Local Food News — Ontario

Resourceful Map Captures Urban Ag Projects Across the Golden Horseshoe

A resourceful tool for anyone and everyone interested in urban agriculture, Toronto Urban Growers (TUG), a Sustain Ontario Member, have captured urban agriculture projects across the entire Golden Horseshoe on a recently-released interactive map. Sustain Ontario post. Map

 

RakeAround

RakeAround creates an urban gardens marketplace which facilitates direct exchanges between buyers and producers from the same neighbourhood, city or region. Supported by communication technology and the internet, the platform combines both demand and supply of fresh foods. By promoting urban gardening and micro agriculture, we believe that many small producers can offer a sustainable alternative to the few giants, when it comes to fresh food production. Website.

 

Working with Ontario grains in the craft beer industry

Canada and Ontario have seen a renaissance of craft breweries over the past decade. Consumers have shown a steady interest in buying craft beers and participating in craft beer festivals. It has undoubtedly allowed for the support of local businesses, but upon further investigation it becomes clear that the locality of ‘locally-crafted beer’ is often incomplete. Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post.

 

Sprouting Ideas for Change: Highlights from Cultivating Our Capacity

Sustain Ontario members and networks came together to strengthen our capacity for improving Ontario’s food and farming systems. On October 13, 2016 Sustain Ontario hosted an internal meeting for our members and networks to learn, share, and dig into 6 key topic areas: farmland preservation, procurement, evaluations, urban agriculture, food waste, and food systems framework. Sustain Ontario post.

 

Eastern Ontario Local Food

We are all about building relationships and supporting local food in Eastern Ontario. Website.

 

EFAO Farmer-led Research

Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario’s farmer-led research program started in 2016 with a Seed Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Modeled after Practical Farmers of Iowa’s  highly successful Cooperators’ Program, our program is about tapping into the inherent creativity and energy of our farmers to support innovations in ecological agriculture! Website. Program. Research library.

 

A fresh take on school fundraising

Since 2013, over 300 Ontario schools have successfully piloted Fresh from the Farm. In total, they collectively distributed over 744,000 lb of fresh, Ontario-grown fruit and vegetables to Ontario families and raised more than $273,000 for school initiatives. As well, an additional $382,000 was returned to Ontario farmers. Quite a success! Website.

 

Fresh Idea: Drive-Thru Access to Local Food

Fresh City, an award winning farm and online farmers’ market, announced a new partnership with Penguin Pick-Up, a network of convenient pick-up locations for online purchases. The partnership will make local, organic food more accessible for the millions of GTA residents who live within a few minutes’ drive of a Penguin Pick-Up. Fresh City, a certified B Corp, farms in Toronto’s Downsview Park and sources directly from over 80 farmers and makers across Ontario. Founded in 2011, they are the largest organic meal delivery company in Canada and deliver produce, groceries, recipe kits, salad jars and smoothies directly to homes and offices. Canadian Insider story.

 

Major investment in alternative land use organization

It’s not every day Bryan Gilvesy admits to being “as nervous as a cat.” Then again, it’s not every day ALUS Canada’s executive director oversees two $10,000 awards, announces a major new initiative and accepts a $5-million cheque from W. Galen Weston. In the world of agriculture, there are few bigger stages than Friday’s 25,000-strong opening of the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto, which served as an appropriate launch point for ALUS’s New Acre Project. Norfolk News story.

 

Agriculture Groups Band Together to Save Farming and Farmland

The Ontario Farmland Trust along with 14 other farming and conservation organizations have joined together and called on the province to freeze all urban expansion and introduce firm, permanent municipal growth boundaries in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. This urgent call is important to prevent the region’s remaining farmland from being paved over and additional farming communities from being displaced. Ontario Farmland Trust post.

 

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Inclusive Use of Urban Space

This magazine explores the issue of community engagement in shaping urban and periurban agriculture and food policies and plans. Key questions explored in this issue are how communities are engaging in urban food policymaking and planning and how local governments are responding to community demands for food policies and plans. Global Partnership on Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Food Systems post.

Local Food News — Ontario

27 Projects Announced During Ontario Agriculture Week

Ontario Agriculture Week celebrates the 52,000 farmers across Ontario who form the backbone of our $36 billion agri-food sector. At the Greenbelt Fund, we support Ontario agriculture year-round and were thrilled to announce $1.3 million in funding for 27 new local food projects throughout the province. Greenbelt Fund post.

 

Sustain Ontario Greenhouse – online library!

