidly-expanding ‘meatification’ of diets is not “natural, inevitable or benign” but is integral to a “dominant system of agriculture across the temperate world” in which “the biological and physical foundations of agriculture are being rapidly undermined…in ways that hinge upon the unsustainable use of non-renewable resources”. Canadian Food Studies book review by Tony Weis.

Local Food News — Canada

Collaborating On Food: An Interview With Wayne Roberts

People understood about the connection between food and collaboration from the earliest days of cities. Think of words such as companion, company and companero. They come from the Latin combination of with (com) and pane (bread). Even the word “trivia”, my favourite, comes from the fact that early farmers markets were set up at the intersection of three (tri) roads (via). And when people got together, they were so excited and chatty, they talked about what authorities considered trivia, but was probably just a put-down of popular collaboration. If I may say so, I got the food-collaboration connection in my first year at the Toronto Food Policy Council when I was doing research for our brief about problems in the first draft of the Official Plan. Interview.

Jamie Kennedy comes back to Wine & Food fest

“It’s been a dramatic evolution since my last book,” says the 57-year-old Kennedy, who has been advocating sustainability and local food for four decades — long before it became fashionable. “I would say we’ve moved beyond infancy and I suppose to an adolescent stage, where we’re starting to feel our identity. In the past, we learned by imitating other food cultures more advanced than ours. Now we have reached the point of leaving the house, not to travel abroad but rather to stay in the neighbourhood to explore and absorb excellence right here at home.” Kennedy practises what he preaches. Since 2001 he has owned a farm and vineyard in Hillier, in Prince Edward County, about midway between Toronto and Ottawa. Ottawa Citizen story.

Without national strategy, local food producers struggle to stem Canada’s growing hunger problem

At the 24-hectare UBC Farm, chickens peck at bugs and grass, protected from coyotes by an electric fence. Nearby, students sort squash, pumpkins and other produce for distribution through the farm’s community-supported agriculture program. The farm is a pocket of tranquillity at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus, where new housing projects have added thousands of new residents over the past decade. Formerly slated for development, the site was rezoned as “green academic” property in 2011 following a public outcry. It is also an outpost in the global campaign for food security, which the World Food Summit of 1996 defined as existing “when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to maintain an active and healthy life.” The Globe and Mail (BC) story.

Who Are The Young Agrarians?

Young Agrarians is a grassroots initiative made up of agriculturalists and media conspirators intent on growing food sustainably. Inspired by The Greenhorns to build a network Canada-side to celebrate, connect and recruit young farmers – the Young Agrarians are the movers and shakers of a new agrarian movement: young agriculturalists, farmers, urban farmers, market and community gardeners, community groups and academics, organizations and the public who want to ecologically rebuild, promote and inspire the agriculture of our country. We are using the power of media and the internet, and bringing people together in real time- to build community and grow ‘good, clean, and fair’ food. Website. Gathering In The Greenhouse At Uminami Farm In Metchosin, BC, October 26 post on Facebook.

 

AV farmers aim for youth interest

“He has the land, and I have the birds and knowledge to pass on, but the missing link was finding someone to help,” Morris said. That is when she approached Savard and he agreed to take on a learning experience and apprenticeship. In return, both Smith and Savard’s family would receive fresh, healthy chickens and the field would be fertilized for his grain business. Morris went from raising 50 birds at the start to a collection now of 300. They are kept in pens on Smith’s pasture where Morris and Savard tend them in an eco-friendly process. Alberni Valley Times story.

 

Would you pay more for a sustainable product that tastes great?

It started out as a gauntlet thrown down by a brash young chef living in British Columbia’s Cowichan Valley. Although sea salt is traditionally produced in warmer climes, Andrew Shepherd bet a friend that the pristine waterways of the province could be leveraged to do the same. “He said there wouldn’t be any salt in the pot and I said there’d be enough to do something with,” recalls Mr. Shepherd who stayed up all night boiling sea water over a fire. By morning, five pounds of salt made him a winner, but more important, set him on a path of entrepreneurship. In the five years since that wager, Mr. Shepherd’s Vancouver Island Salt Co. has established itself as an artisan sea salt producer to be reckoned with. National Post story.

 

Webinar: Lessons from an evaluation of community-university partnerships in the Regina Community Food Assessment

Throughout this project, two levels of community – university involvement were considered – a role with academic professionals in the completion of an environmental scan, and the role of university based organizations such as community research unit designed to connect community groups with University of Regina faculty and students to find answers to questions through research & collaboration. The Webinar will review the process, outcomes, successes and challenges of engaging organizations and individuals from outside community-based organizations and the importance of establishing a structure, process and communication tools that attends to key differences in operational environments in the private and non-profit sector and in this case the University. Report. Webinar.

Island farmers take over downtown Charlottetown

Downtown Charlottetown was overrun yesterday with Island produce as farmers took over for the seventh annual Farm Day in the City. Crowds filled up a blocked off Queen Street and Victoria Row to see the open-air market, which featured producers, farmers, artisans and musicians. The event is a grand finale to the month-long Fall Flavours Festival and celebrates the bounty of both rural and urban communities. It wasn’t just food that was celebrated, as crafts and even old time traditions were put on display. The Guardian story.

