Local Food News — World

3rd-graders learn value of local agriculture

Estes Elementary School third-grade Academically Intellectually Gifted students are working on a Farm Community Awareness Campaign. We want people to know more about farms, but we also want people to realize that farms are not just cows, pigs and other animals that you think of as basically boring. Farms are more interesting than you might think they are. Mountain Xpress post.

 

Year After Year, the Same State Ranks as the Best for Local Food

When a Vermont-based nonprofit that advocates for local food initiatives finds, year after year, that Vermont is the most locavore-friendly state in the country—that is, the state that makes it easiest to eat locally grown food—it may be tempting to write it off. Still, despite Vermont’s coming in first place for the fifth year in a row in the Strolling of the Heifers 2016 Locavore Index, released Monday, the ranking is more than a vanity project—it offers a compelling look at the state of small farms, and the policies that support them, across the country. TakePart story.

 

Localizing Distribution to Make Better Food Accessible to All

As we think about rewiring the food system for the better, we should aspire to collapse the distribution chain instead of adding to it. The solution is to eliminate middlemen, not simply replace them — Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) and tech companies like Farmigo are already applying just-in-time models to directly connect consumers to farm-fresh food, harvesting only what’s ordered to maximize freshness and reduce waste. Food + Tech Connect guest post by Benzi Ronen, Founder of Farmigo

 

What If The Food Industry Ended Monoculture Farming?

Since 1974, the average number of items in a grocery store has increased from 9,000 to almost 44,000 today. Yet today, 75 percent of the world’s food is generated from only 12 plants and 5 animal species, finds the Food and Agriculture Organization. So while the range of products available has widened, the range of crops grown to produce those products has narrowed over the last 40+ years. This is a food system dominated by monoculture. Food + Tech Connect post.

 

Homegrown edibles trend in county

County residents are investing in more homegrown fruits, vegetables, and chickens, according to three local business officials. Jon Hefley of The Lumberyard in Hillsboro has noticed more people have started to grow potatoes, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and other common foodstuffs instead of purchasing them at grocery stores. “Homegrown food just tastes so different,” Hefley said. “Prices are going up on a lot of groceries, and with the drop in beef prices, people are scared, too. There is a lot of uncertainty.” The Lumberyard has stocked small chicken coops, some of which look like little red barns, to meet another trend Hefley has noticed. Hillsboro Star-Journal story.

 

There’s something cooking at the Vogelmorn Club

Homegrown food businesses will be able to operate out the Vogelmorn Club’s newly installed kitchen this spring. The kitchen will be rented on an hourly basis so goods can be produced for markets in accordance with food safety laws. The Vogelmorn Community Group came up with the idea after asking Brooklyn people how they’d like to use the old bowling clubrooms on Mornington Road. Many requested a place with a proper hygiene certificate to press, package, and make goods they could sell in markets around Wellington. Stuff.co.nz story.

 

How Small Grocers are Banding Together to Change Food Retail For the Good

So he told Sarah Weiner, who co-founded and runs the awards via the Seedling Projects, that he thought stores like his and other independents needed to pool together as the presenting sponsor of the Good Food Awards. “Through the process of talking through it and testing the idea out with a few people, the idea of the collaborative was born,” Mogannam said. The initial idea was two-fold. They would create a network of independent retailers who could sponsor the Good Food Awards collectively as an entity. They would also help to grow the sale of organic and sustainable products by championing the producers and pushing sales in their stores. Civil Eats story.

 

Beijing’s First Culinary Incubator, Hatchery

Based in Beijing, China, Hatchery is an innovative platform that brings together entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and local communities to develop, test, launch, and enjoy exciting new food and beverage ideas. Since our founding in 2015, we have been working hard to bring more of the world’s unique flavors and cuisines to China. Hatchery is currently headquartered at a multi-purpose space in Tuanjiehu, Beijing. Within the venue is a 250-square-meter dining area with seating for up to 100 diners, fully stocked bar, private dining rooms, and a table-tennis table. The Hatchery kitchen occupies 180 square meters with bakery, large food preparation areas, professional kitchen equipment and food storage facilities. The Beijinger blog.

 

Agrihoods: A new housing trend is taking root

“How ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm?” asks the old song. The answer may be: Build them an agrihood. Feeding off the continuing interest in eating fresh, local food, developers are ditching golf courses and designing communities around farms, offering residents a taste of the pastoral life — and tasty produce, too. The latest incarnation of harvest homes is The Cannery, a community designed around a small farm in Davis, about 20 miles west of California’s capital, Sacramento. Press Herald story.

 

The World’s First Floating Urban Dairy Farm Will Be Built In Rotterdam

The Floating Farm will be home to 60 urban dairy cows that will produce local milk, cheese, cream, butter, and yogurt. “Our idea is to create as much food as we can locally,” says Peter van Wingerden, director of Beladon, a building developer that specializes in floating structures and that envisions building fully floating cities in the future. “The long-term idea is to create cities that are completely self-sufficient on essential elements like clean water, energy, food, and waste—to create this inside these cities on oceans,” he says. Fast Company post.

 

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Review: The War on Food

At what point will any of us have the balls to stand up and say ‘you know what, it’s time for a new corporate model, one that is a mod of incorporation’ and be ready to throw tomatoes instead of capsicums, even though we have no tomatoes to throw…and that’ll make sense if and when you see the show. Which you must, because there is a wonderful economy of homegrown talent happening here, and it’s important to foster this produce. Fresh in thought and in fun, ‘The War on Food’ will leave you thinking and hungry for more. And considering the ending, there is more to come from this fantastic mob of passionate young creatives. And that’s a good thing…a very very good thing. OUTinPerth review.

Local Food News — Canada

Local food strategy aims to boost Yukon production

The Yukon Government has created a local food strategy, hoping to increase production in the territory. The plan outlines programs and policies the government hopes to enact over the next five years. “They’re looking at more programs, and trying to help the farmers with more funding,” said Lou Clark, who was acclaimed as president of the Yukon Agricultural Association this week. CBC News story.

 

Is local food good for farmers?

Canada’s social sciences council is investing $2.4 million in local food research. Blay-Palmer is director of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., where she explores the big questions around sustainability. Those big questions include social justice, a factor rarely considered in mainstream ag research. For her, looking into economics means not only farm incomes, but also migrant labour, access to affordable food, and what she calls food “re-localization,” or “closing the loop” — to retain as much money as possible in the community. Country Guide story.

 

New website TopFeed to connect P.E.I. food buyers and sellers

The goal of TopFeed is two-fold, said Murphy: make local food more accessible to Islanders, and help small-scale producers grow their clientele. CBC News story.