The site was soft-launched earlier this summer, and now it is equipped with abundant resources and dynamic functions.  Currently, five of the seven initiative areas are launched fully including: local sustainable procurement, food waste, evaluating food initiatives, food systems framework, and food literacy. The greenhouse is a unique online resource portal with targeted research focusing on key topic areas.  It allows the wider food and farming community to share resources and to cultivate an online sharing network to advance food and farming systems in Ontario. Sustain Ontario post. Greenhouse User Walkthrough on Vimeo.

 

Chef gets cooking at Barrie Hill Farms

“On weekends throughout the season, chef Les will be sampling quick and easy recipe ideas for us right here at the market,” says the farm’s Morris Gervais. “He’s super excited to show people interesting and delicious ways to prepare the fruits and vegetables they buy at the farm.” And the culinary expert will have plenty of inspiration and seasonal ingredients from which to draw— from farm-fresh asparagus to fields loaded with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, pumpkins and more. Simcoe post.

 

The Mount in Peterborough launches Food Business Innovation Centre

The Mount Community Centre in Peterborough is launching a Food Business Innovation Centre, to help provide emerging entrepreneurs with access to commercial kitchen space, on-site packaging and labeling facilities and an on-site food safety advisor. As announced Thursday (Sept. 29), the Greenbelt Fund and the Ontario Government have partnered to provide $58,000 to the Mount through the Local Food Investment Fund. Kawartha Media Group story.

 

New, larger home for Peterborough business Chasing the Cheese

When Julie Austin couldn’t buy the Ontario artisanal cheeses she wanted in the city, she decided to bring them in. She started by selling the cheese out of her home. Then, after a year and a half, the volume became too much, so she opened Chasing the Cheese on Water St. Now a completely transformed storefront offers more than double the space than the cheese shop’s previous location, enabling Austin to expand the business. She plans to showcase specialty food demonstrations, educational classes, and private tastings, as well as offering items to go, like cheese plates. Peterborough Examiner story.

 

Local Food Conference Explores Food Systems and Resilience, November 22-23

Ontario food systems have a mission, and Eastern Ontario Local Food suggests that the mission is resilience!  Mission Resilience, this year’s Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference November 22-23 in Belleville explores the impact of climate change on food and the many ways that food systems create opportunities for greater environmental, economic, and social resilience. Sustain Ontario post.

 

Provide Feedback for the Development of an Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation Strategy

A new strategy will build on the extensive soils work by OMAFRA and stakeholder organizations, and ensure that both government and the agricultural sector are taking the right actions to address long-term soil issues. The initiative will directly contribute to Ontario’s climate change goals and help the province deliver on its recently released Climate Change Action Plan. Sustain Ontario post.

 

Ontario apples join regional school nutrition program

The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) Student Nutrition Program is excited to provide Ontario grown apples for school-based meal and snack programs across the region this fall. The “Fall for Ontario Apples” initiative is funded by a donation from The Grocery Foundation and is being offered in partnership with Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op (CLFC). “Fall for Ontario Apples” will help to promote increased consumption of locally grown foods in schools and will help students to learn about where their food comes from. The Dryden Observer story.

 

Carbon Footprint Initiative Unveiled in Listowel

The new Carbon Footprint Initiative hosted its grand reveal at Trillium Mutual in Listowel Thursday. Deb Shewfelt, the Chair of CFI and a vice chair of Maitland Valley Conservation, says getting local support was key. “We had the idea that there’s probably leaders in the community that can help us. I feel that this needs to be done by the people on the front lines. So we are very fortunate to deal with the businesses we have here and get great support.” Phil Beard, the General Manager of Maitland Valley Conservation, explained some of the things the members of the CFI are undertaking to help improve the environment in the watershed. Blackburn AgriMedia story.

 

Ontario Farmland Trust talks about the Importance of Farmland and its Preservation

OFT has successfully developed and piloted a new approach to land conservation in Ontario over the past decade, working with farmers, government, and conservation partners to establish farmland easement agreements that permanently protect farmlands for agricultural and conservation purposes. The lands protected by these efforts remain available for farming and conservation forever. An easement is a voluntary legally binding agreement that the landowner and OFT enter together. This agreement is placed on the title of the land limiting its future use to agriculture and conservation purposes only. Sustain Ontario post.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Talk to a farmer and learn about your food

For me, this fall has brought new emotions that span far beyond our traditional worries of weather, prices, and crop yields. I am the sixth generation to farm in Canada, yet I am the first generation that has to go beyond producing a safe, affordable and nutritious product. Today’s consumer wants to know how I treat my pigs, what I feed them, and I how I care for the environment on my farm. Globe and Mail opinion.

