Local Food News — Canada

Traditional Animal Foods of Indigenous Peoples of Northern North America

A new open-access encyclopedia of more than 500 animal species that are part of traditional food systems of Indigenous Peoples in northern North America has just been launched – a tool for teachers and researchers of all kinds. It’s based, in part, on close to 500 ethnographic sources – some going back about a century. Website.

 

Pan Cape Breton Food Hub Co-Op

The Pan Cape Breton Food Hub Co-op provides the infrastructure to link producers and consumers in Cape Breton. We are a multi-stakeholder non-profit co-op that creates easy access to locally produced foods for our consumers and restaurant/retail partners, while providing producers with easier access to new markets. When you buy or sell food through the Pan Cape Breton Food Hub Co-op, you are contributing to a more vibrant local food economy and becoming part of an island wide food community. Website.

 

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. Strategy.

 

Calgary urban farm celebrates third year as demand soars

Over the past three years, Grow Calgary has become Canada’s largest urban agricultural farm, attracted a core group of roughly 50 people, hundreds more occasional volunteers, hosted tours for schools and community groups, and donated truckloads of fresh produce to the Calgary Food Bank. Calgary Herald story.

 

75-year-old Shediac retiree opens hydroponic farming business

A retired Shediac businessman has turned his dreams of a backyard greenhouse into a hydroponic farming operation. “I have been a vegetarian for 20-years and at one time there was no local products and I wanted to try to get some better food,” said Armand Belliveau. Belliveau could not get planning approval to build a greenhouse to feed just himself and his family, so he opted to go the commercial route. He set up a business on a plot of land he owned near his home. CBC News story.

 

Soil health sensor project largest in North America

The University of Guelph project delivers 747 readings every few minutes measuring soil health. A new $2-million soil health research project aims to figure out the impact of different cropping systems on the environment. Research will also be conducted on crop productivity relating to soil health. The result should be new knowledge on productivity of traditional cropping systems versus those with cover crops. Country Guide story.

 

Local food grocery store opens in Village of Gagetown

“When we started growing our own food, it was to have good, healthy food. Then we expanded to try and grow food for some of our friends and neighbours in the community. So, we’ve just expanded on that further.” Baglole Keenan said first and foremost, the business will be a local food grocer selling its own produce and other local products in the store, but it will offer other fruits such as citrus and bananas. CBC News story.

 

Achieving What’s Possible for the Agri-food Sector: Through the Lens of Strategically Managing “Natural Capital”

Webinar: Tuesday, January 24, 2016, 4:00 pm Central CST. “Trust”, when broadly-considered, is a lens to clarify important choices facing Canada’s agri-food sector going forward. Worldwide, trust is the defining issue facing everyone involved in food production and supply. This goes well beyond food safety as countries grapple with climate change, reliably producing more without depleting water and soil quality and responding to varied consumer concerns, including nutritional quality, ethics and sustainability. Given the increasing importance of the agri-food sector to the Canadian economy, the country is well-positioned to respond to these

challenges and unleash its full potential if we look through the lens of strategically managing “natural capital” with much emphasis on rural agricultural production and rural development. Presenter: David McInnes is the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Canadian Agri-Food. Details.

 

ALUS (Alternative Land Use Services) Launches in Quebec

“We’re launching an exciting new era today,” said ALUS Canada’s CEO Bryan Gilvesy on August 10, 2016, at a provincial press conference at the UPA Headquarters in Longueuil, near Montreal. A partnership between ALUS Canada and the Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie, the new ALUS Montérégie program aims to help Quebec’s farmers produce clean air, clean water, more biodiversity and other ecological services to benefit all of society. ALUS Canada post.

 

Canadian Association for Food Studies

The CAFS annual assembly will be held in Ryerson University between May 27 and 30. The early bird registration deadline is March 31, 2017. Registration.

 

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Setting the table for a radically different Canadian food guide

Canada’s Food Guide is a big deal — but it can be much more influential. On the whole, the guide is a symbol Canada’s food-related values. Public institutions, schools, universities and community-based organizations look to it to reflect our fundamental nutritional principles. But past guides have failed us. Health Canada says that more than 60 per cent of Canadians are overweight and four out of five are at risk of developing heart disease. These disturbing statistics justify a call for major changes. Just blaming the food guide may be an exaggeration but the guide didn’t help. Waterloo Region Record opinion.

Local Food News — Ontario

Opportunities for Growth: An Urban Agriculture Toolkit

The toolkit is now available online as a resource for municipal governments, urban growers, planners and organizations to help advocate for policies that support urban agriculture. With examples of different forms of urban agriculture, case studies from municipalities around the province and tools for enacting change in communities, the toolkit prepares readers to take positive steps toward creating communities that support and incorporate urban agriculture practices. Sustain Ontario post.

