Growing Food for Health

Exploring the therapeutic benefits of food gardens at Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital, in Alexandria, Ontario

As a leading innovator in the delivery of hospital rehab services, Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital (HGMH) is home to an expansive therapeutic garden, established as an extension of the Stroke Rehabilitation department. The garden has been expanding slowly since 2011, and this past year—in collaboration with Project SOIL—the growing area almost doubled in size. In 2015, the garden team produced over fifty varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers, using SPIn techniques, organic practices.

While they are consistently imagining ways to expand production and in-house use of fresh food, the team at HGMH is also looking to future projects — including working with researchers at Carleton University to develop tools to assess the preventative and therapeutic benefits of edible gardens.

You can find the full case study here!

*NEW* Project SOIL Pilot and Participatory Action Research (PAR) Case Studies

August 18, 2015, from ProjectSOIL.ca

We’re happy to share brand new pilot project case studies from four graduate student PAR on-site food growing projects! Each is available in html and print [pdf] form.

pilot-case-studies

http://projectsoil.ca/project-overview/pilots/

Students were enriched and tested by their experiences—and each was instrumental in advancing a pilot project with one of our institutional partners: the GreenWerks Garden at Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital (Lauren Turner); the Food School Farm at Centre Wellington District High School (Tim O’Brien); the Victorian Kitchen Gardens at Homewood Health Centre (Emily French); and the Our Farm Project at KW Habilitation (Elena Christy).

This year’s pilot at Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital’s Therapeutic Garden is in full swing, with a weekly market and an Open House held August 7. Further news to come!

 

Growing Public Food — *NEW* Case Studies

Guest blog from Project SOIL

Project SOIL is a feasibility study that explores the potential of on-site food production for public institutions through arrangements with local producers, particularly where access to farmland is limited and expensive. By encouraging and facilitating these partnerships, we aim to test the potential for growing mutually beneficial relationships, while increasing the production and consumption of fresh food.

With funding from the New Directions program of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, we have started five pilot initiatives, producing food on-site at health care, social service and educational institutions. There is significant interest in the project, and many institutions across the province are contemplating or starting their own food production pilots. However, the pathway from pilot to viable core program can seem lengthy and fraught with challenges.

To support these initiatives, and provide useful examples from which to learn, we have produced four in-depth case studies of existing models that have achieved significant annual production:

These case studies represent food production models that developed over years, and required time, resources and commitment to achieve significant scale. In each case study, we document the history, resources, partnerships and lessons that enabled each to grow and prosper in their own way.

For more information, and to download pdf versions, please visit our Case Studies page, or contact Phil Mount (pmount@wlu.ca) or Irena Knezevic (Irena.Knezevic@carleton.ca).

 

Upcoming Food Events

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

Project SOIL 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.

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