Fortnightly Feast

Grow Local! Grow Strong! The 7th Annual Assembly of the LOFC Network

The Assembly is an event in which emerging and established co-operatives explore possibilities for collaboration and affirm aligned visions for sustainability, stewardship and co-operation. Celebration of various co-operative successes, active working sessions and network planning are included in the agenda. Read more
February 23 – February 24, 2016
Loyola House, Ignatius Centre, Guelph, Ontario

preceded by

Fair Financing for Local Food and Farms

The various workshops and plenaries will explore innovative and adaptable forms of finance.  Conversations with lenders and funders will explore various financing sources and how to build meaningful dialogue.  The day will also begin to build the case for sector bench-marking and creating the narrative necessary to prove the economic impact of food systems across Ontario. Read more
February 22, 2016 – 9am – 4pm
Loyola House, Ignatius Centre, Guelph, Ontario

What You Get When You Mix Chickens, China and Climate Change

Every few months, it seems, an invasive virus from a distant land attacks the Americas: dengue, chikungunya and, most recently, Zika. But the pathogens that frighten me most are novel strains of avian influenza. Novel avian influenza viruses are mongrels, born when the influenza viruses that live harmlessly inside the bodies of wild ducks, geese and other waterfowl mix with those of domesticated animals like the ones at Jiangfeng, especially poultry but also pigs. Read more

The Eden Alternative

…He decided to transform the nursing home. Based on a hunch, he persuaded his staff to stock the facility with two dogs, four cats, several hens and rabbits, and 100 parakeets, along with hundreds of plants, a vegetable and flower garden, and a day-care site for staffers’ kids. Read more

George Brown launches fund for nutrition research

Toronto’s George Brown College is launching a new initiative that aims to engage municipalities, universities, schools, health agencies and hospitals in helping to improve the diet, physical health and wellness of people in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Called the Helderleigh Nutrition Application Fund, the new fund will make a total of $400,000 available over a four-year period for nutrition and health-related applied research projects conducted in partnership with the college’s Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts and its food innovation and research studio, FIRSt. Read more

Ontario Craft Brewery Ramps Up Production

After learning a little more about the program, Wellington Brewery decided to work with a business advisor – who had successfully worked with other breweries to access funding – to help them through the Growing Forward 2 application process. Read more

From Soil to Table: Eco Farm Day 2016

Workshop topics include soil biology, what to do with soil test analysis, holistic management in practice, organic seed potato production, mob grazing, Hops and brewers, direct marketing grains, and more. Read more
Saturday February 20, 8 am – 5 pm
Ramada Inn Cornwall, 805 Brookdale Ave, Cornwall, Ontario

Land Access Testimonials: Farm Viability Webinar Mini-Series

Looking for creative ways to get farming? Is land the last big piece? Explore different models of land access and ask all your questions as four successful farmers from across Canada recount their “land testimonials”. These sessions will be useful for farmers seeking land, farmland owners seeking farmers, and those interested in new farmer and land use policy. Cost: $25 per session or $80 for the series of 4. Series registration deadline is Monday February 15th. You can register for individual webinars up to 48 hours in advance.  Read more or register…

Growing Hops in Eastern Ontario

With an explosion in craft breweries in Ontario, as well as strong demand for locally sourced ingredients, now is a perfect time to consider the option of growing hops for commercial sale. Read more
March 21, 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Two Rivers Food Hub, 361 Queen St, Unit 5000, Smiths Falls, ON

Selling Food to Ontario

Create new opportunities for your farm or food processing business by learning how to expand into new markets such as grocery stores, restaurants, food hubs, schools, universities and other public institutions. Read more

A first-hand account of development assistance gone awry. An important critique of development practices that undermine peasant strategies as well as suggestions for more effective approaches for the future. Read more
February 25th, 2016, 7-9 pm
Wilson Lounge, 40 Willcocks Street, Toronto

York Region Food Charter

Charter promotes a healthy local food system for York Region

The York Region Food Charter was unveiled on March 20th in Richmond Hill. The charter is a guiding document for the development of coordinated food-related policies and programs across the region’s nine municipalities. Aligned with the food movement across Canada, it promotes a system from farm to plate that provides access to local, affordable and nutritious food for everyone. The draft of the charter was developed last Spring in partnership with United Way York Region, through Strength Investments.

Read more

And be sure to check United Way York Region’s Strength Investments community fund opportunity: does your United Way offer this?

