Local Food News — Ontario

Creative Partnership Results In New Sausage

WindsorEats, along with Robbie’s Gourmet Sausage Co., have come up with a sausage unlike any other, by combining the delicious juicy flavors of Robbie’s sausages, with the spicy fresh flavour of sriracha. “We want to work closely with local food producers in the region to create fun, unique and high quality products,” said Pina Ciotoli, co-owner of WindsorEats. Windsorite.ca News story.


Local Food Week June 6 to 12

See list of events that are happening across the province to celebrate Local Food. If you have an event that you would like listed, please submit the event details. Website.


Don’t get fooled by fast food ‘farm-washing’

The rising popularity of local food and sustainable agriculture makes the big fast food companies nervous. Increasingly, people want to know where their food is coming from and how it was raised. Eaters want to support farms where animals are treated well, where workers are paid properly, where soil and water are taken care of. They want to eat healthier foods, not hormone-laden beef or pesticide lettuce. Fast food companies like McDonald’s have tried to steal back the limelight. Kingston Region post.


Ontario honours grocers who promote local food

“Buying local food not only provides families with healthy and delicious options, but creates jobs and economic growth in communities across the province. I applaud grocery retailers for looking at innovative ways to connect consumers with their food and the people who grow it so they have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the good things grown in Ontario,” says Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Food in Canada story.


OntarioFresh Seeks ‘Ride Share for Local Food’ Feedback

OntarioFresh.ca is seeking feedback on its “Ride Share for Local Food” app from sellers, distributors/carriers or food hubs and covers both Just-in-time and Scheduled distribution opportunities.  How can the app help you grow your local food business? Sustain Ontario post.


Ontario farmers find sweet success with birch syrup

What began as Bert and Kathy Beilke’s passion to grow food and connect with nature more than 20 years ago, has since turned into an innovative new food product. Golden birch syrup is a semi-sweet flavoured syrup made from sap of yellow birch trees on the Beilkes’ Wagram Springs Farm in Wellington County near Moorefield. Food in Canada story.


Farm to Table Market and Kitchen

The Farm to Table Market and Kitchen is your one stop shop for local, farm fresh, organic and artisanal food in the heart of Collingwood. We are open to the public. Anyone can shop here! Members receive a discount and volunteers qualify for an even greater discount. Member or not, smiles are always free:) Website.



FarmStart works with a diverse group including recent immigrants, some of whom have farming experience from before they came to Canada. Often they know how to grow foods from their home country and find an eager market in the greater Toronto area and beyond. Other new farmers are young and may be fairly new to farming. FarmStart helps farmers through incubator farms, training programs, and through their FarmLink program. FarmLink connects new farmers with established farmers and farmland owners, helping them to access farmland once they are ready to get established on their own. Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario blog.


Sustainable Local Food Certificate Program

This certificate explores the practices, principles and philosophies involved in local food system development. The focus is on increasing both academic and hands-on knowledge of regional food initiatives across Canada, alongside international best practices. There is a specific concentration on applied learning, online networking, and community research. This certificate is the first of its kind in Canada, providing a cutting edge advantage when competing for work in the sustainable local food sector. St. Lawrence College of applies Arts & Technology post.


A Short Guide to Food & Farming Terms

The Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network has compiled a short guide to food and farming terms that are commonly used to describe agricultural practices and products. Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network post.




Be Ready to Laugh

John Oliver discusses how and why media outlets so often report untrue or incomplete information as science. Youtube video.

Local Food News — World

From Farm to Table, via the Bronx

The huge Hunts Point produce market that stretches across more than 100 acres in the Bronx is the largest such food exchange in the world. The stalls that are loaded with fruits and vegetables from around the globe have sales of more than $2.4 billion a year. But only a small fraction of that produce comes from New York and New Jersey, which makes no sense when many local midsize and small farms are struggling to stay in business and consumers want fresh, local food. Historically, it has been difficult for local farmers to pay the fees or follow the arcane rules of consignment necessary to sell in the Hunts Point market. The solution is for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to work together to build a regional wholesale farmers’ market on underused property in the Hunts Point complex. The New York Times editorial.


An indoor agriculture startup is bringing ‘local farming’ to every corner of the US

Indoor agriculture refers to an increasingly popular form of crop cultivation that happens inside, making it less of a traditional farm and more of a manufacturing facility. Where traditional farms rely on irrigation systems, soil and sunlight, indoor farms use LEDs or high pressure sodium lamps, and grow in hydroponic or aeroponic systems. Without bugs, proponents say, pesticides can be reduced and the overall product is not only more controlled but healthier. The Guardian story.