 

Nova Scotia Food Summit pushes local food

This week marks the first Nova Scotia Food Summit. Event organizers say the summit responds to a mounting need to overhaul our “broken” food system—paying homage to local food and wrangling some much needed support for an agriculture sector in crisis. From Sunday through Tuesday, supporters, thinkers and curious folk alike will congregate at the Old Orchard Inn in Wolfville to talk about restoring a sustainable food system. The Coast story. Website.

 

CitiGrow preps next level of ultra-local food to downtown Winnipeg

Downtown Winnipeg is about to be introduced to the next level of local food. CitiGrow, a company that has built a network of micro-farms in the city, is introducing food box subscriptions. Over the past two years, its produce has been sold to local restaurants. This year, for $37.50 weekly, subscribers will be able to pick up a box of enough food to feed a family of four for a week. The food will be coming from 22 of micro-farms in and around Winnipeg. Winnipeg Metro News story.

 

Scaling up Through Food Procurement Learning Labs

Newfoundland, a province known as The Rock, is not known for its farmland but is known for its culinary creativity and for making the most of resources on the edge of the Atlantic.  When the School Lunch Association, a charitable school food service provider on the Avalon Peninsula, decided to join the local food movement, they knew there would be obstacles. Local food procurement Learning Labs provide an innovative way to navigate these types of obstacles. These Labs, modelled after those of US School Food FOCUS, bring together key stakeholders to articulate their vision and goals. Participants then agree on a handful of priority actions that can realistically be accomplished in a short time frame. Farm to Cafeteria Canada post.

 

Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries bets on local food

Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries doubled the amount of local food it bought to serve in restaurants at its two Winnipeg casinos’ restaurants this year, now dedicating 25 per cent of its annual $4-million food budget to local food purchasing.The uptake of local food purchases means increased demand from companies like Notre Dame Creamery Ltd. to supplying the corporation an additional 600 pounds of butter, adding over $60,000 to the milk processors’ annual revenues. Manitoba Co-operator story.

 

Manitoba Food Processors Association rebranded as Food & Beverage Manitoba

As a non-profit organization, Food & Beverage Manitoba is an advocate for the support of Manitoba’s homegrown food businesses. The food and beverage industry throughout Manitoba is already the most abundant in the province. Food & Beverage Manitoba deals with a wide array of businesses, both local start-ups and multi national organizations, along with everything in between. MyToba story.

 

Will CETA trade away Canada’s local food systems?

Both CETA and the TPP include a highly problematic investor–state dispute settlement process, for example, which will multiply the number of corporate lawsuits challenging public policy that Canada already faces under NAFTA. But only one of these new deals (CETA) encroaches worryingly on the ability of provinces, municipalities and other public institutions to favour domestic food and support national farmers in public procurement contracts. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives post.

 

Real estate speculation threatens future of Metro Vancouver farmland

Real estate speculation of local farmland has passed the “tipping point” and is the leading threat against building a sustainable, job-producing regional food system, according to Dr. Kent Mullinix, director of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems. “To put it quite bluntly, the provincial and federal governments have allowed this huge influx of wealth to come in here and it’s skewed the market; it’s blown it out of the water,” said Mullinix. Richmond News story.

 

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5 food and beverage categories losing market share — an analyst perspective

Amid industrywide fluctuations due to consumer needs and regulatory changes that are in a state of flux, market share loss is weakening manufacturers in key portfolio categories. Analysts from Euromonitor and Mintel shared with Food Dive five categories showing a decline in market share. Food Dive story.

Local Food News — World

UK Government Pushes for More Local Food Labelling

The government is calling on food producers and shops to give more information on labels about where in Britain their food comes from, as new research shows that almost 80 per cent of people see buying local food as a top priority. Any provision of extra information would be on a voluntary basis, but compulsory country of origin labelling (CoOL) for fresh and frozen pork, poultry meat and lamb was introduced across the EU in April. The Dairy Site post.

 

Sharing farm life through Casey’s pizza

Food grown by dedicated farmers and sourced, served and enjoyed locally is being emphasized by the Iowa Food & Family Project (Iowa FFP) with the launch this month of “Homegrown Food. Hometown Values.” The program was launched in partnership with Casey’s General Store. The Iowa-based company, now the country’s fifth-largest chain of pizza kitchens, sources most toppings for its popular breakfast pizzas (including meat, eggs and cheese) from farms in the Midwest. Iowa Farmer Today story.

 

Scottish Food Challenge Blog: 10 things I learned eating Scottish for a month

When I decided to eat only Scottish food for a month, I wanted to celebrate the very best Scottish food. That’s why I picked August, prime harvest time. If I had gone for March, during the notorious “hungry gap”, my challenge would have been near impossible, and I would have struggled to share much enjoyment from food whatsoever. It turns out I was wrong to assume I could celebrate Scottish food for an entire month, even during August. I had failed to take into account the sheer amount of work involved with sourcing ingredients and making everything from scratch. So, although the month featured some fantastic produce and there were moments of absolute brilliance, I also spent parts of the month wondering where my next meal was coming from and whether I could face another bowl of porridge. Scotsman Food & Drink blog.

 

Are Hospital Farms the Next Big Thing in Healthcare Reform?

This summer, St. Luke’s Hospital started sending all new moms home from the hospital with a basket of fresh produce, recipes, and literature about the importance of a healthy diet. All of the produce in the basket was grown on an organic farm on the hospital’s Anderson campus in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The hospital—part of a six-campus network—has been running a farm on the 500-acre grounds since 2014. “Our mission is to provide great healthcare and part of that is educating patients about the benefits of a plant-based, organic diet,” explains Ed Nawrocki, president of the Anderson campus. Civic Eats story.

 

BSU commits $300,000 to Muncie Food Hub

Ball State University has earmarked nearly $300,000 to help establish a regional food hub to ramp up the supply of locally produced food. Trying to establish an East Central Indiana food hub to supply not only retail but also wholesale and institutional markets like restaurants, schools, hospitals or universities will be a risky undertaking. Muncie Star Press story.

 

Soil Association Scotland paves the way for ‘Good Food’ ethos in Scottish schools

Celebrations are in place as the Food for Life Scotland Education Framework celebrates one year of success. Soil Association Scotland is now working to develop it within more schools across Scotland. Piloted in 23 Pathfinder schools across Scotland, the Framework has engaged with 3,200 children and 290 teachers. Its main aim is to transform their food culture by integrating good food knowledge and activity throughout the curriculum, enhancing the provision of good food in the dining hall, and taking good food messages out into the wider community. Scotland News.Net story.

 

Canadian’s vegetables-only restaurant a hit in New York

Cohen started with a small, 18-seat restaurant and soon was so busy she once turned away Leonardo DiCaprio. In February, she moved to a new space five times larger, and the crowd has followed. But while vegetables are the stars of her plates, she doesn’t want Dirt Candy labelled a vegetarian restaurant. “Vegetarian restaurants, I think, tend to be a little bit more healthier, maybe a little bit more political, or a little bit more environmental. We just really want to serve good food.” CBC News story.

