Local Food News — Canada

Farmer forgoes millions to preserve agricultural gift for Edmonton

Doug Visser is taking the final steps to create a permanent gift for Edmonton in his struggle to protect quality farmland and an old growth forest from suburban growth. He’s agreed to place a conservation easement on the land and launched a fundraising campaign to cover the fees, pledging to match donations up to $70,000 and forgoing millions in possible revenue. The easement – registered and monitored by the Edmonton and Area Land Trust – would ensure the top quality farmland could never legally be used for anything beyond community-based agriculture. Edmonton Sun story.

 

Homemade rhubarb vinegar and sunflower-seed soup? Yukon food experiments you have to try

When a Yukon woman from Dawson City decided she was going to eat food sourced solely from her community for one full year, a northern foodie — and fellow Yukoner — jumped at the challenge. Michele Genest, who’s also the author of Boreal Gourmet, has been “experimenting with stuff” and concocting recipes with Yukon-grown products — which have resulted in both successes and failures. Genest says the goal of the First We Eat project is to start a dialogue across all of Northern Canada about food security and sourcing locally. CBC story.

 

An eBay for grain trading, FarmLead, raises $6.5 million Series A

Farmers work to feed the world. Yet somehow, corn, wheat and rice sales are still happening at a local level through antiquated paperwork and phone negotiations. Now, an Ottawa-based startup called FarmLead has raised $6.5 million in venture funding to connect grain producers and buyers automatically online, and help farmers get fair prices for what they grow. The platform is something like an eBay for grains. Tech Crunch story.

 

Province puts money into promoting local food

Rick Doucet, the minister of agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries, said the money will support the implementation of the province’s Local Food and Beverages Strategy throughout 2017 and 2018. The strategy, which was announced in October 2016, is aimed at increasing consumer awareness about local food and helping farmers bring their produce to the market, both locally and internationally. CBC story.

 

Farmers union finds new local food and beverages strategy unclear

The provincial government put out a new local food and beverages strategy this week, but farmer Rébeka Frazer-Chiasson said it resulted in more questions than answers. “The wording is nice. The logic is there,” said Frazer-Chiasson. “But it doesn’t seem like a super coherent plan as to how we’re going to change some of those problematics.” Frazer-Chiasson was pleased to hear there was a unified logo for local foods in the province. CBC story.

 

Local Food and Beverages Strategy, New Brunswick

This strategy attempts to strike a meaningful balance to promote local food and beverages production and marketing while not detracting from the significant opportunities driving the mainstream food and beverage sectors. In doing this it will address the following three objectives: 1. Improved consumer awareness of local food and beverages. 2. Improved availability of local food and beverages. 3.improved support for new or expanding food and beverage enterprises. Strategy.

 

Alberta forum dishes out education about sustainable food

Susan Roberts, a lead organizer, helped plant the seed for the 2017 Cultivating Connections forum. Just like the local food industry, Roberts said she wanted the event to be all about community. “It’s not a conference, it’s not an assembly, it’s not a summit. It’s a time to talk,” she said. She rallied a team of farmers, gardeners and local produce experts to answer questions about food in the province. CBC story. Website.

 

Successful Cape Breton food co-op looking to double number of customers this year

A small but thriving family-run farm in Cape Breton is looking to expand, in part thanks to a successful food co-op on the island that plans to double its customer base this year. Thyme for Ewe, a farm run by Estelle and Tim Levangie in Millville northwest of Sydney, has been one of the suppliers of the Pan Cape Breton Food Hub Co-op since its creation three years ago. The co-op connects local food producers with consumers via weekly online food requests, co-ordinates pickups from the suppliers and makes deliveries. There are 30 suppliers and the number of customers is set to increase to 250 from 125 this spring. CBC story.

 

Southwest BC Bioregion Food System Design Project

The Southwest BC Bioregion Food System Design Project was a four year, multi-disciplinary research project initiated by ISFS to provide regionally specific, data-driven information about: * The potential to increase Southwest BC food production and processing for local markets; * Whether and to what extent increasing local food production could improve food self-reliance, benefit the provincial economy, and create jobs;  *The potential to reduce some detrimental environmental impacts from food production in Southwest BC. Report.

 

Urban Farming in Toronto & the GTA – Hyper-local Food Solutions, April 7

Moderator: David McConnachie, Publisher, Alternatives Journal | Panelists: Lara Kelly, Holly Ray Farms | Susan Poizner, Orchard People | Rhonda Teitel-Payne, Coordinator, Toronto Urban Growers | Brandon Hebor, CEO/Co-Founder, Ripple Farms | Ashlee Cooper, Evergreen. 2017 Green Living Show, April 7-9, Toronto

 

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Food for Life Report

Food for Life will feature the best scientific research on food and nutrition to inform reader on how to best protect and enhance their health and navigate the myriad of self-serving dietary advice touted in food labels, menus, advertisement-fueled magazines, and fad diet books. Food for Life Report will help readers apprise of developments in food and nutrition law in Canada and internationally. For people who care about food and health, Food for Life Report is a great recipe for savvy eating and savvy citizenship. The Centre accepts no funding from government or industry and our magazine carries no advertisements. Website.

Local Food News — Ontario

Economics of Local Food in Ontario

Our agri-food sector generates $63 billion in sales to consumers each year, and employs 767,000 people. In this double-page Toronto Star feature, read about the financial benefits of fresh, homegrown food; farmers’ stewardship of the land; overcoming the challenges of bringing food from the farm to the table; and why fostering food literacy at the grassroots level benefits the province and Ontarians at large. Greenbelt Foundation post.

 

Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food

2017 Kenneth R. Farrell Distinguished Public Policy Lectureship. Distinguished Professor, Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center Director, Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy, University of California, Davis. Thursday, February 16, 2017. 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Delta Hotel and Conference Centre (John McCrae Room), 50 Stone Road West, Guelph, Ontario. Free admission, all welcome. To register for this event, please RSVP by February 9 to Debbie Harkies at dharkies@uoguelph.ca. Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Guelph post.

 

My Sustainable Canada’s Local Food and Ontario’s Long Term Care Sector Report

This report documents the current state of local food usage in Ontario’s long-term care sector. Greenbelt Foundation post.

 

Linton Pasture Pork

Jeffrey Linton has been in the pig business all his life working with his parents on their farrow to finish operation in Huron County, Ontario. In 2010, Linton spent 3 months in Scotland working on an outdoor sow farm with 500 animals. During this time, he developed and refined his husbandry skills and learned how to raise pigs outside and work in close contact with them. He then returned to Canada where he utilized his skills and started Linton Pasture Pork. Linton pasture pork is a small farrow to finish family run farm located in Walton, Ontario. Website.