Here you find locally grown produce that you can buy directly from the producers. Website (translates from German) This locavore database has the essential attribute (ease of use for the eater) which could allow it to become the “go to” database for all those marketing food locally – editor.


Is Eating Lettuce Really Worse For The Environment Than Eating Bacon?

A recent study, and the various blog posts and news articles covering the study, seems to make a baffling and contradictory claim: It is possible that adjusting our diets from meat-heavy to produce-heavy could actually result in an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. This flies in the face of almost every assumption and previous study, but the writing is clear as day. One image caption on the study’s press release states it in no uncertain terms: “Eating lettuce is more harmful to the environment than eating bacon.” Modern Farmer story.


How Flow Hive Crowdfunded $6.4M for Its Honey-On-Tap Beehive

Who would have imagined that a new beehive product would be the largest grossing Indigogo project of all time? In late February, Flow Hive’s Indiegogo campaign surpassed its $70,000 goal within 8 minutes of launching, raising $2.18 million in the first day alone. A week later, it broke the record for the most funded Indiegogo campaign to date. With 20 days left to go, Flow Hive has raised $6.4 million from close to 14,500 backers. Food+Tech Connect story. Website.


From Farmland to Golf Course and Back Again

Most importantly for our purposes, more golf courses have closed than opened every year since 2006, meaning that the total number of golf courses has been decreasing for eight years. Hundreds of courses are closing every year. (The theories why this is happening range from the lack of a superstar, a la Tiger Woods, to the declining state of the American middle class.) This leaves big chunks of fairly desirable land, carefully tended and often with water and electrical hookups, sitting unused, all around the country. And a curious thing has begun to happen: That land is being turned into farmland. Modern Farmer story.


Why We Need to Uber-ify Food Distribution

For local food, the most common response to the distribution question is to build new food hubs. But physical food hubs require warehouses and warehouse staff, fleets of trucks and delivery teams, robust sales teams, and good software to keep everything organized. This requires intensive time and capital to start up, and profit margins in the food business are so low that these food hubs need to achieve serious scale fast just keep the lights on. Rather than building from scratch, we need to bring together the pieces that already work to create one synergetic system. Food+Tech Connect blog.


Urban Farming is Booming, But What Does it Really Yield?

Midway through spring, the nearly bare planting beds of Carolyn Leadley’s Rising Pheasant Farms, in the Poletown neighborhood of Detroit, barely foreshadow the cornucopian abundance to come. It will be many months before Leadley is selling produce from this one-fifth-acre plot. But the affable young farmer has hardly been idle, even during the snowiest days of winter. Twice daily, she has been trekking from her house to a small greenhouse in her side yard, where she waves her watering wand over roughly 100 trays of sprouts, shoots and microgreens. She sells this miniature bounty, year round, at the city’s eastern market and to restaurateurs delighted to place some hyperlocal greens on their guests’ plates. Leadley is a key player in Detroit’s vibrant communal and commercial farming community. Food & Environment Reporting Network story.


LEAF in 2015 – delivering more sustainable food and farming

Facilitating sustainable farming knowledge generation and exchange is one of LEAF’s overarching core activities.  We work with farmers, the food industry, scientists and consumers to inspire and enable sustainable farming. Annual Report.


A Start-Up That Aims to Bring Back the Farm-to-Vase Bouquet

Where Christina Stembel lives in California, she is surrounded by flower farmers, yet 80 percent of the flowers sold in the United States are imported. She is trying to help change that percentage with her San Francisco-based company, Farmgirl Flowers. “I think that the local flower movement is where the local food movement was about a decade ago,” Ms. Stembel said. Consumers are starting to become aware of where their flowers come from and purchase accordingly, she said. The New York Times story.




Farmer who hid castle behind bales of straw says he can’t knock it down as bats have moved in

A farmer who hid his illegally built four-bedroom castle behind straw bales claims it cannot be knocked down because it is home to protected bats and newts. Telegraph story.

Local Food News — Ontario

When these Ontario dairy cows see spring pasture for the first time, they jump for joy

It has been an extra long, brutally cold Canadian winter and “the girls” are twitchy. The May air is finally warm and scented with fresh pasture. There is human movement at the gate. The girls — who are dairy cows — surely must remember the 155 acres of paradise that lie beyond the barnyard? “Once the cows get out that gate,” says farmer Deb Vice, “they’re like kids at recess — pushing and shoving.” Have you ever seen a dairy cow run? Jump for joy? Kick up its hooves? Buck like a rodeo bull? Toronto Star story (includes video).