 

Portland elementary school embraces worms, weeding and watersheds

Like many elementary schools around the state, Longfellow Elementary School in Portland has a school garden, and students grow seedlings in the classroom to plant, study the life cycle of plants and eventually harvest the food they’ve grown and use it in a school lunch. But fifth-graders are taking their environmental studies a step further, with a yardscaping project, a yearlong vermiculture project and an entire study unit on watersheds. “It’s wonderful. These kids are so far beyond where we were as kids,” said Richard Johnson, a fifth-grade teacher at the school. Press Herald story.

 

Green-fingered residents promote benefits of homegrown produce

Green-fingered residents promoted the benefits of homegrown food as part of a national campaign. Havannah Lane Allotment, in Parr hosted its annual day to celebrate National Allotment Week which aims to get more people involved in the home-grown fun. Activities included a tombola, face-painting and many cake, fruit and vegetable stalls manned by plot owners selling the ‘fruits’ of their labours. St Helens Star story.

 

Food Secretary Launches Application for EU Protection of Forfar Bridies

An application to grant Forfar bridies protected European status has been lodged by two Angus bakeries. The Forfar Bridie Producers Association, a collaborative team made up of McLaren & Son Bakers and Saddlers, have formally submitted their application for Protected Food Name (PFN) status for the famous Scottish snack. If the application is successful, Forfar bridies would be granted legal protection against imitation. The savoury treat could sit alongside the likes of Parma ham, champagne and other delicacies from across Europe in being granted the status. stv.tv story.

 

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Why world leaders dined on trash at the U.N.

There was nothing unusual about 30 world leaders, including French President François Hollande and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, sitting down Sunday for a meal prepared by some of the world’s most famous chefs. That is, of course, until the diners took a closer look at the U.S.-theme menu: “Landfill salad,” consisting of vegetable scraps and rejected apples and pears. A vegetable burger made of “pulp left over from juicing,” the patty served on a “repurposed bread bun.” Washington Post story.

Local Food News — World

The Nation’s Largest Food Hub is Coming to Louisville, Kentucky

A 24-acre site formerly occupied by the National Tobacco Company will soon become home to a local food hub in Louisville, Kentucky. While Louisville has emerged as a new foodie destination in the past few years, this project is aimed more at supporting small farmers—and building a local food economy—than serving artisan sandwiches. But there will likely be plenty of those too. Civil Eats post.

Prescribing Vegetables, Not Pills

Alaijah Borden was 10 years old and significantly overweight when Dr. Sundari Periasamy, a pediatrician at Harlem Hospital Center in New York, enrolled the middle-schooler in an innovative program to increase her consumption of fruits and vegetables — and, hopefully, to reduce her weight. After two years in the program, Alaijah is an unqualified success story: She lost five pounds the first year by snacking on fruits and vegetables, then eight pounds more the second year, when she cut down on greasy foods. The New York Times story.

A Salad Chain’s Surprise Ingredient: Tech Money

Why is a venture capital firm led by online pioneers backing a farm-to-table salad chain? That is the question some tech industry watchers asked themselves two weeks ago, after Sweetgreen, a fast-casual salad restaurant with outlets on the East Coast, announced that it had raised $18.5 million in financing. “It has surprised people because it was not a typical technology or venture investment,” Mr. Case told me recently. But he says he believes Sweetgreen is tapping into a large, underserved market: wellness-minded consumers who want to eat healthier food in casual settings with quick service. The New York Times story.

New Countryside Stewardship Scheme (UK)

The new CSS will encompass elements from Environmental Stewardship, the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) and capital grants from Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF).  The main priority remains biodiversity whilst water quality moves up the agenda.  There will be a Higher Tier focusing on priority sites, and a Middle Tier focusing on wider areas.  This latter element is open to all, but competitive – so only the best schemes will be accepted.  There will also be a small scale capital grants scheme focusing on field boundaries. RuSource (An Arthur Rank Centre project) Briefing  2091.

Truss urges food producers to seek special status

Food producers in the North are missing out on the economic pay-off of Protected Name status for their products, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said today. Speaking at the Northern Farming Conference in Hexham, the Secretary of State said she wanted her department to receive more applications to legally protect the region’s unique homegrown food and drink. More than 60 foods are protected in the UK, including Yorkshire’s Forced Rhubarb and Wensleydale cheese but there are very few other examples in the North of the country. Yorkshire Post story.

Land, Co-ops, Compost: A Local Food Economy Emerges in Boston’s Poorest Neighborhoods

Today, City Growers is part of an emerging network of urban food enterprises in Roxbury and neighboring Dorchester. From a community land trust that preserves land for growing, to kitchens and retailers who buy and sell locally grown food, to a new waste management co-op that will return compost to the land, a crop of new businesses and nonprofits are building an integrated food economy. It’s about local people keeping the wealth of their land and labor in the community. Truth-Out post.

Urban Food Awards

The Urban Food Awards are here to celebrate small, good food enterprises. As such, the judges will be particularly interested in those that do great stuff in their local communities and work hard for the benefit of people and planet more generally. As well as turning out tasty tucker and having a sound business model, enterprises were encouraged to highlight on their ‘why vote for us’ forms any ways in which they: produce or use more sustainable food, offer social benefits, contribute to the local economy or enhance the health of people and our environment. The Jellied Eel post.

Local Matters – Grill’d Resturants

Local Matters is a community donation program operated by Grill’d Restaurant chain in Australia. Every local Grill’d outlet provides $500 a month to a local community project, and invites their customers via a token system to nominate which of three local groups should receive the money. We love to give back to the local communities we call home. We get lots of requests to support groups from all walks of life. The weird & the wonderful… but all of them worthy. Until now it’s been pretty difficult for us to fulfill all of these requests. So we’ve created Local Matters. It’s our community donation program. Every month your local Grill’d will donate $500 to the local community. Over the course of a year, we’d like to think we could touch well over 1,000 local groups. Our aim is to find and support the unsung heroes rather than the big groups who always get the limelight. We hope you’ll see some groups you never knew existed and develop a new-found appreciation for what goes on in your neck of the woods. Website.