 

New program combines cooking and commerce

In what is being called a first for Canadian post-secondary education, George Brown College is launching a bachelor of commerce program with a specialization in culinary management to better prepare chef school students to succeed. The program, officially known as honours bachelor of commerce (culinary management), intends to provide a four-year degree tailored towards management and operations in the food and beverage industry, a niche previously neglected in Canadian schools. The Dialog, George Brown College post.

 

Fence row farming: Uncovering the secrets in the soil

DEAN GLENNEY PLANTS his corn and soybeans on exactly the same rows, drives on the same tracks, and never tills his fields. It’s a farming method he has used for nearly 20 years now; and it has given him corn yields averaging 275 bushels an acre (bu/ac) and soybeans averaging around 60 bu/ac. In 2012, Glenney’s highest corn yield was 301.88 bu/ac. Ontario Grain Farmer story.

 

Certificate in Food Security

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 post.

 

Farmland Health Incentive Program Tightens Focus For 2017

Changes to the 2017 Farmland Health Incentive Program (FHIP) will create an even greater focus on managing water quality in the western and central Lake Erie basin. For the past two years, FHIP, part of the Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative (GLASI), has focused on supporting and funding Ontario farmer stewardship efforts in an area that extends anywhere south of a line from Tobermory to Niagara Falls. Margaret May, regional program lead with Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (which administrates the program), explains that the target area has now been narrowed to anywhere south of Highway 402 with a jog north to the Stratford area, then south to Lake Erie. Real Agriculture story. Program.

 

78,000 Ontario farmers call for an end to urban sprawl

Over 52,000 farms and 78,000 farmers have a united message for the Provincial Government: freeze urban boundaries now and stop urban sprawl to protect farmland in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). This includes Melancthon farmer Ralph Armstrong who says, “It is important to keep the message out there that farmland is limited. If we protect it, the land will feed us every year.” Ralph Armstrong is a sixth generation farmer who was one of the first to sound the alarm regarding the manoeuvres of the Highland Companies’ land acquisitions of Honeywood farmland as the hedge fund corporation prepared to apply for a 2,400 acre open pit mine on the headwaters and first class prime farmland. Shelburne Free Press story.

 

Teaching Local Food Literacy in Ontario Schools

Did you miss our Teaching Local Food Literacy webinar? It’s not too late! The recorded webinar and presentation slides are now available for you to view. This webinar was the first in our Local Food Literacy in Ontario Schools webinar series.  Recorded on November 30, 2016, this webinar provides tangible lessons for how to bring local food literacy education into the classroom. Sustain Ontario post.

 

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Rural SMEs, Innovation and Ontario’s Community Colleges

In 2002 the Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology Act was updated, providing an official and clear mandate for colleges to engage in applied research and encouraged colleges to enter into partnerships with business and industry, creating new opportunities for establishing relationships with SMEs and opportunities for partnering in innovation. However, there is little empirical research that has been conducted on these new opportunities in Ontario (1 study conducted by the Conference Board of Canada, 2010), and no rural empirical research. This research offers a rural perspective, focusing on the rural context. LinkedIn post.

Local Food News — Ontario

Creative Partnership Results In New Sausage

WindsorEats, along with Robbie’s Gourmet Sausage Co., have come up with a sausage unlike any other, by combining the delicious juicy flavors of Robbie’s sausages, with the spicy fresh flavour of sriracha. “We want to work closely with local food producers in the region to create fun, unique and high quality products,” said Pina Ciotoli, co-owner of WindsorEats. Windsorite.ca News story.

 

Local Food Week June 6 to 12

See list of events that are happening across the province to celebrate Local Food. If you have an event that you would like listed, please submit the event details. Website.

 

Don’t get fooled by fast food ‘farm-washing’

The rising popularity of local food and sustainable agriculture makes the big fast food companies nervous. Increasingly, people want to know where their food is coming from and how it was raised. Eaters want to support farms where animals are treated well, where workers are paid properly, where soil and water are taken care of. They want to eat healthier foods, not hormone-laden beef or pesticide lettuce. Fast food companies like McDonald’s have tried to steal back the limelight. Kingston Region post.

 

Ontario honours grocers who promote local food

“Buying local food not only provides families with healthy and delicious options, but creates jobs and economic growth in communities across the province. I applaud grocery retailers for looking at innovative ways to connect consumers with their food and the people who grow it so they have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the good things grown in Ontario,” says Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Food in Canada story.

 

OntarioFresh Seeks ‘Ride Share for Local Food’ Feedback

OntarioFresh.ca is seeking feedback on its “Ride Share for Local Food” app from sellers, distributors/carriers or food hubs and covers both Just-in-time and Scheduled distribution opportunities.  How can the app help you grow your local food business? Sustain Ontario post.

 

Ontario farmers find sweet success with birch syrup

What began as Bert and Kathy Beilke’s passion to grow food and connect with nature more than 20 years ago, has since turned into an innovative new food product. Golden birch syrup is a semi-sweet flavoured syrup made from sap of yellow birch trees on the Beilkes’ Wagram Springs Farm in Wellington County near Moorefield. Food in Canada story.

 

Farm to Table Market and Kitchen

The Farm to Table Market and Kitchen is your one stop shop for local, farm fresh, organic and artisanal food in the heart of Collingwood. We are open to the public. Anyone can shop here! Members receive a discount and volunteers qualify for an even greater discount. Member or not, smiles are always free:) Website.

 

FarmStart

FarmStart works with a diverse group including recent immigrants, some of whom have farming experience from before they came to Canada. Often they know how to grow foods from their home country and find an eager market in the greater Toronto area and beyond. Other new farmers are young and may be fairly new to farming. FarmStart helps farmers through incubator farms, training programs, and through their FarmLink program. FarmLink connects new farmers with established farmers and farmland owners, helping them to access farmland once they are ready to get established on their own. Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario blog.

 

Sustainable Local Food Certificate Program

This certificate explores the practices, principles and philosophies involved in local food system development. The focus is on increasing both academic and hands-on knowledge of regional food initiatives across Canada, alongside international best practices. There is a specific concentration on applied learning, online networking, and community research. This certificate is the first of its kind in Canada, providing a cutting edge advantage when competing for work in the sustainable local food sector. St. Lawrence College of applies Arts & Technology post.

 

A Short Guide to Food & Farming Terms

The Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network has compiled a short guide to food and farming terms that are commonly used to describe agricultural practices and products. Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network post.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Be Ready to Laugh

John Oliver discusses how and why media outlets so often report untrue or incomplete information as science. Youtube video.