 

Innovative tech helps Holland Marsh growers protect crops

Weekly photos are taken of the vegetable fields in the Marsh using an octocopter drone. Lead researcher Mary Ruth McDonald and her team at the University of Guelph’s Muck Crops Research Station run the IPM program and use the images for early detection of diseases and insects so growers can take appropriate measures to protect their crop and prevent or minimize damage. “The technology we are able to access through this project makes our crop scouting program more effective and lets growers be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to crop protection,” explains Sheppard. “It’s very quick for a grower to have a problem area identified early and then decide how to treat it correctly to keep the crop healthy.” Food in Canada story.

 

New College Boréal agricultural technician program will train the next generation of farmers

The program is unique in Northern Ontario, and will have two focuses: animal sciences and plant sciences. Students will have to choose one to specialize in, although they won’t specialize too narrowly. The students will be learning a variety of growing methods including traditional, hydroponic, and sustainable methods that are adapted to modern agricultural and environmental trends. Management courses that cover finances, human resources and labour will accompany more hands-on courses in plant and animal management. The school is hoping to have a rooftop greenhouse built for the project, similar to the existing greenhouse the college’s forestry program uses. Northern Ontario Business story.

 

Sudbury food strategy consultations hear from local restaurateurs

The Greater Sudbury Food Policy Council is in the midst of putting together its food strategy for the city, which is expected to propose solutions to issues surrounding food that Sudbury residents think are important. Some of the input is being taken through a series of short, lunch-hour submissions called “4-minute foodie” presentations, which give stakeholders the chance to pitch why their organization matters to Sudbury’s food landscape. CBC News story.

 

Humber offering courses and workshops on Sustainable Urban Beekeeping

The Humber Arboretum is now offering a series of courses and hands-on workshops on Sustainable Urban Beekeeping. The program takes a look at the opportunities and challenges associated with running a small-scale urban apiary, with a focus on native bees and sustainable hive management practices that build resilience in the colony. Sign up for individual courses or complete all eight required courses and two electives to earn a Certificate of Participation in Sustainable Urban Beekeeping from Humber College (sign up for the full certificate in advance and you’ll save over $300!). The first round of one-day core courses will run in winter 2017, preparing learners to get hands-on at the Humber Arboretum hives beginning in the spring. Sustain Ontario post.

 

Dairy Goat Farm Management Program

Ontario dairy goat producers looking to improve or expand their operations, increase their business management skills, and boost their bottom lines are invited to take part in the Dairy Goat Advanced Farm Management Program.  The program is offered through a partnership between the Agri-food Management Institute and Ontario Goat and is designed for licensed dairy goat farm owners and managers. It will consist of five, one-day intensive sessions starting in March, 2017. Agri-food Management Institute post.

 

Ontario Local Food Report

Ontario is an agri-food powerhouse. Our farmers harvest an impressive abundance from our fields and farms, our orchards and our vineyards. And our numerous processors — whether they be bakers, butchers, or brewers — transform that bounty across the value chain into the highest-quality products for consumers. Together, they generate more than $35 billion in GDP and provide more than 781,000 jobs. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food post.

 

Ontario Public Institutions and On-site Food Production: Visualizing the Future for Health Care

Project SOIL (Shared Opportunities on Institutional Lands) is a feasibility study that explores the potential of on-site food production for public institutions through arrangements with local producers, particularly where access to land for food production is limited and/or expensive. Funded by the New Directions Research Program of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the project builds on emerging production models that can flexibly adapt to institutional resources, as well as land tenure models that could contribute to community food production. Report summary.

 

Ontario Food and Nutrition Strategy

The strategy was developed by a dedicated group of key actors with the goal of strengthening Ontario’s food systems and improving the health and well-being of Ontarians. Vision: Productive, equitable and sustainable food systems that support the wholistic health and well-being of all people in Ontario. Mission: To develop a cross government, multi-stakeholder coordinated approach to food policy development and a plan for healthy food and food systems in Ontario. Strategy.

 

Ontario’s Good Fortune: Appreciating the Greenbelt’s Natural Capital

A new report from Green Analytics and Sustainable Prosperity finds that in addition to storing over $11.17B of carbon, the Greenbelt provides $3.2B annually in ecosystem services to the region. The report, commissioned by the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, assessed the value of final services provided by the Greenbelt that Ontario residents benefit from. The report uses the National Ecosystem Services Classification methodology to identify a series of ecosystem service accounts that directly benefit residents – for example bird watching, flood protection, and clean air to breathe. Greenbelt Foundation post.

