Kitchen Table Talk: Local food dialogues

What could be more important than feeding ourselves daily? Do you ever wonder how food is grown in the farmlands around you? Perhaps you’re wondering what it means to be ‘organic’ and how you can afford it? What does it mean to be sustainable? Are genetically modified foods good for us and the environment that supports us? How do you save your own seeds?

KIM FELLOWS (Sunday January 18th, 2015) 1:30pm at Kitchener Public Library, Meeting Room A

Title of Talk: The World of Pollinators: What’s the Buzz?
Description of Talk: Why should we care about buzzing insects? Kim will draw you into the world of pollination and how it relates to issues of food security.

DR. RALPH MARTIN (Sunday January 25th, 2015) 1:30pm at THEMUSEUM

Title of Talk: The Dynamic of Responsible Consumption and Sustaining Food Production

Description of Talk: Food production capacity depends on healthy soil, clean air and water, sufficient biodiversity and appropriate adaptations to shifting climatic conditions. Creative options are needed to go beyond simply producing more of what consumers have become accustomed to, at low prices. What food is really needed and how can it be preserved and stored? How can food waste be reduced? How can farmers be fairly compensated to sustain their agro-ecosystems and their families?

ANN SLATER (Sunday February 1st, 2015) 1:30pm at THEMUSEUM

Title of Talk: Moving Towards Food Sovereignty
Description of Talk: An overview of the current situation of farms, farmers and agriculture in Ontario followed by a discussion of how we can all be part of the movement towards food sovereignty.

Seeding the Future

SEED CONNECTIONS CONFERENCE

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.

TIMELINE
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.
Read more

 

The local food movement

Setting the stage for good food

From our friends at the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems:

This publication provides a brief history of the U.S. local food movement and its link to “good food” – food that is healthy, affordable, fair, and green – within the contexts of food access and health, food justice and sovereignty, the environment, and racial equity. The publication also contains a timeline that provides a sample of important U.S. events, policies, and statistics over the past 70 years that mark the growth of local food through the lens of the four elements of good food. Download the report [pdf]…

Permaculture Cuba 2014!

An Immersion in Cuba’s Sustainable Urban Agriculture Movement

For seven weeks in May and June of 2014, 12 people will have the opportunity to live, work and learn within the thriving urban agriculture and permaculture movements of Cuba. Grounded in a model of partnership, collaborative and experiential learning, this program will offer you:

•    Extensive orientations in Canada and Cuba
•    Workshops and dialogue on a variety of urban agriculture, food sovereignty, and permaculture themes
•    Visits to urban agriculture and permaculture sites in Havana, Matanzas and Sancti Spirtus
•    Extensive work with local leaders in the design and implementation of a new permaculture installation
•    Spanish language learning;  immersion in the rich cultural life, natural beauty and political history of Cuba
•    Work together with Canadians and Cubans on a valuable and meaningful project
•   an internationally recognized Permaculture Design Certificate upon completion of the program
•   university credits by registering for the graduate level course (COMM 597) through the University of Alberta, Faculty of Extension

Now in its fifth year, this project is a partnership of The University of Alberta’s Faculty of Extension, The Urban Farmer, and the Antonio Nunez Jimenez Foundation for Nature and Humanity in Cuba. Space is limited and application interviews are conducted on an on-going basis. Please see the attached brochure and application form for complete details.

The application deadline is December 31, 2013 but applications will be reviewed and positions offered on an on-going basis so don’t delay!

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Mary Beckie, University of Alberta, Faculty of Extension, marybeckie@ualberta.ca,  780 492-5163
Ron Berezan, The Urban Farmer, theurbanfarmer@shaw.ca,
604 223-4800

Empty words won’t fill hungry stomachs

There is good reason to be sceptical about the new initiatives coming out of Davos targeting smallholder farmers.

 

David Nally and Bhaskar Vira in Al Jazeera English.