Local Food News — Ontario

It all started with Max…

From those bright-eyed beginnings, our real food team has grown (a lot!) and Real Food for Real Kids now serves fresh, nutritious, and delicious meals and snacks every day to over 15,000 kids in child care centres and elementary schools in the GTA. A wise woman once said, “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” We like to think we can hear her cooking, too! Real Food for Real Kids website.

 

Metro Inc bolsters its locally sourced food program, allowing smaller producers to supply chain

As food margins get thinner amid a deepening price war among grocery retailers, Metro Inc. has bolstered its sourcing capabilities to get more local produce from Ontario suppliers, a program similar to one it rolled out in Quebec three years ago. Canada’s third-largest grocery retailer says its enhanced local purchasing policy will allow much smaller farmers and food producers in the Ontario to supply to the chain, a move that allows the company to carry a higher percentage of local produce in its stores during key growing seasons. Financial Post story.

 

A Food Lovers Guide to Ontario’s Favorite Swim Spots

If all the sun and sand is working up on appetite on the beach, look no further than the Casero Food Truck operating right on site. Using locally sourced produce and meat (Kilannan Altbier battered Georgian Bay whitefish tacos, anyone?), this Mexican-style food truck will have you coming back for seconds. And make sure to try one of their fresh, made from scratch paletas! Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance post.

 

Eastern Ontario Local Food Challenge!

(Re)discover local food in Eastern Ontario during the second annual Local Food Challenge August 12 to 28. Throughout the two weeks,  residents are challenged to (re)discover the local food sources in their community by choosing more local food and sharing their local food experiences online.  All participants are eligible to win prizes from local sources. Participants must register no later than August 24 to report the local products that they pick, buy and catch from August 12-28. Sustain Ontario post.

 

Together We’re Bitter Brewing

As a multi-stakeholder co-operative, we’re running things a little differently. Workers and community supporters own the business and have a say in how things unfold at TWB. Our aim is to make our community a more vibrant place to live by celebrating the intersection of creativity and craft beer. There’s a co-operative brewing. Website.

 

Campus food providers under pressure from student tastes to revamp menus

The University of Toronto’s downtown campus will cut ties with its food service provider, Aramark, later this summer and start running most of its on-campus dining options itself, the latest school to satisfy what appears to be a growing appetite for fresh meals. Chefs, for example, will cook soups and sauces from scratch instead of ordering from a production facility, Macdonald said. Such changes were called for by students, faculty and staff in focus groups leading up to the decision not to renew Aramark’s contract, she said. BC Local News story.

 

Local groups launch Food Policy Council to create sustainable food system

On the morning of June 16th, local groups took the first step toward creating a more sustainable food system, unveiling the Middlesex-London Food Assessment and announcing the creation of a food policy council. The collaborative team of London Community Foundation, the Middlesex-London Health Unit, the City of London and Middlesex County, proudly unveiled the Community Food Assessment this morning at Covent Garden Market. Alongside the presentation of the assessment, the Middlesex-London Food Policy Council was announced with a call for applications asking Londoners who are passionate about food to submit an application to join the council. London Community Foundation post.

 

Local Food Week – Investing $1.5m in Ontario’s Agri-food Sector

During Local Food Week this June, the Greenbelt Fund announced over $1.5m in new investments in projects across Ontario to increase the purchase of local food. Investments ranged from increasing the local field-grown produce sold in Subway sandwich shops during the harvest season, to launching a local food hub in Temiskaming, to developing a daily meal sourced entirely from Ontario products for Dana Hospitality’s broader public sector clients. Greenbelt Fund post.

 

Rural Summit explores strategies to retain and attract youth to rural, remote and northern areas of the province

Youth from across Ontario joined community, business and municipal leaders at the Rural Ontario Summit at Stratford Rotary Complex this week. With its theme of Building the Future, the daylong session focused on attracting and retaining the next generation to the province’s rural and northern communities. Workshops explored issues like education and training, jobs and entrepreneurship, social infrastructure and civic leadership. Stratford Beacon Herald story.

 

Protecting Farmland Forever

Ontario Farmland Trust recently released Protecting Farmland Forever, its new video featuring local farmers, land owners, and farmland advocates who make the important connection between local food and preservation of local farmland. Video.

 

Adding value through the Species At Risk Farm Incentive Program

The Species at Risk Farm Incentive Program is a cost-share program that is designed to help farmers implement on-farm projects aimed at enhancing, protecting, or creating habitat for species at risk, such as the Snapping turtle or Monarch butterfly. The program promotes a number of on-farm best management practices to support species at risk that can be applied to croplands, grasslands, wetlands and woodlands. Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association post.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Andrew Coppolino’s top 10 reasons for shopping at farmers’ markets

While supermarkets – both small and large – have taken their cue from farmers’ markets and have attempted to feature more local food (and good on them for doing so), farmers’ markets are one of the best ways to find great local food in season. They have a long and important history of bringing people, food and commerce together. So, in descending order, here are my top ten reasons for shopping your local farmers’ market. CBC News story.

Local Food News — Ontario

Steve Peters now a general manager at Salt Creek Farm Market

Steve Peters’ career path has come full circle in a rather satisfying way. Peters, a former speaker of the Ontario legislature, was working at a St. Thomas supermarket in 1991 when he scored a dark horse victory in St. Thomas mayor’s race that kick-started his political career. When he was elected a Liberal MPP and became minister of agriculture, he became a big promoter of Ontario food. Now in his new job as general manager of Salt Creek Farm Market, Peters is back to selling groceries, but with a rigorous focus on locally grown and processed products. “I’ve always had this vision of creating the Ontario store,” Peters said. London Free Press story.

 

Ontario and Greenbelt Fund Bringing More Local Food to Ontario Colleges

The Greenbelt Fund, in partnership with the Ontario Government, is providing Mohawk College with $100,000 in funding through the Local Food Investment Fund (LFIF) to develop the first provincial local food procurement model for Ontario colleges.  Along with increasing local food literacy and availability at Mohawk College, the pilot project is expected to increase local food purchases by $1.5 million over two years at three participating colleges. Greenbelt Fund post.