Improvements to USDA Beginning Farmer Loans

USDA recently announced several changes to Farm Service Agency (FSA) loan programs, changes designed to help more beginning farmers and ranchers. The new “interim final rule” will increase the Microloan limit from $35,000 to $50,000. This program provides a simplified application process and a seven year payback. Microloans can be used for approved operating expenses, such as seed, fertilizer, utilities, land rents, marketing, distribution, living expenses, livestock, equipment, hoop houses, tools, irrigation and delivery vehicles. Center for Rural Affairs post

Marketing Hometown America

Four University Extension staff from Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota have produced a wonderful interactive resource called ‘Marketing Hometown America” to assist small US rural communities market their community and attract new residents. The resource is a way to bring local people together to build a plan and then act on it. It focuses on: what brings new residents to a community; the local assets that should be promoted; and how a community can reach potential new residents. https://edmedia.wufoo.com/forms/marketing-hometown-america/?mc_cid=0627633ca0

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Fair Food: The Documentary

Fair Food is Australia’s first feature-length documentary that tells the story of our farmers, social entrepreneurs and communities pioneering new approaches to food production, marketing and distribution. Our current food system is broken – two supermarkets control 75-80 per cent of the grocery market, cheap imports undercut local producers markets and farmers are walking off the land in droves. But Fair Food reveals a countercurrent to these trends – a fair food movement that’s gathering momentum, led by biodiverse family farmers, independent food enterprises, and communities and individual food buyers around the country. The Field Institute post. Trailer.

Local Food News — World

Women’s Institute is waving the flag for homegrown food

The Women’s Institute may be nearly 100 years old, but it is alive and growing all over the country. Even in the capital, groups such as the Borough Belles, the Shoreditch Sisters and the Dalston Darlings are meeting, gardening and enjoying themselves. Set up in 1915 to produce and preserve food during the First World War, the WI’s rallying cry was: ‘Though the boys and men are gone, the furrows shan’t be fallow, while the women carry on’. Telegraph.co.uk story.

Growers key to food bowl plan

A new logo and branding strategy aimed at positioning and showcasing the Macleay Valley as a source of high quality food produce was launched this week. The launch was at the Mid North Coast Food Forum, held at Bonville Golf Course on Monday. The ‘Macleay Valley Food Bowl’ logo is a registered trademark and was commissioned by Kempsey Shire Council as part of its Agribusiness Project. It is one of 10 strategies aimed at strengthening high-value agriculture in the Macleay. The Macleay Argus story.

From farm to school at Springfield Public School District

Out with the canned food, and in with fresh garden produce. That’s one change the Springfield Public School District is trying to make in its cafeterias. This month Springfield Public Schools is bringing fresh, local produce into three of its schools. The goal is to see what kids like, and what they don’t. So far kids have been fed corn, peaches, cucumber salad and fresh cantaloupe, all grown right here in the Ozarks. The trial run is paid for by a USDA grant that gives the district a chance to test the food. KSPR News story.

Temple University student study: Norristown needs a food policy council, community gardens

An urban planning class presented the results of a study of food availability in Norristown to council July 1 that included targeted recommendations. A resident group helped the students shape the food study during a task force meeting in January, Krouchick said. A community workshop was held in April allowing residents to explain what food issues were important to them. The group suggested community gardens on vacant Norristown lots, a “backpack” program that would allow children in the free and reduced price lunch program to bring canned foods home and a more vigorous emergency food access program. “There is a great potential for edible fruit trees in the community,” said David Swedkoski, a member of the class. “The Norristown Farm Park and Bartash Park are very underused for gardening but there is potential for improvement.” Montgomery Newspapers story. Norristown Food System Assessment.

Mendocino County Food Action Plan: local food system goals, actions

The Mendocino County Food Action Plan, a comprehensive document authored by Ukiah resident Carole Brodsky, is the output of the Food Policy Council, an organization created and endorsed in 2011 by the Board of Supervisors at the behest of the county health department. County supervisor Dan Hamburg, a member of the policy council, in referencing the plan, says that 98 percent of our food comes from outside the county, and if consumers purchased only 15 percent of the food they need for home use directly from local farmers, this would produce $20 million of new farm income in Mendocino County. Ukiah Daily Journal story. Mendocino County Food Action Plan.

A winter’s garden tale

It may be mid-November, but Dublin-based gardener Nicky Kyle’s produce-filled polytunnel is remarkable proof that with a bit of forward planning, it’s possible to continue to enjoy an impressive variety of freshly-harvested homegrown food throughout the autumn and winter months. Handfuls of marble-sized, golden Cape gooseberries, for example, their sharp, sweet flavour reminiscent of fizzy sherbet fountains. Or dark scarlet Albion strawberries, each fragrant fruit the size of a walnut, as well as succulent-fleshed, sooty skinned figs. Irish Times story.

A Conservatory in the Kitchen

I, for one, have daydreamed about owning a conservatory: a bright, climate-controlled growing space with windows, supplemental lights and a handy watering source. And here was Ms. Millard to tell me that I already possessed such a space, and it was called my condo. You don’t have to be a plant whisperer to enjoy success in this endeavor. Although, occasionally, you do have to be the bee. In a quest for bug-less indoor pollination, Ms. Millard stimulated the tomato’s reproductive parts with her electric toothbrush. The New York Times story.

A ‘Big Bite’ of a giant sisig and more: The Northern Food Festival

A sizzling pan 11 feet in diameter and filled with sisig prepared by Kapampangan chef Sau Del Rosario launched Big Bite! The Northern Festival last Friday at the MarQuee Mall in Angeles City, Pampanga. An event highlighting the cultural traditions of Northern Luzon, Big Bite! was held by the private sector in cooperation with government bodies such as the Department of Tourism and the Department of Trade and Industry. GMA (Phillipines) News story.

Slice of Haven: A champion of food

RDA has just launched a new publication called “Our Champions of Food” that showcases stories from some of the most innovative food producers and agribusinesses across the Mid North Coast – and the Camden Haven’s own Slice of Haven food and wine festival was chosen as one of these stories! The purpose of Our Champions of Food is to promote our regional food industry. It’s also to inspire local food producers with stories of what can be achieved and to promote the benefits of choosing local produce among our regional community. Camden Haven Courier story.

Love Local Irish Food – Become an Urban Community Keeper

A Keeper is someone who sets up a local food community where they live. They support local producers, boost local economies and earn an income doing something they believe in. By becoming a Keeper you’re helping local producers to get the best deal possible for their produce, providing fresh food for your local community and making good money for yourself at the same time. It is possible depending on your ambition to take on north of 500 customers, each receiving deliveries from us twice a week, for which you will receive a portion of the total weekly spend. Sales Jobs Ireland post.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

Here’s how much each country spends on food

When droughts or crop failures cause food prices to spike, many Americans barely notice. The average American, after all, spends just 6.6 percent of his or her household budget on food consumed at home. (If you include eating out, that rises to around 11 percent.) The US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service keeps tabs on household expenditures for food, alcohol, and tobacco around the world. USDA Economic Research Service map.

Local Food News — Canada

Small farmers in Canada are ‘a dying breed,’ but what does that mean for our food supply?

The plight of the family farmer — about half of whom require a second job to make ends meet — caught the eye of Canadian filmmaker Ari A. Cohen, who made the documentary to tell the story of everyday life on a small farm in Canada. The film is is both beautifully shot and soberingly relevant. The Family Farm airs on the Documentary Channel on Nov. 18 at 9 p.m. National Post film review.

