Fortnightly Feast

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Growing Food Connections food policy database to help communities strengthen food systems

Municipalities and counties got a big boost today with the unveiling of a searchable database with more than 100 newly adopted innovative, local government food system policies that can be shared and adapted across the country. The Growing Food Connections Policy Database, hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo, will assist local governments as they work to broaden access to healthy food and help sustain local farms and food producers.

Growing Food Connections, a federally-funded research initiative to strengthen community food systems nationwide, has compiled over 100 policies governing issues as diverse as public investment in food systems, farmland protection, local food procurement and food policy council resolutions. The database is a comprehensive catalog of enacted food policy. By drawing upon partner resources and networks, the database provides a vast resource of policies that have been implemented and are currently being used by communities. Furthermore, it provides inspiration for communities looking to start building their own food policy. Read more

Candidates weighing in on food and farming

Guelph Mercury, October 21, 2014

Earlier this month, the Guelph Wellington Food Round Table — in collaboration with Sustain Ontario — asked all of the candidates for trustee, councillor and mayor to participate in the Vote on Food and Farming survey. Because food and farming touch so many important areas of our lives, and shape our regional character, economy, culture, and communities, the survey has six broad questions related to the economy, health, the environment, access, education and collaboration — along with key actions that will shape the future of food and farming in this region.

A week after sending out the survey, we have had responses from 26 of the 44 “active” races (not acclaimed) from all eight municipalities in Wellington; from every ward in Guelph; and from 10 mayoral candidates (including four in Guelph). This is the most active and engaged regional response in the province. Read more

Keeping it Local with Nick Weir of Stroudco Foodhub

Stroud Life, October 20, 2014
ONE of Stroudco’s largest suppliers is Stroud Community Agriculture (SCA) which farms 23 acres of land around Hawkwood College overlooking Stroud. SCA was established 14 years ago by a group of volunteers who wanted to provide an alternative to the supermarket system by building a direct connection between the people growing the food and the people eating it. They started off by growing vegetables on less than one acre and sharing produce amongst the small group of supporters who set up the farm community. SCA is now a thriving, community-run social enterprise with over 230 household members around Stroud who collectively pay all the costs of the farm including the wages of three full time farmers. In return the SCA members receive a weekly share of the produce harvested from the farm. Read more

Eat Local Sudbury working to offer more local food in region

Local food hub to offer food to other parts of northeastern Ontario
CBC October 14, 2014
Eat Local Sudbury is in the process of developing a business plan to expand its local food hub to other areas in northeastern Ontario. The new areas to have service include LaCloche-Manitoulin, North Bay, Temiskaming, Muskoka and parts of Algoma. According to Eat Local, a local food hub helps with the collection, storage, processing and distribution of local food.
The plan, called the Eat Local Sudbury Food Hub Business Plan project, is moving forward after the co-op received $17,200 from the province’s Greenbelt Fund. The Managing Director of Eat Local Sudbury, Peggy Baillie said demand for local food continues to grow. “More and more people are gaining interest in terms of local food and wanting access to it, including institutions, schools and public health facilities. This plan is trying to address those needs.”
Read more

Food Banks Canada & RFDA deliver fresh food to First Nations

Thunder Bay’s Regional Food Distribution Association is part of a pilot project to send fresh food north
CBC October 21, 2014

A group of First Nations in northwestern Ontario is getting fresh fruits and vegetable this month, thanks to a pilot project between Food Banks Canada and the Regional Food Distribution Association. Volker Kromm is the association’s executive director. He said statistics show one in five Aboriginal people, living on reserve don’t get enough to eat, and nearly half of those people are children. Kromm said, through the partnership with Food Banks Canada, he was able to purchase $20,000 worth of fresh groceries to take to some First Nations communities that are accessible by road. He said he was transporting everything from potatoes to granola bars to cantaloupe. Read more

WEBINAR

Shared Opportunities on Institutional Lands: Challenges and opportunities of on-site food production

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. EDT
In Ontario, several institutions are already producing food on their properties as a way to generate revenue; supply nutritious fresh food for consumption (by staff, patients, students, etc.); provide skills training and therapeutic benefits; and build social enterprises. This webinar will share how project partners at health care, social service and educational institutions went about getting gardens off the ground at their institutions, as well as some of the lessons we learned in the first year of working with pilot projects across the province. Read more

World Food Day – 16 October 2014

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large_1_zohaibZohaib Saqib – Pakistan – Family Farming poster contest winner

Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the earth

The 2014 World Food Day theme – Family Farming: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth” – has been chosen to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farmers. It focuses world attention on the significant role of family farming in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas. Read more at UN FAO World Food Day

The UN General Assembly has designated 2014 “International Year of Family Farming.” This is a strong signal that the international community recognizes the important contribution of family farmers to world food security. Both in developing and developed countries, family farming is the predominant form of agriculture in the food production sector. Family farms typically produce more -and more diverse- crops from less land: UN FAO Family Farmers infographic.