 

FoodStarter

Operated by a not-for-profit board, Food Starter focuses on helping early-stage food processors commercialize and scale the development of their food products. With an emphasis on baked goods, hot and cold fill products and confectionery items for both traditional and ethnic markets, Food Starter provides access to a provincially inspected food production facility that offers shared food production and packaging equipment, business advisory services and structured training to help companies scale and grow their food processing businesses. Website.

 

Eating local in Lambton County

Breakfast on the farm is being held for the third time since it’s inception in 2014. After being held at Kevin and Melissa Forbes’s Dairy farm for the past two years, this year’s breakfast will be served at the farm of Brian and Joan Pelleboer, a goat dairy farm where they also have cash cropping and calves. Community Economic Development Officer and organizer Tracy Ranick said they first heard about farm breakfasts being held in other parts of Ontario and Michigan, and decided to put something together in Lambton County, a major hub for farming. Petrolia Topic story.

 

Not Far From The Tree

Not Far From The Tree is a Toronto-based fruit picking project inspired by 3 things: the spirit of sharing, the desire to give back to our community, and a passion for environmentally sustainable living. Torontonians with fruit-bearing trees often have fruit to spare – everything from apples, pears and grapes to sumac, apricots and elderberry! Once they register their tree, we’ll pick their fruit and divvy up the harvest 3 ways: between the homeowner, our volunteers, and local food banks, shelters and community kitchens. Website.

 

Mohawk College goes local for its food

During a news conference June 8 at Mohawk College’s food court, the Ontario government and the Greenbelt Fund announced it will be providing $100,000 for a 14-member advisory committee to develop a plan for the college to establish locally-sourced food procurement policies that will be adapted for implementation across the province. Mohawk College, said Griffiths, will contribute $100,000 to the project. Hamilton News story.

 

Metro Expanding Local Food Purchasing Plan To Ontario

Metro has announced it’s expanding it’s local purchasing program into Ontario. Metro is a food and pharmaceutical distributor in Quebec and Ontario. It’s more than 600 food stores include Metro, Food Basics, Metro Plus and Super C. The local purchasing program is intended to promote local agri-food products and increase access to them by all consumers. Blackburn News story.

 

Ontario Self-Guided Brewery Discovery Routes Bigger and Better for 2016

Self-guided Brewery Discovery Routes Maps provide five complete itineraries for folks looking to get out and explore breweries, cideries, Feast On restaurants, and local attractions. Along the way, participants can indulge in the flavours of artisanal cheeses, lovingly prepared culinary treats using fresh, local ingredients, premium craft beverages, farmers’ markets and scenic outlooks. Marketwired press release.

 

Celebrating 25 years of success: Ontario’s Environmental Farm Plan

The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP), one of Ontario agriculture’s flagship programs, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The EFP, which has been adapted across Canada and its workbook shared with more than 30 countries, provides training, self-assessment, and action plan development for 23 environmental areas on and around the farm and outlines best management practices. Since EFP’s inception, over 40,000 Ontario farm businesses have voluntarily participated in almost 3,550 educational workshops, resulting in a total estimated investment of $390 million in on-farm environmental improvements, supported by associated incentive programs. AgInnovation post.

 

2015/16 Ontario Local Food Report

The agri-food sector in Ontario is made up of hundreds of thousands of people: farmers, food and beverage processors, distributors, retailers and restaurateurs. Within those ranks are countless local food champions who drove the local food movement forward in 2015/2016 – from nutrition programs supporting students in Northern Ontario to innovators in Cornwall turning shipping containers into hydroponic farms. Report.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

How Robots in Restaurants Will Change the Way We Eat and Live

The first step in understanding what automation means, is realizing the moment has already arrived. Wendy’s and McDonald’s locations, for example, have begun implementing tablet-based ordering stations in the front of restaurants, and Cali-based mini-chain Eatsa (more on that, later) can be viewed as an early nonpareil of what seamless automation should look like. “At McDonald’s, a lot of what they are cooking is automated, but needing a human touch at some point,” Templeton said. “In the front of house, automation has been popping up in the form of tablets — replacing waiters — and I can only see that becoming more widespread. We will probably see a lot of restaurants letting people order food with their phones, too.” Thrillist story.

Local Food News — Canada

Canadian chef recalls cooking for the Queen

“They all had a total respect for the foods they ate — this was a family that practised what’s now called the ‘slow food movement’ before that term became trendy. The Royals wanted good, local food, cooked well — food without fluff.” The royal repasts were simple and wholesome — but hold the garlic. Toronto Sun story.

 

How Canada Post can deliver community power to the new green economy

Japan has done amazing things with its postal service, expanding its network to deliver food and check in on older citizens and those with limited mobility. France’s and Australia’s postal fleets connect farmers and local businesses to customers by delivering fresh and frozen food. CUPW wants to start doing the same by bringing farm-fresh local food right to your door, all while offering home visits to Canada’s aging population. Now Toronto story.

 

Consumers trust and value accredited Professionals in Canada’s food industry

When it comes to food, trust, credibility and values, are top of mind for many consumers. They want to know the origin of their food, how it was produced and who produced it.  They have concerns for the environment and want to know that production practices are sustainable. At the recent conference, “Responsibilities in a Demanding World”, hosted by the Ontario Institute of Agrologists (OIA), farmers, input suppliers, processors, retailers and government, heard from Canadian and international speakers about consumer values and beliefs on food, and how they want to be engaged. Ontario Institute of Agrologists news release.

 

Join together to save local food delivery costs: researcher

Consumers like purchasing food differentiated by characteristics such as points of origin or production systems. But they want that food to come to them, not vice versa. A University of Guelph research team says a survey of more than 2,000 Canadian consumers shows they prefer buying local and organic food at retail grocery chains. “Availability through farmer direct sales such as community supported agriculture farms, farmers markets or independent grocery stores did not affect choice, while availability through grocery chains increased the probability of choosing the product,” says lead researcher John Cranfield, chair of the Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics. Owen Roberts in FCC Express story.