Local food soars at Sobeys

In her Oct. 1 letter, East Gore small farmer Tina Morgan states that “local” to retailers means the produce “can actually be from as far away as Ontario,” which is an absolute misrepresentation of how we at Sobeys identify “local.” I can tell you with 100 per cent certainty that produce from Ontario is not considered local at Sobeys. At Sobeys, we launched our Better Food is Local campaign in July. It features photos of local growers and eye-catching red, barn-board signage. In Nova Scotia, that includes local growers from the Annapolis Valley, Cape Breton, Truro and other areas. We are proud of our relationships with these local growers and are proud to call them partners. The Chronicle Herald counterpoint.

Farmers pitted against developers on Site C

“They [B.C. Hydro] didn’t look at the horticulture value of that land … they never really looked at issues beyond that – of community resiliency and food in the north – where families in the north are paying four times what people in the Lower Mainland are paying to put food on the table,” says Ms. Holm, who earlier this year filed a submission to a joint federal-provincial review panel of the proposed Site C project. “What is planted in the valley right now is not indicative of what might be planted if that shadow [of the dam] wasn’t there,” says Ms. Holm, who filed her submission on behalf of the Peace Valley Environment Association, which opposes the dam. The globe and Mail story.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

Documentary: The Family Farm

The film begins in Nova Scotia with egg farmer, Aaron Hiltz, who was confronted by the provincial egg board and asked to get rid of the majority of his flock. Hiltz’s story highlights the issues many farmers face and the flaws associated with what he considers an outdated system. The Morgan farm crew of Quebec draw attention to another issue, land cost and inaccessibility, that many young, budding farmers encounter and discuss their proposed solutions to these problems. On the other side of the country, organic farming pioneer, Raymond Loo discloses his dream of creating a chemical-free Prince Edward Island, full of clean, organic food and demonstrates how his farm serves as a stepping stone towards realizing this goal. The exploitative side farming is also exposed through Manitoba farmer, Carlyle Jorgensen’s retellings of his experience working with an oil company who dug a well on his prime farmland despite his disapproval. A season spent shadowing these individuals in addition to other farm families reveals the key role they play in sustaining traditional farm knowledge, promoting environmental stewardship and maintaining food security. Facebook page. Trailer.

Local Food News — Canada

Strengthening the Food Movement: Convening Community Garden Leaders

Back in the Spring of 2014 we held a gathering in Halifax for Community Garden Coordinators. This was the second in a series of events supported by the Our Food Project to connect and support the leaders behind the gardens of Halifax. Check out the blog post from the first Storytelling Event we held last November 2013. The purpose of the day was to gather together to feel a sense of support, share insights, leverage knowledge and skills, and build relationships, as well as to strengthen the network of garden coordinators. We had 20 people at the event representing school gardens, university gardens, community gardens and other garden-related projects. Adventures in Local Food blog

Institutional Food Program, J. W. McConnell Family Foundation

Public institutions can play a transformative role in creating socially, economically and environmentally sustainable food systems, providing healthy food for populations which are often vulnerable and influencing supply chains to more local and sustainable production. Hospitals, long-term care facilities, universities and schools have a critical role to play in food system change, both because they are publicly funded and because stakeholders such as students, patients, doctors and parents can influence the purchasing policies and practices of these institutions toward greater sustainability. Website.

Is Atlantic Canada’s food movement ready to tip?

In the past week alone, the Rustik offices received three absolutely staggering food-related emails. Our colleagues at Devour! floored us (and the nation, really) with the amazing revelation that the lovably irascible author, drinker, traveller and foodie, Anthony Bourdain, would be in Nova Scotia as part of their film festival in November. Our colleagues at the Ecology Action Centre informed us that registration was opened for an important national event called Waves of Change: Sustainable Food for All, presented by Food Secure Canada. Turns out, hundreds of food leaders from across Canada will converge in Halifax in November – the first time a Food Secure Canada gathering has been held in Atlantic Canada. Rustix Canada post.

Farmery Brewery Expands into Pil Territory: Made-in-Manitoba Brew Goes to the Gap

In what can only be described as the best news story this editor has posted all week, Farmery Brewery has announced its Farmery premium lager will be available in Saskatchewan. Farmery Estate Brewery is a Manitoba- (and farm)-based company that uses its own farm-grown barley and hops to brew its premium lager. The company is headed up by brothers Chris and Lawrence Warwaruk. “Farmery is a grassroots company, and we feel like Saskatchewan represents the same farming values we practice when it comes to our beer,” Chris adds.  “Adding value by processing our farm-grown grains on the prairies instead of shipping them raw to other parts of the world just makes sense. Real Agriculture story.