We could learn from France

Last week’s unanimous decision by the country’s government to have grocery stores reduce food waste by either donating it to the needy or providing it to farms and composters (for food that is not safe for human consumption) is more than just an example of smart thinking, it’s a prime example of humanity. The law means supermarkets will have to sign food donation contracts with charities or risk fines of up to $100,000 or two years in jail. Steep penalties, but necessary to address both growing food wastes in the country and to feed those who are less fortunate. The Quinte region, and Canada, could learn a lot from the move and should be examining ways to imitate the move. Belleville Intelligencer editorial.


Farm To Table: Bringing home the bacon

Two inescapable facts stick out about Brantford-Brant: The area is emerging as one of Ontario’s quickly growing food processing clusters; and agriculture is still its largest industry. The region of Brantford and the County of Brant is attracting ever more companies, from small family operations serving a growing local region, to multinational firms making world famous brands and products. And it’s one of the area’s most profitable and job-generating sectors. Brantford Expositor story.


First ‘Farm to School Salad Bar’ in NL

When a group of students approached teacher Chris Peters at St. Bonaventure’s College in St. John’s, asking for a wider variety of healthy options in the cafeteria, he knew who to ask for advice. Sarah Ferber from the Food Security Network of Newfoundland & Labrador (FSN) had recently spoken at the school about food security issues in the province. She had mentioned that Farm to Cafeteria Canada was looking to start a program in NL. After a year of planning, applications and teamwork between the school, FSN, Lester’s Farm Market and Chartwells Food Services, the Farm to Cafeteria Canada salad bar program was launched this week. The self-serve all-you-can-eat salad bar allows students to pick from a variety of vegetables and fruits. The produce is locally sourced (as much as possible) and changes with the seasons. Atlantic Farm focus story.


Urban Orchard Revival: San Romanoway Towers

San Romanoway community garden will provide 63 accessible raised-bed plots for residents who want to grow their own fresh healthy food. Complementing this physical space, the project offers ongoing sessions for Basic Fruit Tree Care, where resident volunteers learn the essentials of caring for an urban orchard. Community members learn about tree selection, grafting, pest control, disease prevention, soil management and more. The urban gardeners can then share their knowledge with others in the community as a way to keep the orchard healthy. As a capacity building measure, graduates of the program will be matched to potential employers in the neighbourhood. Food Share post.


Community Garden Council of Waterloo Region

In 2013, Region of Waterloo Public Health completed a Community Gardening Storytelling Project  that demonstrated how community gardening is a valuable health promoting and community building activity. Community gardens contribute to creating high quality urban and rural gathering spaces and they support people’s efforts to stay healthy. This stoytelling project interviewed 84 gardeners in an unstructured format to learn about the meaning of gardening in their lives. The stories shared by these gardeners revealed eight main reasons for gardening which were grouped into three themes: health, inclusion, and learning. Website.


It’s strawberry time at The Local Dish!

Win a $100 gift certificate to Hawthorne Food and Drink – find and share your best recipes for a chance to win! If you love local food as much as we do, you’ll probably want to share your recipes just because you can, and because you understand the health and environmental benefits of locally-grown food. But we’re throwing in some rewards and prizes for good measure, because, well, we think you’ll like them! You’re welcome to submit a recipe for any of The Local Dish all-stars at any time – the more the merrier. Each month, we will announce a new Ontario-grown fruit or veggie that’s abundantly available at that time and the list of all-stars just keeps growing. Toronto Local Dish post.


How Farmers Markets are Getting it Right

“Like in Alberta, conference attendees were concerned with the proliferation of new markets in British Columbia and many expressed doubt that there are enough farmers to fill these markets,” says Melisa Zapisocky project support, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Edmonton. “Yet, many markets were thriving and did not appear to be hindered or upset by this growth.” She says the conference showed some of the ways these markets are getting it right. “Markets are finding ways to stand out from the crowd by focusing on their personality, and what is unique or different,” explains Zapisocky. “Examples include operating a 100 per cent certified organic market, working with food and concession vendors to increase use of local ingredients (and promoting this), and providing more services in the market like knife sharpening, bike repair, or a market-run coffee booth.” Alberta Agriculture and Forestry post.


Foods of the Forest: Ontario Nature’s Forage North Program

Summer 2014 was busy for Ontario Nature’s Boreal Program staff located in Thunder Bay. As part of a new two-year pilot project named Forage North, staff members have been working to strengthen the local food economy, community health and environmental sustainability in northern Ontario by increasing the appreciation, supply and distribution of edible wild plants. The project began last year with a survey of northern Ontario residents’ awareness, consumption and opinions of forest and freshwater foods. From the hundreds of responses across northern Ontario, it was determined that the majority of residents would be willing to purchase locally-harvested forest and freshwater foods if they are more widely available. Stewardship Network of Ontario post.


