Rural Landowner Stewardship Guide for the Ontario Landscape

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The School of Environmental Design and Rural Development has received an Excellence in Planning Award from the Ontario Professional Planners Institute for its publication Rural Landowner Stewardship Guide for the Ontario Landscape. The award was received at Queens Park on Nov. 7.

The SEDRD project to develop the stewardship guide was led by Profs. Wayne Caldwell and Karen Landman, with contributions from a number of graduate students, including PhD student Paul Kraehling. Dozens of community members and groups also contributed to the project, which received funding from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the University of Guelph.

The Rural Landowner Stewardship Guide for the Ontario Landscape covers issues from water and natural heritage protection to energy conservation. Read more

Advancing the Water-Food Nexus

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TIAS-USF Webinar

Tues. Nov. 25, 2014
10-11:45 a.m. EST
16.00 – 17.45 CEST (GMT+1h)

Hosted by The Integrated Assessment Society 
and the Institute of Environmental Systems Research

The Water-Energy-Food Nexus is a relatively new approach for promoting security in all three sectors by reducing trade-offs, building synergies and improving governance across these sectors, and thus stimulating the transition to a green economy. The “nexus” is an important theme for The Integrated Assessment Society and the Institute of Environmental Systems Research since sectoral and disciplinary integration lie at the core of their mission. In order to launch the Nexus as a theme for TIAS, this webinar narrows the focus to water and food security, since the intersection of these two sectors alone is sufficiently broad and complex. It is intended for those practitioners, decision-makers and scientists whose work focuses on water security or food systems, and thus inevitably requires deeper consideration and understanding of both sectors.

The webinar will address the following questions:

  • Where are we at with the Nexus approach and what are some of the key challenges we face? What areas require strengthening and improved guidance?
  • What are some of the more promising Nexus assessment methods and tools used?
  • What kind of networking and research opportunities can we identify that will help knowledge exchange and development?

More details and webinar programme

Northern community working with Cloverbelt Co-Op to address food security

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from the Dryden Observer, November 19, 2014:

Not just the title of the new book commemorating Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI, formerly Big Trout Lake), but a reflection of a time when life revolved around hunting, fishing, gathering and gardening, ‘We are one with the land’ is a reminder to current generations to tend to that connection and en-root themselves.

Chief Donny Morris, the KI band council, economic development staff and entire community welcomed Cloverbelt Local Food Co-Op (CLFC) President, Jen Springett and Food Security Research Network (FSRN) Director, Connie Nelson into their remote, northern community last week as they worked together to gather information and create a strong partnership dedicated to creating local opportunities and sustainable solutions to improve food security for all remote communities.

Read more


Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition

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Street food and urban and periurban agriculture and horticulture: perspectives for a strategic coalition towards food security

Street foods in urban areas are often the most accessible means of obtaining an affordable meal for millions of consumers every day and urban and periurban agriculture can provide street food vendors with the required local, fresh, nutritious and less expensive ingredients.

Stefano Marras, sociologist at the University of Milan-Bicocca invites you to share your opinion on how we can support stronger cross linkages between food hawking and the growing of food in cities to stimulate sustainable diets and increased income. This discussion will be an opportunity to expand and strengthen the network of specialists involved in street food trade and governance worldwide. Read more


World Food Days 2014

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By Wayne Roberts, Visiting Scholar, New College, U of T

This year, several United Nations identified agroecology as a strategy of food production that is central to dealing with hunger, human rights and environmental crises. This October, New College added to this discussion by hosting a mini-conference to celebrate World Food Day and ask if agroecology is pushing out agriculture as “the next new thing” in food and equity.

Not to be outdone, I decided to title my October 17 talk in the mini-conference’s final panel session “Cities, The Next New Thing in Agroecology?”.

This title might sound odd, especially in today’s world where half the population lives in cities and the assumption–or perhaps stereotype–is that food is grown in rural areas, so food isn’t very relevant to cities.

This assumption is part of what’s called the “productionist bias” in food policy and analysis, which focuses attention on production and crop yields rather than consumption and the overall social and cultural benefits that come from food.

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CFICE Community Food Security Hub Newsletter

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from CFICE Connections blog:

The Community Food Security Hub created the first issue of the CFS Newsletter. This issue contains information about their research projects, and partner projects. Such projects include: the Regina Community Food Assessment,  the Edible Campus: From Showcase to Living Classroom, and the Campus Food Initiative Study.

Download the newsletter on the CFICE Connections blog.