Local Food News — World

Informal Urban Agriculture: The Secret Lives of Guerrilla Gardeners

The book explores how unused and under-used urban spaces – from grass verges, roundabouts, green spaces – have been made more visually interesting and more productive, by informal (and usually illegal) groups known as “guerrilla gardeners”. The book focuses on groups in the English Midlands but the work is set in a broad international context and reveals how and why they undertake this illegal activity. Guerrilla gardening is usually viewed uncritically and promoted as a worthwhile activity: this study provides a more balanced evaluation and focuses on its contribution in terms of local food production. Springer book listing.

 

Communal Meat Lockers Could Help Scale Up Sustainable Meat

When frozen food was first introduced, home freezers were not yet prevalent and shoppers needed a place to store the frozen meat they bought. So butchers and grocers set up chilled rooms adjacent to their shops. These “meat lockers” were filled with individual bins—often complete with their own keys—that consumers rented and could visit whenever they needed to pick up their meat. Today, people who want to buy and store the quantities of meat that many farmers sell directly, through meat-buying clubs, or in community supported agriculture (CSA) meat shares, are in a similar bind. Civil Eats story.

 

At This Supermarket, The Produce Section Grows Its Own Produce

At the end of the produce aisle in the Metro supermarket in Berlin, an indoor farming company is testing the ultimate in local food: Greens and herbs are growing inside the store itself. The greens grow inside glowing modular boxes, in a design that the company behind the project, Infarm, says is so efficient that it can finally make vertical farming affordable on a micro scale. Fast Company story.

 

Asda begins selling ‘wonky veg’ to Scots

A MAJOR supermarket chain yesterday began selling “wonky veg” in almost 30 branches across Scotland in response to customer demand. The family-sized produce box includes nine in-season winter vegetables, all of which have been deemed to have sub-par shapes despite being otherwise edible. Asda trialled the £3.50 offer, aimed at reducing food waste levels and aiding farmers, in the south of England last week, when Scottish shoppers and politicians urged them to expand the scheme north of the border. The National story.

 

A Ski Town Greenhouse Takes Local Produce to Another Level

The Wyoming soil, iced over for eight months of the year, is not particularly hospitable to heirloom tomatoes, baby basil or lettuce plants. Instead, vegetables are trucked in from California, Mexico and other more fecund parts of the world. Yet starting this spring, Vertical Harvest, a farm in the resort town of Jackson, will begin churning out a projected 100,000 pounds of fresh produce a year. Vertical Harvest uses hydroponic farming methods inside a three-story greenhouse on a 4,500-square-foot downtown lot. It is engaging in a relatively new practice called vertical farming. The New York Times story.

 

Indoor Farms of America Announces Issuance of Patent

Indoor Farms of America, LLC — maker of unique vertical aeroponic indoor farm equipment, is pleased to announce the issuance of their U.S. Patent covering the entire vertical aeroponic farm system, developed to increase indoor farm production and reduce costs of installation and ongoing operational expenses through superior design and function of each area of the farm. Indoor Farms of America news release.

5 Startups at Foodbytes! Brooklyn Highlight Sustainability

This article will focus on five companies that are trying to preserve the planet’s resources. They focus on sustainably-caught fish, vegan fish, the preservation of corn diversity, enabling city folk to connect to the land, and enabling farmers to reduce losses. The Epoch Times story.

 

Food Delivery via Drone Will Soon Be a Reality

Someday very soon, your Chinese takeout or pizza may be dropped at your doorstep by a drone. CNBC reports that food delivery app Foodpanda is testing out drone delivery technology in Singapore. The push towards using unmanned aircraft to feed customers is part of an effort by Foodpanda to improve delivery times and outpace its growing competitor, Deliveroo. Foodpanda has already cut delivery times from an average of 60-70 minutes down to 30 minutes in Hong Kong, and hopes to drop that number even more. “As our deliveries get faster, we notice customers increase their order frequency to multiple orders per week.” Eater story.

 

It’s not demeaning when served with local food-DCE

Mr. Alhassan Mohammed Sorogodoo, the Sangnerigu District Chief Executive (DCE) has appealed to Ghanaians to have strong taste for the local foods, especially, locally-produced rice, at social functions. He said they should not consider it demeaning when served with these, pointing out that, the high preference by many for foreign cuisines had been making it almost impossible for organizers of programmes including state ones, to serve some local dishes, something that was unhelpful to the growth of the economy. Modern Ghana story.

 

USDA Makes Payments Available for Organic Field Border Buffers

Many organic farmers install conservation buffers strips around the edges of their crop fields. These ‘field border’ buffers provide multiple conservation and environmental benefits, and also help farmers meet U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic certification requirements, which include protecting soil and water quality and enhancing biodiversity and habitat). In some circumstances, the buffers can also protect organic farms against pesticide or genetic drift from neighboring operations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) runs a program called the Continuous Sign-up Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP) that provides farmers with rental payments on land set-aside for conservation buffers for a period of 10-15 years. Cost-share payments also made available to help farmers with the financial burden of establishing the buffers. National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition post.

 

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Factory farming divestment: what you need to know

The fast food chain Subway is latest to join the backlash against antibiotic use in the farm sector. It has launched a new chicken sandwich in the US made with meat from animals raised without antibiotics. The move is a sign of the growing consumer and business interest in the welfare and environmental impact of animals reared for meat, dairy and eggs, with most of the blame directed at intensive, factory-style farms. The Guardian story.

Local Food News — Canada

Fresh thoughts from Changing the Menu conference on school food

Imagine broccoli and raspberries growing at 24 Sussex Drive when the prime minister’s residence is renovated for Justin Trudeau and his family. The latest change to be proposed for the Ottawa property concerns the garden and came last weekend in Montreal at Changing the Menu, Canada’s first national conference on school food, where 450 delegates were urged to promote schoolyard gardens in order to show children what real food looks like and how to grow it. “Could we get him to dig up the lawn of 24 Sussex?” Bays asked. “We should Twitter that,” she suggested to cheers from her audience of school officials, health professionals, farmers and researchers. Montreal Gazette story.

 

National Food Policy in Agri-Food Mandate Letter

On Friday November 13th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released the federal mandate letters, describing the duties and responsibilities his ministers need to fulfill. An exciting highlight is the Agri-Food mandate letter including promising language of a national food policy that promotes healthy living and Canadian-grown foods. Not only is this a tribute to governmental transparency, it also reveals the duties and responsibilities all the Cabinet Ministers. Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post.

 

MacAulay has been given his list of marching orders

The Liberals are said to have taken a close look at studies by the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute that show Canada has an $8-billion-a-year deficit in the trade of processed food and beverages. Displacing imports with more homegrown food would create more jobs in the Canadian manufacturing sector. Manitoba Cooperator story.