 

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Province approves boundary deal

The provincial government has approved the Brantford-Brant County boundary adjustment. Approval of the deal, which will transfer 2,719 hectares of county territory to the city as of Jan. 1, 2017, was announced by city and county officials Tuesday. It brings to an end more than a decade of negotiations. Brantford Expositor story.

Local Food News — World

This Robot Could Be the Future of Home Farming

Real Clear Future post.

 

At the VDNKh park in Moscow, Workhaus design an educational “Urban Farm”

Larger than the entirety of Monaco, the VDNKh is a trade show and amusement park in Moscow that houses, alongside other things, a slew of historical national pavilions and teaching spaces. Recently, an urban farm was added to the site, intended to serve as both a leisure space and an educational opportunity for children and adults. Designed by the Moscow-based studio Wowhaus, the project includes a completely new building and several pavilions set in a bucolic landscape. Archinect News story.

 

‘Speed Dating’ For Farmers And Chefs: ISO A Perfect Local-Food Match

Ashley Heaney and Mark Heaney, from Green Acres Family Farm in Gapland, Md., are sitting in a booth on one side of the room, looking expectant and a little tense. They have a cooler full of eggs from their pasture-raised chickens beside them. This is their chance to show off those eggs to a collection of big-city chefs. They’re here for matchmaking, though not of the romantic sort. It’s an annual “speed-dating” event where farmers get set up with chefs, in an effort to put more local food on restaurant tables. NPR story.

 

Sacramento County OKs birds, bees and farm stands with urban ag ordinance

Residents of urban and suburban Sacramento County will be able to legally grow and sell crops, keep bees, and raise chickens and ducks at home under an urban agriculture ordinance that county supervisors unanimously passed Tuesday. Proponents say the new legal framework will make life easier for small-scale farmers and provide fresh food in areas that lack full-service grocery stores. Sacramento Bee story.

 

KSG’s Farm to Fork Initiative Kicks off in University College Cork

For the first time in an university in Ireland, students and staff at University College Cork gathered at the Quadrangle as the first harvest of vegetables and herbs from the KSG UCC Farm to Fork programme arrived on campus by tractor and trailer on Tuesday, 27th September.

The Farm to Fork initiative, developed by KSG Catering in partnership with UCC, is the first of its kind in any university in Ireland with crops being grown on the university land and then harvested for use in the campus restaurants. Ireland’s Foodservice Platform  post.

 

Holy Cross Events to Focus on Forgotten Ethics in Food Movements

The “locavore” movement makes a moral argument that locally-sourced food is healthier, more environmentally sustainable, kinder to animals, and saving local farms. But whether you buy your food from a supermarket or the local farmer’s market, Gray argues, predominately low-wage and non-citizen workers grew it. These workers lack protection of labor laws, are discouraged from assimilating in their communities, and are often afraid to speak out about their conditions. Gray, an associate professor of political science at Adelphi University, asserts that by romanticizing agrarian values in local farming, food critics and local food advocates are ignoring the “institutional marginalization” of farmworkers. Her conclusions are based on 10 years of field research in the Hudson Valley, where the farms supply New York’s upscale restaurants and farmer’s markets. Holy Cross News blog.

 

Hawaii lawmakers say locavores want unpasteurized, raw milk

Citing increasing demand for local food, a group of state legislators in Hawaii is supporting a bill to allow the sale of raw milk in retail stores, but only if it has “a label that warns about the risks of consuming unpasteurized milk, especially to children and the elderly.” “The legislature finds that consumers’ food preferences have shifted toward locally-produced food in recent years,” the bill states. “Additionally, many small farms have the capability and desire to offer unpasteurized dairy products to consumers that seek locally-produced dairy products.” Food Safety News story.

 

Leading the ‘shop local’ revolution with cafe, bakery and market rolled into one

The Midlothian town has suffered various economic setbacks but the local community is determined to see the Storehouse play a vital part in revival of the town centre, with more that 700 people contributing a total of more than £100,000 in shares for the venture. The Storehouse will have a Breadshare Community Bakery, the Lost Garden Foodhall, a café and an indoor market with a community area. The National story.

 

Here’s thought for food

Shifting from industrial to sustainable food systems is the focus of conference in Whangarei next month, this would mean growing more produce locally, rather than importing it and it would promote a shift from eating processed “industrial” food to fresh local produce. Keynote speakers are Anne Palmer, programme director, food communities and public health at Johns Hopkins University who will share an overview of how local food initiatives are transforming food access in the US, and Professor Barbara Burlingame of Massey University, who will talk on her vision for public health in the 21st century which involves embracing the agenda of sustainable development. New Zealand Herald story.