Ontario Food and Nutrition Strategy

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A Plan for Healthy Food and Food Systems
October 2014

The Ontario Food and Nutrition Strategy Design Team has identified the need for a cross-government, multi-stakeholder coordinated approach to address food policy and program development and to develop a plan for healthy food and farming in Ontario.

This framework is the result of consultations with over 40 representatives of agriculture, farm, food, nutrition and health groups, engagement with First Nations and Aboriginal service providers, as well as online surveys with over 200 submissions between 2012 and 2014.

Over the coming months, the OFNS Design Team will work on the development of a technical report to accompany the strategy and undertake a collective impact approach.   Collective Impact involves diverse organizations coming together to solve a complex social problem and for a common purpose – creating alignment, commitment, policy and trust and coordinating across sectors.

Read more

Seeding the Future

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November 7th, 8th, 9th, 2014 
MacDonald Campus of McGill University, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec

The Eastern Canadian Organic Seed Growers Network (ECOSGN) Seed Connections conference is a fully bilingual event bringing together farmers, seed-savers, seed companies, community gardeners, researchers, and experts on organic seed production to share knowledge, skills, and experience over a packed, 3-day agenda!

Brought to you by ECOSGN, The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security and Seeds of Diversity Canada


Seed Facilitation Fund

The goal of the Seed Facilitation Fund is to help build a diverse and resilient seed system by strengthening the capacity of ecological vegetable seed and field crop producers. The Fund provides financial support to organizations and individuals who share the values and goals of our program, and who are undertaking initiatives that help advance the following objectives:

  • To increase the quality, quantity and diversity of ecologically grown Canadian seed
  • To promote public access to seed
  • To facilitate information-sharing and collaboration among individuals and organizations committed to advancing an ecological and diverse seed system in Canada
  • To respect, advance, and promote the knowledge of farmers in seed and food production

Applicants may submit proposals for a maximum of $8,000per project. In total, approximately $200,000 will be allocated across the country in 2015.

This call for proposals is launched October 6, 2014
The deadline for applications is November 17, 2014
Click here for applications and details


Atlantic Canada Regional Seed Bank

from the Herald News, October 20, 2014
A seed of survival was planted at Dalhousie University’s agriculture campus on Monday.

“Up to 10,000 plant species or maybe more are at risk of extinction,” said Stephanie Hughes, regional co-ordinator for the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security.

That said, Hughes and partners Dalhousie, USC Canada and Seeds of Diversity Canada announced the first regional seed bank in Atlantic Canada, to be housed at the university’s plant and animal science department. The bank is intended to help farmers create a stronger local food system, while focusing on high-quality, diverse, local seed that has agronomic, historical and cultural importance to the region.
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Agriculture 3.0: a New Paradigm for Agriculture

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October 29, 2014 (from

Study Topic: As a 2013 Nuffield Scholar, Gayl is seeking to redefine what it really means to be sustainable in food and farming, by asking: ‘If Agriculture 1.0 is subsistence farming that uses traditional farming practices, and Agriculture 2.0 is industrial agriculture, which is creating serious health and environmental concerns in Canadian communities and communities world-wide, then what might Agriculture 3.0 look like, that offers farmers more choice and also addresses the many concerns about feeding 9 billion by 2050?

•    Farm direct marketing is active and very much a part of a way of life for Europeans. Local food just is and does not need to be labelled, because it always has been the way of food in these countries, without having to think about it.
•    Despite poverty and employment issues, young farmers in Transylvania believe they are in the best place in the world “should something ever happen” to the global supply system. They also believe in preserving their landscape, one of the most biodiverse regions in Europe.

•    For agriculture to contribute to a healthy world, we need to go back to the basics, with a mission statement of nourishing communities, not feeding the world.

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‘Access to healthy food is a right, not a privilege’

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(from the Citizen Record)

AMHERST – Making healthy, nutritious, locally grown food available to people who can’t afford it has proved to be a positive experience. “This is the first year we got the food box program off the ground,” said Su Morin, the Ecology Action Centre’s community food coordinator. “We had just over 30 people signed up this year and we’re hoping to increase that a little bit next year.”

Morin was helping serve people during the Local Food Luncheon Saturday at the Cumberland YMCA. The luncheon was a fundraiser for the Cumberland County Cost-Share, Community Supported Agriculture, Food Box program, a pilot project started in May, which aims to connect low-income families with healthy, affordable, locally produced food. Read more