The challenges and rewards of family farming in Canada

With 2014 having been declared the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) by the United Nations, we would like Canadian family farmers to give us a glimpse into their lives. One of the aims of the IYFF is to provide a platform for discussion about the challenges faced by family farms and smallholders. What does modern family farming in Canada look like? What are the unique challenges? The rewards? How do family farms remain competitive in today’s market and in the future? Please share your insights on any of the questions above. And better yet, show us with photos and short videos! CBC Community.

Funding leaves NL cranberry industry firmly planted

The cranberry industry in the province (Newfoundland & Labrador) received a $7-million boost. The industry has been seen as a hope for economic diversification in the central region particularly since the 1990s. The cash injection, announced in Grand Falls-Windsor, is expected to bring the industry a step closer to sustainability. Provincial Cranberry Association President Fabian Power said the funds will help increase the acreage of cranberry farms, bringing the industry from 250 acres close to 500 acres. Partners project 500 acres is a magic number for long-term viability. Atlantic Farm Focus story.

FMC Launches Video Contest Showcasing “Y We Farm” For Young Farmers

What does the future of Canadian agriculture look like to you? Farm Management Canada wants to know, and if you’re willing to submit a short video that makes your case, you could win a trip to the 2014 Agricultural Excellence Conference, all expenses paid. The Agricultural Excellence Conference is a one-of-a-kind event that brings diverse industry experts and stakeholders together from across disciplines, regions and commodity sectors to share and explore beneficial farm management practices. The conference takes place in Winnipeg, November 19-21, 2014. Real Agriculture post.

Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) Canada Launches 5th Edition of the All About Food

All About Food: Exploring Canada’s Food System educates students on food production in Canada, from farm to fork, highlighting balanced information on a variety of topics and issues related to production, food safety, healthy eating, the environment, technology, trade and careers using current information extracted from the Statistics Canada Agricultural Census as well as other current and relevant agricultural sources. Agriculture in the Classroom news release. Website.

Open Farm Day is a Great Concept, But Conventional Farms are Missing

Thousands of Winnipeggers and non-farming Manitobans will leave their homes intent on seeing and smelling where their food comes from this weekend. For the last five years, the Manitoba government has organized and promoted an annual “Open Farm Day,” which will be held on Sunday (a similar event will also be held this weekend in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.) For people who care about farming and agriculture, it sounds like a great idea. It’s an opportunity to help more people understand what happens on farms, to paint a picture in their minds of what agriculture is like in 2014 – a good cause, right? It’s too bad the painting is incomplete. There’s a big piece missing. Real Agriculture post.

Short list released for Taste Canada food writing awards

Celebrity chefs and local food still dominate Canadian cookbooks, if the new Taste Canada food writing award nominations are any indication. The awards, which will be given out in October in Toronto, recognize the best in Canadian cookery books and culinary narratives. This year saw only a couple of western nods and nobody from Alberta. A handful of B.C. writers, though, made the list. Edmonton Journal blog.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

A first for a restaurant in Quebec – St-Hubert breaks new ground with a mobile game

Always looking for innovations that will appeal to its customers, Les Rôtisseries St-Hubert becomes the first Quebec restaurant chain to launch its very own mobile game. Available for free as of today on iPhone, iPad and Android platform, the Chicken Run game will allow players to drive a St-Hubert delivery car and go through five cities in Quebec and Ontario on a road filled with obstacles. RestaurantCentral.ca post.

Local Food News — World

Relocalizing Food Supply Chains through Tech & the Power of Story

Relocalizing the food supply chain will require more than the vision and passion of individual pioneers or the good intentions of large institutions. Like the industrial food system, robust local food systems will require sophisticated technology infrastructure—but infrastructure that values regional diversity and transparency over consolidation. In our deeply centralized, industrialized food system, the food chain story has become long, complicated and opaque. This is both by design and by accident. It’s a result of both the sheer scale of the system and the kinds of efficiencies that allow it to exist—the details of which factory farmers, large processors and distributors would often rather keep under wraps. Food + Tech Connect post.

Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners

Black Urban Growers (BUGS) is an organization of volunteers committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings. Through education and advocacy around food and farm issues, we nurture collective black leadership to ensure we have a seat at the table. Our mission is to engage people of African descent in critical food and farm-related issues that directly impacts our health, communities, and economic security. Website. Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners 2014 Conference, October 17 – 19, Western International High School in Detroit, Michigan.

Food Policy Resource Database

The Food Policy Networks Project at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) has been keeping tabs on some of the great work being done and can now make all those documents, websites, studies, and contact information available for all. The two new features include a database of policies, how-to guides, case studies and more, as well as a directory of food policy councils (FPCs) in the U.S., Canada, and First Nations. The resource topics are related to economic development, environmental sustainability, food processing, farm-to-institution procurement, hunger/food security, labor, and retail policy. Database.