 

No sunlight, no soil, no problem: Vertical farms take growing indoors

Inside a windowless warehouse once used for paintball, with planes heading to nearby Newark airport overhead, an industrial park in New Jersey seems an unlikely place to find fresh locally grown produce. With LED lights standing in for the sun, and cloth replacing soil, the plants grown at AeroFarms are not your typical greens. “This is fully controlled agriculture and allows us to understand plant biology in ways that, as humans, we’ve never achieved,” said AeroFarms CEO and co-founder David Rosenberg, standing in front of rows of kale, arugula, lettuce and other leafy greens. CBC News story.

 

Reuters Media Award to Boost Sustainable Ag Coverage

Through May 31, 2017, The Thomas Reuters Foundation and Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition are calling all journalists, bloggers, freelancers, and individuals covering a variety of food issues to enter for a chance to win nearly US$11,000, an all-expenses paid media training program, and access to an audience one billion strong. The Good Food Media award is striving to promote comprehensive coverage—judges will consider both published and unpublished written journalism, video, and photography. Submission guidelines and applications are available at www.goodfoodmediaaward.com until May 31, 2017.

 

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Hormel Finds a New Recipe for Success

Hormel’s best-known product is Spam. It’s easy to joke about a company built on meat that comes in a can, but it turns out that Hormel is having the last laugh. For the past 10 years, it has been on a tear. Revenue has increased from $5.4 billion to $9.3 billion, boosting its ranking in the Fortune 500 by nearly 100 spots, to No. 304 this year. Earnings have more than doubled, the dividend has almost quadrupled, and the stock has returned roughly 400%. The growth has been fueled by a flood of new products: everything from peanut-butter snacks to single-serve turkey sticks to a food-service burger made with chicken, quinoa, and, yes, kale. All were developed in Austin—proof that innovation is defined by people, not zip codes. Fortune story.

Local Food News — World

How Dingle became a top food destination

“How on earth did this poor, little fishing port evolve to become one of the most important towns in the Irish food world, the inaugural winner of the Restaurant Association of Ireland’s inaugural Food Destination Town, in 2014? Stella Doyle believes it all kicked off with the film, Ryan’s Daughter, filmed in the locality and starring Robert Mitchum. Many more in Dingle and beyond believe it actually kicked off with the arrival of Stella Doyle herself, most especially, when she and her husband, John, opened the now-nationally renowned Doyle’s Seafood Restaurant in 1973. Irish Examiner story.

 

Our best shot at cooling the planet might be right under our feet

Soil is the second biggest reservoir of carbon on the planet, next to the oceans. It holds four times more carbon than all the plants and trees in the world. But human activity like deforestation and industrial farming – with its intensive ploughing, monoculture and heavy use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides – is ruining our soils at breakneck speed, killing the organic materials that they contain. Now 40% of agricultural soil is classed as “degraded” or “seriously degraded”. In fact, industrial farming has so damaged our soils that a third of the world’s farmland has been destroyed in the past four decades. As our soils degrade, they are losing their ability to hold carbon, releasing enormous plumes of CO2 [pdf] into the atmosphere. The Guardian story.

 

Food swap initiative reducing waste for Riverland gardeners

The philosophy behind the food swap is simple: Bring what you have, take what you need. “No-one can eat a whole tree full of fruit so if they can share it with people who have a different tree in their backyard, that will help stop the wastage,” organiser Catherine Langford said. She has been one of the driving forces behind the region’s first food swap, an initiative which has popped up in towns and cities across the globe as green-thumbs exchange excess produce. ABC News story.

 

School greenhouse nearly complete

A barn-raising of sorts has been going on at the Rockport Public Schools as volunteers build a greenhouse between the two buildings on the Jerdens Lane campus. Superintendent Rob Liebow said the greenhouse will form the centerpiece of a new Health, Wellness and Sustainability Center for the schools. “It will provide environmental and healthy living education to all of our students K-12, provide fresh produce for our food service program, the local food pantry and also offer extension programs to the greater Rockport community through the provision for a student-run farmer’s market,” he said. Gloucester Times story.

 

Will This New Bill Level the Playing Field for Urban Farms?

Urban farming received a legitimizing nod last month when Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) introduced the Urban Agriculture Act of 2016 in hopes of getting it included in the next Farm Bill. In a call with reporters, Stabenow described the act as an important document, “To start the conversation and create the broad support I think we will have in including urban farming as part of the next Farm Bill.” Civil Eats post.

 

Urban Agriculture on the Rise: Leeds Hydro Store Comments

One country which is leading the way when it comes to urban agriculture is Canada, with its largest city Vancouver set to be the greenest city in the entire world by 2020. Home to Canada’s first commercial aeroponics farm Vancouver utilises modern and innovative technology to grow the majority of the produce which is enjoyed in its restaurants and available at its markets. Many countries are already following in Canada’s footsteps also, and it is going to be interesting to see how much this style of growing has taken over in just a few years. Digital Journal press release.

