City Region Food Systems

Urban Agriculture Magazine no. 29 [pdf], on City Region Food Systems —including “Research Priorities for Future Food Systems” by Alison Blay-Palmer and Irena Knezevic—is now available on the RUAF website.

This issue addresses the growing attention for policy and practice approaches that focus on food issues in urban areas from a city-regional perspective, taking into account possible contributions from urban and periurban agriculture and a strengthening of urban-rural relations. It features amongst others articles on research and policy development in partner cities involved in the SUPURBFOOD programme. Read more

Summer Jobs at FoodShare

School Grown Facilitator

Number of positions available: 2
* Note: This is a Canada Summer Jobs position.  Applicants must be 30 years of age or under, currently attending school full-time and returning to school full-time in the fall. *

Position Overview

FoodShare Toronto is looking to hire an energetic and experienced youth facilitator to assist in the operation of our schoolyard market gardens. The School Grown Facilitator will work alongside the School Grown Senior Coordinator and our fourteen high school youth employees in a small-scale farming operation with an educational mandate.

The ideal candidate would have demonstrated experience working with high school youth (ages 16 to 19) and enjoy outdoor work. Previous experience with gardening or farming is not essential, but the candidate must have a willingness to learn, a strong work ethic and a positive energy. We will teach you what we know and provide opportunities to further your learning.

Urban Agriculture Assistant

FoodShare Toronto is looking for a 30.5hrs/wk Urban Agriculture Assistant for a summer eight week job to work with our urban agriculture team in our demonstrations, which include our outdoor gardens, greenhouse, composting system and rooftop garden. This individual must have strong experience and skill in growing food, leading workshops and working with volunteers.

Read more

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).

 

Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition

Street food and urban and periurban agriculture and horticulture: perspectives for a strategic coalition towards food security

Street foods in urban areas are often the most accessible means of obtaining an affordable meal for millions of consumers every day and urban and periurban agriculture can provide street food vendors with the required local, fresh, nutritious and less expensive ingredients.

Stefano Marras, sociologist at the University of Milan-Bicocca invites you to share your opinion on how we can support stronger cross linkages between food hawking and the growing of food in cities to stimulate sustainable diets and increased income. This discussion will be an opportunity to expand and strengthen the network of specialists involved in street food trade and governance worldwide. Read more

 

New Papers on Food Systems

From Nourishing Communities members Connie Nelson and Mirella Stroink:

Accessibility and Viability: A Complex Adaptive Systems Approach to a Wicked Problem for the Local Food Movement

There is a tension between enhancing vulnerable people’s access to local nutritious food and ensuring viable incomes for local farmers. This tension arises as a result of interactions and processes scaling outward to the broad level of economic and political ideologies (Ikerd, 2005; 2012). We suggest that by conceiving of this tension as a wicked problem and employing complex adaptive systems theory, we create space in which community members are empowered to share existing knowledge and develop new knowledge as they innovate potential solutions and discuss constructive change. We introduce this space as the beginnings of a dialogue-driven, shared journey through four features of the back loop of the adaptive cycle. Read more

… and from international partner Samina Raja et al.

Rustbelt Radicalism: A Decade of Food Systems Planning Practice in Buffalo, New York (USA)

Pressure is increasing from nongovernmental actors to incorporate food more concretely into municipal policies and plans. A qualitative case study of Buffalo, New York (USA), demonstrates that incremental, persistent food systems practice and advocacy by nonstate actors, a group we call the “rustbelt radicals,” followed by their collective engagement with municipal planning, can lead to transformations in municipal policy and planning for strengthening food systems. The paper concludes with seven factors that enable “rustbelt radicals” to transform local food systems plans and policies. Read more

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

 

Fortnightly Feast – vol. 12

Focus on Urban Agriculture

Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture for Resilient City-Regional Food Systems
Marielle Dubbeling’s post on the Landscape blog, about the role that urban and peri-urban agriculture can play in enhancing the sustainability and resilience of urban food systems. Read more

The Sustainable Food Cities Network
From its evolution as an event organised by the Soil Association and Cardiff University and hosted by Bristol City Council in 2011, the Sustainable Food Cities Network has become an alliance of public, private and third sector organisations that believe in the power of food as a vehicle for driving positive change. Read more

New Agriculturalist Focus on… Urban Agriculture
Urban agriculture is being increasingly recognised as an important strategy to respond to a number of key challenges – including poverty, food security and nutrition, unemployment and the management of wastes and wastewater. Read more

Food Hub Movement Gaining Momentum Across Michigan
While the creation of a food hub in your community may seem like a no-brainer, they require careful planning and an investment from all of the stakeholders in the local food system. Read more

And in the category of coolest name ever, in Cowpens, SC: Thicketty Mountain Farms!

International News

The International Fund for Agricultural Development has produced a report on Smallholders, food security, and the environment [pdf] that speaks to the importance of well-functioning ecosystems to a neglected but significant portion of the global agricultural community.

The latest news from RUAF [Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security] includes two updates on the “Safe and Productive Use of Wastes for Urban Agriculture”, and news of a new strategic partnership with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (www.iclei.org) to collaborate on resilient urban food and city-regional systems.

A permanent city council to promote local food production and consumption?!

Edmonton food council ready to plant roots

The 15-member advisory council, which will be chosen in June, will also have to look at difficult issues like raising chickens and bees in the city, or how to set up a food hub at the local community league, said Hani Quan, principal planner with the city’s new food and urban agriculture strategy. Read more