A foreign affair – an ‘Ireland abroad’ experience

Good Food Ireland (GFI) members from both the agri-food and tourism hospitality industries have delivered a very clear message and not wavered in their views in this the third year of our survey. The message in relation to financial performance is resoundingly positive. Remarkably and even throughout a recession, year on year, more than 9 out of 10 respondents have continued to increase their level of spend on Irish food. Good Food Ireland’s food tourism strategy has a proven track record and brand guarantee for Irish ingredient-led food tourism experiences. It provides a sustainable and scalable business model for the Irish food and hospitality sector, smartly connecting food to tourism and tourism to food. Report.

San Francisco Urban Agriculture Ordinance

The Urban Agriculture Ordinance calls for the establishment of an Urban Agriculture Program for the City and County of San Francisco. The ordinance requires the Office of the City Administrator to coordinate with City departments and community stakeholders to determine which City agency or non-profit organization will permanently house the Urban Agriculture program. Ordinance.

SA’s premium food and wine to shine in Restaurant Australia campaign

South Australia’s status as a world-leading premium food and wine destination will be highlighted in a new $10 million Tourism Australia campaign. Restaurant Australia will promote to the world the idea that Australia is the ‘world’s greatest restaurant’ through advertising and social media campaigns in key international markets. South Australia news release.

New California law aims to cultivate urban agriculture

Like many of California’s urban agriculture practitioners, Caitlyn Galloway is plagued by a key uncertainty: She is on a month-to-month lease with a landlord who must recoup the lot’s steep property taxes and may soon sell or develop. Now, California cities and counties eager to encourage community gardens and small-scale farms in urban pockets have a novel tool at their disposal that could help solve Galloway’s problem. Legislation recently signed by Gov. Jerry Brown will allow municipalities to lower the assessed value — and property taxes — on plots of three acres or less if owners pledge to dedicate them to growing food for at least five years. Los Angeles Times story.

Why We Need Open & Collaborative Food Sourcing

In the future of dining, consumers, restaurants, distributors and producers will all collaborate in food sourcing. Open communication and supply chain transparency will be the norm. Sound utopian? It’s actually just downright practical! We’re already working towards an economy where supply, demand and consumer feedback flow in all directions. The biggest challenge we face at the moment is the significant resistance to technology within the food supplier ecosystem. Part of this resistance is due to our current position on the adoption curve. Our challenges aren’t technological, they’re deeply human. Both buyers and sellers are hesitant to transition to an “impersonal” technology and away from a system that has historically thrived on long-term relationships, special deals and information asymmetries. Food + Tech Connect post.

Good Food Ireland

Your guarantee for the best authentic Irish food experience from over 600 Places to Stay, Eat, Cook and Shop around the island of Ireland. People who are passionately committed to using local food, supporting Irish farmers, food producers and fishermen. Good Food Ireland is Ireland’s culture on a plate, bringing People together through food. Enjoy… Blog.

Opportunities for the small family farm

Family farming is the backbone of UK agriculture, and this is the same the world over.  Land, skills, heritage and tradition are passed between generations, and the rural lifestyle is a unique culture that agricultural communities are proud of. However, mixing family and business can be challenging, and decisions are sometimes emotion based rather than strictly financial. Jamie McCoy, Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust Report. RuSource Briefing 2044.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

Belleville bar grills 100-foot brat

About 50 volunteers, listening to instructions on a megaphone, successfully grilled a 100-foot bratwurst without burning or breaking it on Tuesday. The practice run at Silver Creek Saloon was in preparation for an attempt to grill a 200-foot-long bratwurst at the city’s 200th anniversary celebration next week. The bratwurst was made with natural casing — interlocked, not sewn together — and a 100 percent, gluten-free, lean pork. The 10th Street Baking Company will bake a 200-foot-long bun to go with the bratwurst. BND.com story.

Locavore News — Ontario

Locavore News — Ontario

 

SmartAPPetite Wants to Talk to You — Local Food Connected through Apps and Maps

The SmartAPPetite Project is developing a smartphone ‘app’ and an interactive website and would like to learn how such technology can benefit local communities from ‘field-to-fork’. Our goal is to encourage customers to eat nutritious food and buy it locally. So we want to talk to you and figure out how to make it work! We have scheduled workshops to meet with and talk to local food business owners. Please see SmartAPPetite’s workshops to find a location nearest you. The workshops are free and light refreshments will be provided. Website.

 

Insights from the Willeys

It was incredible good fortune that Tom and Denesse Willey led the first workshop I attended at my first 1988 California Eco-Farm Conference. I cannot imagine a better introduction to establishing a market garden. They started by telling us to not pay too much attention to all the other workshops that emphasized low-cost production. And they encouraged us to not pay too much attention to the fine folk who relentlessly struggle on small homesteads with mediocre land. What the Willeys did emphasize is the importance of paying attention to basic good business information: David Cohlmeyer newsletter.

 

Feeding Cities: Rural-Urban Connections and the Future of Family Farming

This two-day conference will gather scholars, students, policymakers and practitioners working on issues concerning family farming, sustainable food systems, and food security. Speakers from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Europe, and Africa will explore issues concerning the status and future of family farming around the world. On the second day of the event, participants will gather in smaller groups to discuss specific questions in a workshop format. Answers derived in each workshop will then be shared in a plenary session at the end of the event. Participants will also select themes for follow-up research and/or future conferences. Website.