Hard journey to food security in Nova Scotia, five-year study finds

Results of the study, led by Mount Saint Vincent University’s Food Action Research Centre and the Nova Scotia Food Security Network, were released Thursday in Halifax. “We wanted to learn more about community food security in this province because it is connected to our health, to our well-being, the vitality of our communities and the quality of our life, ” said Patricia Williams, director of the research centre and professor of applied human nutrition at the university. Recommendations include more co-ordinated efforts to ensure people have adequate incomes, creating conditions that support healthy and sustainable food systems, and building successful community supports and resources. The Chronicle Herald story.

Real Food Connections seeks local investors to expand

Real Food Connections is moving closer to hitting an investment goal that willallow the Fredericton-based business to expand into Saint John and create a local food distribution network in the province. Real Food Connections is trying to raise between $220,000 and $290,000 through local investors by using the Small Business Investor Tax Credit program. But the business has run into a series of barriers, mainly because of red tape associated with signing up investors. Levi Lawrence, the store’s owner, said the process, in order to get investments of between $1,000 to $2,000, has become “a real mess.” CBC News (New Brunswick) story.

Farm to Cafeteria: Canada Digs In!

I am pleased to present the first issue of Farm to Cafeteria: Canada Digs In! This quarterly newsletter aims to provide those keen on getting more local, healthy and sustainable foods into Canada’s public institutions with timely highlights of programs, policy, evaluation and events across the nation. Our promise is to keep our newsletters brief! You will find no more than 3-5 key national announcements per issue. Newsletter.

Can homegrown food win the climate change war?

When U.S. President Woodrow Wilson declared that planting a garden would win the war during the First World War, Victory Gardens became both part of the economic and psychological landscape of North America in ways that would be considered revolutionary today. In these instances it was connected to clear political and social implications that both encouraged everyday citizens to do their part that, together, had profound collective consequences for the war effort. Doing so managed to connect the personal sphere and troubles of the war to the social and political goals of the national and international cause. Why is this important? Because today, we face a similar task of epic proportions: climate change. And gardening might be one the best and brightest ways that we can both individually and collectively face this challenge, particularly in developed countries. Global News story.

 

Family farm stakes future on edamame

Edamame? If you’ve been to a sushi bar, you know it. It’s a type of immature soybean, still in the pod. Usually steamed before eating, it can be found in every Japanese and most other Asian  restaurants in Canada, as well as health food stores and major supermarkets. Just 1 per cent of the edamame consumed in Canada is grown here, says Mr. MacKellar. The rest is from China. That means working with a crop that, in Ontario at least, is unconventional, and working without a rulebook. Globe and Mail story.

Seed Facilitation Fund

The goal of the Seed Facilitation Fund is to help build a diverse and resilient seed system by strengthening the capacity of ecological vegetable seed and field crop producers. The Fund provides financial support to organizations and individuals who share the values and goals of our program. Applicants may submit proposals for a maximum of $8,000per project. In total, approximately $200,000 will be allocated across the country in 2015. Nourishing Communities blog.

Seed bank sprouts at Dalhousie’s agriculture campus in Bible Hill

A seed of survival was planted at Dalhousie University’s agriculture campus on Monday. “Up to 10,000 plant species or maybe more are at risk of extinction,” said Stephanie Hughes, regional co-ordinator for the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security. That said, Hughes and partners Dalhousie, USC Canada and Seeds of Diversity Canada announced the first regional seed bank in Atlantic Canada, to be housed at the university’s plant and animal science department. The bank is intended to help farmers create a stronger local food system, while focusing on high-quality, diverse, local seed that has agronomic, historical and cultural importance to the region. The Chronicle Herald story.

Kids Dig It at Common Roots Urban Farm

The garden is a community project, inspired and designed by children and their families that frequent the farm. The initiative began with a sponsorship from Clean NS (Celebrating 25 Years grant) to host design workshops, led by Rhea Dawn Landscaping. These took the form of community conversations with volunteers, parents and youth to understand what farming families would like to see in a garden dedicated to kids; how would they want to engage in a garden of play and curiosity? These conversations were then transformed into design data, resulting in a clay model (again, created by kids!) to guide the building process. Key elements of design include a log sandbox, hiding and sitting corners, places for guardians and parents to perch, tunnels and teepees, and a nursery of native plants. Adventures in Local Food blog.

Chef Jamie Kennedy discusses Canadian local food movement

These days, farmers markets are popping up in every park, and it’s not hard to find a restaurant serving heirloom carrots or grass-fed beef from just down the road. But in the 1970s, the farm-to-table idea was far from fashionable. Chef Jamie Kennedy helped change that by championing the local food philosophy for decades. He traces that evolution in his new cookbook, called J.K., The Jamie Kennedy Cookbook. CBC News tweet.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

Dalhousie Urban Garden Programming Officer

The Dalhousie Urban Garden Society (DUGS) is pleased to announce that we will be hiring one part-time staff member for the campus urban garden. The staff position will provide support on various fronts for the DUGS executive team as they transition into the 2015 gardening season. Hiring will be completed in January 2015. FoodWork.ca job posting.

Local Food News — World

Saoirse’s latest role – promoting eco-friendly homegrown food

SHE’S the darling of Hollywood but Saoirse Ronan’s latest film role was all about supporting homegrown talent of a different variety. The actor has been filming at the historic Newgrange site this week, to promote the green credentials of top-quality Irish food. The Oscar-nominated star features in a new video aimed at promoting the Origin Green programme which has already signed up more than 60,000 Irish farms and 350 food businesses committed to more eco-friendly food production. Irish Independent story.

Woolworths Future of Fresh report reveals the supermarket of 2034

Australian supermarket giant Woolworths has released a report which it said gives a “unique insight into the future of supermarket shopping. Woolworths said its Future of Fresh report has built a picture of how Australia will be shopping in 20 years time, revealing a continuing shift towards fresh, hyper-local produce and the convergence of new technologies to make grocery shopping a more innovative and immersive experience. Australian Food News story.

North Alabama schools announce collaboration with area’s first local food hub

Students at schools throughout Madison County are enjoying more locally-grown food through a new partnership with North Alabama farmers. The Farm Food Collaborative, a project of the Food Bank of North Alabama, officially kicked off its partnership with the three local school districts on Thursday. The collaborative is North Alabama’s first local food hub designed to help family farms sell their produce to schools, workplace cafeterias, distributors, restaurants and grocery stores. Al.com story.