 

P.E.I. to become ‘Canada’s Food Island’

A new branding initiative was launched today by the provincial government to make and promote Prince Edward Island as Canada’s Food Island. Premier Wade MacLauchlan made the announcement today at the Easter Beef Show and Sale. CBC News story.

 

Farmers’ market voucher programs in the United States and Canada: benefits and opportunities

Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programs (FMNPs) in the United States and Canada are designed to provide nutrition assistance and nutrition education to low-income families, while supporting and promoting domestic agriculture. This paper examined the current scientific literature on the benefits of the programs to coupon recipients and farmers, as well as the influence of education interventions on nutrition knowledge. National Association of Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programs post. Report.

 

Iqaluit Community Greenhouse Society

The Iqaluit Community Greenhouse Society is a not-for-profit organization established in 2001 by residents who wished to build and operate a community greenhouse. We are in the midst of developing a Five Year Strategic Plan, including our mission statement, goals and values. Located at 63° 45′ 5″ N and 68° 31′ 24″ W, the Iqaluit Community Greenhouse is above the treeline on Baffin Island. Website.

 

How important is it for Canada to produce its own food?

When Loblaws pulled French’s ketchup off the shelves they had no idea of the consequences. It unleashed a dormant nationalism towards food products and support of local economies. Canadian consumers on social media forced the grocery giant to give the underdog brand — made from Ontario tomatoes — a second chance. Within 24 hours of announcing it would pull the condiment from shelves, the public outcry prompted Loblaws to reverse course. CBC News story.

 

Scarborough Fare: Global Foodways and Local Foods in a Transnational City , June 22-25

The University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) is pleased to host the Joint 2016 Annual Meetings and Conference of the Association for the Study of Food and Society; the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society; and the Canadian Association for Food Studies – the first time the three organizations have met together. The conference theme, “Scarborough Fare: Global Foodways and Local Foods in a Transnational City,” emphasizes the changing nature of food production, distribution, and consumption as people, goods, foods and culinary and agricultural knowledge move over long distances and across cultural and national borders. Website.

 

National Soil Conservation Week

Soil health plays a vital role in the quality of our food, but also of our water and air. Soil Conservation Week is promoted each year by the Soil Conservation Council of Canada. Their website points out that “soil, air, water, and wildlife … are all impacted by soil management.” This year the focus is “on the importance of proper land stewardship for the benefit of all resources – especially soil – under our care.” Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario  blog.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

From ice trail to Turkish spa, the Peg’s a surprising winter hot spot

Winnipeg is a terrific foodie city — think of it as Canada’s Portland. On average, the prices are about 25 per cent less for meals that are easily of the same quality — and sometimes better — than you’ll find in Victoria and Vancouver. The city has its own specialties, including arguably the best rye bread in Canada (Kub Bread and City Bread each have fierce advocates) and perogies — homestyle cheese and onion at Jessie’s Ukrainian Kitchen and Deli (jessieskitchen.ca) or more upscale at the fabulous Fusion Grill (fusiongrill.mb.ca) with white truffles and duck sausage. But diners can also choose from a huge variety of ethnic and modern restaurants, run by imaginative chefs who are often in the top-10 lists of Canadian cooks. Times Colonist story.

Local Food News — Ontario

Facebook post about Canada-made ketchup inspires Canadian pride

Fernandez ended up learning a lot about a plant out in Leamington, Ont, that makes the brand’s ketchup. After buying a bottle, the Orillia, Ont. resident wrote a Facebook post on Tuesday morning about his made-in-Canada discovery. Within a few days, more than 107,000 people shared his post, along with their Canadian pride. CBC News story.

 

Farm, Food & Beyond Study

A study that compared 10 national and international sustainability programs to two that are available in Ontario has been completed. It’s called Farm, Food & Beyond: Our Commitment to Sustainability. The GAP analysis was put together by Deloitte and launched in 2015 through a collaboration of Ontario’s farmers and food and beverage processors. It looked at Ontario’s Environmental Farm Plan, the EFP, and Growing Your Farm Profits, GYFP. Blackburn AgriMedia story.

 

Food Strategy Report Card for 2015

The Report Card is a valuable resource for everyone in the City of Thunder Bay, and speaks equally to restaurant owners, farmers, government, not-for-profits, and the general public. “The message is that this is a complex issue that requires a long-term view with many kinds of policy and other initiatives that will make our local food system stronger” says Councillor Rebecca Johnson, Co-Chair of the Food Strategy Steering Committee. “The thing that’s unique about food is that it touches on all of our lives. Every member of our community can learn something from the work that’s being done and contribute in their own way.” Thunder Bay + Area Food Strategy news release.

 

Working to save the planet

“We have a lot of very talented people in this area,” Boldt said as she manned her booth at the Seed Exchange and Eco-Fair at St. Andrews United Church. This is the fourth year the event has been held in the city, a chance for residents and visitors to buy packets of seeds proven to flourish in local conditions and to see what options there are for anything from flowers and vegetables to soaps, baking and Lake Nipissing jewelry. Dirty Girls Farm was one of about two dozen businesses represented in the eco fair. The North Bay Nugget story.

 

Tracking Market Farmer and Vendor Performance 2009-2015 Report

In 2015, the Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network collaborated with Informa Market Research, visiting 30 network markets and interviewing 82 farmers, as well as 26 other market vendors. Results were compared with GBFMN’s 2009 survey to learn about growth and change in the sector. This study is intended to assist farmers’ market vendors and organizers, and inspire the interest and support of market shoppers and funders. Greenbeltfresh post.

 

HFFA celebrates Trillium grant for local food opportunities

The Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance (HFFA) is expanding its successful Farm to School program, and it’s got a large grant to help with the work. About 100 people were on hand Friday for a public open house at Caledon Equestrian Park, and it was there that Winston Uytenbogaart, a volunteer with the Ontario Trillium Foundation announced HFFA is getting a grant of $299,700 over two years. He said the money is intended to help with this program, as well as other efforts the Alliance is working on. Orangeville Citizen story.