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

‘Farmland Forever’ Forum to address Practical Actions for Preserving Ontario Farms, April 8

“Farmland Forever – Help Make It Happen!” is a call for more action on farmland preservation in Ontario, and the theme of the upcoming 12th annual Ontario Farmland Forum, being held April 8th at Bingemans Conference Centre, Kitchener. OFT’s annual Farmland Forum is a place that brings together government, non-government and community stakeholders to network, share and learn about emerging policy innovations and practical approaches that advance the permanent protection of farmland. Ontario Farmland Trust website.

 

Hungry for spring, Seedy Sunday draws at least 1,000 people

The seventh edition of Seedy Sunday, put on by the Sudbury Horticultural Society and its partners, attracted record crowds, with about 1,200 people passing through the Parkside Centre on, you guessed it, Sunday. Master gardeners were on hand to give formal talks and answer all the ‘seedy’ questions people had about farming. Organizer Stuart McCall, of McGrow Farms, said at least part of the popularity of Seedy Sunday is it reminds people that spring is near. There’s a growing awareness, McCall said, about the importance of eating food not only grown closer to home, but that’s less processed and healthier for families. Northern Life story

 

Ketchup fight shines a light on local food and local jobs

Premier Kathleen Wynne made a public point of buying French’s ketchup this week, noting her government provided financial aid to keep the processing plant going after Heinz closed up shop. “Something is happening,” Charlebois said. “There’s some convergence in the marketplace that really allows for this phenomena to occur.” Neil Currie, general manager of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, said people in the industry began seeing the impact of the local food movement a few years ago. Toronto Sun story.

 

OFA champions food literacy with new online resource

A new food literacy site launched today to help young people learn to make healthy food choices that will improve the future health of Ontarians.  Promoting greater food literacy is the driver behind SixbySixteen.me – the new site developed by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). Food literacy is a key objective in the National Food Strategy®, developed by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture with OFA. The new Six by Sixteen site is designed to help Ontario teenagers learn to plan and prepare six nutritious meals by the time they are 16. Ontario Federation of Agriculture post.

 

Cramahe Recognizes Top Businesses Of 2015

The 2015 Cramahe New Business of the Year is the Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre. Formally opened last spring with a celebration attended by Premier Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs Jeff Leal and MPP Lou Rinaldi, the Venture Centre is the first of its kind in Ontario. A partnership between federal, provincial and municipal governments, the facility is run by the Economic Development department of Northumberland County. It is a not-for-profit small-batch food processing facility that encourages innovation & entrepreneurship in order to support and advance a sustainable regional local food economy. Northumberland View story.

 

You can ‘borrow’ seeds from the Windsor Public Library

Windsor residents will be able to “borrow” seeds from the Forest Glade branch of the Windsor Public Library later this month. A seed bank there is tentatively scheduled to open March 21, just in time for spring planting. Peltier said the branch will start with 50 varieties of vegetables, herbs and native plants, but he hopes that will grow to 250. He said the idea is that those who borrow the seeds, germinate their own seeds, and then return those to the library for someone else to use. CBC News story.

 

Phelpston Farm Receives An Award

Nicholyn Farms in Phelpston in Springwater Township has received an award for being an Outstanding Farm Market by the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association. The farm is run by Nicholas and Lynda Van Casteren and has been in operation for 34 years, employing 19 people. The farm is 130 acres and produces pork, beef, chicken and lamb without antibiotics or growth hormones. And the 3,000 square foot market building offers what’s grown and raised on site, but also offerings from 75 other producers. Bayshore Broadcasting story.

 

Food System Sustainability

MEALsource has been recognized for its ground-breaking work to advance opportunities for local food producers to become engaged in the healthcare contract process. Using the power of the dollar, we have helped increase purchases of local, sustainable foods that contribute to a more resilient local food system, while bringing more local fruits, vegetables and protein to the table for our Members’ patients. We track and report on Product of Ontario contract items. With the roll out of the Local Food Act in Ontario, it is important for our membership to access this information easily. Therefore, all of our award reports identify whether a product is “Product of Ontario” based on the current OMAFRA definition. St. Joseph’s Health System post.