The “Future is Food” secures its place on National Curriculum

‘The Future is Food’ introduces Transition Year students to the Irish food and drinks industry, with the aim of broadening the knowledge and understanding of the local, artisanal and speciality foods sector amongst future generations. Through this interactive education programme, students are provided with an opportunity to actively engage with aspects of the food sector, giving them practical insight and real-life experience. This unit is ground-breaking in that it is bringing chefs and food producers from local communities into the schools to work with the students on a voluntary basis. Limerick Post story.

How Australia’s food lobby works

But although it is highly globalised, the food industry is far from homogeneous. Big Food in Australia is not the same as the industry in the United States, where much of the popular media has come from. Still, that doesn’t mean Australian food and beverage lobbying is benign. Responding to the threat posed by the food industry to public health locally requires a clear understanding of food industry tactics in the context of Australia’s political and lobbying culture. Adelaide Independent News commentary.

10 Great Urban Agriculture Projects in San Antonio

The local sustainable food movement is alive and thriving in San Antonio, Texas. Food Tank presents ten urban agriculture projects in San Antonio that are leading the charge for a better food system. Food Tank Post.

The ‘Magnificent Seven’ – local food producers begin new chapter as Irish Food Co-Op is launched

The newly formed Irish Co-Op will boldly take local food products where they have struggled to go before – new markets, new processes and ultimately new profits for the growing local food industry in the south east. The premise of the Irish Food Co-op is simple. Leave local food producers do what they are good at – namely making great food – and look after the other crucial ingredients of a successful business – marketing, distribution, invoicing and cashflow. Kilkenny People story.

Obama Administration Launches Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture

That’s why today we’re announcing the launch of the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture. The idea was born eight months ago, when an international delegation of leaders—including many from the USDA, the State Department, and USAID—met in South Africa for the Global Conference on Climate Change, Food Security, and Agriculture. There, we charted a more sustainable path to food security—one that preserves the environment while driving broad-based economic growth. United States Department of Agriculture post.

What is Community Underwriting?

A few years back, when I worked in Retail Banking, small businesses were among the customers my group focused on. Through many conversations with lenders and underwriters, I came to realize why most banks don’t like to lend to small businesses in food and agriculture: from the perspective of a bank office, these businesses appear damn hard to understand and underwrite. Community members, on the other hand, are not only closer to a business’ Market (they are part of it!), they are also revenue-generating participants, not just its observing actuaries. Credibles post.

Taking account of shared and cultural values of ecosystem services

Ecosystem services are important to us in both practical and emotional terms, and how different individuals and communities recognise and relate to them depends on personal, shared, and cultural values. These values are not always explicitly expressed through conventional surveys or reflected in economic valuation. They often become clear only after people have talked with others about what matters most to them. If natural assets are to be managed for the benefit and wellbeing of all, however, we need to understand the values that individuals and communities attach to them in different circumstances. RuSource Briefing 2053.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

Just how averse are consumers to GMOs?

With advocacy groups decrying the use of GMO crops and trying to label products that contain them, it’s worth assessing whether the rhetoric goes beyond activists to everyday consumers. The Hartman Group’s new special report, “GMO Perceptions, Knowledge and Labeling,” finds the population that’s averse to GMOs looks much like America, demographically. They’re passionate about the subject, but ill-equipped to act on their intent. Many do not use the most dominant GMO-free seal and do not trust organic as a proxy for non-GMO. More broadly, consumers are confused about GMOs – what they are, what foods they’re in, how they affect health and the environment. Despite not understanding many of these issues, most consumers instinctively feel concern is warranted. In fact, four out of ten consumers say they are avoiding or reducing GMOs in their daily diet. Hartman Group post (promo for a very expensive report).

Locavore News — World

Food for health – by stealth

Farming has a key role to play in developing a long-term plan for sustainable diets.  There are niche market opportunities and if we effectively work together, farmers will be recognised for the true value they deliver to our health and wellbeing.  The food security debate is not just about more food – it is about more and better nutrition in the right place.  More needs to be done for an informed and cohesive approach to our personal relationship with food: more education and engagement, better partnerships between nutritionists, breeders, researchers and farmers, plus long term policy change that effectively links Defra with the Departments for Health and Education. RuSource Briefing 1967.

 

Six mistakes local food manufacturers make

“Consumers may well be more aware that ‘Australian made’ gives them the freshest shelf ingredients, supports local jobs, and helps the economy, but with customers being more committed to buying Australian made, local food brands risk becoming less active in their product development and marketing,” said Carp. “Being ‘Australian made’ is only one factor among many that influences a customer’s choice to purchase, as well as a buyer’s decision to stock the product on shelves.”

1. They don’t offer anything different.

2. They focus on price, not quality.

3. They don’t work on their brand.

4. They don’t deliver on promises.

5. They don’t invest in packaging.

6. They don’t adapt to change. Foodprocessing.com.au post.

 

Rivers Community Produce Exchange | Local Food Connect

Local Food Connect (LFC) is a not-for-profit, community group which connects local growers and eaters. So, for example, we connect backyard growers with other backyard growers, and we connect the general population with their local growers, farmers and producers. Operating mainly in the Nillumbik and Banyule areas, we encourage, support and promote events, actions and enterprises which help to put your food back into your control. As part of this, we send out a weekly newsletter by email which lists the forthcoming local food events and activities. Website.

 

Mennonite Central Committee mobile meat canner makes annual stop in Harleysville

This year, the canner was at the MCC Material Resource Center of Harleysville March 24 through 26. “We’re doing approximately 24,000 pounds of meat,” Abe Landes, an MCC-Harleysville board member and one of the local meat canner organizers, said. That’s about the same amount as in previous years and can make about 14,000 cans of meat, he said. The cans each have a little less than two pounds of meat. Each can provides 10 meals. The Reporter story.

 

Urban farm to help Shawnee Mission culinary arts students

Students in the culinary arts program in the Shawnee Mission School District will be able to grow their own organic plants and vegetables at the new urban farm, which broke ground Tuesday. KMBC-TV, Kansas City video.

 

Boulder business plants veggie beds for homeowners

Lori Seward had planted vegetable gardens for several years, but with middling success. Last year was a different story. “It was very plentiful,” she says for her 4-by 8-foot raised vegetable bed that yielded cool weather crops such as radishes and greens, as well as warmer weather goodies such as green beans and heirloom tomatoes. The difference? For the first time she turned to a pro. Seward met Bryant Mason through a friend and turned to his business, The Urban Farm Co. of Colorado, urbanfarmcolorado.com, to meet her family’s vegetable needs. Daily Camera story

 

Food for health – the science

The next generation of crop varieties will include the traditional traits, but must also be better for us. New science needs to be applicable to as many areas of farming as possible to optimise the nutritional value of our food.  Farmers must work closely with plant breeders to ensure that they have access to the best genetics to produce tasty more nutrient dense food. Food retailers must educate and inform consumers about new products and provide the marketing support. They have a responsibility to drive the “5 a day” campaign through to consumers. RuSource Briefing 1968.