10th Anniversary Farmland Celebration

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Join the Ontario Farmland Trust as we celebrate 10 years of progress protecting Ontario’s irreplaceable farmlands.
Country Heritage Park, Gambrel Barn, 8560 Tremaine Road, Milton
Thursday November 20, 2014, 6:00-10:00 pm

Enjoy local food, a silent auction, music by Norman Liota, the opportunity to connect with friends of farmland from across the province, and entertainment by humorist and award-winning playwright Dan Needles on: “Land, Community and Lost Sheep”

Tickets: $125 each; early-bird tickets $100 by November 1, 2014*
Tables of 8: $1000 each

All proceeds support OFT’s Farmland Forever campaign to expand the protection of Ontario farmland through direct land securement, policy, research and education.

Buy your tickets

Manger Local Québec

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Portail de l’alimentation de proximité dans la Communauté métropolitaine de Québec

Québec, le 10 octobre 2014

Une équipe de chercheurs de l’Université Laval lance aujourd’hui le portail www.mangerlocalquebec.info. Celui-ci permet de repérer facilement les lieux d’approvisionnement où l’on peut se procurer ou produire soi-même des aliments de proximité, sur le territoire de la Communauté métropolitaine de Québec.

Marchés publics et virtuels, points de chute de paniers bio, fermes qui proposent des produits en vente directe aux consommateurs, jardins communautaires ou collectifs et commerces de proximité offrant des aliments en circuit court y sont répertoriés. Le site est accessible à partir d’un ordinateur, d’une tablette ou d’un téléphone mobile. Il abrite une carte interactive et un outil permettant d’effectuer une recherche par ville ou quartier.

Ce portail est issu du projet de recherche Manger « local » dans la Communauté métropolitaine de Québec: relocalisation des systèmes alimentaires et ville durable, dirigé par la professeure Manon Boulianne, du département d’anthropologie de l’Université Laval. Le projet a reçu l’appui de plusieurs partenaires.

Upcoming Food Events

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WORKSHOP

WORLD FOOD DAYS AT NEW COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

Wed Oct 15, Thurs Oct 16 and Fri Oct 17

At New College, U of T, we’re celebrating World Food Day with 3 days of special events! Join us for great speakers, workshops and FOOD on the theme of “Agroecology: The Next New Thing in Food?” Everyone welcome!

Presented by the New College Initiatives Fund, the Principal’s Innovation Fund, Equity Studies, New One, Caribbean Studies, the New College Office of Residence and Student Life and the Toronto Food Policy Council.
For details, contact Lori Stahlbrand lori.stahlbrand@gmail.com

WEBINAR

Addressing Food Insecurity in Children: Lessons from Brazil

Nutrition Resource Centre Kids in Focus Webinar Series

Tuesday October 21, 2014
10:30 am – 11:30 am EDT

Brazil has been receiving international recognition for its ground-breaking and progressive FOME ZERO (ie. Zero Hunger) strategy for food security. In this webinar, join Dr. Cecilia Rocha, Director of the School of Nutrition at Ryerson University, as she draws important insights from Brazil’s experience for improving children food security and health in Ontario. Read more

WEBINAR

Good Food Organizations

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 12:00 pm EDT
The Good Food Organizations program offers a way for community-based food security organizations across Canada to work towards a healthy and fair food system through a shared set of “Good Food Principles”. Join Community Food Centres Canada for a 45-60 minute interactive orientation on our new initiative, Good Food Organizations. Register

PUBLIC LECTURE

“Who wants to be a farmer? Youth, gender and agricultural futures”

Tuesday, 21 October 2014 at 7pm
Guelph Public Library, 100 Norfolk St.
Dr.Ben White
Professor Emeritus, International Institute of Social Studies,
Erasmus University, The Netherlands

Register

WEBINAR

Shared Opportunities on Institutional Lands: Challenges and opportunities of on-site food production

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. EDT

In Ontario, several institutions are already producing food on their properties as a way to generate revenue; supply nutritious fresh food for consumption (by staff, patients, students, etc.); provide skills training and therapeutic benefits; and build social enterprises. This webinar will share how project partners at health care, social service and educational institutions went about getting gardens off the ground at their institutions, as well as some of the lessons we learned in the first year of working with pilot projects across the province. Read more

 

PUBLIC LECTURE

“Empathetic Innovations for Inclusive Development: Can we learn from Grassroots Innovators?”