 

Cities of Farmers: Urban Agricultural Practices and Processes

“In Cities of Farmers, Dawson and Morales perform the Herculean task of examining the historical, regulatory, production, and distributional aspects of urban agricultural systems while simultaneously exploring the significant benefits and challenges of urban agriculture. With a healthy mix of new and more established voices, the chapters will interest a range of audiences, providing clear concepts, lessons, and examples that render key messages actionable.” University of Iowa Press book review.

 

A farm bill just for urban agriculture?

Yes, if Sen. Debbie Stabenow has her way. The Michigan Democrat announced The Urban Agriculture Act in Detroit. The Department of Agriculture already offers support for city farmers, but this bill would add to those grants, loans, and education programs. It would also provide $10 million for urban ag research, $5 million for community gardens, incentives for farmers to provision neighbors with fresh food, and resources for composting and cleaning up contaminated soil. Grist briefly.

 

Good Food Business Accelerator’s Third Year Off to Strong Start

Nine competitively selected Fellows are participating in the third year of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator, and they represent a wide range of exciting entrepreneurial ventures: from unique pies and clean meals to tea-infused energy bites and indigenous wild rice cereal, and from locally sourced juices and sparkling fruit tonics to pickled produce and sippable soups. Good Food on Every Table post.

 

Multifunctional peri-urban agriculture—A review of societal demands and the provision of goods and services by farming

Peri-urban areas around urban agglomerations in Europe and elsewhere have been subject to agricultural and land use research for the past three decades. The manner in which farming responds to urban pressures, socio-economic changes and development opportunities has been the main focus of examination, with urban demand for rural goods and services representing a driving factor to adapt farming activities in a multifunctional way. Working within the peri-urban framework, this review pays particular attention to the relevance of multifunctional agriculture. Science Direct abstract

 

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Amazon just opened a grocery store without a checkout line

Amazon is testing a grocery store in downtown Seattle that lets customers walk in, grab food from the shelves and walk out again, without ever having to stand in a checkout line. Customers tap their cellphones on a turnstile as they walk into the store, which logs them into the store’s network and connects to their Amazon account through an app. The Seattle-based company calls it, “Just walk out technology.” USA Today story.

Local Food News — Ontario

Resourceful Map Captures Urban Ag Projects Across the Golden Horseshoe

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

 

RakeAround

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

 

Working with Ontario grains in the craft beer industry

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

 

Sprouting Ideas for Change: Highlights from Cultivating Our Capacity

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

 

Eastern Ontario Local Food

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

 

EFAO Farmer-led Research

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

 

A fresh take on school fundraising

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

 

Fresh Idea: Drive-Thru Access to Local Food

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

 

Major investment in alternative land use organization

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

 

Agriculture Groups Band Together to Save Farming and Farmland

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

 

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Inclusive Use of Urban Space

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

Local Food News — Canada

Quebec Food Summit will last for a year

Quebec’s Food Summit will start in October with the first of three preparatory meetings to be focused on the theme of consumers “today and tomorrow”. The second meeting will be in February 2017 and will focus on developing the potential of Quebec’s food industry markets, domestically and overseas. The third consultation session, next May, will focus on the prospects for “agricultural entrepreneurs” and fishermen. Agriculture minister Pierre Paradis launched the initiative at the Jean-Talon Market in Montreal, saying he wanted to develop a bio-food policy for Quebec, the main measures to be funded in the 2018 budget. La Terre de chez nous story (in French).  English summary thanks to Qu’anglo Farm & Food Briefs

 

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.

 

Death of the farmer

I’ve been spending some time this summer trying to solve a local mystery, who is trying to kill our local farms and why? The mystery started for me with the local grocery stores, No Frills, Sobeys, Food Basics and The Superstore. These are the stores that are immediately available to me in the Beamsville area and every one that I go in to is selling anything but local fruits and vegetables, and this is what raised the question for me — Where is my local produce? St. Catharines Standard story.

 

The Food 53: Celebrating the most influential people in Canadian food

This summer, the Globe names, and celebrates, the most influential people in Canadian food – chefs and CEOs, farmers and winemakers, plus researchers, restaurateurs and, of course, eaters. In the first of a five-part series, meet The Faithful, the ones who are winning the long game: the first chef to make Indian food buzzy, the $11-billion cheese magnate, Canada’s first family of craft beer and more. The Globe and Mail story.