 

A New Festival Will Be Wonderfully Cheesy

Local food lovers will get to experience a new upcoming festival about all things cheesy. The inaugural Dairy Capital Cheese Festival is coming to Woodstock in April. It will feature some amazing local food and beverages to sample and of course the focus will be on local cheese. Event Planner with Bonafide Events Studio Jessica Faria tells Heart FM what you will experience at the festival. 104.7 Heart FM story.

 

Soup-er Girl Success Begins on the Caledon Local Food Scene

Market goers to the Orangeville, Inglewood, Erin and Brampton Farmers’ Markets are eagerly buying Soup Girl products at their weekly markets. Retailers across the Golden Horseshoe and beyond are now carrying Soup Girl products. Let’s meet the force behind this flourishing food business: Jennifer Clark. Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance post.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

The Scarecrow

Watch “The Scarecrow,” the companion film for Chipotle’s new app-based game. Then download the free app at http://www.scarecrowgame.com and join the quest for wholesome, sustainable food. The song “Pure Imagination” performed by Grammy Award®–winning artist Fiona Apple, is available for download on iTunes. Chipotle Mexican Grill animation.

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

Harvest Ontario 2015: Your Source for Local

The 15th edition of Harvest Ontario, Ontario’s best source for agritourism attractions, is now available free while quantities last at your local Home Hardware, Home Hardware Building Centres and Home Furniture locations as well as select Ontario Travel Centres. This is most used source for attractions including local pick-your-own farms, on-farm markets, roadside markets, farmers’ markets, wineries, fairs, farm-stay vacations, craft breweries. This year we have included the popular craft cideries as well. There is no better way to explore, experience and enjoy the bounty of good things Ontario then heading out to your local destination on a little day-trip adventure. Please note we are unable to provide copies via mail. A digital version of the guide is available. Website.

 

Bruce County Event To Be Educational – And Delicious

The President of the Bruce County Federation of Agriculture says tickets are moving quickly for their upcoming meal in a field event. Pat Jilesen describes the July 3rd Real Farm, Real Food, Real Experience event as a chance for non-farmers to interact with farmers and learn about Bruce County agriculture. The highlite of the event is a sit-down meal for 250 people at a long table in the middle of a field just outside Kincardine. The menu is all locally-produced food. Blackburn AgriMedia story.

 

Greenbelt Expansion in Brant County

Farmer, professor and activist, Ella Haley, notes that “Brant County is known as a breadbasket, one of the very best places in Canada to grow food. Yet Brant also serves as the “relief valve” for growth that is not permitted within the Ontario Greenbelt”. As much as one fifth of Brant County’s foodland has been purchased or is being eyed for future development by developers, land bankers and the City of Brantford. There is also a mad scramble to convert farmland to gravel pits. Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post.

 

Evaluating Community Food Hubs: A Practical Guide

Supported by the OMAFRA-University of Guelph Research Partnership, Erin Nelson and Karen Landman have developed a practical guide aimed at helping community food hubs conduct evaluation work. The information and suggestions provided in the guide are based largely on conversations with representatives of community food hubs that have proven track-records of success – both in terms of their overall operations, and in implementing effective evaluation strategies. The insights offered by these experts in the field are complemented by information from the literature available on evaluation. Nourishing Ontario report.

 

McDonald’s Canada Running Sustainable Beef Pilot Project

A McDonald’s Canada spokesman says the restaurant chain is committed to buying sustainable beef from Canadian producers. But Jeff Fitzpatrick-Stilwell says the company has no plans to set up it’s own sustainability standard. He says he expects McDonald’s globally will be make it’s first purchases of sustainable beef from Canadian producers. McDonald’s spokesman Jeff Fitzpatrick-Stilwell says they want to work with the industry to come up with a definition of sustainable beef that works in Canada. Blackburn AgriMedia story.

 

Local Food Funding For Saugeen Specialty Grains

A Grey County company one of 14 sharing in Local Food Fund money announced by provincial agriculture minister Jeff Leal. Saugeen Specialty Grains is getting up to 200 thousand dollars to buy and install modern steam flaking equipment. That will allow the company to process it’s own grains as well as grains from other local farmers into ready-to-use, readily available products. Blackburn AgriMedia story.

 

Food literacy a big focus for Ontario’s first local food report

Ontario Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal says in a statement accompanying report that expanding Ontario’s market for local foods is key to helping the sector meet goals set by Premier Kathleen Wynne in 2013. She challenged the agri-food sector to double its growth rate and create 120,000 new jobs by 2020. Ontario Federation of Agriculture president Don McCabe says the report is important for highlighting results to date. “We should be able to build on those results and bring more opportunity in the future.” Better Farming story. Report.