 

Looking for sweet success with maple sap drink

An Arthur entrepreneur is hoping his upscale maple sap beverage will help him tap into the lucrative upscale water market. Keith Harris quit his job as a senior manager of an auto parts manufacturing plant five years ago to start KiKi Maple Sweet Water, a 100 per cent natural drink comprised almost entirely of raw maple tree sap. Guelph Mercury story. Website.

 

Build a Greenhouse for New Farmers

FarmStart is raising funds to build a greenhouse at the McVean Farm Start Up Farm. With your help we can give new farmers a head start on growing more local food! IndieGoGo campaign.

 

Local food in hospital faces logistical challenges

An international food advocate was in Canada this week, trying to promote healthy eating in hospitals around the world. Alex Jackson has seen the quality of hospital food deteriorate in his home country of Great Britain for the past 20 years, so he quit his job and started the Campaign for Better Hospital Food. He’s seeing similar issues here in Ontario, where many patients say the best part of a hospital meal is the jello. CBC News story.

 

Sustain Ontario Advisory Council Election Nominations Launched

Are you passionate about the future of food and farming in Ontario? Do you want to be a part of a dynamic, smart and informed group of change-makers from across the province and across sectors? Are you ready to learn, connect, share, and take action? Then you should run for the Sustain Ontario Advisory Council! Sustain Ontario post.

 

Whitby mushroom farm to receive $4.1 million from Province

Ashburn residents can breathe easier after 20 years of being stifled by noxious odours wafting from a nearby mushroom compost facility. The Province of Ontario recently announced it will provide Greenwood Mushroom Farm, located in north Whitby, with $4.1 million toward the construction of a $16.5-million facility that will remove smells from the mushroom composting process. Clay Taylor, managing partner at Greenwood Mushroom Farm, said the announcement creates a win-win situation, “supporting technology-based solutions, which will resolve community concerns and introduce green technology to the sector while providing a solid platform for the continued growth and prosperity of local food production.” Metroland Media story.

 

Ontario’s new Provincial Policy Statement will legalize a broad range of on-farm businesses

On April 30, 2014, Ontario’s new Provincial Policy Statement [PPS] will come into effect. With it will come countless business opportunities previously prohibited in Agriculture zoned areas. The importance and effect of the PPS is generally underappreciated from a municipal law and land use perspective. It is common to discover municipal officials being totally unaware of its contents – especially as it relates to agriculture. Simply put, the PPS has great importance and effect. Section 3(5) of the Planning Act compels municipalities to make decision and enact bylaws which are consistent with the PPS. In other words, municipalities have no choice but to follow the PPS. Kurtis Andrews blog.

 

ALUS Bayham First Demonstration Farm

On June 6th, 2014  ALUS Bayham celebrated the establishment of their first demonstration farm. The farm, M&R Orchards produces several varieties of apples and is operated by Helmut and Monika Michel as well as their daughter Jeannine and son in law Uwe Richter. Apples produced on the farm are sold as is and are also used to create gelato ice cream and apple cider, which are all sold at their onsite store. In addition to apples they also produce honey and other bees wax related products from the beehives used to pollinate their apple trees. ALUS utilized marginal areas throughout the Michel’s farm to improve and create pollinator habitat by establishing several acres of native prairie grass mixed with wild flowers. A pollinator hedgerow and large wetland were also enhanced to provide benefits to both the environment and the Michel’s farming operation. Alternative Land Use Services post.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

The Ontario Christian Gleaners: A Case Study of a Stakeholder-Engaged Organizational Strategy

The Ontario Christian Gleaners (OCG) gathers, dries, and distributes produce destined to be waste and creates value by processing dried soup mixes and fruit snacks using volunteer labour. This case study examines the roles of relationships in the OCGs strategy, operations, and management using a strategic management framework that incorporates value creation and trading. Data was collected from secondary sources, site visits, and interviews. The case examines how relationships with primary and secondary stakeholders are managed to create value.  Primary stakeholders are individuals, groups, and organizations with formal, regular, contractual or transactional relationships with an organization. Abstract.

Locavore News — Canada

 

Rural-Urban Connections and the Future of Family Farming

The international conference on Feeding Cities: Rural-Urban Connections and the Future of Family Farming to be held June 23-24, commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Centre for Studies in Food Security at Ryerson University. The conference will also celebrate the International Year of Family Farming, and will address questions and issues concerning the future of family farming in an increasingly urbanized world. Website.

 

Webinar: Building Relationships – The key to influencing local, sustainable procurement at institutions, April 10

Campus Food Systems Project. Food Secure Canada hosted webinar about institutional procurement. This webinar will highlight the role of building relationships and transforming culture in an institution as an essential first step in the direction of more local, sustainable procurement. 3 innovative student coordinators who have been leading this work on the ground will share their stories and experiences in building the allies they need to make the change they want to see. Details.

