Fortnightly Feast

Gujarat becomes 9th Indian state to declare organic farming policy, plans to set up implementation cell

Gujarat, after declaring its organic farming policy last month and has become the ninth state to do so, after Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland. The state government had launched the organic policy on April 10 and this seminar was held to discuss on how to implement policy in phase-wise manner. …“As Chief Minister of Gujarat demonstrated a political will by introducing organic policy the state is likely to emerge as a roll model for the rest of the country. We will take the concept of organic farming in phase -wise manner in villages and blocks of Gujarat and we believe that Gujarat can fully achieve organic farming methods in next ten years and it can show the way to country like the Gujarat model of development,” agriculture policy analyst Devinder Sharma said. Read more

Making Space for Public Space

The notion that public space is a key point of entry to sustainable development in an urbanizing word is gaining greater recognition as national and local policy makers, professionals and civil society actors advance towards the United Nations Conference devoted to Adequate Housing for All and Sustainable Urban Development, which will also discuss the theme of public space for our cities. FAO’s Food for Cities Initiative emphasized the need to strengthen rural-urban linkages to build greener cities at the International Round Table. Read more

Farm Hack: An open source community for resilient agriculture

“We are a worldwide community of farmers that build and modify our own tools. We share our hacks online and at meet ups because we become better farmers when we work together.” From compost censors and farmer-owned distribution networks to the solar powered ‘lazy weeder’, Farm Hack Tools provides links to innovative prototypes that solve almost any problem. Read more

Hamilton moves ahead with east-end urban farm for residents

The city is moving forward with an east-end neighbourhood’s plan to turn a three-acre field into an urban farm. Councillors have backed a $350,000 construction job to break ground on the McQuesten Urban Farm as early as late summer. … City staff will start working on issuing a request for proposals for the construction project once council has given its final stamp of approval. The hope is to see construction start in late summer or early fall, making the farm ready for the 2016 growing season, said Adam Watson, a city staffer working on the project. Read more

Constructing the ‘food insecure’: Implications for public policy

When: Monday, June 22, 2015, 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Where: University of Toronto, Nutritional Sciences, 150 College St., Toronto
FitzGerald Bld Room 423

Luke Craven is a PhD student at the University of Sydney. His interests lie in the application of social and political theory to contemporary policy problems, with a focus on food politics, policy, and system reform. His PhD research examines how we should understand and respond to household food insecurity, drawing on empirical research with Afghan migrants in each of Sydney, London and San Francisco.

Czech teacher battles bee-killing disease with hot hive

Scientists battling a bee-killing disease are about to start testing a new weapon — a sun-heated hive designed by a Czech high school teacher. Roman Linhart told Reuters he had secured a patent for his invention after 10 years of research into ways of wiping out varroosis disease, which has been destroying bee colonies across the world. The stakes are high, as the death of bees threatens harvests which rely on the insects for pollination.  The teacher at Chrudim’s Secondary School of Agriculture, 120 km (75 miles) east from Prague, joins a line-up of experts who have been trying to find an efficient way to tackle the condition for decades. Experts from Czech Republic’s Palacky University said they were about to start trialing Linhart’s method — which aims to kill the Varroa destructor parasite responsible for the disease by heating up hives to 40 degrees Celsius (104 F) and higher. Read more

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