 

LAMBAC offers agricultural info sessions

The LaCloche Manitoulin Business Assistance Corporation (LAMBAC) had been awarded a Seed Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. LAMBAC is partnering with the Eat Local Sudbury Co-operative and Ontario Ministry of Agricultural Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) to implement a pilot project, Growing Local: Food and Farming Business Support. “The focus is to improve local food and agriculture economy by helping new businesses or expanding businesses to get training or connections to mentors they might need,” explained Anna Best, community development assistant at LAMBAC. Midnorth Monitor story.

 

Ecological Farming: a Different Form of Agtech: The investment case for ecological farming

“Ecological farming is ‘AgTech’ but of a different kind. It is a return to the original definition of ‘technology’, which comes from two Greek words: technis, which means art, skill, craft or the way something is gained, and logos, which means word or thought. ‘Technology’ does not just mean physical objects such as new machines or seeds. It also refers to knowledge or mental objects. Knowledge-intensive farming systems, therefore, are advanced forms of human technology,” reads the report. Ecological farming is a set of principles which aims to help farmers mimic local ecological processes through an understanding of how the soils, water, climate, vegetation, birds and insects of an agro-ecosystem interact. SLM Partners white paper.

 

Farmland Forever – Help Make it Happen, April 8

The 12th annual Ontario Farmland Forum supports and facilitates cross-sector dialogue about how we can work together to strengthen farmland and agricultural planning, policy development, and grassroots, permanent land protection initiatives in Ontario. This year’s Forum features presentations & discussion following two streams: farmland policy and hands-on farmland protection. Details.

 

Acres of Food Production in Ontario

There is ongoing debate about the importance of protecting farmland in Ontario. A recent article from the Fraser Institute entitled “Only markets can determine best use for Ontario cropland” raises the question of who should determine the use of farmland. It is the key argument of the article that concerns me. The authors argue that the land should go to the highest bidder who then should be able to use it for whatever the buyer deems best. Christian Farmers Federation post.

 

OFA Challenges Parts Of Rural Land Use Study

A recent study shows economic analysis hasn’t been properly used to develop Ontario land use policies. The Fraser Institute recently released the study, it’s called “An Economic Analysis of Rural Land Use Policies in Ontario”. But Mark Reusser , a member of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture executive, says the study makes the controversial assertion that Ontario’s agricultural land is not disappearing at the alarming rate that most of believe. Blackburn AgriMedia story.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

The Neptis Geoweb Re-Launches

The Neptis Geoweb is an interactive mapping and information platform created by the Neptis Foundation (“Neptis”) which houses data from government and other sources and includes the ability of users to post user stories. The site contains information, reports, datasets, maps or other materials (collectively the “Information”) for non-partisan research purposes relating to the growth and change in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region in Ontario, Canada. Geoweb.

Local Food News — Ontario

Kanata couple angered by city order to change veggie garden

An Ottawa couple who maintain a small vegetable and herb garden next to the sidewalk in front of their home say they’re saddened and frustrated after a bylaw officer gave them until July 30 to remove the wooden structures around it. “It’s just not going to happen. When they come on July 30 I’ll sit on my garden and I won’t move,” said Will Needham, who tends the garden with Shannon Lough. CBC Mews Ottawa story.

 

Kanata couple reach compromise over veggie garden

An Ottawa couple who’d been told they’d have to remove the wooden structures around a small garden they’d planted next to the sidewalk in front of their home has reached a compromise with the city. Shannon Lough told CBC Ottawa Friday that she and her partner, Will Needham, will only have to remove the two feet (60 cm) of plants near the sidewalk. Lough said that the agreement struck with the city “feels like a little victory.” CBC Mews Ottawa story.

 

Local Food Week: A Visit To St-Albert Cheese Co-operative

This past June, I was invited to participate in Local Food Week by joining the great folks from Farm & Food Care Ontario on a day-long local road trip visiting, and learning about, local food producers in the Ottawa region. Our first stop on the Local Food Week Farm Tour was at the St-Albert Cheese Co-operative located south-east of Ottawa in the town of St. Albert, Ontario. Those from the Ottawa region will most certainly remember news of the devastating fire that demolished the original St-Albert Cheese Co-operative back in 2013. Determined to bring back one of Canada’s oldest cooperatives (dating back to 1894), and the only one to have survived in Eastern Ontario, the owners of the St-Albert Cheese Co-operative rebuilt their business from the ground up, constructing a new facility, with increased production capacity, in a beautiful, modern building. Canadian Blog House post.

 

How I learned to love community gardening

I’m currently overseeing The Stop’s New Canadians Go Greenbelt! grant, run by Peter Mitchell, one of the most active Greenbelt Champions the Foundation’s worked with. At the time I joined Peter on-site, his team had already completed the delivery of ethno-cultural crop seedlings: bok choy, napa cabbage, Chinese and Indian eggplants, Indian and Thai hot peppers, okra and bitter melon, to 14 community gardens across the GTA. These community gardens—often situated in ethnically-mixed, low-income neighbourhoods—are meant to help subsidize food costs and increase access to fresh, healthy vegetables for neighbourhood residents. Greenbelt Foundation post.

 

Pilot Project Could Turn Hydro Corridors Into Urban Farms

Some of Toronto’s hydro corridors could be yielding fruit and vegetable crops in time for next year’s harvest as a fresh pilot project plants roots. Plans for four market gardens–a cross between a farmer’s market and a community garden–are sprouting through a collaborative effort between the City and Toronto Urban Growers, a local urban-agriculture group. Torontoist story.

 

Growing new varieties of old Ontario fruit favourites to help meet local food demand

“We’re trying to fill gaps in the harvest window to make a continual harvest season and at the same time, see if there are tender fruit varieties that are better than those currently being grown, that have better taste or are hardier or more grower-friendly,” explains Michael Kauzlaric, Technology Scout and Grower Outreach at Vineland. To achieve this, the Tender Fruit Evaluation Committee was formed in 2011, bringing farmers, tree nurseries and retailers together with fruit breeders at Vineland and the University of Guelph to help provide guidance on which varieties to release to the marketplace. AgInnovation Ontario post.