 

Marketing Nutrition: A Food Processor’s Guide to Creating and Applying Healthy Eating Messages

Brenda Arychuk is a registered dietician, and writer of the Marketing Nutrition Workbook talks about what food processors, trying to promote the healthy aspects of their food products, should do after they identify their target market, and how to communicate a healthy eating message. “Forty-five per cent of processed food launched in2008 contained health and nutrition messaging, compared to 31 per cent in 2002” (Drivers and Trends in Food Consumption, Farm Credit Corporation). Marketing Nutrition workbook. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development post.

 

Alberta Open Farm Days

Alberta Open Farm Days is about farmers and ranchers inviting their urban and rural neighbours to stop in for a visit to share stories, see demonstrations, and learn more about the farmers who grow their food. As well, some of Alberta’s most talented chefs and rural communities will be hosting a memorable series of farm to table culinary events that will be held around the province on August 23, using Alberta farm products. Farms across the province will open their gates on August 24. Admission is free. Join us and explore Alberta this summer. Website.

 

Advice for marketing local product

Bourgault says site of production is an important variable for marketing product. “The closer to the consumer the production happens, the greater the value the consumer attributes to it,” Bourgault says, explaining when product is clearly identified with site of origin, consumers prefer products from their region first, of their province second, of another region of their province third and of another province last. He recommends producers identify themselves as local in their region. FCC Express post.

 

Fad or Trend? A Closer Look at Integrating “Local” Into Your Farm

If you’re still wondering if local food is a fad, and whether you should build a local food component into your crop and livestock production, take heed of the latest consumer food price outlook from the University of Guelph. The outlook, produced annually by a team led by Prof. Sylvain Charlebois, shows consumer interest in local food could be a bright spot for 2014. Charlebois says local food, along with better nutrition, is likely to increase the demand for premium products from the farm, such as functional foods, omega-3 eggs and gluten-free items. And increased demand could mean better profits. Real Agriculture post.

 

U of G Celebrates Canada Research Chairs

Geography professor Evan Fraser received a Tier 1 chair in Global Food Security to study food security under changing environmental and economic conditions. Tier 1 chairs are acknowledged international leaders in their fields and are awarded $200,000 a year for seven years. “Developing an understanding of the processes that will sustainably feed a growing human population represents one of the century’s grand challenges,” Fraser said. University of Guelph news release. Feeding 9 Billion website.

 

Why this Newfoundland chef is hungry for controversy with ‘delicious’ seal meat

Perrin is convinced that this reputation is the result of poor handling and uninspired cooking and he’s setting out to change people’s attitudes toward seal with a five-course dinner on April 17 at his restaurant, Mallard Cottage, in Quidi Vidi Village on the outskirts of St. John’s. The Globe and Mail story.

 

Terroir Hospitality Industry Symposium, May 12

Terroir is a hospitality symposium that brings together the innovative and creative influencers of Canada’s hospitality industry including chefs, food writers, wine and food experts and business leaders. Our symposium attracts people who are serious about the business of hospitality and who are looking to constantly develop and refine their careers. Terroir is a non-for-profit committee of industry professional that put on an annual symposium that is about education, networking, sharing collective resources and building a community that helps to strengthen our industry. Website.

 

Aboriginal Food Security in Northern Canada: An Assessment of the State of Knowledge

Food insecurity presents a serious and growing challenge in Canada’s northern and remote Aboriginal communities. In 2011, off-reserve Aboriginal households in Canada were about twice as likely as other Canadian households to be food insecure. Finding lasting solutions will require the involvement not just of policy-makers but of those most affected by food insecurity: people living in the North. Council of Canadian Academies post.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Raw Milk Vending Machines Take Over Europe

Europe’s embrace of raw milk vending machines isn’t new. Such daring dispensers of unpasteurized dairy can be found in France, Croatia, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and, as one map shows, all over the place in Italy. In a recent post for TakePart, Rebecca McCray, a Fulbright fellow studying the criminal justice system in Slovenia, digs into the story behind one such machine outside Ljubljana. There, local dairy farmer Marko Bitenc refills his machine with fresh milk once a day. Because he owns and operates the machine, there is no middle man between farmer and consumers — just a few buttons and a spout. Modern Farmer story.

Locavore News — World

 

2014 Declared International Year of Family Farming, UN

Last spring, the United Nations (UN) announced that it would recognize 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming. The declaration aims to increase awareness on the importance of family farming in addressing world issues such as poverty, food security and protecting the environment.  On its website, the UN says that the goal of the declaration is to “reposition family farming at the centre of agricultural, environmental and social policies in the national agendas.” It hopes that it will spur discussion at local, national and international levels of governments. The declaration includes both developing and developed countries. Farms.com story.

Rural tourism

For those with the correct attributes and skills, I believe “farming tourists” will become mainstream in the next five years as this industry uses agritourism to interact with consumers, to drive demand for UK food and drink and to deliver a product demanded by the public – an opportunity to experience a real live farm and its farmer. We will come to have confidence in our offering so that we can give consumers the opportunity to experience farm life and make money by telling our story in an engaging way. If we put forward a value proposition and a great experience people will pay. Summary of Oxford Farming Conference Speech by Caroline Millar, Speech.

