Local Food News — World

Kimbal Musk is Changing the Food System One School Garden at a Time

Kitchen Community’s Learning Gardens, which are made from are made of 18-inch-tall blocks of white recyclable polyethylene, can be configured in different layouts depending on a school’s needs. They have an integrated drip system which means that maintenance is minimal, especially in the summer and over the weekend. Most importantly, they can be built in just two days. There are currently 268 Learning Gardens in Memphis, Chicago, and Denver, with more on the way, and the Kitchen Community team works with public and private funders to raise the $40,000 necessary to build each one. Civil Eats post.

 

Grub’s up! Galway wins European Region of Gastronomy title for 2018

‘Galway – West of Ireland’ and North Brabant in the Netherlands were named as the successful bidders for 2018 at a meeting of International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT) experts in Den Bosch last week. The European Region of Gastronomy Award recognises innovation and integration in gastronomy, culture, tourism and economy. Successful bidders go on to mount a major, year-long programme showcasing their region and its produce. Irish Independent story.

 

Why This New York Restaurant Chain Is Buying Its Own Farm

By next year, if you happen to have lunch at Dig Inn—a chain of fast casual restaurants in Manhattan—the kale or Brussels sprouts on your plate might be more than just local. It might have been grown at the chain’s own upstate farm. “But now we’ll establish ourselves in not only understanding what they do, and what their day-to-day looks like in how they provide vegetables for us, but also to be a mover and shaker in changing what the farm-to-table conversation can look like.” The farm will experiment with different varieties of heirloom seeds, rotational and companion planting, and other organic farming methods. Fast Company Exist story.

 

New Food Entrepreneur Coaching Scheme – Scotland

In 2016 Nourish is offering a free mentorship and peer-coaching scheme for both aspiring and established local food entrepreneurs in Scotland, whether in primary and/or secondary production. (Future) veg growers, fruit producers, livestock-keepers, bakers, brewers, butchers etc, all welcome. As part of a small group of participants we’ll match you up with an experienced local food entrepreneur who can support you in getting clearer on how you can make a living from local food, what you still need to learn and where to go from here. Sustainable Food Cities post.

 

Federal government wants farmers to supply local markets

The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union has been chosen for a federal pilot program that puts farmers in contact with markets close to home to meet the growing demand for food grown locally and to encourage more people to become farmers. The program gets $850,000 in federal funds that are added to $2 million in private contributions to hire regional coordinators. The program launched by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is called Leveraging Investment for Network Coordination. Colorado Springs Gazette story.

 

USDA Announces over $90 Million Available to Support Local Food Systems, Specialty Crop Producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of more than $90 million in competitive grants to help strengthen local and regional food systems, develop new market opportunities for producers, and support farmers growing fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, flowers and nursery crops (known collectively as specialty crops). These grants programs are administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and include the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program, and the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program. AgNet West story.

 

Get Ready For A Food Experience | From Foraging to Fine Dining

You may fancy yourself meandering through the beautiful Cork countryside on a Food Lover’s Gourmet Foraging Weekend. In the expert hands of food champion Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School, and innovative award winning Chef Kevin Aherne of Sage Restaurant, you’ll discover the food you can pick for free, and learn what to do with it in the kitchen. Then you will eat it, of course! Good Food Ireland post.

 

‘Food LINC’ To Boost Farm Sales, Grow Local Foods Sector In Ten Regions

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials today joined 15 national and regional philanthropic partners to announce a new initiative to bolster the supply chain for local food systems around ten key U.S. cities. The project, dubbed ‘Food LINC’, will connect demand for local food in ten urban areas with supply from farmers and ranchers, strengthening each region’s local food business sector and also increasing consumer access to healthy, local food. The announcement was made at the Wallace Center’s National Food Hub Conference in Atlanta. PerishableNews story.

 

South Downs National Park food products may be brand protected

Plans to ‘brand’ protect food and drink produced in the South Downs National Park have been a given a boost by Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss. On a visit to Butser Ancient Farm she learned that the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) is pursuing European Union (EU) protection for local food and drink products. “We want to protect them and their geographical location, by registering them with the EU. “It’s a bit like Champagne, only sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region can be so called. This protection is vital to safeguard local products. Petersfield Today story

 

Grow your indoor garden all year round

This May, IKEA is introducing an indoor gardening series that lets you grow your own tasty lettuce and herbs in water. Developed in collaboration with agricultural scientists in Sweden, KRYDDA/VÄXER series includes everything you need to get sprouting and keep your garden growing – even in the winter! How it works? Just keep an eye on the water level. That’s all. Ikea post.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Italy to change law to make all supermarkets give unsold food to needy

Italy is set to pass a law that will make supermarkets donate their waste food to charities. It will become the second European country to pass such laws after the French introduced a bill in February which bans supermarket throwing away or spoiling unsold food. The bill has recieved widespread bipartisan support and is expected to pass the lower house of the parliament on Monday before a final vote in the Senate of the Republic. Independent story.

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Local Food News — Canada

Beer freezies being brewed up in Fredericton

It all started a few weeks ago when Lawrence began experimenting with other types of freezies, such as apple cider, yogurt and berry and vegetable juice. Then he decided to try beer ones, based on customer feedback. His latest invention, dubbed the Dooryard Shandy Sorbet Freezie, is made with Fredericton-based Picaroons Traditional Ales’ Dooryard Summer Wheat Ale. The beer is simmered lightly into an organic lemon, lime and honey-infused sorbet and then frozen, said Lawrence. “You’re not going to get drunk off them — fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on who you’re talking to,” he said. CBC News Fredericton story.