 

Cask-Conditioned Beer At Evergreen Brick Works Sunday Farmers’ Market

Evergreen and Cask Days have teamed up to present a ten week cask beer & cider feature running every Sunday from July 12th – September 13th at Evergreen Brick Works (550 Bayview Ave.) The feature will showcase four beers served on cask from each brewery every week. It will be a unique addition to the farmers’ market community, exposing them to a new concept of beer, flavors and a network of local craft breweries. Together Cask Days and Evergreen will continue to strengthen the role of Evergreen Brick Works being a destination for cask beer and craft beer in Ontario. All revenue from this booth will go towards Evergreen Charity, delivering free accessible public programs at Evergreen Brick Works. Cask Days blog.

 

ClearWater Farm project to stimulate economy, bring jobs to Georgina

The eight-acre parcel is being rechristened as the ClearWater Farm and is being described by the OWC as a community-based social enterprise to stimulate jobs and the local economy, provide affordable learning opportunities, demonstrate water-wise techniques and celebrate “field to fork” culinary arts. “Water and food are 21st century frontiers that, together, can help Georgina become a pillar of the local food economy,” OWC chairperson Annabel Slaight said. York Region post.

 

Chefs Laura & Rene Dubois, The White Owl Bistro

Chefs Rene and Laura Dubois pride themselves on their French bistro cooking featuring local ethnic flavours. The became owners of the White Owl Bistro in 2006. Originally started as a small diner in 1934, the space was renovated to a fine dining restaurant in 2003 by the Sunset Inn. This was their first year serving turkeys and chickens at the restaurant that were raised on their home farm. Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance post.

 

Biodynamic Farm Tours for the 2015 Season

Mark these dates on your calendar for guided tours of biodynamic gardens and farms. Bring the whole family for a day in the country! July 26th, 9:30am – 12:00pm: Join Cory Eichman, BD Farmer and lecturer, at Saugeen River CSA, home of the School of Sacred Agriculture, for a tour of the market garden. Cory will talk about the individuality of his farm and how he uses BD methods to maintain the health of the soil. Website.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

This map of food cravings across the United States will make you hungry

Ever wonder which foods Americans crave most across the country? Using menus, tips, and ratings from Foursquare, an algorithm determined which food and drinks are statistically more popular from one state to the next and mapped the results. Most are unsurprising: crab cakes in Maryland; maple syrup in Vermont; and chicken fried steak in Oklahoma. But who knew Missourians pine for toasted ravioli? Grist post.

Local Food News — Canada

Insights from the first Food Environments in Canada Symposium and Workshop

During his talk, Dr. Cummins discussed the role of grocery-based interventions to improve the food environment, such as healthy food stores in food deserts. The symposium was followed on Friday with a discussion on how to measure food environments, barriers in food access, and interventions in the food system. Yan Kestens for instance, faculty member at the Université de Montréal, discussed the need to establish an accurate and standardized measurement of exposure to different types of food environments (e.g. food swamps). Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post.

 

The new face of farm fresh

When Hank Markgraf sees a can of Broken Ladder cider on a store shelf, it’s as if his own name is stamped on it. In a way it is. Markgraf is one of 500 producers that make up the BC Tree Fruits growers co-operative. Broken Ladder Cider Co., based in Kelowna, B.C., is a recent initiative on the part of BC Tree Fruits that is helping increase the profile of local producers with consumers. Not only does Broken Ladder represent an entirely new product category for the local growers, it is also cashing in on the groundswell of branding that is putting a real face to food producers. Saskatoon StarPhoenix story. Financial Post story.

 

‘Buy Local’ Hot Among 61% of Canadians

As retailers gear up for the peak “buy local” season, a recent survey reveals that six in ten (61%) Canadians say purchasing local food and beverages is important to them, and nearly half are willing to pay a 15-30% premium for them. Furthermore, among these shoppers, 87% report they would increase their monthly grocery spend if local alternatives were more readily available. When asked what prevents them from buying more local goods, higher price, surprisingly ranked as the lowest obstacle at 23%. This compares with 60% who say the largest impediment is the fact that large chain retailers are not stocking a wide enough selection of local goods. Yahoo Finance story.

 

Really Local Harvest

Really Local Harvest is a cooperative of about thirty farmers from the South East region of New Brunswick. Our members work hard to give you authentic, wholesome, fresh and great tasting local products. Our mission: promote the development of sustainable agriculture in southeastern New Brunswick. Website.

 

Interactive map: What’s your favourite farmers’ market?

It’s official – Canadians have serious love for their local farmers’ market. Local markets aren’t just the place where a growing number of Canadians are shopping, they are also the place consumers trust the most with food quality and safety. An exclusive Ipsos poll for Global News found that 83 per cent of those polled make an effort to buy locally-grown and produced food and 71 per cent are willing to pay more for locally grown food. Global News story.

 

Support an Organic Revolution in St. John’s

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) announced today that the turning-point project “Farm to Table,” submitted by local businesswoman Melissa Butler, will represent Newfoundland and Labrador for the finals of the 2015 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award. Melissa’s project will help her company, Real Food Market, invest in local greenhouse operations as part of its strategy to create a sustainable, year-around food system on the island. To claim the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award $100,000 grand prize and fund this project, Melissa needs votes from Canadians from coast-to-coast. Canadian News Wire story.

 

Working Together to Help Feed Honey Bees

June marks the launch of Buzzing Gardens, a national program spearheaded by Bees Matter that provides Canadians with free seeds to plant pollinator-friendly gardens. Farmers, beekeepers, and several agricultural organizations, including the Canola Council of Canada (CCC), have come together in support of honey bee health and are taking action to help improve access to nutritious food sources. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

post.

 

Debrief from Canada’s National Slow Food meeting 2015

What really hit home in the conversations and presentations is that there is so, so much work to be done. In many ways the food policy (or lack there of) in Canada is completely backwards and working against the philosophical agenda of Slow Food for good, clean and fair food where there is a strong connection between consumers and producers. From coast to coast I heard stories from farmers, fishermen, food activists and small producers — their small successes and big fears. We were also lucky enough to have the founder of Slow Food, Carlo Petrini, visiting from Italy who expressed that these destructions to our food systems are truly happening all across the world. Slow Food Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands post.

