Hidden Harvest Ottawa has big dreams for a greener Ottawa. What are yours?

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Imagine if every time you purchased $100 worth of groceries, your grocery store donated $25—or 1/4 of their ‘harvest’—to their local food bank. This is the scale of charitable benefits that Hidden Harvest supports in Ottawa.
Hidden Harvest‘s impactful new video describes the benefits of gleaning to the uninitiated, and follows with a series of recommendations challenging municipal political leaders to make their community’s future “the most sustainable future it can be”. The video captures the essence of the Nourishing Communities Hidden Harvest Case Study by Chloé Poitevin DesRivières, released earlier this year. The case study found that, along with benefits to local food access agencies and processors,
the services Hidden Harvest offers to the community and the city by creating alternate means to feed people, manage renewable resources, developing green infrastructure and diverting waste from landfills, speak to the aims of different city offices, including community and social services, energy planning, and forestry services.

This new video makes the case that the exceptional value in the public services produced through largely voluntary labour deserves the support of public officials.

2018 Vote on Food and Farming

From Sustain Ontario

Vote ON Food & Farming 2018

Good food has the power to make positive change. Food and farming policies and programs can grow Ontario’s economy, reduce our health care costs, improve our environmental impact, build stronger communities, reduce poverty, and improve educational outcomes. These issues are vital to Ontarians, as recent IPSOS polling has demonstrated. With this in mind, Sustain Ontario has surveyed experts working in food and farming sectors to bring important policy issues to the forefront of the conversation.

We encourage you to visit the Vote ON Food and Farming website (http://sustainontario.com/vote-on-food) to access resources that equip both MPP candidates and the public with information about the importance of Ontario’s food systems. As part of the campaign, we have provided background information and evidence, as well as a question card for citizens to use during public debates. We also invite you to share your commitment to healthy food and farming by tweeting with the hashtag #voteONfood.

Yep, we do poetry: Faris Ahmed’s Fractured Food Systems Blues

Last year our research team released the book Nourishing Communities: From Fractured Food Systems to Transformative Pathways (Springer), which documents more than a decade of collaborative work by our network of scholars, community-based partners, and practitioners interested in constructing more sustainable and just food systems.

In November, Carleton University’s Faculty of Public Affairs hosted a discussion of the book at Irene’s Pub in Ottawa. Moe Garahan (Just Food Ottawa), Jay Garlough (Hidden Harvest Ottawa), and Faris Ahmed (USC Canada) commented on the book and discussed their own work in transforming food systems. One of the highlights of this engaging evening was Faris’ response to the book in the form of spoken word. It was so good, we went back to record it!

Below you will find Faris’ performance. You can also find the entire audio on YouTube.

Tommy Wall is an incoming graduate student in Carleton University’s Communication Studies program. He interviewed Faris, and produced and edited this piece.

New Case Study: Hidden Harvest Ottawa

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Hidden Harvest—the latest case study from The social economy of food: Informal, under-recognized contributions to community prosperity and resilience—tells the story of Ottawa’s fruit-and-nut gleaning initiative. Since 2012, Hidden Harvest has used food tree harvest events and outreach activities to enhance community food security and sovereignty, as well as local ecologies and economies.

Hidden Harvest is a for-profit social enterprise that aims to legitimize and support the practice of harvesting fruits and nuts in urban areas. The organization has developed a model through which to increase access to—and availability of—fresh, healthful foods hyper-locally in Ottawa, as people harvest from their own (or nearby) neighborhoods.

Read the full case study online or in pdf here:

http://nourishingontario.ca/the-social-economy-of-food/case-studies-subversions-from-the-informal-and-social-economy/hidden-harvest/

Cost-Share Local Food Box programs

The Ecology Action Centre has supported communities through subsidized local food box programs in rural Nova Scotia. The Cost-Share Local Food Box programs seek to address food insecurity while recognizing that accessibility would be a key factor in shaping the programs.