Relational Foodsheds?

The foundation of my book was a 10-mile diet experiment in September 2010. It shifted me from an anywhere eater in an industrial system to a relational eater in a living system. I discovered belonging and community as well as many ways to cook a turnip or kale. It also showed me the fragility of that industrial system. When you do a 10 or 100 or locavore diet, you realize how our current food system is like a stage set for the Okay Corral. Behind those false fronts is a machinery of illusion. Seeing this vividly during my 10-mile month I began to ask why, and what we could do about our utter vulnerability to the Matrix, how we could restore regional food and farming to the point that perhaps even 50% of our nutrition would come from within a few hundred miles of our homes. Vicki Robin blog.

Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture

CUESA is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1994 to educate urban consumers about sustainable agriculture and to create links between urban dwellers and local farmers. We have managed the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market since 1999. Website.

New RNA sequencing techniques show why crop rotation works

A new study to be published in Nature’s ‘The ISME Journal’ reveals the profound effect crop rotation has on enriching soil with bacteria, fungi and protozoa. “Changing the crop species massively changes the content of microbes in the soil, which in turn helps the plant to acquire nutrients, regulate growth and protect itself against pests and diseases, boosting yield,” said Professor Philip Poole from the John Innes Centre. Soil was collected from a field near Norwich and planted with wheat, oats and peas. After growing wheat, it remained largely unchanged and the microbes in it were mostly bacteria. However, growing oat and pea in the same sample caused a huge shift towards protozoa and nematode worms. Soil grown with peas was highly enriched for fungi. Farming Futures post.

Food & the New Community: How the Internet Changes Food Culture

A decade after Facebook’s birth at Harvard University in 2004, the concept of community has been utterly upended. The “third places” that sociology professor Ray Oldenburg wrote about in his 1989 book, “The Great Good Place”—gathering spaces between work and home that he argued are the heart of social vitality and the grassroots of democracy—have evolved beyond tangible environments. The landscape now teems with online third places where people connect while sitting wherever they choose, drinking whatever they like and wearing pajamas if they want to. Hartman Group post.

Food Safety Guidelines Could Dampen Local Foods, Farmers Markets

Awhile back, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). They then handed it over to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to write the rules for the act, and that’s when the problems became clear. FDA isn’t used to working with small and mid-sized family farmers. Instead, they apparently wrote the rules with big produce farmers and big food processors in mind, since a few of those producers and processors have been causing many of the massive food safety scares in the last few years. However, the small, mid-sized, and beginning farmers would still have to follow the rules. This might put a lot on small businesses out of business. Center for Rural Affairs post.

66 Instagram Accounts Helping Cultivate a Better Food System!

One of the fastest-growing and powerful emerging social media networks is Instagram. The photo and video sharing site now has 150 million active users who are uploading an astonishing 55 million photos a day. And while Rihanna, and Usher use Instagram to show off their latest outfits or connect with fans, many organizations are using the network to create awareness, spur action, and make positive change in the food and agriculture system. Food Tank post.

The Role of Food Hubs in Food Supply Chains

The dramatic rise of the “local foods” market and the need for sustainable local food value chains has correspondingly led to innovative solutions designed to meet this burgeoning demand. Food hubs are just one of the local entities increasing in number across the U.S. and being used to facilitate a closer connection between producers and consumers. Despite their popularity and increasing numbers, there exists comparatively little systematic research regarding food hubs; for example, investigation into the primary impetus for the formation of food hubs and local food chains, best practices, demonstrated impacts on the community, coexistence with current food supply chains, food safety, and the long-term viability of such entities have been explored only minimally in current literature. This commentary provides a brief context to present relevant questions for further research in the emerging trend of food hubs. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development abstract.

Carbon footprint higher in Finnish cities than in rural areas

Despite better public transport and more energy-efficient housing, city dwellers have a larger carbon footprint than those in rural areas, according to a recent Finnish study. This is partly explained by the phenomenon of ‘parallel consumption’ in which people extend their living space by using services that the home also provides. Europe Science for the Environment post.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

The felfie: how farmers are embracing social media

Pouting at a camera isn’t the preserve of trendy young urbanites. The “felfie” – or selfie snapped on the farm – is taking off, with farmers posting photos of themselves next to their favourite sheep, cow or tractor. Farmingselfie.com, a blog set up by Essex farmer @willwilson100, collects the latest felfies from around the world – showcasing rural working lives everywhere from Finland to Argentina. The Guardian story.

Locavore News — World

 

Iowa family embraces locavore movement

“But, the customer list kept growing. There was no way we could meet the demand.’’ So, he collaborates with about a dozen “like-minded farmers’’ from throughout the Midwest to help him grow product, which allows for not only more beef, but the variety of items Wallace sells at 13 pickup spots. The system runs like a buying club. Customers order online, then pick up their orders at one of the spots; most locations get one delivery per month. Iowa Farmer Today story.