Creating a local food buzz in Attercliffe

Roy and Karen Graystone are big supporters of local food who are looking to take that support one step further. The owners of the Attercliffe General Store support the local economy by serving locally-sourced foods in the restaurant portion of their rural business. The bacon is purchased in Beamsville, the eggs from Dunnville, the home-fried potatoes are Ontario grown. For dinner they serve Lake Erie perch and Smithville chicken. Niagara This Week story.




Food Fighters at Female Eye Film Festival

Food Fighters, screening at the Female Eye Film Festival, follows food activists who work together to build food security in urban settings. Taking a close look at small-scale farmers, Food Fighters highlights the challenges and risks involved in urban agriculture while sharing success stories. The documentary screens on June 19th from 5-7pm at The Royal Cinema. Tickets. Vimeo trailer.

Local Food News — World

Two leading horticulture businesses recognised by LEAF for High

Environmental Standards

Leading horticulture companies, Tangmere Airfield Nurseries Ltd and Eric Wall Ltd, both based in Chichester, have been launched as LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) Demonstration Farms in recognition of their commitment to sustainable farming. They are LEAF’s first glasshouse businesses to become LEAF Demonstration Farms and join a group of 40 other farms in the UK showcasing the very best of sustainable farming practices. LEAF Demonstration Farms act as ‘living classrooms’ demonstrating the sustainable farming principles of Integrated Farm Management (IFM) to other farmers, supply chain, conservation groups and members of the public. IFM is a whole farm business approach that delivers more sustainable farming. It uses the best of modern technology and traditional methods to enrich the environment and engage local communities. Linking Environment And Farming news release.


Farm to Table, Rhode Island Style

He’s got dirt in his blood.” That’s how Karla Young describes her husband, Tyler, who built the Young Family Farm into a thriving agribusiness through a combination of hard work, education and sheer force of will. “He is one of the very few people who can say he knew what he wanted to do when he was five years old. He wanted to be a farmer,” said Karla. But he is far more than that to thousands of Rhode Island families who benefit from the fruits of his labor. The fresh potatoes, turnips and squash appearing at food pantries across the state are often coming directly from his fields. During fiscal year 2013 (July 1, 2012–June 30, 2013), the Youngs donated 241,000 pounds of fresh produce to the Food Bank. Young Family Farm post.


Access and engagement with the natural environment

There are around 3 billion visits a year to the natural environment in England half of which are to the countryside. Half the visits involve walking with a dog. Black and minority ethnic groups, older people and people living in deprived urban areas are less likely to have visited the natural environment. There is a positive benefit of a walk or a run in a natural environment compared to a synthetic environment; this is additional to the benefits from physical activity. Money is spent on around one quarter of day visits to the natural environment, with an average of £28 spent per visit. RuSource Briefing 2175 (Natural England)


A Food in all Policies Approach in a Post-Industrial City: Baltimore City, Maryland

Baltimore City, Maryland faces many of the same food system opportunities and challenges of other post-industrial cities, but the municipal government is aggressively pursuing a “food in all policies” approach by engaging agencies throughout the city. This feature highlights the initial efforts that established this approach, including an effort to institutionalize intergovernmental collaboration, and a few of the subsequent policies aimed at improving food access and supporting urban agriculture throughout the city. Growing Food Connections post.


Crowdfunding Boosts Farm Efforts, No Substitute for Hard Work

“Barnraiser was a very effective tool for us,” said Crystal Powers, of Darby Springs Farm in Nebraska. “Our campaign raised over $10,000 to build a creamery. Barnraiser had easy-to-use tools online and a great team behind the scenes who helped us set up our campaign and checked in with us through every step.” With the Barnraiser model, you develop a 30 to 60 day campaign consisting of a video, web page, rewards for donors, and an intensive social media drive. If the funding goal is met, the project receives the money pledged by donors. If the effort falls short, donors keep their money. Other crowdfunding sites deliver partial funding for the project. All such sites charge fees of 3-9 percent, plus credit card fees. Center for Rural Affairs story.


Rhode Island’s 2015 Farm Scavenger Hunt

Stop at a participating RI farm or RI Visitor’s Center to pick up your map and clues to begin! Rhode Island Fruit Growers Association post. Brochure.


Are you ready to forage?