CSA Boxes

This report, by Tina Yeonju Oh, evaluates the approaches to the Cost-Share model that have been implemented in Cumberland County and Cape Breton. In addition, this report looks at other subsidized food box models in Atlantic Canada to compare differences, findings, and operational practices.

“We hope that results from this report demonstrate that ethical alternative food systems are possible and can be empowering, sustainable, and economically beneficial to local and rural communities.”

Download the full report here (pdf 1.6 MB).

The Story of Black Duck Wild Rice Brought to the Stage

A new play offers a comedic interpretation of the melodrama and conflict surrounding the story of Black Duck Wild Rice. The full case study of Black Duck Wild Rice will be posted on this website soon, part of the Subversions from the Informal and Social Economy series.
Day 6 interviewed Drew Hayden Taylor about Cottagers and Indians, calling it “a timely play about Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationships”. You can listen to the full interview hereCottagers and Indians debuts February 21 and plays at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto until March 25.

FREE WEBINAR: Sustainable Food Hubs in Ontario

Food Hub Webinar Registration OpenJoin us on Wednesday, January 31st at 12pm EST for a free webinar exploring results from research conducted between 2014 and 2017 on sustainable food hubs in Ontario.

In this webinar, Katie Nolan (OMAFRA), Kendal Donahue (OMAFRA), Phil Mount (JustFood) and Alison Blay-Palmer (Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems) will discuss the Ontario Food Hub surveys that were conducted as part of an OMAFRA New Directions funded project. Showcasing the infographics created with the information collected, the presenters will highlight lessons learned and future research directions. Following the presentations, there will be time for a Q&A.

Please register in advance for this webinar:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_bzgOZRg_QVWNOjzuc0MKVA

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

For more information or media inquires, please contact Amanda Di Battista, Project Coordinator, Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems: adibattista@wlu.ca.

NEW 2016 Ontario Food Hub Survey, Infographics and Webinar

As part of an OMAFRA-funded research project that examined the role of food hubs in building food system resilience in community value chains, researchers at Wilfrid Laurier’s Centre for Sustainable Food Systems conducted two province-wide surveys of local sustainable food hubs in Ontario. We surveyed food producers, processors, and distributors to find out how they defined local food, if/how they thought food hubs added value to food chains for producers and communities, where food hub funding is coming from, what kinds of expansion opportunities they could identify across the value chain, and how food hubs might increase local sales.

Our Food Hub Survey page has been updated with the latest results from the 2016 survey. We have also added a Food Hub Infographics page, where you can find these results summarized visually. The Food Hub Infographics are an excellent tool for anyone interested in learning more about food hubs in Ontario, and we invite you to share them with your networks.

Food Hub Webinar January 31, 2017

To continue the discussion about how food hubs add value to local food systems, we will host a webinar to discuss the Food Hub Survey results and infographics with panelists Alison Blay-Palmer (Director of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems), Katie Nolan (Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor at Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs), and Phil Mount (Associate Director of Just Food). Keep your eyes on this space for the time and log-in details!

Authors meet Readers – Nourishing Communities: From Fractured Food Systems to Transformative Pathways

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
5:30 pm — 7:00 pm
Irene’s Pub 885 Bank Street Ottawa

About the Book: Nourishing Communities: From Fractured Food Systems to Transformative Pathways builds on existing alternative food initiatives and food movements research to describe the myriad ways community-driven actors work to foster food systems that are socially just, embed food in local economies, regenerate the environment and actively engage citizens. Drawing on case studies, interviews and Participatory Action Research projects, the editors share the stories behind community-driven efforts to develop sustainable food systems, and present a critical assessment of both the tensions and the achievements of these initiatives.

About the Author: Irena Knezevic is an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication. She studies communication, culture, and health and is especially interested in food systems, food labelling, and the discourse of food and health regulations.

Irena will be joined by Jay Garlough, Co-founder, Hidden Harvest Ottawa; Moe Garahan, Executive Director, Just Food; and Faris Ahmed, Director, Policy and Campaigns USC Canada for a short panel Q&A.

This event is part of the Ottawa International Writer’s Festival.