 

Ontario Farmland Trust Hits Major Milestone

The Ontario Farmland Trust has reached what it’s Chair calls a major milestone. Norman Ragetlie says a deal with the Jesuits of Upper Canada involves protection of 92 acres of the Ignatius Jesuit Centre property. That’s the 10th farm protected by the trust and puts it over the 1 thousand acre mark. OFT’s Farmland Protection Easements are landowner-initiated ‘forever agreements’ that are registered on property titles to prohibit any non-agricultural development on the land in the future. Blackburn AgriMedia story.

 

Native Rights And Forests Chewed Into Dust

I was moved to hear in the longhouse of the Six Nations Confederacy an effort by the revered Cayuga environmentalist, the late Norm Jacobs, to have the courts defend treaties and the land. He explained that if treaties that protect the land are not enforced, Native rights will simply be ground into the dust by those who seek to exploit our traditional territories for profit. During the last days of the deep cold winter of 2015, one of the worst examples I have seen of Jacobs’ warnings took place. Fifty acres of forest were ground into sawdust in defiance of our treaties that seek to defend the land. First Nation Drum article.

 

Enhancing Conservation Cropping Systems

The Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario is working to develop and promote the adoption of an effective one-pass spring strip-tillage system for Ontario corn production. Approved for up to $25,000 under the Ontario Farm Innovation Program (OFIP), this project is investigating the new model for its economic and environmental performance and comparing the results to a conventional-till system. The majority of Ontario corn is produced through conventional tillage, which results in unprotected soil surfaces that are highly vulnerable to erosion. Agricultural Adaptation Council post.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Dirty Girl: an urban gardening webseries

I’m Erin (aka Dirty Girl) and this is the story of my garden in the city, in a small yard. I want to show my son where his food comes from, and it’s not the grocery store! Instagram. Youtube trailer.

Local Food News — Canada

 

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.

Eat Think Vote campaign focuses on food policy

“Eat Think Vote” is the political slogan adopted by Food Secure Canada, an alliance of organizations working to end hunger and promote accessible, healthy food through sustainable food systems. As of Monday, the group will begin inviting federal candidates across the country to sit down to a community-cooked meal and talk seriously about the need for a better food policy in Canada. Toronto Star story.

‘It’s about time’: The plan to grow fresh produce in Nunavut

A group of Toronto students will spend the summer in Nunavut, building a greenhouse where they hope to grow fresh produce for local people to eat. Food is hard to come by in Canada’s North. The cold climate and short growing season don’t allow most plants to grow, so there are few options for those living so close to the Arctic Circle. Produce has to be transported in by boat or plane, leading to prices most southerners would consider exorbitant. Fresh fruits and vegetables generally cost about four times as much as in the rest of Canada. CTV News story.

7K Panorama Ranch allows guests to eat, drink and be merry

The tagline for the 7K Panorama Ranch, located about 40 minutes outside of Calgary toward Millarville, is “for the joy of gathering.” Mike and Deb Kaumeyer hope to transform their beautiful space in the rolling Foothills into an experiential food hub, welcoming students and other guests looking to cook, share a meal, feed a horse or stick their hands in the dirt. CBC News Calgary story.

You Gotta Eat Here to feature Battista’s Calzones in upcoming television show

Battista’s Calzone Company will be the centre of attention on Alberta Avenue on July 6, when cameras descend to tape an episode of the Food Network Canada show, You Gotta Eat Here. In preparation for the exposure, co-owners Liv Vors and Battista Vecchio have been sprucing up the five-year-old business, which is now complete with a bust of Caesar. The television program merely adds to the excitement around the shop, where Vors and Vecchio have recently expanded to include retail production, with their frozen products now available at the Italian Centre Shops in Edmonton. Edmonton Journal  blog.

The Hellmann’s® Real Food Movement is taking action against food insecurities in Canada

A recent Hellmann’s survey revealed that while 1 in 5 Canadians are living in a food desert only 50% of Canadians have heard the term.  A food desert is defined as an area where affordable, high-quality fresh food is difficult to access. Although the problem impacts Canadians throughout the country, it is more prevalent in the North, where fresh tomatoes can cost up to 7x more than an urban centre. Canada News Wire story.

Vancouver, Edmonton two of biggest players in Canada’s food truck scene

What is Canada’s food truck capital? Well, it’s not Toronto or Montreal, which have both between a little slow to embrace the street food trend. If you look at it strictly from a per-capita basis, Charlottetown, PEI – with its seven food trucks – leads the country. But it’s in the west that the food truck scene is truly booming. In 2015, Vancouver issued more licenses for street food than any other Canadian city. Global News 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.