Edible weeds and fungi have endured decades of being sprayed with round-up, ripped out of gardens and stepped on, but now these misunderstood plants are finally getting the respect they deserve. We recommend you start off your foraging adventures with some help from the experts to avoid damaging the environment or accidentally losing a couple of days in a hallucinogenic haze. The field Guide post.


Survey Shows Farmers and Hunters Have a Lot in Common

Working through Farm Journal’s website property, AgWeb.com, Paulsen surveyed farmers in key agricultural states across the country and received 827 responses. After reviewing the survey results, it is clear that farmers are very engaged in hunting activities. Over 46 percent of the respondents said they like to hunt 10 days or more each year. Conversely, only 17 percent said they do not hunt at all. Paulsen leading Ag post.


The LEAF Marque is a food label consumers and the food industry trust

Investment in LEAF Marque certification is a real commitment to the whole food chain, providing you, the producer, with a genuine commercial advantage in the demanding premium and assured food markets.  In a recent survey of LEAF members 66% of LEAF farmers agreed with the statement ‘by adopting LEAF and IFM principles we have benefitted financially’, on average each farm saved £14,000 (or £40.00 per hectare). Linking Environment And Farming website.


How much food do you need for security?

A study published on 11 May in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that countries heavily reliant on importing their food — including many in the Arab world and Latin America — are more exposed to environmental and market shocks than those where at least half of all food is home-grown. SciDev.Net post. Study abstract.


Chef’s Table (Netflix Original)

Chef’s Table” offers viewers the opportunity to go inside the lives and kitchens of six of the world’s most renowned, international culinary talents. Each of the six episodes features an acclaimed chef, who include Ben Shewry (Melbourne, Australia), Magnus Nilsson (Järpen, Sweden), Francis Mallmann (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Niki Nakayama (Los Angeles, CA, USA), Dan Barber (New York City, USA) and Massimo Bottura (Modena, Italy). Netflix post.




Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate

Climate change presents an unprecedented challenge to the productivity and profitability of agriculture in North America. More variable weather, drought and flooding create the most obvious damage, but hot summer nights, warmer winters, longer growing seasons and other environmental changes have more subtle but far-reaching effects on plant and livestock growth and development. Resilient Agriculture recognizes the critical role that sustainable agriculture will play in the coming decades and beyond. The latest science on climate risk, resilience and climate change adaptation is blended with the personal experience of farmers and ranchers. New Society Publishers book review.

Local Food News — World

Connecting communities and stakeholders with the knowledge needed to strengthen food systems

The Growing Food Connections Policy Database is a searchable collection of local public policies that explicitly support community food systems. This database provides policymakers, government staff, and others interested in food policy with concrete examples of local public policies that have been adopted to address a range of food systems issues: rural and urban food production, farmland protection, transfer of development rights, food aggregation and distribution infrastructure, local food purchasing and procurement, healthy food access, food policy councils, food policy coordination, food system metrics, tax reductions and exemptions for food infrastructure, and much more. Database website.


Local food has starring role on TV3

Dublin-born chef Simon Lamont travels all over Ireland cooking exquisite meals that are quick and easy to rustle up, but his first stop is Cork. Unlike most cookery shows which use elaborate and often lengthy methods, and extravagant recipes, The Lazy Chef cuts every corner to make effortless food, all the while showcasing some of the best produce on offer across the country. Simon’s first port of call is Toonsbridge Dairy, where Toby Simmons of the Real Olive Company and Johnny Lynch have joined forces to bring Italian Water Buffalo to Cork. Southern Star Newspaper story.


Advancing Eco Agriculture

As a farmer who grew up in and remains a part of the Amish community, John Kempf has a very special understanding of plants’ functional immunity. He sought out alternative approaches to prevent damage to his crops once they stopped responding to conventional pesticide treatments. To enhance plants’ natural immunity, thereby making them less susceptible to pests and disease, he developed a comprehensive, systems-based methodology founded on plant physiology, mineral nutrition and soil microbiology. With results proven on his own farm, John went on to found AEA to share his success and insight that healthy crops do not require chemical treatments or genetic modifications. Website.


TY Food Education Unit Formally Recognised by NCCA

Following the success of the pilot programme that was run last year, the transition year food education unit – The Future is Food – which was developed by the Taste Council of Ireland in association with Bord Bia, has been formally recognised by the National Council of Curriculum Assessment. The mission of the bodies behind this module is to educate the next generation about food in Ireland. The unit is tasked with broadening students’ knowledge and understanding of the local, artisan and speciality foods sector. Chefs and food producers visit local schools as part of the programme, where they work with the students on a voluntary basis. Careers Portal post.