 

Vancouver co-op Knives & Forks allows investments in local food producers

A new investment co-operative in Vancouver is giving foodies who like to eat local a way of investing local too. The Knives & Forks Community Investment Co-op enables people to invest in local food production and distribution firms. “We’ve seen tremendous movement and tremendous success in the farmers’ markets,” said Rory Holland, co-founder and director of the co-op. “We wanted to take it one step further and provide an opportunity for people to actually invest in these farms so we could help farmers be financially viable and sustainable over a long term,” Holland said using the co-op structure allows them to provide a way for anyone who has the funds to invest between $2,400 and $4,800. CBC News British Columbia story.

 

Business leaders debate what being a ‘trusted’ food supplier means

For Michael McCain, the suggestion that Canada should become the world’s most trusted food system is a dangerous one. “Higher cost — in our view — will never be universally valued,” he told industry stakeholders and policy-makers at the Forum on Canada’s Agri-Food Future in Ottawa. “Because our marketplace… isn’t homogenous, and that’s where the danger shows up.” The president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods made the remarks in response to a provocative question asked at the recent forum hosted by Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI): Can and should Canada become the world’s most trusted food system? Manitoba Cooperator story.

 

Yukon shop gets egg-grader approved, sells out of eggs daily

Local egg production in Whitehorse is ramping up now that the territory has an egg-grading station in operation. The Farmer Robert’s store set up the grading station earlier this year and in October it was certified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. “Every day we’re sold out. It lasts two hours and then we don’t have any eggs left,” said Samuel Martineau Dubois, while demonstrating how the grading machine works. CBC News North story.

 

SFU’s RADIUS Slingshot program to boost B.C.’s sustainable food industry

Insect-based protein powder, First Nations tea blends, and home-delivered healthy snack boxes are just some of the local food-related ventures that will receive a jump-start from their inclusion in Simon Fraser University’s third annual RADIUS Ventures Slingshot Accelerator. The intense six-month cohort program for high-impact ventures is run by RADIUS, a social innovation lab and venture incubator based at SFU’s Beedie School of Business. This year’s cohort, supported by program partners Vancity Credit Union and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), will focus solely on B.C.’s sustainable food sector. Simon Fraser University News post.

 

Growing support for local food business

A smorgasbord of information was available to budding food entrepreneurs at a community seminar at Georgian College’s Orillia campus this week. Food Entrepreneurship: Producing Economic Growth in Ontario’s Lake Country was full-day program that brought more than 120 people to the campus to get a better idea of what it takes to turn their food-based dreams into a tasty reality. Orillia Packet & Times story.

 

Vancouver Community College celebrates 50 years of culinary education with 50 chefs

Collin Gill runs Western Canada’s largest culinary school, one that has produced more than 12,000 chefs since it opened in 1965. As a graduate himself of Vancouver Community College, Gill is proud that the institution has contributed to the growth of the local food scene. “Our grads are everywhere in the city, so we do feel like we’re a big part of what the city is,” Gill told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview. “And it’s true: Vancouver is a world-renowned city for its food.” Straight.com story.

 

Salt company to add some taste to Comox Valley food scene

Vancouver Island Salt Co aims to add some more flavour to the Comox Valley’s economy and food scene. The Cowichan Valley based company that was started by chef Andrew Shepherd in 2009 in Cobble Hill, wants to expand its operation here. The company, which is Canada’s first commercial sea salt harvestry, is rapidly growing. The reason Vancouver Island Salt Co has chosen the Comox Valley is because the region can provide them a supply of beautiful clean unrefined sea salt from the globally recognizable clear waters of Vancouver Island, which the company has based its international brand on. Comox Valley Echo story.

 

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Iconic soup maker Campbell Canada celebrates 85 years

A tip of the can to Campbell Canada! Just recently this iconic food company celebrated 85 years of being part of the Canadian meal landscape at a special art event honouring the work of the late Andy Warhol. And we all know the role the famous red and white Campbell soup can played in his work. It was also an opportunity to meet company president, Ana Dominguez who spoke of the partnership the company has always enjoyed with the local food purveyors, particularly farmers who have been doing business with the company for decades – the carrots found in the soup most likely came from Ontario’s famous Holland Marsh, as an example. Toronto Sun story.

Local Food News — World

The quest for perennial crops

All the tilling, sowing, and harvesting which is required for annual crops leeches nutrients from the soil and contributes to erosion. It also requires more energy-intensive machines and materials. Perennial crops, on the other hand, could survive for many seasons lessening farming’s wear-and-tear on the environment. Some varieties could also have longer, lusher root systems that would sink deeper into the ground, helping maintain soil health and curbing erosion. The trick, however, will be coaxing crops into simultaneously surviving year-round and growing plump and harvestable seeds. Plants tend to prefer one or the other. Future perennial crops could simply be plugged into the current monoculture system, grown in mixtures or in mosaics which could break farmland up into smaller patches containing a wider variety of plants to provide both economic and environmental benefits. Landbased Library Online Briefing 2179.

 

City Region Food Systems – Part I – Conceptualization

In this blog-post FCRN-member Professor Michael Hamm discusses a number of contested issues linked to the challenges posed by growing urbanisation. This is the first in a short series of postings by Mike in which he explores the value of city-region food systems, obstacles to their development, and possible ways forward. Food Climate Research Network post.

 

The New Science of Sustainable Food Systems: Overcoming Barriers to Food Systems Reform

Who holds the power to shape food systems, and who sets the terms of debate when it comes to reforming them? These were the questions asked by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems, IPES-Food, as it launched its first report. IPES-Food is a new independent panel for food systems reform, co-chaired by Olivier De Schutter, former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, and ex-UNICEF nutrition expert Olivia Yambi. It features 18 top experts from various fields connected to food systems. Executive Summary.

 

Exploring Economic and Health Impacts of Local Food Procurement

The report highlights practical, effective strategies for communities to add locally sourced food to their institutional food systems; recommends ways to conceptualize and measure economic and health impacts; suggests effective funding strategies; and includes Critical Analysis of Economic Impact Methodologies, which discusses the literature on the economic impact of local foods. Illinois Public Health Institute post. Executive summary.

 

Michigan Food Innovation Hub Fosters Collaboration between Local Food Producers

Local food producers in Northwest Michigan are entering an era of collaboration thanks to the emergence of the Grand Traverse Food Innovation Hub. The food hub is an important step toward a more connected and cooperative local food community in the region and is in the early stages of bringing diverse local food companies together to share a workspace and possibly more, if everything goes according to plan. Sustainable Cities Collective post.