 

Market Your Restaurant with Pokemon GO

  1. Advertise the Pokémon you have found (also know as ‘sightings’). Yes, this means you have to download the app and actually play but this can bring in some great business. It’s like you’re playing a game and advertising at the same time. 2. Name a dish of the week after a Pokémon. People love this stuff! Or, even better, make the items look like Pokémon balls or monsters. Lure them – literally. This is by far the best advantage of marketing the game. An important part of the game are PokéStops, which are points of interest that give out in-game freebies. allowing the player to advance in the game. Restaurants Canada blog.

 

Community Gardens and Local Food Procurement

Community gardens and local food procurement policies and programs are gaining in popularity as health promotion strategies for obesity prevention. Community gardens are defined as the convergence of multiple individuals joining together in diverse settings to grow fruits, vegetables, and other plant varieties (1). Local food procurement refers to strategies to increase the amount and availability of food locally sourced from within a community. This synthesis explores the literature on community gardens and local food procurement in relation to nutrition, physical activity (PA), and body weight. Key Findings: Findings from this synthesis indicate that community gardens and local procurement programs, policies, and initiatives have the potential to result in positive impacts related to nutrition, such as improved attitudes and asking behaviours, and increased fruit and vegetable consumption. Power Up For Health post.

 

Local Food and Urban Agriculture Strategy

The 2015 Economic Development Strategy includes a recommendation for the City to develop an agriculture and food production strategy with the purposes of diversifying the local economy and reducing dependence on food importation. With financial support from the Canada-Yukon Growing Forward 2 Fund, the City is moving forward with developing the Whitehorse Local Food & Urban Agriculture Strategy. City of Whitehorse post.

 

Lawns are for suckers. Plant a garden — for the climate!

Ripping out your lawn and planting kale and peppers won’t just lead to great stir-fry — a new study finds it could make major contributions to fighting climate change, too. Two pounds of carbon emissions could be prevented for every pound of homegrown vegetables consumed, according to researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara. And that could add up to a big impact: Give a highly productive garden to every family in California, the researchers calculated, and it would take the state 10 percent of the way to its previous goal of cutting emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Grist blog.

 

Urban garden goes high-tech in Edmonton

Growing up in Edmonton, Victor Benitez had little experience with farming. But the city kid still loved to grow food. And he loved the idea of helping people. That led the recent physics graduate to develop an urban farming system he thinks can change how people access fresh, local produce. The initial results are good: this summer, Benitez grew 400 pounds of vegetables beside a north-side community rink. The bounty was donated to local residents and the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers. CBC News story.

 

Community vegetable program bringing 4,000 pounds of fresh produce to Labrador Inuit

Ed Mesher has been going door-to-door this summer, delivering some 4,000 pounds of fresh local produce to Happy Valley-Goose Bay residents who use the community freezer program. Run by the Nunakatiget Inuit Corporation, the program has more than 150 beneficiaries in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Mud Lake. The program provides 400 pounds of greens, 1,600 pounds of carrots and turnip, and 2,000 pounds of potatoes to the community’s seniors and disabled. CBC News story.

 

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You may be familiar with food deserts, but have you heard of a food swamp?

No, it’s not the place from which Guy Fieri sprung. A food swamp is an area with an abundance of fast food and liquor stores, but nowhere to buy real groceries. Beverly Grant of Mo Betta Green MarketPlace in Denver explains the difference — and how to turn a swamp into an oasis — in this new short film from Perennial Plate. Grist briefly.

Local Food News — World

Why would a city defy convention and run its own farming operation?

The Gut Karlshof farm site is located well within the limits of one of Europe’s fastest growing cities, even though it would violate handfuls of bylaws, regulations and zoning restrictions almost anywhere in Canada. The historic farmyard is located on 273 hectares (675 acres) of prime agricultural land, and it and nine other sites called estates in and around the city add up to 6,300 acres farmed by the municipal government. By German standards, such a farm operation is enormous. Country Guide story.

 

Britain’s meal ticket? Food and drink at heart of referendum debate

It is no coincidence that food and drink is at the heart of so much of the debate about whether we are better off in or out of the EU. Worth £80bn a year and employing 400,000 people, it is our largest manufacturing sector and a big exporter and importer. Moreover, 38% of its workers are foreign-born, placing its demand for cheap labour at the centre of arguments about immigration. The common agriculture policy (CAP) swallows up nearly 40% of the total EU budget; it has reshaped not just farming but our landscape in the decades since Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973. The free movement of goods, people and capital – enshrined in EU treaties – and EU common policies adopted on trade, fisheries and regional development, as well as agriculture, have been the framework through which the UK has globalised. The Guardian story.

