Tag Archives: organic farming

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

Ecological Farming Internship Opportunities

from Nicola Inglefield, CRAFT South-West Ontario

CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) is an informal, member-driven network of farmers that offer internships on their organic and ecological farms. It is now the time of year when we begin sharing our available internship opportunities with folks who we think would be most interested in participating.

Many people who apply to internships on CRAFT farms are students from environmental, biological, and agricultural fields of study, as well as political science, international development, and food science disciplines. Whether the goal is a summer of exploration or a school co-op placement (or both!), CRAFT member farms offer internships that provide hands-on learning experiences where interns gain practical skills, while learning about themselves in the process.  As a two-time alumnus of the CRAFT program, I highly recommend it!

For details of Ecological Farming Internship Opportunities (pdf).

For more details and farm contact information, visit our website.

Fortnightly Feast vol. 17

Urban Agriculture Magazine

From RUAF, issue 26 of Urban Agriculture is about seeking the right mix of subsidies, credit, savings, and resource mobilisation, while thinking about waste.

The latest version of the magazine (UA26) is available to download (pdf 3.1 MB)

Farmland Forum 2014

Join us at our 10th annual Forum, as we explore the challenges of urban growth management and the protection of agriculture in Ontario’s near-urban farming communities, by asking:
• How permanent is farmland protection policy in Ontario?
• Are current policies effectively curbing sprawl and protecting agriculture?
• Can policy makers and community stakeholders work more collaboratively to improve farmland protection?

Learn from the experts, and share your concerns and recommendations to help inform the policy debate in advance of the 2015/16 Greenbelt & Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan reviews. Read more

Edible Education Lectures

Join  Raj Patel, Michael Pollan and co. this term at The Edible Schoolyard Project, as they present twelve lectures on the future of food, through conversations with leaders of the food movement around the world. Read more

How Food Hubs Are Helping New Farmers Break Into Local Food

From NPR…

Lots of consumers are smitten with local food, but they’re not the only ones. The growing market is also providing an opportunity for less experienced farmers to expand their business and polish their craft.

Read more

and finally, from NYT

The average age of farmers keeps rising, and organic farmers are no exception. What happens to knowledge, and to a movement, when elders retire? How about mentorship..?
Read more


Upcoming Webinars

Scaling up Alternative Food Initiatives Embedded in the Social Economy

June 24th, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Pacific Time

Despite the increasing growth and attention to farmers markets, CSAs, local food box programmes, etc., alternative food initiatives geared towards local production and consumption, many of which emerge from the social economy, remain minor players when contrasted with the conventional food system.

Key Challenge: how to scale-up alternative food initiatives so that they have a greater transformational impact in the larger agri-food system and also serve as a catalyst for broader societal change towards a sustainable and strong social economy?

The case studies examined in this webinar highlight the opportunities and challenges in scaling-up food relocalization without sacrificing commitment to social, economic and environmental values and goals.

We suggest the need to focus attention equally on building physical infrastructure and capacity (production, storage, distribution, retail) whilst also investing in social infrastructure and capacity (coalition-building, partnerships, clustering) required for a robust and resilient local food movement.  We hope to initiate a discussion about the challenges and tensions between pragmatic and transformational approaches to issues of food security, food sovereignty, food justice and sustainability.

Featured Presenters:

Mary Beckie:  Dr. Mary A. Beckie is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Extension, beckie-pic-4University of Alberta. Her research and teaching focuses on sustainable community development, specifically the role of agri-food systems, community-based resource management and the social economy, and is grounded in the scholarship of engagement. Dr. Beckie holds a doctorate in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development from the University of Saskatchewan and has been involved in related work in western Canada, the mid-west United States, Europe, Cuba and Sri Lanka.  Her previous research with BALTA focused on the role of farmers’ markets as catalysts in scaling local food systems.

Sean Connelly: Dr. Sean Connelly is a lecturer in the Department of Geography at the
sean-connelly-photoUniversity of Otago in New Zealand.  His research and teaching interests are in human-environment relations, sustainable community development and local food systems.  He completed post-doctoral research with BALTA focused on local food movements and sustainability and has a PhD in Geography from Simon Fraser University.

Register here!

The Community, the University:

Working Together to Improve Regional Food Systems
Interested in learning about Community-University partnerships and their ability to facilitate healthy, sustainable community food systems?

In 2000, the Waterloo Region was recognized nationally and internationally for its innovative and comprehensive approach to creating a healthy community food system. It was through this approach that food was recognized as a key determinant of health. In this webinar, Katherine Pigott, Steffanie Scott, and Wajma Qaderi-Attayi describe two models of community-university partnerships in the Waterloo Region Food System.

Join us for a webinar
Wednesday June 26, 1 – 2 pm EDT
Sign up to receive call-in information.
Hosted by The Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE) project of Food Secure Canada and Carleton University


 “The Connected Organization

Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 1 p.m. ET

Universities, non-profits, governmental agencies, and Extension systems must embrace the principles of the Connected Organization in order to thrive in the future.

Join noted author and speaker Dave Gray to learn how the principles of The Connected Company can be applied to institutions and organizations such as Extension. Gray will talk about why, to keep pace with today’s connected citizens, your University, Extension system, Governmental agency, or non-profit must become a connected organization.

Being connected means being deeply engaged with faculty, staff, partners, and clientele, changing how work is done, how you measure success, and how performance is rewarded. It requires a new way of thinking about your organization: less like a machine to be controlled, and more like a complex, dynamic system that can learn and adapt over time.

Connected organizations have the advantage, because they learn and move faster…While others work in isolation, they link into rich networks of possibility and expand their influence.

Register here!


eOrganic now has more than 90 webinar recordings -on topics ranging from Brown marmorated Stink bug and late blight to organic farming financial benchmarks and National Organic Program updates- available at: http://www.extension.org/pages/25242/webinars-by-eorganic