 

Local farmers get creative to compete in crowded CSA market

Beougher’s crops are certified organic, which attracts a certain customer-base, and he raises a small number of hogs, chickens and lambs, which subscribers can buy to supplement their produce. This year he added a new feature. “We have a personal chef that will create recipes for everything that’s in the box,” Beougher said. “So when you get that kohlrabi or eggplant that you’ve never cooked before and don’t know what to do with, she’ll have a recipe to help you make something out of it.” Harvest Public Media story.

 

Urban farming is booming, but what does it really yield?

Food that’s grown and consumed in cities has other advantages: During times of abundance, it may cost less than supermarket fare that’s come long distances, and during times of emergency — when transportation and distribution channels break down — it can fill a vegetable void. Following large storms such as Hurricane Sandy and the blizzards of this past winter, says Viraj Puri, cofounder of New York City–based Gotham Greens (which produces more than 300 tons [272 metric tons] of herbs and microgreens per year in two rooftop hydroponic operations and has another farm planned for Chicago), “our produce was the only produce on the shelf at many supermarkets across the city.” ENSIA story.

 

Land-Grant Institutions Move To Support Urban Farmers

There is only a single land-grant in the nation that is exclusively devoted to urban interests, and that’s the University of the District of Columbia. Mchezaji “Che” Axum runs its 143-acre research farm in Beltsville, Maryland (coincidentally, the site of the USDA’s National Agricultural Library, which might be considered the nation’s ag equivalent of the Library of Congress). The farm provides demonstration areas showing the diverse ways urban agriculture can work in communities. There are orchards, fish farming and greenhouses. The farm also serves as the headquarters for the area’s Master Gardener Program. UC Food Observer post.

 

Gut feelings and possible tomorrows: (where) does animal farming fit?

It takes as its starting point the observation that while most of us may agree we have a food problem, there is less unanimity as to what the causes are, what or who is to blame and why. One particular issue exemplifies both the complexities of the problem and the discord it engenders. This is the ‘meat question.’ This paper takes a closer look at who the stakeholders are in the debate around livestock, the different narratives that they construct about the livestock problem – and the solutions they propose.  It presents and describes four future scenarios, each of which imagines a different livestock ‘solution,’ and explores the values that underpin them. What might happen if the world were really like this? How is success defined in these futures, what sort of dynamic tensions might start to manifest themselves, and what new problems might emerge? Food Climate Research Network think piece.

 

The Color of Food: These Sisters are Building a Second Career as Farmers

I am standing on the family’s land listening to the tiller’s engine run. Behind it walks Carol Jackson; her sister, Joyce Bowman, walks behind her, planting sweet potato slips. These two sisters grew up in Burgaw, North Carolina; both became teachers for special needs children and after retirement returned to the land where they were raised to grow organic vegetables together. They call their farm My Sister’s Farm because both are too modest to take credit for the idea and each jokingly blames the other for getting them into it in the first place. They started more than ten years ago, slowly, first to keep busy and active in retirement and then to sell their excess harvest as production grew. Civil Eats story.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Climate-friendly gardening

So what is a climate-friendly gardener? Just as a wildlife-friendly gardener tries to help wildlife in their garden, so a climate-friendly gardener aims to garden in ways that reduce greenhouse gases and absorb carbon dioxide, and so help the climate remain suitable for the Earth’s existing species, including ourselves. This website isn’t about adapting to the inevitable climate change that we’ve caused already (though we’ll need to do that too) but about doing something to help slow down climate change and stabilise our climate. Life in some form or other will go on whatever the climate, but we need a climate that suits us, the climate that we have evolved for and to which we’re adapted. Website.

Local Food News — Ontario

ECO Wants Local Food Conversation Expanded

Ontario’s Environment Commissioner calls the provincial Local Food Act an important starting point for a much larger conversation. Gord Miller’s recent report suggests increasing the focus on food production as close to market as possible is one part of creating a food system that encourages consumers to make more sustainable choices. But Miller says the test will be whether the Minister of Agriculture seizes the opportunity to establish and implement quantifiable and ambitious targets. Blackburn AgriMedia story.

Garden Feeds Residents at St Paul’s College

After 6 months of hard work and perseverance, my dream became a reality. I hoped that this could become a space for learning about local and sustainable food issues, for community-building and for students to experience an improved connection to the land and their food. I did my best to ensure its success at St. Paul’s and hoped that it could influence the broader University of Waterloo community as well. I had no idea how far it would go. Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable post.

“Niche to mainstream” a hot topic at fourth annual Local Food Conference

Local food is a powerful source in our agri-food system, yet not all local food shoppers are buying the same. Kingston hosted the Fourth Annual Local Food Conference— where local food business owners, producers, distributors and those passionate about local food explored the topic of creating space in a crowded market or staying niche. The two-day conference on Nov. 24 and 25 was presented by Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), in partnership with Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO); it launched with a tour of local businesses. Attendees visited MacKinnon Brothers Brewery Company, Patchwork Gardens and Farm Boy, where a representative discussed ways of getting local products into the store. KingstonRegion.com story.

Food365: What is local food?

There are a number of benefits that support Local Food practices. One of the most obvious is the reduction of distance and therefore, time required to transport food products. The transportation of food products requires the burning of fossil fuels. The longer the travel time, the greater the amount of CO2 is produced and the more unstable global climate change becomes. Local production also allows for less packaging, preservatives at an ideally lower cost. In addition, the food will be much fresher because it hadn’t needed to travel thousands of kilometres. UeaT – University of Toronto post.

 

Guelph community food hub gets $267,000

A $267,300 seed has been planted to grow a new organization aimed at eliminating poverty and food insecurity in Guelph in a new way. Seed Community Food Hub Project, known as The Seed, received the Trillium Foundation funding Friday. Guelph MPP and Ontario Minister of Education Liz Sandals called the announcement “extra special,” and the result of exemplary, broad-based community involvement. “It’s always a delight when you’ve got an issue and you see it come through, with the community coming together in a way to solve a problem and to create something that’s new and exciting,” Sandals said. Guelph Mercury story.

Making It Simple To Give Local

The items listed below come packaged in our reusable burlap shopping bags, and are ready-to-give, with vibrant tissue paper already included. This year, we’ve incorporated an extra special element, as the bags will feature artwork by local artist Julia Veenstra. We have chosen a delightful selection of local products that will make your mouth water! All bags will contain the same items, except for the option of choosing icewine tea or seasonal coffee. The Mustard Seed post.