 

Barn doors open for local food

On Aug. 22 and 23, over 70 farms and ranches across Alberta will be open to the public, with special tours and agricultural activities from hay rides to food tastings to introduce urbanites to rural Alberta. Agriculture is Alberta’s largest renewable industry, with more than 43,000 farms on 50.5 million acres of land exporting over $9 billion in products and produce every year. That being said, Alberta is also the most urbanized province in Canada, with over 80% of the population living in cities. Edmonton Sun story.

 

Urban foraging: A sidewalk salad

John Winter Russell hasn’t gone more than a few steps from the Georges Vanier métro station and already he has spotted enough to fill a salad bowl. The Montreal chef and urban forager finds food in the most unexpected of places: in the crevices between paving stones and broken asphalt, in overgrown laneways and abandoned lots, in parks and untended garden beds and city planters. Montreal Gazette story.

 

‘Bee hotels’ spread across Canada

If bees had a tourism industry, it would be buzzing. Following the 2014 success of Canada’s first pollinator bee hotel, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts have announced that they’re expanding their fleet of bee-friendly rooftop resting places for solitary pollinator bees, which make up 90 per cent of the world’s bee population and pollinate one-third of the food we eat. In addition to the existing refuge that sits atop the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, six more pollinator bee hotels will be built across Canada, from Whistler to Winnipeg. An additional ten are destined for public green spaces. Canadian Geographic story.

 

Local fare goes global

Be it Italian Day, the Buskerfest or night markets, food plays a significant role in the lives of Vancouverites. While sushi is certainly one of the most popular dishes in town, the city’s culinary scene offers much variety. Michelle Ng, food lover and founder of Vancouver Foodie Tours, says the culinary cuisine has changed a lot over the last decade. Vancouver’s culinary scene seems to be defined by people’s lifestyles and the geographic peculiarities. According to Ng, Vancouver’s food scene is primarily characterized by eating local, fresh ingredients. New Canadian Media story.

 

Matt presents Pan-Canadian Food Strategy Petition

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present two petitions today. The first is in support of a pan-Canadian food strategy. The signatories point out that Canada is notable among its industrialized comparators in our absence of a comprehensive food policy. The signatories to this petition call upon the Government of Canada to implement a pan-Canadian food strategy to support farmers, improve access to healthy and local food, and to market Canadian food at home and abroad. Matthew Kellway MP Beaches—East York post.

 

Choosing Local Food Is Casting Vote For World We Want To Live In

Robinson has been run off her feet serving customers and baking, but saw many opportunities to add products and grow the business. She simply didn’t have the time to do any of it. “I’m excited to have time to do things I couldn’t do before,” said Robinson. So Hayes and her husband Geoff, an IT specialist laid off from Tim Hortons, have thrown themselves in. Geoff, a hobby cook, is finding unique and local products to showcase in the market, including honey vinegar from Toronto Honeybee Rescue, ice syrup from Niagara and maple syrup from Deerfield Farms in Burlington. Hamilton Spectator story.

 

Time to table an overarching national food policy

Diana Bronson, executive director of Food Secure Canada, challenges any and all future candidates in the as-of-yet unannounced but inevitable fall federal election to get on board with a national food policy. Four actions this challenge centres around are: study the feasibility of a basic income floor as a first step to improve the lives of four million Canadians who are food insecure, create real solutions to the northern food-cost crisis with northerners at the table, invest in a universal healthy school food program so that all kids can learn well, and support the next generation of farmers who will provide sustainable, local food. Chronicle Herald opinion piece.

 

Food safety is important, but so is locally sourced meat

We need regulations that support local food systems, not hinder their development. One-size-fits-all solutions do not work because small-scale abattoirs that handle five or 10 cattle per day cannot and should not be subject to the same rules as industrial facilities that slaughter hundreds and thousands. Instead, we should be looking into on-farm slaughter methods and the use of mobile abattoirs. These offer a more humane alternative to provincial or federal abattoirs, and are more easily adapted to local meat producers’ needs. Montreal Gazette opinion piece.

 

Supply managed system touted in buy local campaign

If Canadians want to buy local food, they need to support the concept of supply management. That is the premise behind campaigns launched this spring by egg, dairy and poultry associations to protect the program that Canada has defended at every trade negotiation since the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade was in place. The campaigns emphasize how family farms working under a quota system can deliver fresh food to Canadians, said Alison Evans of Egg Farmers of Canada. Western Producer 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

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 — 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 — Ontario

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

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

 

Are we heading for another farm financial crisis? May 26

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

 

Cut Down Your Grocery Bill: Foraging in the Waterloo Region

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

 

Create a healthy food environment at Cobourg Community Centre

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

 

2015 Official VQA Wines of Ontario’s Legislative Assembly

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

 

Craft Beer Festival drawing strong interest

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

 

Experts Find Family Farm Strength in Land Ownership Study

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

 

St. Lawrence College, Sustainable Local Food Certificate

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

 

Online Certificate in Food Security, Starting May 4, 2015

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

 

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

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

 

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

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