 

Local P.E.I. chef to compete for $10,000

Organizers say the recent P.E.I. Savour Food and Wine Show was truly a night of decadence and marked one of the most successful shows to date, showcasing over 40 vendors. Local restaurants Island-wide took part in the show, a project of the P.E.I. Restaurant Association, at the Confederation Centre of the Arts recently. Nineteen wineries, breweries and sommeliers were there to complement the food. The competition for the P.E.I. Flavours Local Food Award was judged during the event on several components; taste, recipes, and creative use of local P.E.I. products. The Guardian Charlottetown story.

 

Twitter just moved into a new office in Canada, and it’s very Canadian

To celebrate a new office move and mark its second anniversary doing business in the country, Twitter Inc. held a party at its Canadian HQ in Toronto earlier this month. Its grand opening was a “community affair,” Twitter says in a blog post: “#Nestwarming: Twitter Canada’s new nest.” Financial Post story.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

This Floating Solar Farm May One Day Grow 8,000 Tons Of Veggies Every Year

One architecture firm has an innovative idea to stave off a possible food security crisis — grow fresh vegetables at sea. Designers at Barcelona-based Forward Thinking Architecture put together an eye-catching proposal for a solar-powered floating farm to grow food and raise fish near some of the world’s biggest cities. The concept leans on vertical farming technology, a new-age agricultural method of growing food in soil-less greenhouses. They’re stacked high with planter beds filled with nutrient-enriched water. Huffington Post Canada story.

Local Food News — Ontario

How Hamilton got its food truck scene into high gear

Jordan Addeo’s plan seemed simple: sell gourmet tacos from his food truck, Food Man and Culture Boy. But within weeks of owning the truck, Addeo ran up against zoning and licensing bylaws that didn’t let him operate his truck in his hometown of Guelph. After finally getting a permit from the city, which he says took almost six months, Addeo parked his truck on a privately owned lot. Four days later, bylaw enforcement insisted on another inspection of the truck, and determined that it did not have the right number of garbage cans. In the meantime, Addeo couldn’t operate the truck in the city. The Agenda with Steve Paikin post.

 

The Wild Harvest: Frenzied Fad or Food Revolution?

But what’s really going on here? Is this just the latest trend? Or are we witnessing a food revolution? Will Stolz, is the coordinator with Ontario Nature’s Forest and Freshwater Food project in Thunder Bay. The two year project educates people about safe and sustainable foraging practices. Workshops occur in and out of the forest. “We sent out a survey and found that there was a lot of people interested in foraging for wild food- even hunting,” Stolz commented. Northern Hoot story.

 

Look to Ontario farmers for local food

When it comes to food, it’s increasingly clear where Ontario is headed. The province believes local food is what consumers want, and it’s reacting accordingly. Its current course is not the way a lot of modern mainstream farmers want it to proceed. They feel their needs aren’t being met by the province, and that consumers see them as environmentally insensitive. But unfortunately for farmers, when it comes to this issue, the horse has left the barn. They now need to find ways to coexist with a movement that is seeing them differently. Guelph Mercury post by Owen Roberts.

 

Ontario’s Local Food Report: 2014-15 Edition

Ontario’s agri-food sector is a powerful economic force, generating more than $34 billion in Gross Domestic Product and sustaining more than 780,000 jobs – about one in every nine jobs in the province. The sector has tremendous opportunity for growth with the potential to contribute even more to the Ontario economy. Expanding the market for local food – food grown or harvested in Ontario or made from Ontario ingredients – is critical to realizing this potential. In consultation with the industry, the government has developed a comprehensive Local Food Strategy to guide this effort. The strategy is designed to increase awareness of, access to and sales of local food. Report.

 

Cheese or peas: there’s a food festival for you this weekend

Whether your tastes run to triple-cream brie or vegan cream pies, there’s a delicious destination for you this weekend. In Picton, less than a three-hour drive from Ottawa, the fifth annual Great Canadian Cheese Festival will feature more than 150 cheeses from 40 Canadian artisan cheese producers, including the now almost-impossible-to-obtain Laliberté, the triple-cream brie that recently won best cheese in Canada. That festival, which regularly attracts about a third of its visitors from Ottawa, also includes a strong contingent of Ottawa-area producers and products. Ottawa Citizen story.

 

Markets foster a sense of community

It’s been a movement that has grown immensely over the last decade: buy local. There are many reasons to support the buy local movement and supporting our local merchants. Chiefly among them is strengthening the local economy and keeping your dollars close to home. It’s supporting jobs in our community, whether larger chains or ma and pa shops, and helping foster a sense of community. Grimsby Lincoln News editorial.

 

Successful organic co-operative sees milk supply siphoned away

Out Standing in our Field – Dairy farmer Andrea Cumpson speaks with pride about being part of the farmer-owned Organic Meadow co-operative. “Our heart and soul goes into a product we’re really proud of, that represents our farm and cows once it leaves.” The integrity of farmers like Andrea is a big reason that Organic Meadow has grown into a successful co-operative that sells milk and other organic dairy products across Canada. But that co-op is in trouble now, because the milk they produce is being siphoned away by competing corporations to sell under big brand names. Metroland Media Kingston story.

 

Conservation Behaviour and Attitudes in the Upper Thames and Grand River Watersheds

Analysis of the information provided by the 627 farm respondents found that farmers with larger land holdings exhibit more conservation-oriented behaviour. Interestingly, there was no statistical relationship found between farm size and farm respondent’s attitudes about conservation. The study found that farmers that have owned their land for a longer period of time exhibit more conservation-oriented behaviour and a stronger conservation ethic. It was also determined that farmers with higher debt loads tend to have lower conservation ethic scores and that older farmers exhibit more conservation-oriented behaviour than younger farmers. Stewardship Network of Ontario post.

 

Defining the Environmental Footprint

Funded by the National Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster, researchers are currently working to gather and assimilate information to define the Canadian beef industry’s environmental footprint. This information will provide the beef industry with balanced, factual information to justify the environmental attributes of the Canadian Beef Advantage, assess the environmental goods and services provided by Canada’s beef industry, and identify ways in which different sectors of the industry can improve their environmental performance. The study will also enrich the Economic, Social and Environmental Sustainability Assessment being done by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry post.