Halton Healthcare Services Receives Ogvg’s First Local Food Week Award

The Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) are pleased to announce that Halton

Healthcare Services (HHS)/Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital site has received the first OGVG Local Food Week award. HHS is a multi-site healthcare organization and is comprised of three hospitals serving the communities of Milton, Oakville, Clarkson and Halton Hills in Ontario, Canada. OGVG General Manager, George Gilvesy, and Foodservice Representative, Nancy Hewitt, presented the first Local Food Week award to Marianne Katusin (HHS Manager, Operational readiness, Food Services) and Elma Hrapovich (HHS Director of Nutrition and Foodservices). This team developed multiple locally-themed OGVG promotional displays creating a lot of excitement and awareness about this celebratory week. Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers post.

Hamilton Sustainable Victory Gardens

The Hamilton Victory Gardens is a non-profit team of community volunteers dedicated to alleviating hunger and food insecurity in our communities by transforming empty city lots into places of community, education and growth. Through an innovative approach which combines urban agriculture and charitable giving, students and  volunteers learn about the sustainable agriculture methods we employee to grow thousands of pounds of fresh produce for local food banks and hot meal programs. Website.

ECO Wants More Effort On Soil Health

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario wants OMAFRA to institute a process for identifying the province’s innovators in soil health and determining the key factors in their success. Gord Miller’s latest report highlited three of those farmer innovators. He suggests integrating that information along with more detailed and effective educational material into the Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan, updated Best Management practices, seminars and workshops. Blackburn AgriMedia story

Walmart–Evergreen Green Grants

Walmart Canada and Evergreen have partnered to offer this national program, funding community-based initiatives across Canada. Projects supported through the Green Grants program include, but are not limited to: native planting initiatives, community food gardens, environmental workshops and educational events. Amount offered: grants of $10,000, $5,000, and $3,500 are available (up to 50% of the total project budget). The 2015 deadline for applications is Monday, February 2, 2015. Evergreen post.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

New partnership launched to protect water quality and support Ontario agriculture

The Canadian Fertilizer Institute (CFI) and the Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) are piloting 15 4R Demonstration Farms as part of the project entitled, Expanding Marketability of Soybeans through Roundtable for Responsible Soy. The project is funded through the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) program. Producers will receive grants for committing a portion of land to field trials under a 4R Nutrient Stewardship management plan. Analysis of this pilot will allow Canadian producers to better understand the current demands for sustainability in the marketplace, where the operational challenges are, and modifications and improvements necessary to meet consumer and retailer demand. Canadian Fertilizer Institute post.

Local Food News — World

Locavore movement takes to deer hunting across USA

Decades-long national decline in the number of hunters has prompted states to tap into a new group of hunters — people who demand locally produced food, but don’t know the first thing about bagging a deer. Books and blogs on the topic are numerous, and state wildlife departments are offering introductory deer hunting classes in urban areas to recruit newbies who want to kill their own local, sustainable and wild meat in what some say is an ecologically friendly way. The Trentonian story.

 

200 Small Food Producers To Secure Listings With SuperValu Through Food Academy

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD today welcomed the announcement that 200 small food producers will secure retail listings with SuperValu worth €10 million, through the Food Academy programme in 2015. In addition, 30 high performing small food companies will graduate to Food Academy Advance, the next stage of the programme. The Food Academy programme is a joint initiative between Bord Bia, the Local Enterprise Office Network and SuperValu to support local food companies in Ireland. The initiative will provide these companies with expertise in branding, market research, business development and distribution to allow scaling to secure national listings with the supermarket chain. Checkout Magazine story.

 

SPC Ardmona local food push gains momentum

Representatives from the Victorian food industry have increased their efforts to lobby the government to buy locally grown foods for government-run institutions. In the lead-up to the Victorian election, the Pro-Local Supply Working Group developed the Full Value for Victorian Food Procurement Policy, a proposal that urges members of parliament to put locally sourced food on the agenda to support the Victorian food industry. The Australian public is also backing the policy move, showing their support for locally sourced foods via the social media campaign #demandlocalsupply. Sparked by an initial post on Facebook by SPC Ardmona, a member of the Pro-Local Supply Working Group, thousands have now pledged their support for the campaign, sharing the post and signing the online petition at www.demandlocalsupply.com.au.

mmg.com.au story.

 

Heritage Radio Network grows in Bushwick

On a recent rainy afternoon in Bushwick, Erin Fairbanks was interviewing Will Harris of the Georgia farm White Oak Pastures for her radio show “The Farm Report.” Fairbanks is the executive director of Heritage Radio Network, a nonprofit, Web-based station that covers food and everything the subject touches. As she and Harris discussed the synergies of multispecies production systems, family farms and vertical integration, hungry people devoured Roberta’s pizza topped with speck, broccoli rabe and Calabrian chilies just beyond the glass that separates the restaurant from the station. AM New York story.

 

Sydney to feature Eyre Peninsula products

EYRE Peninsula products will be showcased at a group of high end Sydney restaurants early next year in an effort to keep building the Eyre Peninsula brand. The campaign is part of the Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula’s Food and Beverage Ambassador program, which recently received funding from Primary Industries and Regions SA to allow it to be rolled out over the next two years. The ambassador program includes in-market and in-region marketing and promotional activity for the Eyre Peninsula Brand program and participating businesses. Port Lincoln Times story.

 

Dublin Foodie Caroline Byrne is appointed new Secretary General of Euro-Toques Ireland

Euro-toques – the European Community of Chefs – was established in Brussels in 1986 by the top chefs in the region. Their purpose was to form a network of chefs committed to quality local food sourcing and to be a voice for the industry to protect Europe’s traditional foods and culinary heritage. Irish Food Guide Blog post.

 

Unilever commits to sourcing sustainable palm oil

From the first quarter of 2015, Unilever’s local food factories will begin using traceable and certified (RSPO segregated) palm oil, with the transition expected to be complete by the end of 2015. The announcement comes three years after Unilever ANZ confirmed all of its local palm oil use was covered through Green Palm certificates. Clive Stiff, chairman and CEO of Unilever ANZ, said “The move to RSPO segregated palm oil for our locally produced foods products is an important step on our journey towards achieving full traceability and sustainability across our supply chain. FOOD Magazine – Australia story.

 

From pumpkins to policies: engaging in sustainable food behaviour

Pumpkin Rescue was the first public campaign run by my charity Hubbub, using Halloween as a way of raising awareness and provoking a debate around food waste. The focal point for the campaign was a Pumpkin Festival in Oxford, England, where we worked with a coalition of local food groups lead by Good Food Oxford and Oxford City Council on activities to bring the campaign to life. The Guardian story.

