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.

Growing the Food System in the Headwaters Region

The Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance is pleased to release a report that is the culmination of in depth research into the challenges and opportunities of a local food system found in the Headwaters Region. The report offers 28 recommendations to HFFA and the broader Headwaters community on how to take action to support the development of a resilient, sustainable and productive local economy based on the rich agricultural resources available in this region. Read more

Access the executive summary here (pdf 607kB).

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

Food System Sustainability Gathering

South West Regional Gathering: Food System Sustainability
Addressing Local Barriers to Success

This one-day forum will bring together people from diverse sectors to identify and address current challenges to supporting a local, sustainable food system

When 
Monday, March 18, 2013
(Registration/ Networking   9:30)
Program – 10 am to 3 pm

Grey Bruce Health Unit
101 17th Street East,
Owen Sound

For further details

Fortnightly Feast vol. 3

2nd Annual UVM Food Systems Summit – June 2013
This June, UVM’s Food Systems Summit will be the venue for intense examination and exchange of ideas, knowledge, and practical skills. A valuable part of the summit is the The Necessary [r]Evolution for Sustainable Food Systems Conference on June 27.
Read the full story…

5th AESOP Sustainable Food Planning Conference
The next AESOP Sustainable Food Planning Conference will be held October 28 and 29 in Montpellier France. The main theme of the 2013 conference is ‘Innovations in Urban Food Systems’.
Read the full story…

Regional Sustainable Food Systems Coordinator (Oxfam)
Climate change, lack of access to agricultural markets, and financial resources, high food prices, dispute for natural resources, and gender discrimination issues are just some of the factors preventing a fair and sustainable food system for the people of Latin America. And with the aim to find lasting solutions to poverty, Oxfam is working hard to make a difference. Shaping plans and putting them into action, you’ll help us to help people to help themselves. Read the full job posting…

Waterloo Region Food Charter
Vision: A healthy, just, and sustainable food system is one in which all residents have access to, and can afford to buy, safe, nutritious, and culturally acceptable food that has been produced in an environmentally sustainable way, and that supports our rural communities. Such a food system promotes social justice, population health, and profitable farms, reflects and sustains local culture, and supports ecological viability.
Read the full Charter
Endorse the Waterloo Region Food Charter

More Money For Food Hubs in New York State
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The state is making $3.6 million available for the creation of four new food distribution centers that link small farms and growers to large buyers.  New facilities are proposed for the North Country, the Mid-Hudson Valley, the Finger Lakes and Central New York.  So-called “food hubs” were a major topic of discussion at a recent Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group conference at Saratoga Springs City Center, with more than 400 people on hand from Maine to West Virginia.
Read the full story

Cooperative Community Shops
Community-owned village shops continue to be one of the leading success stories of the UK co-operative and social enterprise movement. In 1992 there were just 33 community-owned shops; 20 years on there are 303, with a further 20 anticipated to open by the end of 2013. Read the full story

Home-grown food part of a new vision of urban development
Cities feeding themselves is an idea that is gaining traction. In Burlington, Vermont, more than 8 per cent the food consumed by residents is grown within the city limits.
Read the full story…

USDA Releases Report on the Growing Importance of Food Hubs in Rural America
…”The dramatic increase in the number of food hubs since President Obama took office has been supported by state and federal efforts including USDA programs like Rural Business Enterprise Grant, Rural Business Opportunity Grant, Value-Added Producer Grant, and the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program.”  Read the full story…

Exploring New Possibilities in Land Tenure
Partner wanted for new farm
We’re looking for a farm couple / farmer with experience in any of vegetables, berries, fruit, mushrooms, medicinal herbs and / or livestock to help re-create a farm, preferably using permaculture / biodynamic principles, on this 150-year-old former dairy farm. It ís 200 acres, about 50 acres pasture / meadow, most of the rest forest, in East Meredith, NY (Delaware County, near Delhi / Oneonta).
There ís plenty of water, sun and worms. The barn burned down. The land is organic (unofficially). Would like to develop a relationship beginning with rent or lease, leading to some kind of cooperative arrangement.
This is a unique opportunity for the right people to establish an operation from scratch. To discuss possibilities, please call Carl Arnold at 718 788 5944 or 607 278 5820, or e-mail resume and letter to carlarnold at mac.com

Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Local Food Procurement (YouTube video)

… and finally

Urban Food Strategies Webinar: Foodlinks European Research Project.
In Foodlinks we are analysing and engaging in knowledge brokerage activities and creating effective linkages between scientists, civil society actors and policy makers, to promote research and practice on sustainable food systems. To achieve this, Communities of Practice (CoP) were established in different themes, one of them revolving around Urban Food Strategies, where we are tackling the rise of municipalities and city-regions as food policy makers, pointing to new relations between the government and civil society.
In the framework of this work and jointly with Purefood European Project, we are holding a webinar on Urban Food Strategies to explore recent and ongoing research in this field.