 

Combat Farming

For years, I worked in Afghanistan on agriculture projects designed to assist with stabilization efforts in the region. I want to share lessons learned from my time training locals about sustainable agriculture, utilizing 1880’s technology, in order to demonstrate how these skills can be applied to small-scale farming projects here in the US. Website. Twitter.

 

Changing to healthier & more sustainable diets: how can this be achieved?

April 2014 the Food Climate Research Network organised a workshop, funded and hosted by the Wellcome Trust with additional support from the Food Security programme of the UK research councils.  Its aim was to bring people together to develop a research agenda on how our eating practices might be shifted in healthier and more sustainable directions.  Particular emphasis was placed on meat eating as an exemplar of an important, yet difficult aspect of our consumption practices, and one with a strong bearing on health and sustainability. The meeting spanned two days and involved a diverse interdisciplinary and intersectoral group of about 30 participants. Food Climate Research Network post.

 

Think You Know What a Farmer Looks Like? Think Again.

When Lindsey Morris Carpenter was a college student studying art in Philadelphia, she never expected that, just a decade later, she would spend most of her days fixing up tractors, turning piles of manure, and corralling chickens. But that’s precisely what she’s doing. Carpenter, 29, dropped out of school in 2004 and returned to her home state of Wisconsin, where she found a job on a vegetable farm. She went on to apprentice at a larger operation in suburban Chicago and eventually secured employment at an urban farm on the city’s south side, teaching previously incarcerated people how to grow food. By 2007, Carpenter had decided she wanted her own piece of land to farm, so she and her mother, Gail, bought 40 acres in south central Wisconsin and got down to business. Resilience post.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Phone app to tackle counterfeit Australian wine and food in China

China’s CTV has reported that up to 50 per cent of wine sold in China could have fake labels. In an effort to shore-up the authenticity of Australian exports to China, former Boomers basketball player Andrew Vlahov and his business partner Grant Shaw have teamed up with Chinese IT company Invengo and consultants Deloittes to develop an app that detects authentic labels. Mr Vlahov says customers will pay a small premium for a bottle of wine that’s authenticated. “That’s essentially what we’re trying to do, establish a new benchmark and protocol that’s accepted by Australians and the Chinese.” ABC Online story.

Locavore News — Canada

 

Local victory

It wasn’t exactly launched by a book, although Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon’s best-seller The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating did give a major boost to the local food market in 2007 by shining their spotlight on the long distances travelled by food in our modern distribution system. In truth, though, other writers and food activists across the continent had been working on local food since about 2004. That makes local food 10 years old, and it prompts the question, what’s in store for the next 10? For the answer, we contacted local food suppliers across the country and got the same “Business is booming!” response from all of them. Country Guide article.

 

Don’t Panic, we’ve got bannock: Notes from Manitoba

Michael Moss: Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Michael Moss presented at both a preconference public lecture and at the conference itself.  He’s the author ofSalt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. After that talk, I’ll never be able to look at a bowl of Doritoes the same way again. Check out this video. He discussed how the 1 trillion dollar food industry has used salt, sugar and fat to make us crave their foods and to cover up unpalatable ingredients.  He also explored whether the powers of marketing could be used to convince people to buy more fruit and vegetables. In the style of the classic Coke Vs Pepsi competition of the 1980s (which raised market share for both companies), he launched aKale vs Broccoli campaign, with the tagline “Broccoli: Now 43% less pretentious than kale.”Adventures in Local Food post.

 

Today’s young farmers: Redefining ‘biodynamic’

Belying the common myth that farming is a relatively low-skilled occupation, Ryall has a Bachelor of Science in agriculture from the University of Lethbridge and a diploma in agriculture production from Olds College. She is a director of the Delta Farmers Institute and the Lower Mainland Horticulture Improvement Association. “Some knowledge may be passed on between generations, but there is always innovation, new technology we can use to become more efficient,” she says. The Globe and Mail story.

 

Kings County organization FarmWorks receives recognition

Tides Canada named the locally based FarmWorks Investment Co-operative Ltd. among its Tides Top 10. The national annual award honours some of Canada’s most innovative social change efforts that inspire people to take action, think in new ways and make the world a better place. FarmWorks director Ann Anderson commented, “We’re pleased that Tides Canada has recognized the work we’re doing to put food back where it belongs as the driver of economic and social change. Good food is crucial for our well being and sustainable local food is necessary for our security.” Kings County Register/Advertiser story.

 

Sustainability on the farm

Jeff Nonay of Lakeside Dairy, a diversified farm in Legal, Alta., knows a thing or two about sustainability. Sustainable practices, such as using gypsum as a bedding and soil amendment and installing a robot milking system, were key factors in the farm’s nomination for the Dairy Farmers of Canada’s Dairy Farm Sustainability award in 2012. FCC Express post.

 

Food fight: Manitoba farmers can sell some products at market, not on website

A jar of homemade jelly from Manitoba’s Harvest Moon collective can be sold at a farmers market, taken home and enjoyed. Selling that same jar on Harvest Moon’s website is illegal and could prompt authorities to seize the jelly, issue fines or shut down production. The same goes for farm-fresh eggs and poultry. Manitoba farmers are allowed to sell their products directly to consumers at markets and at the farm gate, but selling them through a website is a grey area. Manitoba has been criticized recently for making it difficult for producers to meet a growing demand for locally sourced food. Many were outraged when food inspectors seized meat from Harbourside Farms — producers who won an award from Manitoba’s Agriculture Ministry for its prosciutto. Prince George Citizen story.

 

Local Food for All…Because Healthy Food is a Right, not a Privilege

About 30 folks showed up at the YMCA of Cumberland County yesterday for the official launch of the Cost-Share CSA pilot project. The Cost-Share CSA aims to connect low-income families with healthy and affordable locally produced food. In partnership with the Ecology Action Centre, the YMCA of Cumberland and GoodLake Farm, the Cost-share CSA project is the first of its’ kind in Cumberland County, NS. The Cost-Share CSA model will make seasonal veggie boxes available at half the cost (only $10/wk.), to individuals and families facing financial barriers. Adventures in Local Food post.

 

NDP aims to increase support for B.C.’s local food producers

Amid growing opposition to government legislation that critics say will weaken protection for B.C.’s Agricultural Land Reserve, the NDP has announced a private member’s bill intended to support farmers. Opposition Leader Adrian Dix said Tuesday he is hoping the government will embrace his bill, the British Columbia Local Food Act, which the NDP will introduce Wednesday. Globe and Mail story.

 

The British Columbia Local Food Act, 2014

The British Columbia Local Food Act seeks to improve and maximize food security, economic returns, and population health from protected farmland through the creation of a British Columbia Local Food and Agriculture Strategy. This plan requires the Minister of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia’s Food and Agriculture Committee, to determine recommendations and targets on increasing local food production, processing, distribution, marketing, plus increase public sector organization purchasing of BC grown food. Legislative Assembly of British Columbia Members Bill.