ALR land can be used to establish breweries, according to new rules

New government regulations will make it easier for farmers to add or enlarge processing facilities on agricultural land and to establish breweries, distilleries and meaderies under terms similar to wineries. Changes to the Agricultural Land Commission Act will allow farmers to process, cook, freeze and pack their crops on land in the Agricultural Land Reserve provided that at least 50 per cent of the farm products are grown on the farm or are supplied by a co-operative of farmers. Vancouver Sun story.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

Vancouver’s Foodie Culture Thriving-But….

Almost three quarters of Vancouverites say they eat out or get take out at least once a week or more often. That is just one of the findings of a comprehensive Ipsos survey released today by Yellow Pages (TSX:Y), a leading digital media and marketing solutions company in Canada, to mark the Vancouver launch of YP Dine, a new mobile app dedicated to the restaurant and dining sector. Designed with “foodies” in mind, the YP Dine app helps Canadians make dining choices based primarily on mood and/or activity. Things such as “happy hour”, “weekend brunch”, “lunch with coworkers”, “late night eats” or “quick dinner fixes” to name a few. Stockhouse story.

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.

Local Food News — Canada

Quick Response codes added to VG Farms meat products by Longo’s and Market stores

Retailer and grocery store chain, Longo’s, from Ontario, Canada, has announced a partnership with VG Farms to provide local meat to all of its stores, including those under the Market brand, and will use QR codes to help to keep consumers informed. The quick response codes will be used to allow the meat products to be traced back to their sources. QR Code Press story.

 

UPA’s report: 15 ways to maintain and develop the family farm

This year’s UPA International Development report presents conclusions on the study Dialogue sur l’agriculture familiar en Amérique du Nord which took place in Quebec April 7th and 8th of this year. Covering a wide range of topics about food policy, food safety, and recommendations to maintain and develop the family farm, the report has been sent to the United Nations’ World Food Organisation (WFO).  The recommendations are more of a call to the State and agricultural organizations than to civil society and citizen-consumer. Among them, the most important are: helping new generations establish themselves in agriculture; guarantee access to finances and agricultural funds; ensure a decent income through more equitable commercial regulations; make training, knowledge, and technology available; help adopt policies based on the recognition of multifunctionality on family farms which benefit society as a whole; ensure that farmers, via their organizations, are seated in the driver’s seat and influence agricultural policies; and install solidarity programs between agricultural organizations in the North and South. UPA post (French). (Translation by Qu’anglo Communication & Consulting)

 

Culinary Adventures Part of Taste of Edmonton

Taste of Edmonton kicks off tomorrow and runs through July 26. Something new this year are culinary adventures, or what organizers have called foodie field trips. I had a chance to speak with Paul Lucas, general manager at Events Edmonton, who says focus groups indicated Edmontonians wanted to have more experiences with local food. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development post.

 

“Aliments du Québec au menu” a new certification for Quebec food products in restaurants

Since June 18, consumers can easily identify dishes with Quebec-grown products in 60 different restaurants across the province, thanks to the new program Aliments du Québec au menu which has a goal to highlight Quebec-grown food products on restaurant menus. Participating restaurants each offer five dishes which contain Quebec products, as well as the name of the company which supplies the ingredients. The logo Aliments du Québec or Aliments préparés au Québec will soon appear on menus. Québec Huffington Post story (French). (Translation by Qu’anglo Communication & Consulting)

 

Lactuca urban farm moves to Northlands site

Lactuca, an urban farm that started in 2012 in the backyard of a Westmount home, has moved to a one-acre site on the Northlands grounds. Business partners Travis Kennedy and Kevin Kossowan are still growing the varietal salad greens that made them well-known among local foodies. “This is the first time that Lactuca has been alive, that we are no longer struggling with space,” Kossowan told the CBC’s Tim Adams. Kossowan and Kennedy planted six linear miles of salad greens, all at various stages of growth, to keep a steady supply going. Yahoo! story.

 

Freetown egg farm building EU-humane barn for hens

An egg farm in Freetown is one of the first in Canada to build a barn meeting European Union standards of production. The EU requires more humane treatment than Canadian regulators and Burns Poultry Farm will soon provide their hens with a better laying environment. Although the hens will still be in cages, they will have a perch to stand on as well as a private nesting area for laying eggs. The more humane hen cages include perches, nesting areas and emery boards for the hens to file their claws. Hens are also able to file their own claws on an emery board posted inside the cage. CBC News story.