One of America’s Most Famous Slow-Food Chefs Says Farm-to-Table ‘Doesn’t Really Work’

Barber has a few suggestions for how chefs and diners can support the whole system, the primary one being: Eat everything. If we redefine our diet to include more rotational crops, he said, we help ecology produce healthier and better-tasting foods. And stop puffing about how often you purchase dinner fixings from a small grower at the farmer’s market—it’s really the mid-level growers in America that need a boost. CityLab post.


Sustainable agriculture: What’s it mean to you?

“Consumers define sustainability in agriculture with a relatively narrow view, describing it as ‘environmentally friendly’ (22%) or the ‘ability to produce sufficient food to feed the population’ (18%). Globally, consumers listed one or two points when questioned about the meaning of sustainable agriculture,” says BASF Farm Perspectives researchers. On the flip side, farmers dug a little deeper into the meaning with 40% relating it to “soil protection,” 27% on “land use,” another 27% on “water use,” 25% on “biodiversity protection,” and 25% even going as far to relating it to “fair farm wages.” Drovers Cattle Network post.


Would you invest in a Beetcoin?

Slow Money Alliance, a collection of regional networks that invest in small food enterprises, introduced the Beetcoin concept on its website a week ago. Slow Money Alliance is about “taking some of your money out of Wall Street and doing something with it that you understand,” said Woody Tasch, founder of Slow Money Alliance. Beetcoins, which are investments in small enterprises, cost $25 to start off, though people can donate more. The goal is to raise $50,000 which will help fund two small business projects. One business will receive a $40,000, three-year, zero-interest loan, while the other will get a $10,000 loan. Louisville Business First story.


Building A Local Food System In A Rural State

It’s not just in big cities that people are buying up kale and bison jerky. Rural Wyomingites are trolling farmer’s markets for purple tomatoes and emu oil, too. The state now has 49 farmer’s markets that have done over two million dollars in revenue just this year. But some farmers and food advocates who want to expand the availability of artisan foods say Wyoming is struggling with some deep challenges. Wyoming Public Media post.


The First Step to Sustainable Agriculture

The Resilient Farm and Homestead (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2013) is a comprehensive how-to manual that will help the reader select, design, develop and manage land for self-reliance and sustainable agriculture, and presents a thriving model for productive, durable homesteads and farms in cold climates and beyond. In this excerpt, taken from Chapter 1, author and permaculture expert Ben Falk explains how the resilient homesteader is more concerned with fitting in and adapting to changing conditions. Mother Earth News book review.


Farm-to-table is heading for concourses across the country.

That’s right, airports—where not too long ago the range of food choices was pretty much between Burger King or Panda Express—are starting to dip their toes into the local food market, launching a handful of farm-to-table restaurants and upscale marketplaces selling regional products. One of the latest such marketplaces, Berkshire Farms, opened at Boston’s Logan International Airport earlier this year, offering travelers jams and syrups bottled in Massachusetts, locally baked breads and pastries, and nuts roasted in nearby Williamstown. It’s all the brainchild of Michael Levine, CEO of Tastes on the Fly, which curates culinary options at airports across America. Take Part story. Tastes on the Fly Website. O’Hare aeroponic garden.




Let’s Talk About Soil!

The animated film Let’s Talk about Soil emphasizes human dependence on soils and describes how sustainable development is threatened by certain soil use trends; the film offers options to make the way we manage our soils more sustainable. Let’s Talk about Soil was produced by the designer and animator Uli Henrik Streckenbach for the First Global Soil Week 2012. Resilience post.

Local Food News — Canada

Farm-to-table social networking site Soil Mate links consumers and farmers

In a nod to social networking sites that make love connections between people, the new site Soil Mate is hoping to kindle passion between consumers and their local food producers. “What we’re finding is a massive adoption rate when farmers find us … we actually have a 95 per cent signup rate. The issue is just actually getting the system in front of them. I wouldn’t say it’s a no-brainer. Farmers have options, right? Directories have been shoved down their throats for years. It’s just no one’s really created a good directory. They can be a little bit jaded on it. “Once you start to explain the concept of Soil Mate and how it’s different from literally every other system out there and how it’s helpful and how it doesn’t have much of an impact on them from a time perspective. We did focus groups as well so we actually had farmers help us develop it, so we knew they’d actually use it and update it and all that sort of stuff.” Huffpost Living story. Website.


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

The conference, held in Toronto on June 23-24, 2014, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Centre for Studies in Food Security, Ryerson University. Videos, presentations, and photos of the conference are now available. Website.


