Local Food News — Ontario

The Greenbelt: Protecting and Cultivating a Great Ontario Treasure

This beautiful coffee-table book is a portrait of Ontario’s Greenbelt and the people who nurture it. Stretching from the Niagara Peninsula to Tobermory – with farmland, forests, and watersheds – the Greenbelt is the largest and most protected peri-urban landscape in the world. The book also celebrates the people who live in the Greenbelt—artists, farmers, entrepreneurs, cyclists, mountain climbers, and so many others who have been enriched by what makes us quintessentially Canadian: our land. Book to be released April 17, 2017. Greenbelt post.

 

Harvests of Haldimand sheds new light on evolving local food scene

The guide includes a variety of sections, including culinary adventures, farm country tours, exploring and learning about how to grow food, a history of local farming and restaurants. “Our previous Harvests of Haldimand Map & Guide listed our farmers who sell direct to the public and restaurants that sell locally produced food, but we felt that there was a bigger story to tell about local food and the wonderful relationship that local producers have with other businesses to offer tourists and residents unique food experiences,” said Lidy Romanuk, manager of Economic Development and Tourism in Haldimand County. “This new guide is a reflection of the evolution of food in Haldimand County.” Grand River Sachem story.

 

Agricultural ‘speed dating’. That’s a thing

A collection of local producers, agriculture experts, funding agencies, tourism representatives, and restaurateurs gathered at the Quattro Hotel and Conference Centre Thursday for the Sault Ste. Marie-Algoma Forum on Food, Farms and Tourism. Facilitated by Tourism Northern Ontario with the Algoma Country Travel Association, Tourism Sault Ste Marie, the Sault Ste Marie Chamber of Commerce, the Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN), Take a New Approach, and Buy Algoma Buy Fresh, the forum spoke of the potential for culinary tourism in the region and the importance of pairing area producers with vendors. SooToday.com story.

 

Culinary exchange identifies room to grow

The Haliburton Highlands has plenty of potential, but is still missing out on opportunities to capitalize on the local food movement, stakeholders and councillors heard last Wednesday at county council chambers in Minden. Representatives from Prince Edward County, who had been in the Highlands last October as part of a culinary exchange, presented their findings about the area’s offerings, knowledge, marketing and attitudes to local food. They found there is still much to be done. Haliburton County Echo story.

 

Online marketing opens consumer doors for Ontario beef farmers

Farm to City, a new marketing model with a web-based ordering system, is opening up direct-to-customer marketing opportunities for beef farmers such as Rob and Maryjo Tait, of Celtic Ridge Farms. The young farm family recently launched the online ordering system and was thrilled by the response from customers. AgInnovation post.

 

Good Food Box program continues to expand in Barrie

And under the Urban Pantry Project, a partnership between the Good Food Box and FruitShare Barrie funded with a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Barrie’s Good Food Box has grown and expanded considerably over the past year, and may now be just what you need to ease your grocery budget woes and boost your healthy diet. All you do is order and pay for your box by the second Wednesday of the month, and then pick it up on the third Wednesday. The Barrie Examiner story.

 

The City Farmer

From “green roof” to Community Garden, urban agriculture has been experiencing a boom.

Over the past 7 years, “urban agriculture has really infiltrated our culture,” says Lorraine Johnson, author and editor of Ground: Landscape Architect Quarterly. It’s nothing new: during World War II, homeowners in cities were encouraged to transform lawns and flowerbeds into “Victory Gardens,” augmenting the food supply. The growing interest today comes from a greater interest in fresh, local food, issues of food security, and changing esthetics. Bradford Times story.

 

Moving toward more local food

News that Thunder Bay’s urban farm group, Roots to Harvest, will partner with the public school board to develop a training farm in the middle of the city is a welcome extension of an aggressive move to embrace local food. The farm will teach city kids the rudiments of farming, a throwback to the days when farming was a way of life for most families. The urban farm will also feature demonstration and training plots for groups seeking to establish their own community gardens, a section to develop regionally adapted seeds, a section for fruits and berries, a bee hive, and a rabbit hutch to teach students about animal husbandry and humane raising of animals for food. Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal story.

 

Chef plans lineup of free learning sessions in Northumberland

Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre innovation coordinator and chef, Emilio Ojeda, has a lineup of free cafe chats in Northumberland County about different aspects of developing local food businesses. Grants and loans for expanding and starting food businesses was the focus of the first of the series and it was scheduled for earlier this week, Ojeda said in an interview.

The next one which interested people can either turn up to, or register in advance through http://www.oafvc.ca, will be held at The Dreamer Cafe on Queen Street in Port Hope. Northumberland Today story.

 

The London Brewing Co-operative opens up its new digs – and Old East celebrates

London Brewing Co-operative opened its doors to the public Saturday, and judging by the large crowd that lined up for draft or to buy one of the six beers made on site, there is a lot of appetite for local organic beer and local organic growth.  “The idea is that this building is about local agriculture. This building and all the activity therein is about local, sustainable agriculture. It is, by definition, a local food hub,” he said. The micro-brewery is anglophone Canada’s first worker-owned co-operative, Pastorius said. It is partnered with On The Move organics and shares a common philosophy to use and promote local food. London Free Press story.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Love animals and hard work? You could take over this Smiths Falls, Ont., farm — for free

If you love animals, are prepared to work hard and long for the bucolic lifestyle, Stephen Overbury has a proposition for you. Overbury is looking for someone to take over his farm near Smiths Falls, Ont., as he prepares to return to Japan, where he had lived for about 15 years. But instead of selling it or renting it out, the 62-year-old is offering it up to the right person, in perpetuity — and it won’t cost a dime to take it over. CBC story.