 

Call of the Land App Launched

To celebrate the 61st anniversary of Call of the Land, Alberta Agriculture has launched a Call of the Land mobile app, which will enable Android and iPhone users to access interviews, stories, and upcoming events from the program. The Call of the Land mobile application is available as a free download from the iTunes Store and will be available from Google Play in mid-April. Agriculture Minister Verlyn Olson explains in this interview.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Saik’s Agri-Treks: A Trip to Whole Foods, NYC

If decision-making isn’t exactly your forte, grocery shopping can be more than a daunting excursion. There are so many gluten-free-lactose-free-free-range-organic-all-natural-sustainable-recycled choices, it’s hard to distinguish real food from really good marketing. Quite typically, stores and restaurants react to confusion with simplicity. Whole Foods, for example, integrated a “Health Starts Here” program into its product-line. Products given the stamp of approval are whole foods, plant-strong, nutrient-rich and contain only healthy fats. If nutrition is your priority, Whole Foods uses the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) to classify products by nutrients available per calorie, on a scale from 1 to 1000. Real Agriculture post.

Locavore News — World

Meath Food Series

The Meath Food Series is an innovative Food adventure! Wander round at your leisure and sample the culinary delights of our Royal County in the summer and autumn months! Website.

 

Food glorious food – Galway Food Festival begins today

Galway Food Festival, the annual event celebrating the city as a good food destination, highlighting food provenance, sustainability, and healthy eating, opens today and runs throughout the Easter Weekend. Over the weekend, more than 100 restaurants, food outlets, and food producers will participate in more than 70 individual events, cookery demonstrations, talks, debates, taste trails, and family events. There will be a strong focus on local and west of Ireland producers and produce as the festival seeks to encourage and promote increased trade for local food outlets and suppliers. Galway Advertiser story.

 

Study looks at the impact of buying local produce on local economies

The motto ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’ has long been a guiding tenet of the sustainable food movement. But does acting locally really make a difference and if so, what kind of difference? That’s just what a team of economists set out to explore in the study Linkages Between Community-Focused Agriculture, Farm Sales, and Regional Growth, published in Economic Development Quarterly (2014). Their results revealed that yes, direct farm-to-customer-sales in the form of farmer’s markets and farm visits do make a difference – but what kind of difference depends where the farms are located and on how well local communities have built up an supply chain to support this kind of local buying. Food Tank post. Study.

 

A Local Food Act for Australia – the Conversation continues

On 20 March 2014, the Conversation published an article authored by Dr Nick Rose entitled “Let’s Reap the Benefits of Local Food over Big Farming”. By 16 April 2014, this article had been read over 6,300 times and shared hundreds of times across social media. It generated 84 comments directly, from farmers, journalists, researchers and others. AFSA is working with partners and stakeholders in Victoria, NSW and Tasmania to promote the concept of a Local Food Act in each of those states, which meets key challenges and priorities for a fairer and more sustainable food system. Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance post.

 

Briefing 1892: Earning a livelihood on a small acreage

Keep set up costs low. Add value by direct marketing and/or processing.  Avoid borrowing money by growing the business incrementally as surplus capital becomes available from profits. Avoid livestock production, unless value can be added to the product. Small is Successful Creating sustainable livelihoods on ten acres or less. RuSource Briefing 1892. Ecological Land publication.

 

The Wharf House puts local suppliers on the map

Award-winning Gloucester restaurant, The Wharf House, has launched a new feature on its website pinpointing local suppliers on an interactive map, to demonstrate the low food miles travelled to achieve its acclaimed menu of modern British and European cuisine. Dubbed a ‘veritable who’s who of Gloucestershire and regional food and drink suppliers’, the likes of Severn and Wye Smokery, Charles Martell’s Single Gloucester cheese, Martin’s Meats, Tracklements’ condiments and Tyrell’s crisps all feature on The Wharf House menu. SoGlos story.

 

John Jeavons, a Leader of the Homegrown Food Movement, Is Recognized For Incredible Contribution To Humanity

John Jeavons has been working for 42 years researching and promoting backyard food production.  He is the author of the best-selling book  “How to Grow More Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops Than You Ever Thought Possible On Less Land Than You Can Imagine” which has over 550,000 copies in print in seven languages.  He has authored or helped create over 30 publications to enable people in all regions of the world to grow a balanced diet on a small plot of land. Digital Journal story.

 

Local Food, Lifts and a Passata Pulp Partnership

As much and all as I don’t spend lots of time in lifts, they can certainly be a great meeting place.  Here’s how it unfolded yesterday. It began with the obligatory “no you first , no you first ” exchange until we were in and rolling. Andrew was his name and he asked if I was “that gardening guy “. Shook on that and the conversation went on. I mentioned that I had been at #tomatofestivalsydney yesterday in Sydney’s Botanic Gardens and it had involved heirloom tomato tasting with Clive Blazey and the team from Diggers Seeds, passata and sun-dried tomato making workshops with Pietro Demaio, panel discussion about heirloom vs hybrid tomatoes, best in show sauces and relishes, seed saving techniques etc etc. Andrew said how he was actually making passata with his wife over the weekend. Costa’s World post.

 

New Local Food Procurement Guide for School Nutrition Programs

Last week, the Farm to School Programof USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published Procuring Local Food for Child Nutrition Programs, a guide to help K-12 schools operating one or more Child Nutrition Programs with identifying and procuring locally grown and produced food for use at school cafeterias. Using examples from school districts, State agencies, and farm to school organizations around the country, this multi-part guide provides information on:

  •          menu planning basics and ways to integrate local foods
  •          fundamental principles of procurement such as “full and open competition”
  •          formal and informal procurement processes
  •          the variety of potential sources of local product and mechanisms to procure these products
  •          the application of geographic preference, and
  •          special topics such as donated foods. Weather Underground post.

 

Emerging Faith in Food Production

Nearly two out of three consumers (65 percent) still want to know more about where their food comes from, according to a new follow-up white paper, “Emerging Faith in Food Production,” by Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS) FoodThink. This white paper, built from a 2014 study, is a comparative analysis of consumers’ changing food production perceptions since our 2012 research titled, “Building Trust in What We Eat.” New data shows that the industry is starting to move in the right direction. FoodThink post.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Costa’s World

Costa is a vibrant change maker, a connector of people, a voice for reason, a lover of nature, and, perhaps above all else, Costa is a teacher and also the new host of the ABC’s Gardening Australia program. A landscape architect and permaculturalist, Costa’s real passion is food.  Costa has an infectious energy and ability to relate to everyone he meets.  Everyone feels comfortable around Costa because, with Costa, what you see is what you get. Website.