Special Issue on Cooperatives and Alternative Food Systems Initiatives

The special issue of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development on Cooperatives and Alternative Food Systems Initiatives was published last week. In order to promote the issue and the journal and to better extend the content to practitioners/communities, all of the articles are available for free in the month of July. The scope of the issue is international, but the majority of the papers draw from Canadian case studies and/or are from Canadian authors. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development.


A Survey of Urban Agriculture Organizations and Businesses in the US and Canada

This report summarizes the results of an online survey, conducted during February and March 2013, of 251 groups involved with urban agriculture (UA) projects in approximately 84 cities in the US and Canada. This is only a preliminary report. As such, we present descriptive statistics rather than a interpretive analysis of the survey responses. Furthermore, it is important to recognize that these results are not necessarily representative of all urban agriculture businesses and organizations across North America. Nevertheless, these results point to certain trends and patterns that offer rich opportunities for further inquiry. UrbanFood.org preliminary report.


Have you eaten at Mad Chef Cafe? You ‘gotta’!

Owner/chef Kevin Munroe and partner Shelley Bouchard are hoping that by this time next week, not only the Comox Valley, but the entire country knows you gotta eat at the Mad Chef Cafe. After filming for two days in December, the Food Network Canada show ‘You Gotta Eat Here!’ featuring the restaurant is scheduled to air June 27 at 6:30 p.m., and the restaurant’s duo will celebrate their television debut in style. Comox Vallety Record story.


Local food list links Sask. consumers, producers

SaskFoodFind.com aims to connect consumers with producers of locally grown food. The website, launched at Canada’s Farm Progress Show in June, is a creation of Simply Agriculture Solutions Inc. Executive director Tamara Weir-Shields said the idea is to act as a hub where producers can register as suppliers. The only requirement is that the food is produced in Saskatchewan. Western Producer story.


Councillor wants more action on local food production

There could be potential for more local food production in the city, and one councillor hopes provincial representatives will come to Cranbrook to clear the confusion surrounding the regulations. Davis noted that there are many regulations governing the production and sale of locally grown products. “Some of these are very restrictive,” he said. He said the reason he brought the notice of motion forward is because he feels  there is a lack of agricultural production and sale in the local area. Cranbrook Daily Townsman story.


Building Resilience in a Changing Climate & Healthy Food Economy

This is a Canada-wide initiative to help agriculture, fisheries, and aquaculture build resilience by minimizing the impacts and costs of extreme weather events – Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) planning. In addition, risk reduction for food production and food security can also be achieved by implementing various sustainable food production and consumption systems, and producing both healthy food and climate-friendly food. A first step in this initiative is to better understand the impacts of a changing climate on food production. Climate Change Adaptation Community of Practice website.


Water quality and wildlife habitat focus of funds

Wetland maintenance and improvements, plus other steps to improve water quality and preserve wildlife habitat are the focus of new funding announced in Manitoba. The province’s conservation districts will receive $750,000 this year to work with farmers on projects that will improve water quality, support climate change adaptation and preserve wildlife habitat. Ron Kostyshyn, Manitoba’s minister of agriculture, food and rural development says the funds are a long-term investment in the health of the environment and will have measurable effects on the natural landscape. FCC Express story.




Finally, Farm Tools for Her

Ann Adams and Liz Brensinger of New Tripoli, Pennsylvania, know a lot about tools. They both left careers in public health and nonprofit consulting to farm about 20 years ago, and it was through that experience that they began to see some gaps in the world of agricultural production — gender gaps, that is. “At the farmers markets, we got together with other women producers or couples farming, and the topic of tools constantly came up,” says Adams. Women farmers said they felt they were too weak to work with certain tools and regularly expressed frustration with everything from roto-tillers to tractor hitches. Modern Farmer story.

Locavore News — Canada

Canadian Food Studies Journal

Début, the first issue of Canadian Food Studies / La Revue canadienne des études sur l’alimentation went live on May 20, 2014. CFS/RCÉA is the open-access, online journal of the Canadian Association for Food Studies. The journal’s peer-reviewed articles and commentaries, as well as visuals and voices from the field, collectively illuminate multiple dimensions of the Canadian foodscape. Nourishing Communities post. Journal.


Promotion of Local Foods Act

The majority of Canadians who choose to buy local do it to support farmers as well as their community economy, but they do it for other reasons too. Canadians know that by reducing the distance that our food travels means fresher produce in our kitchens, cleaner air in our communities, and fewer climate-changing emissions across Canada. Murray Rankin statement in the House of Commons.