Fortnightly Feast – vol. 7

Community Engagement: Pedagogy, Partnership, Practices
26th Annual Teaching and Learning Innovations Conference
Jointly sponsored by the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences and the Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Keynote Speaker
Dr. Connie Nelson, Lakehead University
“Service Learning and Democratizing Knowledge”

In the past month we’ve seen a huge revival in the use of the term ‘sustainable’ in the foodosphere (that’s the ‘blogosphere’ as it relates to food) – as I tried to capture in the last Feast (vol. 6.2). Whether talking about farm insurance, food marketing, food systems, food justice, food hubs, food regulation, the future of farming, or the future of food, it’s gotta be ‘sustainable’ (again). Here is a small (but important) sample:

http://fox6now.com/2013/04/27/urban-farming-expert-promotes-sustainable-food-systems/

http://learn.uvm.edu/sustainability/food-summit/breakthrough-leaders-program/

http://www.farms.com/BASFconverstionsonsustainability/tabid/1247/Default.aspx

The Small-Minded, Small Farm Conundrum
Our ideas are not small in any way, but we end up time and time again arguing our case primarily on the basis of size.   … But size alone seems not to be the primary driver of risk.  Rather, such factors as time, distance and system complexity are the most immediate keys to controlling risk, and that would make local and regional food systems a critical part of any effective national food safety strategy. Read more

Local and Regional Food System Marketing Program Opens Up New Round of FundingThe USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced a request for applications for its latest round of funding for the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP).  Two previous priority categories remain for the 2013 round of grants:

  • Creating wealth in rural communities through the development of local and regional food systems and value-added agriculture; and
  • Developing direct marketing opportunities for producers, or producer groups.

Read more

Greenbelt Fund Green Papers – Volume 6 – People: Attitudes and Beliefs
When making changes to the food purchasing process, the challenge public institutions face is that they tend to involve a long list of staff members that play a role in this process… Any one person on this long line of those directly and indirectly affected can stymie institutional change. It is therefore of utmost importance that relevant staff is engaged when initiating change. Read more

Locavesting is a call to rethink the way we invest, so that we support the small businesses that create jobs and healthy, resilient communities. Read more

… and finally, regular Feast readers will have been struck by the number of articles on the investment in infrastructure happening at a a state level in both Michigan and New York. Here’s more:

What is a food hub? Part 3: Michigan Hubs

The Michigan Food Hub Learning and Innovation Network facilitates:

  • increased learning, innovation, and profitability for participating food hubs
  • increased access to food hub financial and technical assistance, research, and education
  • increased business-to-business collaboration across food hubs.

Read More

State approves $2.5 million for Madison County ‘food hub’
The grants from Empire State Development Corp. will help Growing Upstate Food Hub LLC, a consortium of farm businesses, build the $4.2 million shared-use facility in Canastota. Read more

Fortnightly Feast – vol. 6.1 (Upcoming Events)

Until 30 April 2013, the UN FAO is running an open e-consultation on ‘Food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems’

WEBINARS

Financing Farmers and Food Hubs
April 30, 2013
2:00-3:30pm
Michigan Food Hub Learning and Innovation Network
 Learn more about two exciting financing projects: the Shade Fund (part of the Conservation Fund) and the Northwest Michigan Farm and Food 20/20 Fund.
To participate in the webinar, go to: https://connect.msu.edu/richpirog
Read more

Stocking the Pantry: Fundraising in the community food sector
Upcoming free webinar: Wednesday, April 24, 12:00-1:00pm EDTJoin Nick Saul, President & CEO of Community Food Centres Canada, and Cheryl Roddick, Director of Development at The Stop Community Food Centre for a conversation on fundraising for small to mid-size organizations. The discussion will touch on the evolution of fundraising at The Stop, key development moments, the art of stewardship, the importance of diversified funding, and more. Click here to register – https://cfccanada.webex.com/

Foodweb Solutions 2.0

Food Hackathon was the first of its kind event empowering food lovers and developers with a focus on building hardware and software products and services that positively impact the production, storage, distribution, access, discovery, sharing, consumption, and social impact of food. Read more

Crowdsourcing crop improvement and local indicators?
Can we preselect varieties for a future climate, from a similar climate here and now?
What indicators of season changes will stop being useful to farmers? Will these work in a different place in the future? Read more

Eastern Ontario Development Program

The Prince Edward / Lennox & Addington Community Futures Development Corporation (PELA CFDC) administers the Eastern Ontario Development Program for their region. Applications are now available, and due February 15, 2013. Community food initiatives that are planning feasibility studies, research and development initiatives, strategic plans, or need support for ongoing innovations should consider applying.

Northumberland – Due January 20, 2013
Grenville – Due January 25, 2013
Haliburton – multiple dates starting January 31, 2013
Frontenac – Due February 1, 2013

Renfrew – Due March 1, 2013
Peterborough – Due March 31, 2013

Already closed: SDG; Prescott-Russell; Valley Heartland

Community Food Project Funding

While the scale of this program is tiny, it’s interesting to see the direction that “local food” funding is taking, south of the border. The USDA / National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECTS COMPETITIVE GRANTS PROGRAM was recently announced,  keep reading