 

Burleigh Court first to achieve Gold with Green Tourism’s new assessment criteria

imago’s four star hotel Burleigh Court has been recognised for its comprehensive monitoring of energy, water and wastage across all areas of the business to ensure annual  targets are achieved. The hotel also strives to support the community and encourage sustainability by sourcing local produce and supporting local producers and suppliers. It is the third time in a row Burleigh Court has achieved the Gold standard. The latest assessment was marked against the new Green Tourism Version 5 Criteria making Burleigh Court the first hotel in England to achieve the accolade. Travel Daily News International story.

 

Australia’s Food Processing Sector Committee Report

I rise tonight to speak on the report from the Senate Select Committee on Australia’s Food Processing Sector, for which the government’s response was handed down this week. It is 12 months since we have came into government, and of the 35 recommendations of this report the government has noted all 35 of them. Importantly, we are a government of action and we have actually started dealing with many of these recommendations. We are not only dealing with them but putting them into action. I want to speak about that a little bit tonight. Open Australia Senate debates, Bridget McKenzie, November 27, 2014.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food

It is hard to avoid the question of the future of food these days. Filmmakers, scholars, activists and book authors are fretting over what is to be done. Joining the fray is Dan Barber, ‘chef activist’ at Blue Hill Restaurant at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York, and at Blue Hill New York City. His book, The Third Plate offers a culinary vision of the future where “the entirety of the landscape, and how it fits together” is served on a dinner plate (8). Barber has famously been a practitioner of the farm to table cooking, a cooking that is reliant on a host of farmers and chefs who work together to produce good food while also trying to make a living in two enterprises—farming and restaurants—that are famously money-losers. Book review.

Local Food News — Ontario

Agri-Food Processing ‘Key Part’ Of Ontario’s Economic Future

Food and Beverage Ontario is endorsing recommendations of a recent report on Canada’s processed food trade deficit. The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute report urged the various industry stakeholders to work together to tackle the deficit and become more competitive in the global market. The CAPI report linked the deficit to a decline of investment in the sector. Blackburn News story.

Toronto chef Collin Thornton cooks up win at The Royal

The inaugural Royal International Invitation Chef Challenge served up a big win for a local chef Sunday at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and put a bright spotlight on fresh, local food. Chef Collin Thornton from the Fairmont Royal York stepped up to the plate and claimed top spot in a cooking competition against Aphisith Phongsavanh, Assistant Chef de Cuisine at New York’s Waldorf Astoria and Mike Wehrle, Executive Chef, and Dimitri Fayard, Executive Pastry Chef, at Chicago’s The Peninsula Hotels. A large crowd of excited food lovers took in the competition on The Royal’s new Food and Lifestyle Stage. Michael Bonacini, a judge on CTV’s MasterChef Canada, judged the competition, along with Rita DeMontis, Lifestyle and Food Editor for The Toronto Sun and National Food Editor for Sun Media. Ben Mulroney, anchor of ETALK, CTV’s Number 1-rated entertainment show, and award-winning chef and author Ted Reader co-hosted the event. Canada News Wire post. 

Craft beer industry settles into northeastern Ontario

The craft beer business in northeastern Ontario is gaining a full head of steam as new operations open and existing microbreweries expand. With the demise of Northern Breweries in 2006, beer production largely stopped in northeastern Ontario, but the growing popularity of craft beer is putting the region back on the brewing map. Stack Brewing in Sudbury opened in 2012 and recently purchased a new brewing system to expand its production. CBC News Sudbury story

A cash boost for Ontario Pork’s branding program

Ontario Pork’s ongoing marketing and promotional work got a huge boost Thursday after the provincial government announced funding of up to $2 million for the organization to expand its efforts. Ontario Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Jeff Leal made the funding announcement at Queen’s Park in Toronto. He says in a press release the funding for Ontario Pork supports the province’s local food strategy and is helping to make more local food available in Ontario’s schools, cafeterias, markets, grocery stores and restaurants. Since 2003, the provincial government has invested more than $140 million to support sales of Ontario foods. Better Farming story.

Ontario Food and Nutrition Strategy

Ontario’s food systems are in crises. Poor nutrition and access to healthy food are important risk factors in the alarming health, economic and social burden of chronic disease in Ontario, while simultaneously farmers and food systems workers are not able to make an adequate income. A comprehensive food and nutrition strategy is needed to address these challenges and to develop healthy, diverse and resilient food systems in Ontario that will contribute to an equitable and prosperous economy. The Ontario Food and Nutrition Strategy provides the framework to improve the wholistic health and well-being of people in Ontario, reduce the financial burden of chronic disease, and strengthen the economic viability and resiliency of Ontario’s food systems. Strategy.

Bayfield Farmers Market Met First Year Goals

It sounds like the Bayfield’s Farmers Market will be running next year. Market Manager Joan Brady is quite pleased with the community Response to their first year of operation. Vendors set up every Friday on Clangregor Square, from the May 24 weekend to the weekend after Thanksgiving. Brady Explains she had two specific goals when she started the market; that it be producer-based, and that it be community-oriented. She says both of those goals were met. Blackburn News story.

OSCIA survey reveals surprising relationship between farmers and species at risk

In 2013, the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) conducted a survey of producers to get a read on attitudes towards species at risk. The process yielded some surprising results; more than half of participants (69%) acknowledged that SAR loss is an issue in Ontario. “First is that they do care about species at risk and are willing to take action where reasonable and practical. Secondly, and it’s no surprise to us, is the result that 86 percent of those surveyed felt the public is unaware of how the presence of SAR effects farming operations. Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association release.

Farmers Want Support, Recognition to Protect Species at Risk

Ontario farmers may be among the best allies for the province’s species at risk, but they say they need financial and moral support to keep it up. Results of a new survey from the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, which administers the Species At Risk Farm Incentive Program on behalf of the province, shows most of the 250 respondents think the lion’s share of environmental conservation responsibility falls on them. And more than 90 per cent think the public is unaware of how species at risk affects farmers. FCC Express story.

2014 Mandate letter: Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Promoting, encouraging and investing in innovative local food projects that celebrate the rich diversity of foods produced and made in Ontario, and which feed local economies and help communities grow. Creating and implementing the new Farms Forever Program. The program will help preserve the productive capacity of agricultural land close to major urban centres, support the local sourcing of food, strengthen Ontario’s agri-food sector and support young farmers. Continuing to work with partner ministers and the agricultural sector to decrease nutrient run-off, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and make our agricultural sector as resilient as possible to climate change. Strengthening pollinator health. Premier’s letter.