Richmond garden plunder: thievery or a language barrier?

Community gardeners often worry about thieves carrying off their lovingly-grown carrots, cauliflower and other crops but, according to Colin Dring of the Richmond Food Security Society, sometimes purloined potatoes are a case of cultural misunderstanding, rather than intentional stealing. That’s one of the reasons why his organization is embarking on a research project. Interns will survey local Asian media in order to better understand cultural attitudes around local food. The end goal is to craft a communications strategy to help educate Richmond’s diverse population about local food issues — including community gardens — and clear up potential confusion. CBC News story.


Network brings local products to the marketplace

Knitel, 73, has been building the Galimax Trading business out of Nobleford in southern Alberta for the past 10 years. Galimax’s focus is to work with several local producers of fruit, vegetables, dairy products and eggs. Products are collected, processed and packaged as needed at their 4,800-square foot, Canadian Food Inspection Agency-approved plant in Nobleford, and then distributed weekly to mostly “high-end” restaurants in communities ranging from Okotoks, Calgary, Bragg Creek, Banff and Lake Louise. Grainews story.


New Canadian Food Strategy Lacks Potential for Real Change

A national food strategy—especially a progressive one with a strong environmental focus—could go a long way to solving some of Canada’s more pressing food problems. It could provide support and incentives for farmers switching to organic, create consistency in how sustainable farming methods are being implemented, and offer a step-by-step, goal-oriented plan for that implementation. From a food security and nutrition perspective, a national strategy could support food access as an important piece of city planning and provide stability and consistency for student nutrition programs. These are just some of a wide range of benefits a progressive national food strategy could provide. Unfortunately, the Conference Board’s strategy is not that. Alternatives Journal post.


Farm to Table, a deliciously new magazine about your food’s story

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is proud to announce the online launch of Farm to Table magazine. Anyone interested in food – including how food travels from farms to their plates and how consumer choices influence the choices we find on grocery store shelves – will want to read Farm to Table, now available online at Farm to Table. Presented jointly by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC), Farm to Table is produced in co-operation with Randall Anthony Communications Inc. and Globe Edge, a division of The Globe and Mail’s Custom Content Group. Canadian Federation of Agriculture news release.


Grow Calgary delivers fresh food to food bank

Calgarians hard up for a meal will have access to a bounty of fresh produce for the second year in a row, thanks in part to a grassroots urban farm. Grow Calgary is a 4.5-hectare pocket of land situated just west of Canada Olympic Park. The brainchild of self-described food activist Paul Hughes, its entire harvest is being donated to the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank. Considered the largest urban farm in Canada, Grow Calgary launched last May, producing 20 truckloads in its first season. This year, the goal is to harvest five times as much. Calgary Herald story.


Comments on the 3rd Rural Policy of Québec

The fundamental characteristics of the NRP have remained remarkably robust over the last 13 years – in spite of considerable political and fiscal change. The most critical element is the use of the MRCs as the primary governing organization for the regions. Originally established in 1979 there are currently 87 MRCs in Québec. Along with several Indian Reserves and a few non‐organized territories they cover all of the non‐metropolitan regions in the province. Each MRC is directed by a council of mayors or representatives from all the municipalities in its region (MAMROT, 2013). It is chaired by a Prefect elected from the mayors on the council or through a general election by the citizens of the MRC. At the present time, 14 of the Prefects have been elected through direct suffrage. MRCs are responsible for a wide variety of issues, including land planning, economic and community development, emergency response, and social and cultural development. Canadian Rural Research Network post.


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

To undertake the assessment, the Council appointed a multidisciplinary panel of national and international experts that included Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal scholars, most of whom have lived and worked in northern communities. The Expert Panel examined peer-reviewed literature along with credible reports and articles, and they ensured that evidence was informed by traditional knowledge and community-based research. Ontario Health Promotion E-Bulletin.


Building Relationships The key to influencing local, sustainable procurement at institutions

Find out more about the CFSP’s lessons learned, approach, and hear first hand about the experience of students affecting cultural changes in institutional food systems. Food Secure Canada post. Webinar recording.




Taste and price still matter, but more consumers want healthy food

Consumers are thinking more about their health when choosing what to eat, now ranking it nearly as important as price in their food decisions, new survey results show. In just two years, the number of consumers reporting a greater focus on health in food selection surged 10 percentage points, according to the annual survey conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation. Health was cited as a top consideration in making food choices by 71 percent of consumers in 2014, up from 61 percent of consumers in 2012. MeatingPlace story. 2014 IFIC Foundation Food & Health Survey.