Tuesday, Oct. 28th, from 5:30-7:00pm in RM 1800 in the Pathobiology Bldg. University of Guelph

Dr. Anil K. Gupta is professor in the Centre for Management in Agriculture, Indian Institute of Management, and coordinator of the Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions.  Open to the public. Free admission. Please direct any enquiries to Abeir el Arqusosi at a.arqusosi@exec.uoguelph.ca

CONFERENCE

Building Resilient and Innovative Food Systems

Join the Halton Food Council to hear from a panel of farmers, policymakers, community groups, and grocers as they share their stories about the opportunities and challenges to build a more resilient local food system.

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

A local breakfast and lunch will be served. For more information contact haltonfoodcouncil@gmail.com or call 647-830-0328. Space is limited.

Register at http://haltonfoodsummit.eventbrite.ca 

CONFERENCE

Seed Connections

November 7th, 8th, 9th, 2014
MacDonald Campus of McGill University, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec
Building on the incredible success of their 2012 conference, The Eastern Canadian Organic Seed Growers’ Network (ECOSGN) is partnering with The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security and Seeds of Diversity Canada this year to host their second major ecological seed conference for Eastern Canada.

ECOSGN’s “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! Whether you are a beginner gardener or an expert seed producer, if you are interested in ecological seed in eastern Canada – this is the conference to attend!
Read more

CONFERENCE

Food Secure Canada Assembly

Food Secure Canada has announced the full programme for its bi-annual assembly, Waves of Change: Sustainable Food for All, which will take place at the Halifax Habourfront Hotel from November 13th to 16th.

With more than sixty workshops, plenaries, and working groups, these three days of action-packed learning by Canada’s food movement will provide an unique opportunity to tackle a broad range of food issues and to create effective, collective responses to current challenges of sustainability, hunger and health. Read more

CONFERENCE

Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference

November 24-25, 2014

Kingston Four Points Sheraton

The 2014 Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference is our region’s annual conference bringing together all aspects of our local food system. This event gives you the opportunity to:
• Get a “bird’s eye view” of what’s happening in local food throughout eastern Ontario;
• Make key connections with businesses and organizations that can support your work;
• Attend sessions that address current challenges in Eastern Ontario’s local food sector;
• Enjoy and celebrate eastern Ontario’s local food offerings with others who are as passionate about local food as you are. Read more

Breaking Ground

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Building Resilient and Innovative Food Systems

Join the Halton Food Council to hear from a panel of farmers, policymakers, community groups, and grocers as they share their stories about the opportunities and challenges to build a more resilient local food system.

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

A local breakfast and lunch will be served. For more information contact haltonfoodcouncil@gmail.com or call 647-830-0328. Space is limited.

Register at http://haltonfoodsummit.eventbrite.ca 

Project SOIL Webinar

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Shared Opportunities on Institutional Lands: Challenges and opportunities of on-site food production

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. EDT

In Ontario, several institutions are already producing food on their properties as a way to generate revenue; supply nutritious fresh food for consumption (by staff, patients, students, etc.); provide skills training and therapeutic benefits; and build social enterprises.

Project SOIL is a three-year feasibility study that explores the potential of on-site food production at public health care and educational institutions in Ontario.  This webinar will share how project partners at health care, social service and educational institutions went about getting gardens off the ground at their institutions, as well as some of the lessons we learned in the first year of working with pilot projects across the province.

Webinar participants will include:

  • Chef Christopher Jess, high school culinary arts instructor in Fergus Ontario, and the guiding force behind the Food School Farm (Centre Wellington District High School);
  • Doug Dowhos, Supervisor of Employment Options for St. Joseph’s Care Group and creator of the GreenWerks Garden social enterprise (Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital);
  • Tami Proctor, Registered Horticultural Therapist  leading the Victorian Garden project at Homewood Health Centre;
  • Louise Quenneville, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator and Project Manager at Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital; and
  • Jenny Weickert, Our Farm coordinator at KW Habilitation.

 

For more information and to register, please contact Irena Knezevic at irena.knezevic@carleton.ca

New Papers on Food Systems

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From Nourishing Communities members Connie Nelson and Mirella Stroink:

Accessibility and Viability: A Complex Adaptive Systems Approach to a Wicked Problem for the Local Food Movement

There is a tension between enhancing vulnerable people’s access to local nutritious food and ensuring viable incomes for local farmers. This tension arises as a result of interactions and processes scaling outward to the broad level of economic and political ideologies (Ikerd, 2005; 2012). We suggest that by conceiving of this tension as a wicked problem and employing complex adaptive systems theory, we create space in which community members are empowered to share existing knowledge and develop new knowledge as they innovate potential solutions and discuss constructive change. We introduce this space as the beginnings of a dialogue-driven, shared journey through four features of the back loop of the adaptive cycle. Read more

… and from international partner Samina Raja et al.