 

This City Is Home to 820 Urban Farms and Quickly Becoming America’s Urban Ag Capital

As Co.Exist reported, Chicago is quietly becoming the country’s urban agriculture capital with 821 growing sites across the city, from small community gardens to multimillion dollar indoor farms, according to the Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project. Even O’Hare’s Terminal 3 is home to the world’s first airport aeroponic garden. EcoWatch post.

 

Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project

Since 2010, the Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project (CUAMP) has sought to collaboratively map and inventory urban agriculture and community gardens in Chicago. The project includes representatives from not-for-profits, community organizations, universities, and practitioners, all of whom agree that collecting information collaboratively will lead to more and better publicly accessible information about urban agriculture in Chicago. Website.

 

Furniture Giant IKEA Wants to Help Restaurants Build Their Own Indoor Farms

The company—which has put further emphasis on becoming more environmentally sustainable—recently introduced “The Farm,” a hydroponic garden that would allow them to grow the food served at their stores directly inside the IKEA restaurants. The in-store cafes—known for their Swedish meatballs, cinnamon rolls and lingonberry everything—are just one small slice of the company’s $2 billion-a-year business. However, IKEA is hoping to use The Farm as a model for restaurants everywhere to take a more holistic, home-grown approach to the food supply chain. Food & Wine story.

 

This New Startup Wants To Be The Airbnb For Local Farm Tourism

Despite the growing popularity of local food—sales more than doubled between 2008 and 2014—most small farms struggle to survive. A new startup called Farmcation is designed to offer a new source of income by connecting farmers with nearby city dwellers who want to visit. At a test event for the startup, now in beta, Bay Area visitors traveled to an organic family farm in the Central Valley, where they met the farmer, got a tour, picked strawberries, and ate a picnic lunch spread out on a long table next to an orchard and cooked by chefs from a San Francisco restaurant. Co.Exist story.

 

Hungry for your next Food Adventure? Explore with Zingerman’s Great American Food Tours!

Zingerman’s Food Tours has used food as a way to connect to the history of a region, the spirit of its people and the regional rhythm of daily life. Zingerman’s Food Tours is your concierge to the best local guides, food, and cultural experiences. Our tours give you the chance to relax while enjoying and experiencing the best our destinations have to offer. We’ve scoured the globe to make connections in the food and travel world. After experiencing one of our tours, you’ll take home some pretty unique souvenirs: a deeper understanding of a unique region, a sense of their place in our increasingly connected lives, fantastic images, tasty memories, recipes to share, and a sense of discovery fulfilled. Taste the Local Difference post.

 

Urban Farm Pot

“Let’s grow our own food inside an urban space, be it living room, balcony or roof top of your home or in an urban park for large scale production. The future pods will have a new form of mediated arboreal culture, to integrate the biological and mechanical elements more closely, to transform the object into one that grows and changes symbiotically. This project sets out a direction for healthy biological exchanges with urban inhabitants, and to contribute to the life of urban ecosystems.” spoga+gafa blog.

 

How Nanotechnology Will Keep Your Bananas and Mangoes From Rotting

A Canadian team has invented a new way to make sure that fruit stays fresh for longer, by spraying them with a nano-scale formula. Jay Subramanian, a professor of tree fruit breeding and biotechnology at the University of Guelph, and his group have developed a treatment that extends the shelf life of fruits like mangoes, blueberries, and bananas, which could have huge implications in the battle against food waste, and help farmers, too. Subramanian’s new formula could change that. Motherboard story.

 

Doing a Little Soul Searching: Keeping It Real

Over the course of the past two decades, we’ve witnessed a profound shift in consumer behaviors toward deeper interest and participation in food culture driven by the desire for quality life experiences and healthier foods, concerns for the environment and the search for higher-quality, fresh food and beverage products. These cultural movements, which in their various ways focus on the recovery of soul, are where the energies that will shape the next cultural era lie. Those businesses that understand and serve these movements will be in the best position to thrive in the coming decades. Hartman Group post.

 

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How to Prepare Your Edible Garden for Summer Storms

The Summer Monsoon season is upon us. The winds howl and the rain pours down with very little warning. Is your edible garden ready for the onslaught of massive amounts of water hitting it in a very short amount of time? Here are a few tips to prepare your edible garden for summer storms. Agriscaping post.

Local Food News — Canada

Dishing it out for Fort McMurray

Three of Vancouver’s top gourmet chefs are dishing it out to Fort McMurray in an extremely tasteful way. The trio – Jefferson Alvarez, Kris Barnholden and Hamid Salimian are joining forces to produce some signature dishes to raise money for the northern Alberta city. It didn’t take long for the food vines to start producing added help for the ventures and food purveyors, farms and wineries have already jumped on board to support the venture. “Firstly, we are all Canadians and have a tradition of helping each other in times of needs and this is a wonderful way to both help and expose our homegrown food expertise and products to as many people as possible,” she added. Business Wire press release.