 

Committee Pushing For ALUS In Huron County

Huron County could be getting an Alternative Land Use Services program. The Huron County Water Protection Steering Committee is asking the county to help implement the program. ALUS involves compensating landowners, like farmers, for using sound environmental practices on their lands. Committee Chair Jim Ginn says the program requires the support of the broader community. ALUS programs are running in 5 Ontario municipalities, including Bruce and Grey Counties. Ginn feels it would make long-term sense for Huron to get behind the program as well. Blackburn AgriMedia story.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Longest picnic table in the world

Come take part in the Durham Harvest Picnic—an exciting community collaboration for a cause! The longest picnic table in the world, accommodating more than 500 participants, will be set on Saturday, Augu st 15th, at the south end of Victoria Fields on Gordon St. in Whitby. On Friday, August 14th, a team of more than 100 volunteers will build the picnic table. After the event concludes, the wood and fasteners used to build the table will be donated to Habitat for Humanity Durham for the outside framing of four houses in Oshawa. Durham Festival post.

Local Food News — Canada

New government needs farm connections

Scary policies are often implemented when a government has few connections to mainstream agriculture. That’s the fear in Alberta with the unexpected win by Rachel Notley and the NDP. Among the elected NDP members, there’s nary a farmer to be seen. Notley’s campaign platform on agriculture was scant. Support for small Alberta brewing, value-added agriculture and food processing was mentioned, but there were no specifics. In another part of the document, there’s a pledge to work with small producers to eliminate barriers to local food production and marketing. Local food production and marketing are fine as far as they go, and that stance will be popular in many urban circles, but mainstream agriculture is the true economic driver. The platform promises a strengthening of land owners’ rights for fair compensation and due process in surface rights issues. On that issue, the NDP could win some friends within agriculture if it proceeds prudently. Of course, it also risks further alienating the energy sector. The platform also contains the strange promise to stand up for farmers’ rights to save and sell their seed. Western Producer story.

 

Support an Organic Revolution in St. John’s

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) announced today that the turning-point project “Farm to Table,” submitted by local businesswoman Melissa Butler, will represent Newfoundland and Labrador for the finals of the 2015 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award. Melissa’s project will help her company, Real Food Market, invest in local greenhouse operations as part of its strategy to create a sustainable, year-around food system on the island. To claim the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award $100,000 grand prize and fund this project, Melissa needs votes from Canadians from coast-to-coast. Canadian News Wire story.

 

Insights from the first Food Environments in Canada Symposium and Workshop

During his talk, Dr. Cummins discussed the role of grocery-based interventions to improve the food environment, such as healthy food stores in food deserts. The symposium was followed on Friday with a discussion on how to measure food environments, barriers in food access, and interventions in the food system. Yan Kestens for instance, faculty member at the Université de Montréal, discussed the need to establish an accurate and standardized measurement of exposure to different types of food environments (e.g. food swamps). Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post.

 

‘Buy Local’ Hot Among 61% of Canadians

As retailers gear up for the peak “buy local” season, a recent survey reveals that six in ten (61%) Canadians say purchasing local food and beverages is important to them, and nearly half are willing to pay a 15-30% premium for them. Furthermore, among these shoppers, 87% report they would increase their monthly grocery spend if local alternatives were more readily available. When asked what prevents them from buying more local goods, higher price, surprisingly ranked as the lowest obstacle at 23%. This compares with 60% who say the largest impediment is the fact that large chain retailers are not stocking a wide enough selection of local goods. Yahoo Finance story.

 

Interactive map: What’s your favourite farmers’ market?

It’s official – Canadians have serious love for their local farmers’ market. Local markets aren’t just the place where a growing number of Canadians are shopping, they are also the place consumers trust the most with food quality and safety. An exclusive Ipsos poll for Global News found that 83 per cent of those polled make an effort to buy locally-grown and produced food and 71 per cent are willing to pay more for locally grown food. Global News story.

 

Working Together to Help Feed Honey Bees

June marks the launch of Buzzing Gardens, a national program spearheaded by Bees Matter that provides Canadians with free seeds to plant pollinator-friendly gardens. Farmers, beekeepers, and several agricultural organizations, including the Canola Council of Canada (CCC), have come together in support of honey bee health and are taking action to help improve access to nutritious food sources. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

post.

 

Local P.E.I. chef to compete for $10,000

Organizers say the recent P.E.I. Savour Food and Wine Show was truly a night of decadence and marked one of the most successful shows to date, showcasing over 40 vendors. Local restaurants Island-wide took part in the show, a project of the P.E.I. Restaurant Association, at the Confederation Centre of the Arts recently. Nineteen wineries, breweries and sommeliers were there to complement the food. The competition for the P.E.I. Flavours Local Food Award was judged during the event on several components; taste, recipes, and creative use of local P.E.I. products. The Guardian Charlottetown story.

 

Farm land inside Winnipeg dwindling, committee votes for review

Currently, 29 per cent of Winnipeg’s land is zoned agricultural, but the amount of farm land is rapidly dwindling as many properties are converted to urban uses. The committee voted in favour Tuesday to authorize city staff to look more closely at food security issues, establish a Winnipeg Food Policy Council and take a hard look at land use that, according to the report, “could be reserved for agricultural and compatible uses considering existing development constraints.” CBC News Manitoba story.

 

Cows and Fish

The Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society, more commonly known as ‘Cows and Fish’: strives to foster a better understanding of how improvements in grazing and other management of riparian areas can enhance landscape health and productivity, for the benefit of landowners, agricultural producers, communities and others who use and value riparian areas. Website.