 

Leading the Way: Innovators in Farm Direct Marketing Tour, September 10, 2014

Explore Local, in partnership with the Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association, is offering Leading the Way: Innovators in Farm Direct Marketing, a one-day bus tour of farm direct production and marketing operations in the Edmonton area. “We will visit four farm direct operations and end the day with a visit to an Edmonton farmers’ market,” says Eileen Kotowich, farmers’ market specialist, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Vermilion. “These stops will show you first-hand how these operators have diversified and grown their businesses to meet the demand for local food and farm entertainment.” Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development post.

 

Local, organic or vegan: What’s best for the environment?

There are some typical examples. One of them is, all things being equal, it’s better to eat local because there’s less transport which means fewer greenhouse gas emissions, so you’re not trucking things from as far. But I think it goes far beyond that. When we eat local, we’re eating food made within our political realm. You have much more potential control over how that food is made, both in who is making it and also the impact it has on the environment. If you’re in Toronto and you buy your food from a farm outside of London, you have much more control over knowing how it’s made. There’s more transparency, but ultimately you’re able to change how it’s made by lobbying for certain types of laws to be passed. It creates a consciousness around food, to be surrounded by places where food is made. If we outsourced all of our food making to other countries it would give us far less opportunities to meet farmers and to have control and to learn about our food. Steffanie Pinch interview on Rabble.ca.

 

Agricultural Land Use Planning in Canada

The purpose of our research is to examine how the changing role and value of agriculture within Canadian society today might affect agricultural land use planning within and across national, provincial, and local jurisdictions.  This project is a three-year study with nine researchers from six universities across Canada and funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant. The first issue of our project research bulletin, “Protecting Canada’s Farmland”, is now available on our website. Bulletin. Website.

 

ALUS and Wetlands

Alternative Land Use Services uses a community-led and farmer-delivered approach to conserving wetlands on the prairies. Director of Conservation Policy Jim Fisher explains why we believe this is the best approach. Video.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Picturing Women Farmers

For former accountant and operations manager Vicky Brown, it’s no longer a 9-5 world but instead a 24-hour one that has no days off. There are morning chores and milking, market preparation, stocking the farm store, deliveries, meetings that take place in fields instead of boardrooms, evening chores and more milking. The bonus checks come in the form of the moments she steals to nuzzle the “ladies”, her Nubian Goats, before the evening milking. Vicky’s micro-dairy and goat farm has led the revival of dairy farms on Washington’s Whidbey Island. Her artisan goat cheese can be found on the menus of top restaurants throughout Seattle. Modern Farmer story.

Local Food News — Ontario

New local food week good for business say ag groups

Representatives from some of Ontario’s agricultural organizations say that, despite the fanfare, Ontario’s “Local Food Week” is about sharing information about the industry with consumers and highlighting the benefits of supporting local farms. In that spirit, Wuermli says her organization has partnered with Farm and Food Care to “kick off” the week’s inaugural run with a media tour of a beef feedlot near Alliston. While the tour is not an open event, Wuermli says Farm and Food Care and Beef Farmers of Ontario focused on urban media sources, such as Canadian Living, in their invitations; those in attendance, she says, come from a variety of different professional backgrounds ranging from chefs and food bloggers to dietitians and other media persons. Better Farming story.

 

A local food hub looks to locate at Gallipeau Centre

The idea is to bring food producers, processors, buyers and distributers together to merchandise local food – locally. It’s not a new idea; in fact food hubs as they are called are a fast growing phenomena. “Smiths Falls is right in the middle, and we’re looking to the Gallipeau Centre for food processing space,” said Bill Dobson, reeve of Montague Township and member of the Two Rivers Food Hub’s working group. “The former Rideau Regional used to prepare 9,000 meals a day they have incredible facilities.” Inside Ottawa Valley story.

 

Add one million acres to Ontario’s Greenbelt and create Ontario’s first Food Belt

Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt (MLGB) – mayors and councillors from across the GTA – urged the Ontario government to take some bold actions and stand up for Ontario’s green spaces, watersheds, farmland and natural heritage systems. The MLGB co-Chairs – Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, Ajax Mayor Steve Parish and Toronto Councillor Glenn DeBaeremaeker – were at Queen’s Park today to urge Ontario to take the following steps: Expand the Greenbelt by an additional 1 million acres; Create Ontario’s (and Canada’s) first Food Belt consisting of 200,000 acres for farming; Reduce red tape for municipalities who want to grow the Greenbelt in their communities. City of Guelph post on behalf of Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt.