 

Stetski tables bill to establish national local food day

In a bid to recognize and encourage the local food movement, NDP MP Wayne Stetski for Kootenay-Columbia has introduced a bill to establish a National Local Food Day on the Friday before Thanksgiving every year. A number of community figures in the Kootenays came out in support of the concept, including Sophie Larsen, project coordinator of the Cranbrook Food Action Committee. Revelstoke Mountaineer story.

 

Port-Royal restoration to mark 75 years with food, drink

The day will also offer a trip along the Taste of Nova Scotia Good Cheer Trail, where visitors get a passport stamp and sample local food and drink from Good Cheer Trail members — the province’s wineries and craft-beverage producers — in the reconstructed room of where the Order began. The Chronicle Herald story.

 

Edmonton hasn’t hit peak food truck—yet

It’s back, bigger than ever—and the lines are part of the fun. It’s What the Truck?!, of course: Edmonton’s homegrown food-truck festival is back for another round of five street-eat celebrations over the summer months. This year will see food trucks gathering at Northlands for a two-day kick-off on May 28 and 29—the first two-day event in What the Truck?! history—followed by evenings at Blatchford (June 18), Northlands’ Park After Dark (July 8), Telus Field (August 20) and Churchill Square (September 25). VUE Weekly story.

 

Buy New Brunswick 2016 initiative launched

“The Buy Local campaign fits with the growing trend of food tourism,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet. “This presents a perfect opportunity for us to promote our local producers, markets and food festivals. Some of the best products in the world are grown and processed right here in New Brunswick, and they are all featured at our world-class food tourism events.” Sackville Tribune Post story.

 

Welcome To Apple Heaven

A chance to visit Apple Heaven while still on earth! Every year we celebrate our apples at The Salt Spring Island Apple Festival. Salt Spring Island, BC grows over 450 varieties of apples ORGANICALLY, with an apple history dating back to 1860. Salt Spring Island is a small island (80 square miles) of 11,000 people in the Strait of Georgia between Victoria and Vancouver, BC, Canada.  We are accessed via BC Ferries routes to Fulford, Vesuvius and Long Harbour, and by float plane.. Website

 

Why Buying Local Really Means Supporting Your Community

But “fast and convenient” has weakened our communities. As the African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Big food corporations want to grow fast so they go alone. But for our local communities to go far, we must go together. And homegrown businesses are a critical link for a strong, vibrant, healthy community; nowhere is this more prevalent than our local food economy. Huffington Post Canada blog.

 

Green Party of Canada supports local farmers and eating local this summer

“This will give millions of Canadians an opportunity to support local farmers: agriculture is vital to the economy of many parts of the country,” said Jean Rousseau, Green Party of Canada Agriculture Critic – East. “Hundreds of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in direct spin-offs to local communities bring people together with a common objective: to nurture the tradition of buying local at public markets,” Mr. Rousseau said. “When people buy food grown closer to home, it is not just our local farmers and food processors who benefit, but our environment as well.” Northumberland View post.

 

Portrait of an urban farmer

You could say farming is in Leila Trickey’s genes. Her homesteader parents and five siblings lived on an Ontario farm, and her childhood was shaped by wide open spaces and fresh earth. When Trickey grew up, she moved to more urban pastures, but she still felt a nostalgia for the land. It’s no surprise she jumped at the chance to rent a plot in the agricultural land reserve so she could grow her own food. She now runs a small farm with her partner, Dave Carlson, in Burnaby’s Big Bend area. They have goats for milking, fresh eggs, honeybees and an abundance of organic produce. They grow squash, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, beans, peas, kohlrabi, fennel and kale. Burnaby Now story.

 

A full-time commitment to stewardship

The transition from a tobacco farm to Texas Longhorn ranch in southern Ontario’s foremost tobacco-growing region wasn’t without turmoil for Cathy and Bryan Gilvesy, but the rewards far outweighed regrets as they reinvented the farm to better reflect their philosophies on agriculture and life. The latest material reward came in the form of Ontario’s environmental stewardship award (TESA) presented by the Beef Farmers of Ontario in February. Canadian Cattlemen story.

 

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This Indonesian Startup Lets City Dwellers Play FarmVille In Real Life

Someone living in a high-rise in Jakarta may not have a balcony, let alone a garden plot for growing food. But an Indonesian startup is working to turn city dwellers into virtual farmers: Through the platform, called iGrow, someone can invest in seeds for an underemployed farmer in a rural area, and then get regular updates as the food grows. When the crop is sold, seed investors share in the profits. Fast Company story.

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 — 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.