Local Food Symposium, February 3 and 4, 2015

Held at Queen’s Landing in Niagara-on-the Lake, the symposium will consist of two full days with site-visits, round table discussions, and keynote speakers. Bringing people together from across the agriculture and food value chain, it will be a great opportunity to learn about some of the interesting and innovative ways more local food is being served in public sector institutions, as well as to discuss some of the challenges we all face and the potential solutions. Website.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

A feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged. Website. YouTube trailer.

Local Food News — Canada

New cook book launched to help grow Nova Scotia’s local food economy

In an effort to encourage Nova Scotians to eat —but more importantly, buy – local, Select Nova Scotia has launched a new cook book, written by local chefs who invented recipes with a variety of homegrown ingredients. A book launch was held on Wednesday at the Halifax Seaport Market, where Minister of Agriculture Keith Colwell called the new recipe collection a key to encouraging more residents to stock up on local produce. MetroNews Canada story.

Foodie culture puts Duncan, B.C., on startups’ map

The survey, which drew on data from Statistics Canada and interviews with local businesses, polled more than 100 Canadian cities to find out how friendly they were to independent business owners. It examined three broad areas: presence (how many small businesses existed), policy (how positively local government policies affected business conditions), and finally perspective. This describes small-business owners’ attitudes towards business and living conditions in their local cities. Financial Post story.

Hot cuisine: Abundant local farms create high foodie expectations

Ottawa restaurateurs know customers ‘want to taste Ottawa,’ food critic says. The abundance of local farms and farmers markets have created an educated group of eaters in Ottawa, forcing local restaurants to try new recipes with new technology as they search for their next masterpiece, according to local food critic Anne DesBrisay. As a result, DesBrisay adds that Ottawa is becoming a vibrant food destination. CBC News Ottawa story.

Upcoming workshop reminds us that “local food needs local seed”

Farmers, gardeners, and others interested in food are invited to an upcoming gathering about saving seed. Planting for the Future: Building Capacity for a Regional Seed System will take place Saturday, Nov. 15 in Inverary. The event is being organized by KASSI, the Kingston Area Seed System Initiative, which has been encouraging regional seed saving and production since 2011. “Almost everything we eat begins with seeds, so whoever controls seeds, controls food,” says Kathy Rothermel, a Wolfe Island farmer and member of the KASSI. “As a result, we want to build our region’s capacity to grow its own food and its own seeds.” Metroland Kingston Region post.

Alberta Farm Receives National Pollinator Award

The award collects nominations from across Canada and is given annually to recognize the contributions Canadian farmers make towards protecting our country’s pollinators and pollinator habitats. While the Coens have been practicing sustainable farming since the late 1980’s, son Takota has recently started investing in agroforestry on the family’s 250-acre farm located in the Aspen Parkland Biome near Ferintosh, Alberta. Takota has diversified several acres of farmland where livestock graze between rows of planted fruit, nut and timber trees. This approach provides immense benefits for local wildlife, most notably pollinators that gain increased habitat and food supply. To support the longevity of their “forest farm”, the Coens have also sought to involve their local community by creating a unique community supported agriculture method, where people can purchase a share and over several years receive the value back in the form of nuts, fruit, honey, herbs, meat and more. Canadian Federation of Agriculture post.

New Glasgow Farmer’s Market ready to expand

If someone told Melissa Zimmerman seven years ago that she would soon be selling her products in a heated, expansive building, she would thought they were dreaming. But on Saturday (Nov. 8) that dream became a reality when the president of the New Glasgow Farmer’s Market, along with many other vendors, were on hand for a substantial federal government funding announcement that will see the market expanded into a permanent, year-round building. “We stared over in the Keltic Building – no windows, no electrical outlets, no lights.  At most we had a dozen vendors and than we moved over to old Zellers building on Provost Street had challenges with no parking,” she said following an announcement Saturday by Central Nova MP Peter MacKay about new federal funding for the expansion of the market. Farm Focus story. Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency news release.

Government expands pilot encouraging local sustainable food, rural economic growth

The Manitoba government is investing more than $73,000 in the second phase of the Local Sustainable Food Pilot Project, which helps institutions identify ways to increase the amount of locally grown food purchased while working with farmers to meet these demands, Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today at the Food Matters Manitoba Golden Carrot Awards held in Winnipeg. “Funding for the Local Sustainable Food Procurement Pilot Program will support both farmers and purchasers, with the goal of having more local foods in more locations across the province. This is great news for the rural economy,” said Kostyshyn. “We have already seen good results from the first phase of this project, and along with the upcoming conclusion of recent consultations for direct-farm marketing, Manitobans will soon have more choice than ever when it comes to buying locally grown food.” Manitoba NDP post.

6 crops to plant if you want to save money

As we celebrate the harvest here in B.C., there’s more reason than ever to consider growing your own. A new report says the drought in California could mean the price of fruits and vegetables may rise by 34 per cent in the next year. But Claire Smith says it’s easy to save money by planting a garden. Smith is teaching a course at VanDusen Botanical Garden Wednesday evening called Maximize Nutrition from your Harvest. Garden crops that will save you money: radishes, peas, polebeans, greens, squash and blueberries. CBC News British Columbia story.

Harper Government Invests in Improving Vegetable Produce

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today an investment of $411,627 to Productions en Régie Intégrée du Sud de Montréal (PRISME) to improve the quality and safety of vegetable produce. This support from the AgriInnovation Program’s Research & Development stream will help PRISME better identify pests and evaluate produce resistance to fungicide to improve the productivity and profitability of vegetable farms. PRISME will also partner with Bishop’s University on the Delia fly pest project. Bishop’s University today presented the results of their research on pests in vegetable crops at the Société d’entomologie du Québec’s annual meeting in Wendake. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada news release.

Future of B.C. farming in question as land policy changes

This year, the B.C. Liberal government overhauled the Agricultural Land Reserve for the first time, creating two zones that will make it easier for non-agricultural development on protected farmland outside the most productive regions. The provincial government says the changes will enhance agriculture because they will allow farmers more options to supplement their incomes, but critics fear the new rules will drive land speculation within the reserve’s boundaries. The Globe and Mail story.

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

Peter Anderson: Protect the Experimental Farm

The division of the Central Experimental Farm is an attack on heritage designations and federal science. On Nov. 3, John Baird announced the transfer of 60 acres of the Farm from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to the National Capital Commission who then offered a dollar-a-year lease to The Ottawa Hospital to build a new Civic Hospital campus. The Farm, founded in 1886, is a National Historic Site of Canada and an important federal research station. The announcement is troubling when read alongside deep cuts across federal research institutions, including the cancellation of the long form census, the closure of libraries at Environment Canada, the attempts to shut down the Experimental Lakes Area in Northern Ontario, and the mishandling of Library and Archives Canada. Ottawa Citizen post.