The webinar will take place on 12th of March 2013, 15:00 – 16:00 (GMT)

After a brief introduction by Professor Kevin Morgan, Jessica Jane Spayde and Jess Halliday will present different structures and governance approaches that urban food strategies (UFS) and food policy councils (FPC) use in working toward sustainable urban and peri-urban food systems.
Jessica Jane Spayde will discuss the key roles UFSs and FPCs play in urban food systems. She will also discuss the ways in which UFSs and FPCs are focusing on integrating and facilitating between civil society, government, and the private sector. They also are using their positions to raise awareness of the problems in the food system, which helps create a culture where people are more likely to demand sustainability changes from governments and private food companies.
Jess Halliday will explore how each urban food strategy is enabled and/or constrained by its multi-level governance context. Using examples from her own research on UFSs in England she will set out a framework consisting of factors that can affect the ability of a strategy to meet its own objectives. She will explain how it can be used to draw comparisons between strategies in very different governance settings, and can be used to help cities formulate strategies that are context appropriate.
After the presentations, there will be an interactive Q&A session moderated by Dr. Ana Moragues Faus.  Please join us for this exciting event.
Register here:   http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=E953DA83824931
If you have any queries about the webinar or the Foodlinks project please get in touch: MoraguesFausA1 at cardiff.ac.uk
For more information visit: http://purefoodlinks.eu
https://knowledgehub.local.gov.uk/web/foodlinksurbanfoodstrategies

 

Fortnightly Feast

Our biweekly roundup -from across the internet- of the interesting, the relevant, and the merely peculiar.

Try My Maccas: A short film
This Aussie marketing campaign from MacDonald’s has sparked a prolonged discussion on the Sustainable Foods Network: “…what i find really interesting is the admission, the acceptance, the demonstration by ‘Maccas’ marketeers that the gold standard in food safety, environmental responsibility, sustainable production -and the story they know their consumers want to see- is 1) small farm; 2) local; 3) ecologically sensitive agricultural production (wind and solar, trees and butterflies)…”

Power grows from Motor City soil
Waging Nonviolence | January 29, 2013
“We have lost the ability to think collectively about our own interests in the public political sphere…”

Sustain UK |  Growing Success: The impact of Capital Growth on community food growing in London

USDA  |   Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Signs Regulation Confirming “Government to Government” Consultation with Tribes
“…since 2009 the Department has worked with more than 270 Tribal governments to provide healthier food for more than 250,000 low-income Tribal citizens. Additionally, USDA has partnered with Tribal colleges to enhance community gardening efforts and improve nutrition education.”

Al Jazeera (English)  |  Resolving the food crisis: The need for decisive action
Global leaders squandered 2012, but prospects for resolving the food crisis in 2013 seem better – Sophia Murphy and Timothy Wise

The Atlantic | The Agricultural Fulcrum: Better Food, Better Climate
The National Climate Assessment, released this week, predicted increasingly negative impact of weather extremes on crops. But with industrialized farming as a key player in greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, the vicious cycle needs breaking.

Sustainable Cities Collective  |  How Physical Places Define Local Economies
“Human capital and creative talent increasingly goes where it likes; talent increasingly goes to great places; but talented people become most attached to places that they help create.”

Farm Foundation: Ag Challenge 2050 | Sustainable Health of the Food Supply
Another lens on sustainability…

A Community Resilience Guide

released today, January 31, 2013:

 

Rebuilding the Foodshed

 

How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems

by Philip Ackerman-Leist

Changing our foodscapes raises a host of questions. How far away is local? How do you decide the size and geography of a regional foodshed? How do you tackle tough issues that plague food systems large and small—issues like inefficient transportation, high energy demands, and rampant food waste? How do you grow what you need with minimum environmental impact? And how do you create a foodshed that’s resilient enough if fuel grows scarce, weather gets more severe, and traditional supply chains are hampered?

Read the full release

New Organic Master Gardener course in Toronto

February 5-March 21, 2013

Location: Evergreen Brick Works, Classroom 2W, 550 Bayview Avenue
Through examining the connection between soil health, plant health, human health and environmental health, this course will address sustainable land management practices to maintain plants in the urban landscape. Continue reading