Rustbelt Radicalism: A Decade of Food Systems Planning Practice in Buffalo, New York (USA)

Pressure is increasing from nongovernmental actors to incorporate food more concretely into municipal policies and plans. A qualitative case study of Buffalo, New York (USA), demonstrates that incremental, persistent food systems practice and advocacy by nonstate actors, a group we call the “rustbelt radicals,” followed by their collective engagement with municipal planning, can lead to transformations in municipal policy and planning for strengthening food systems. The paper concludes with seven factors that enable “rustbelt radicals” to transform local food systems plans and policies. Read more

Upcoming Events

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Organic Seed Workshops

As part of their work for The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, Everdale is offering a special series of organic seed production workshops in 2014 across Ontario! Coming soon:

Field Day: Fundamentals of Seed Production
Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Time: 1:00pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming
Cost: Pay what you can

Seed Saving and Seed Production Workshop
Date: Saturday, Sept. 27th, 2014
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Cost: $85/person
Location: Everdale Farm

Read more

 

The Harvest Table Fundraiser Dinner

Saturday October 4th, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Please to join FarmStart to celebrate the fall harvest and support a new generation of ecological farmers at the 3rd Harvest Table Dinner, at Earth to Table Farm in Flamborough, Ontario on Saturday, October 4, 2014. The crisp fall evening will be filled with charm and delectable things to taste! Join us for a farm tour and hors d’oeuvres, a four course family-style Harvest Table dinner, live entertainment, silent auction and more. Executive Chef Jeff Crump of Earth to Table (and the Ancaster Mill) will prepare the delicious meal featuring the farms fresh organic vegetables and pastured chickens, along with other locally produced organic meat, cheese, beer and wine. Read more

 

Food Secure Canada Assembly

Food Secure Canada has announced the full programme for its bi-annual assembly, Waves of Change: Sustainable Food for All, which will take place at the Halifax Habourfront Hotel from November 13th to 16th.

With more than sixty workshops, plenaries, and working groups, these three days of action-packed learning by Canada’s food movement will provide an unique opportunity to tackle a broad range of food issues and to create effective, collective responses to current challenges of sustainability, hunger and health. Read more

 

 

Upcoming Webinars

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Collective Impact and Community Economic Development
September 23, 12 pm Eastern

Canadian Community Economic Development Network
Increasingly, community organizations are engaging in collaboration as a means to try and solve some of the most complex issues that they face. But these challenging issues require a new approach, a new framework.

Join internationally recognized trainer and community builder Liz Weaver for a workshop that provides participants with an overview of collective impact and how this approach can enhance the impact of community change efforts. Read more

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: CHOOSING THE RIGHT SYSTEMS FOR YOUR FOOD ENTERPRISE

September 24th at 2PM Atlantic / 10 AM Pacific

Food Business Bootcamp - Food Secure Canada
Choosing a mobile device these days can be overwhelming, never mind selecting the best information technology system for your food business. Yet understanding both your needs and the range of options to meet them can save you critical money in both the start up and ongoing phase of your operation.
Saloni Doshi, Strategy Consultant with New Venture Advisors.
Read more

 

Food Hub Benchmarking Study 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM ET

The NGFN Food Hub Collaboration
Food Hubs are delivering on their promise of enabling identity-preserved, primarily local and regional food to enter the wholesale market, enabling small and mid-sized farms access to buyers that would otherwise be unattainable. But aggregation and distribution of food is a very thin-margin business, and hubs take on additional expense working with smaller farmers, providing technical assistance, and other grower and community services. Are food hubs able to support themselves with their operations? What are industry-standard financial and operational benchmarks for food hub businesses? Read more

 

Measuring Your Local Impact

September 25th at 1-2 PM Pacific

BALLE (the Business Alliance of Local Living Economies)
Place matters, people matter, ownership matters… and how we measure them matters.
Local leaders are constantly asked to quantify their impact on their communities for funders, partners and standard reporting. The challenge is knowing the right questions to ask and having useful, accessible tools that are relevant for the New Economy.
In this free webinar, hear what BALLE is learning from our network leaders, hands-on case studies from two BALLE fellows, and an update on the Quick Impact Assessment for Localists, a new online tool BALLE is piloting in partnership with B Lab to help conveners measure outcomes among businesses in their communities. Read more

 

Communities Defining Quality Collective Impact

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2014 - 16:00 TO 17:00
Over 49 communities are working together through the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network to define quality collective impact. Join this online panel discussion to learn about the proven, rigorous approach these communities are using to build civic infrastructure and hear stories about how cross-sector partnerships on the ground are implementing innovative approaches to support the unique needs of every child.