 

Sowing seeds of success: Local farmer honoured with community award

Ian Stutt didn’t come from a farming family. He grew up in Montreal and originally moved to Kingston to study global development at Queen’s University. Yet over the past eight years he has made quite the impact on the local farming community, and on March 7 was named Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year by the Frontenac Soil and Crop Improvement Association. The award recognized his leadership in assisting fellow farmers and promoting the local food system, while at the same time balancing a successful business at his own organic vegetable farm, Patchwork Gardens, which he operates yearround with his wife, Megan Joslin, and business partner, Eric Williams. The Land Newspaper story.

 

Vibrant agri-food sector hinges on farmland preservation

For Ontario farmers – and Ontarians who rely on local food  ?  farmland is our greatest and most important resource. But despite the vast and diverse area of land that makes up Canada’s second-largest province, less than 5% of it is suitable for food production. And once farmland is gone, it’s never coming back. That’s why the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is calling for the protection of Class 1, 2, 3 and 4 – the land that supports most agricultural activity. The OFA is also calling on government to protect a farmer’s ability to farm when urban expansion and aggregate extraction are occurring on or next to a farm. Ontario Federation of Agriculture release.

 

Growing Good Food Ideas: upStream Aquaponics

The York Region Food Network is embracing soil-less agriculture as part of building a healthy food-secure community. YRFN’s project, upStream Aquaponics in Newmarket, is a water-based soil-less agriculture system that replicates a natural system that recycles byproducts from living fish to fertilize edible plants. The facility was built over a year and started production in August 2013, growing a variety of lettuce mixes that are being sold to local restaurants in Newmarket as well as being used in YRFN programs. Sustain Ontario post. Video.

 

Tri-Cities Gleaners Guild

A very old practice is laying down new roots in Waterloo Region! The Tri-Cities Gleaners Guild is looking for volunteers of all kinds! Tired of seeing your fruit trees drop rotten fruit all over your yard? We can help! Love eating freshly picked food and spending time with like-minded people? Harvesters will receive 1/3 of the harvest to enjoy themselves, as well as the satisfaction that hard work and friendly companionship brings! Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post.

 

Local Food Expo at Oakville‐Trafalgar Memorial Hospital

Halton Healthcare Services (HHS) is celebrating Local Food Week, designated from June 2-6, by hosting its first Local Food Expo on Wednesday, June 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Oakville‐Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) auditorium, located in the lower level of the hospital. “We are very excited to be able to host our first food expo at the hospital, and we hope it will be the first of many. We invite everyone from all our HHS communities, as well as our staff, physicians and volunteers to come out and join us,” explains Marianne Katusin, HHS Manager, Operational Readiness ‐ Food Services. “What a great week to learn about the local food chain in Ontario and see how we are incorporating local foods into our hospital menus. Come out and taste samples, purchase sweet treats and talk to the growers and manufacturers themselves.” The Independent Free Press story.

 

Feastival — London’s Premier “Local Food” Event

London Training Centre Presents London’s Premier “Local Food” Event. Our 5th Annual Fundraiser at the farm where we grow food ecologically is a Feast in the Field in support of our Local Food Skills program. Feastival is London’s most unique celebration of local seasonal food – a food experience not to be missed. London Training Centre post.

 

Go Fish! Ontario Family Fishing Events run July 5-13

Ontario Family Fishing Week gets underway this weekend, and clubs and service organizations across the province are getting ready to host family-friendly events. During the week of July 5 to 13, fishing derbies and festivals will be running in more than 50 communities, including several in the Toronto area. The popular initiative is designed to bring families together in the outdoors to enjoy fishing on one of Ontario’s more than 250,000 lakes and countless rivers and streams. Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters news release.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

“This is a life-wrecking event” — Margaret Atwood

Our idyllic village has become ground zero in the fight to preserve Canada’s fast-disappearing farmland and natural areas from sprawling mega-developments — all because the Ontario Government made a special loophole in the ‘Ontario Places to Grow Act’ allowing a private developer to turn Midhurst from a village of 3,500 into a city of 30,000. We started a petition demanding the Ontario Government close this unprecedented loophole and save Midhurst. Through the magic of twitter, Margaret Atwood found out about our petition and was inspired to lend her support!. Margaret Atwood explains. Change.org petition.