Sow It Forward

Emerging Funding Source for Food Garden Projects on Track to Double its Giving in 2014. The Maine nonprofit Kitchen Gardeners International (KGI) is pleased to announce that it is once again accepting applications for its Sow It Forward garden grants program. Sow it Forward offers $300-$500 grants of cash, seeds, supplies, educational materials and online garden planning software to groups wishing to start a new food garden project or sustain an existing one. Last year’s grantees included schools, food banks, community gardens, libraries, colleges, senior groups, tribal organizations, prisons and other nonprofit causes interested in the health and sustainability of their local communities. KGI Grants Program. Application (Word, PDF).

Alleyway bar John Mills Himself cares about drink miles

Care about your food miles? Well what about your drink miles? How far our liquor has travelled, the fuel consumed and effect on the environment is something that’s being taken seriously at Brisbane CBD’s newest bar-to-be, John Mills Himself. Seating just 21, Bird reckons John Mills Himself will be the smallest bar in Brisbane. Certainly it will be the only bar in the city that uses no imported liquor and surely the only one that has each drink on the list noted with the “drink miles” it travelled to arrive in your glass. They have also put a moratorium on multinationals, so don’t expect any big-name beers, wine or soft drinks. Instead there will be four locally brewed beers on tap plus locally made cider, Queensland wine and Australian liqueurs and mixers as well as free purified carbonated water. Good Food story.

Locavore movement continues to grow

A decade or so ago, “buy local” was a buzz phrase mainly tossed about during the holiday shopping season, encouraging consumers to pick Main Street over the mall. These days, think farm markets, community-supported agriculture, local food and wine pairing and festivals, classes, programs and contests galore. From the laboratories of Cornell University where New York produce is perfected by science, to the orchards along Lake Ontario where fruit trees fill roadsides, local is hot. It’s so hot, in fact, that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and an entourage of restaurant-industry professionals — many from the New York City area — toured the region during this year’s New York Wine & Food Classic competition, held in August. Those restaurant industry heavyweights were impressed. Penfield Post story.

Locavore

More than 250 people attended Locavore, the Ohio Buckeye Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society fundraiser held at Windows on the River in Cleveland. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, decadent desserts and fine wines provided by local vendors and wineries. Cleveland Jewish News story.

$30K grant boosts local food effort at schools

The city’s school cafeterias are going to be better connected with local farmers, courtesy of a farm-to-school grant. Deb Riso, the district’s school nutrition director, announced Friday that Portsmouth is one of 71 projects in 42 states and Washington, D.C. that will receive support this year through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Program. Portsmouth received a $30,737 planning grant that will affect 2,650 students in six schools, Riso said. The grant will support the CLIPPERS (Cultivating a Local Integrated Procurement Program that Engages Resourceful Students) farm-to-school project. Sea Coast Online story.

Farming’s economic, environmental and social trinity

LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) has a unique role in developing the social, environmental and economic aspects of farming. LEAF aims to generate and exchange knowledge, develop new markets for farmers and engage with the public. It is a bottom-up organisation that can deliver a lot of what society and Government wants in terms of improved food quality and security, environmental protection and better health and wellbeing. RuSource Briefing Paper 1877.

Ritchie named to environmental sustainability list

The New York League of Conservation Voters on Tuesday named state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie a 2013 Eco-Star. The award honors elected leaders who present legislations to address environmental and energy challenges. Ms. Ritchie was honored for sponsoring the Food Metrics Bill, which will strengthen the state’s local food economy by requiring state agencies to establish a food-procurement tracking system, the group said in a news release. Watertown Daily Times story.

Senate Passes Food Metrics Bill!

A broad coalition of farming, conservation and environmental organizations applauded the State Senate this week for passing legislation that will strengthen the state’s local-food economy and protect New York farms. The Food Metrics Bill (S.4061/A.5102), sponsored by Sen. Patty Ritchie and Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, would require state agencies to establish a robust food purchasing, tracking and reporting system that will provide baseline data about money being spent on food and the geographic source of such food. The bill also lays the groundwork to encourage state institutions to buy more food grown on farms in New York. New York League of Conservation Voters post.

International Year of Family Farming 2014 launched

The United Nations has launched the 2014 International Year of Family Farming to stress the vast potential family farmers have to eradicate hunger and preserve natural resources.  In both developed and developing countries, over 500 million family farms, defined as farms that rely primarily on family members for labour and management, produce the food that feeds billions of people. In many developing countries family farms represent up to 80 percent of all farm holdings. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations post.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

New Wave of Garage Sales

The humble garage sale is about to get a makeover. The Garage Sale Trail will hit Perth for the first time on October 26, giving West Australians the chance to declutter or bag some bargains. Sellers can list their event online and show key items for sale so buyers can map out their day at the many garage sales on “the trail.” More than a million items are expected to be up for sale around the country. Bank of I.D.E.A.S. post.