 

Twitter just moved into a new office in Canada, and it’s very Canadian

To celebrate a new office move and mark its second anniversary doing business in the country, Twitter Inc. held a party at its Canadian HQ in Toronto earlier this month. Its grand opening was a “community affair,” Twitter says in a blog post: “#Nestwarming: Twitter Canada’s new nest.” Financial Post story.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Your Food: Weighing the costs of eating ethically

If you are what you eat, there’s no shortage of Canadians seeking eco-salvation through their stomachs. Walk through just about any grocery store and you’ll see ads for “local” produce, “free-run” eggs and “pasture-raised” beef. The variety of choice suggests consumers are thinking more about the food they eat: not just its nutritional content, but also how it was produced. Global News investigative report.

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.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

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

Balgove Announces New Season of Night Markets

The five monthly markets will take place throughout the summer and include live music, work from local craftspeople, fresh food and drink from Balgove Larder and a selection of other producers.  This will be served up with beer on tap from local brewers, Eden Mill. Produce available at the markets will include beer, gin and whisky from Eden Mill; a range of speciality jams (including their popular raspberry, cucumber and mint jam) made in small batches by Cochrane’s Kitchen; versatile sauces from The Whisky Sauce Co; sweet treats from local chocolatier Watsons Chocolates; fresh seafood from Arbroath Quality Fish; and delicious healthy dishes from Good Food Good Feelings.  Balgove Larder will serve up produce fresh from their butchery alongside fruit and vegetables from their field, as well as other seasonal treats. Scotland Food and Drink press release.

 

How local governments strengthen their community’s food system

Beginning in 2012, Growing Food Connections (GFC) conducted a national scan and identified 299 local governments across the United States that are developing and implementing a range of innovative plans, public programs, regulations, laws, financial investments and other policies to strengthen the food system. GFC conducted exploratory telephone interviews with 20 of these local governments. This series of short articles will highlight some of the unique planning and policy strategies used by these urban and rural local governments to enhance community food security while ensuring sustainable and economically viable agriculture and food production. Website.

 

Burren Food Trail named as EDEN (European Destination of Excellence) finalist

Launched by the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark and the Burren Ecotourism Network as the Mid West’s first food trail in 2013, the Burren Food Trail is supported by an innovative schedule of food events taking place every Monday from May to October. The events showcase the regions cuisine and provide a unique food experience in the amazing landscape that is the Burren. Members of the Food Trail place an emphasis on the use of local ingredients and are committed to building a sustainable future for the region through food. The Clare Herald story.

 

Growing Policy: Exploring the urban food policy landscape in Vancouver, Washington and beyond

If rising fuel prices suddenly made it prohibitively expensive to transport food into your city, what groceries would you find in the supermarket after one week? One month? One year? A city with a resilient food system can handle this very possible scenario. While urban farming is on the rise, its rate of growth is largely determined by supportive city policy. Living Architecture Monitor story.

 

Tesco to play the green card as it seeks to win back its crown

SuperValu, which recently deposed Tesco Ireland as the largest grocer in the State by market share, makes much in its marketing of its relationship with local food suppliers. It sounds as if Tesco is not yet prepared to cede this turf to its rival. Tesco on Wednesday launched its annual Tastebud initiative in conjunction with Bord Bia. This is a mentoring programme with the ultimate aim of getting Irish suppliers listed with Tesco. The supermarket giant also launched a detailed report by Indecon economic consultants on its contribution to the Irish food industry. Irish Times story.

 

Agriscaping Technologies

We are improving local food access and sustainability by transforming landscapes into elegant, edible food gardens easily managed with the help of our innovative online tools and training. With consulting as well as online training, and a growing number of trained experts in all areas of the nation, Agriscaping is a great example of combining the best of modern technology to improve local food access, local communities and preserve resources. Website.

 

Purity delivers Edelman’s Green and Black’s Organic tour

This month, Green & Black’s Organic unveiled its biggest ever integrated marketing campaign in a £2m programme combining TV, print, PR and event sponsorship.The Green & Black’s Taste & Colour Tour will be at Portobello Road until 25th April launching the new Green & Black’s Organic THIN range, with a luscious spring picnic created by Green & Black’s Taste Specialist Brandt Maybury accompanying a classic branded Citroen H van. Following this, the tour will visit some of the nation’s foodie hotspots.  In each town the Green & Black’s taste specialist will partner with a local food influencer passionate about ingredients and flavour and work to create new Green & Black’s inspired recipes. Field Marketing story.

 

Tourism Businesses Learn the Recipe for Success In The Year of Food and Drink

Organised by VisitScotland and Dumfries & Galloway Council, the event at the Cairndale Hotel & Leisure Club provided an opportunity for businesses – ranging from accommodation providers to attractions, tour guides to transport operators and restaurants to retailers – to celebrate the industry and focus on the opportunities presented by the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015. Scotland Food and Drink press release.

 

Food group to photograph farming in action

A UNIQUE photographic record of food production in the local area is to be produced by the Ledbury Food Group. The aim is create an archive for the future by creating a snapshot of the present, and it follows on from other recent Food Group projects which emphasise the importance and variety of local supply. Local producers will be snapped throughout the year, under the theme, “From Field To Fork”. Hereford Times story.

 

Lessons From an Agricultural Preservation Leader: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Lancaster County has one of the leading agricultural land preservation programs in the country, with approximately 25% of farmland (approximately 100,000 acres) under permanent conservation easement. The Agriculture and Rural Lands Planning Program was developed to help the county achieve the goals and implement the policies of the county’s growth management and green infrastructure elements of the comprehensive plan – Balance and Greenscapes, respectively. Growing Food Connections post.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

One Hectare every 20 Minutes

The ‘One Hectare’ exhibition that was launched during GSW was just that. The project, as the name suggests, is a one-hectare site in the heart of Berlin intended to raise public awareness and understanding of global soil issues. At the launch, people rapidly laid rubber matting over the site, to symbolise the terrifying speed at which land is being sealed under concrete and tarmac each day – yet another problem soil faces. In Germany, this is happening at an average rate of 70 hectares per day! This figure may seem staggering, but it is, in fact, down from 130 hectares per day a few years ago. The German government has pledged to reduce this further to 30 hectares in the coming years. The project exemplifies exactly the kind of powerful messages that are key to developing public understanding of the issues, driving political engagement and momentum. Sustainable Food Trust post.