New Case Study: Hidden Harvest Ottawa

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Hidden Harvest—the latest case study from The social economy of food: Informal, under-recognized contributions to community prosperity and resilience—tells the story of Ottawa’s fruit-and-nut gleaning initiative. Since 2012, Hidden Harvest has used food tree harvest events and outreach activities to enhance community food security and sovereignty, as well as local ecologies and economies.

Hidden Harvest is a for-profit social enterprise that aims to legitimize and support the practice of harvesting fruits and nuts in urban areas. The organization has developed a model through which to increase access to—and availability of—fresh, healthful foods hyper-locally in Ottawa, as people harvest from their own (or nearby) neighborhoods.

Read the full case study online or in pdf here:

http://nourishingontario.ca/the-social-economy-of-food/case-studies-subversions-from-the-informal-and-social-economy/hidden-harvest/

Cost-Share Local Food Box programs

The Ecology Action Centre has supported communities through subsidized local food box programs in rural Nova Scotia. The Cost-Share Local Food Box programs seek to address food insecurity while recognizing that accessibility would be a key factor in shaping the programs.

CSA Boxes

This report, by Tina Yeonju Oh, evaluates the approaches to the Cost-Share model that have been implemented in Cumberland County and Cape Breton. In addition, this report looks at other subsidized food box models in Atlantic Canada to compare differences, findings, and operational practices.

“We hope that results from this report demonstrate that ethical alternative food systems are possible and can be empowering, sustainable, and economically beneficial to local and rural communities.”

Download the full report here (pdf 1.6 MB).

The Story of Black Duck Wild Rice Brought to the Stage

A new play offers a comedic interpretation of the melodrama and conflict surrounding the story of Black Duck Wild Rice. The full case study of Black Duck Wild Rice will be posted on this website soon, part of the Subversions from the Informal and Social Economy series.
Day 6 interviewed Drew Hayden Taylor about Cottagers and Indians, calling it “a timely play about Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationships”. You can listen to the full interview hereCottagers and Indians debuts February 21 and plays at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto until March 25.

FREE WEBINAR: Sustainable Food Hubs in Ontario

Food Hub Webinar Registration OpenJoin us on Wednesday, January 31st at 12pm EST for a free webinar exploring results from research conducted between 2014 and 2017 on sustainable food hubs in Ontario.

In this webinar, Katie Nolan (OMAFRA), Kendal Donahue (OMAFRA), Phil Mount (JustFood) and Alison Blay-Palmer (Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems) will discuss the Ontario Food Hub surveys that were conducted as part of an OMAFRA New Directions funded project. Showcasing the infographics created with the information collected, the presenters will highlight lessons learned and future research directions. Following the presentations, there will be time for a Q&A.

Please register in advance for this webinar:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_bzgOZRg_QVWNOjzuc0MKVA

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

For more information or media inquires, please contact Amanda Di Battista, Project Coordinator, Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems: adibattista@wlu.ca.

NEW 2016 Ontario Food Hub Survey, Infographics and Webinar

As part of an OMAFRA-funded research project that examined the role of food hubs in building food system resilience in community value chains, researchers at Wilfrid Laurier’s Centre for Sustainable Food Systems conducted two province-wide surveys of local sustainable food hubs in Ontario. We surveyed food producers, processors, and distributors to find out how they defined local food, if/how they thought food hubs added value to food chains for producers and communities, where food hub funding is coming from, what kinds of expansion opportunities they could identify across the value chain, and how food hubs might increase local sales.

Our Food Hub Survey page has been updated with the latest results from the 2016 survey. We have also added a Food Hub Infographics page, where you can find these results summarized visually. The Food Hub Infographics are an excellent tool for anyone interested in learning more about food hubs in Ontario, and we invite you to share them with your networks.

Food Hub Webinar January 31, 2017

To continue the discussion about how food hubs add value to local food systems, we will host a webinar to discuss the Food Hub Survey results and infographics with panelists Alison Blay-Palmer (Director of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems), Katie Nolan (Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor at Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs), and Phil Mount (Associate Director of Just Food). Keep your eyes on this space for the time and log-in details!

Authors meet Readers – Nourishing Communities: From Fractured Food Systems to Transformative Pathways

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
5:30 pm — 7:00 pm
Irene’s Pub 885 Bank Street Ottawa

About the Book: Nourishing Communities: From Fractured Food Systems to Transformative Pathways builds on existing alternative food initiatives and food movements research to describe the myriad ways community-driven actors work to foster food systems that are socially just, embed food in local economies, regenerate the environment and actively engage citizens. Drawing on case studies, interviews and Participatory Action Research projects, the editors share the stories behind community-driven efforts to develop sustainable food systems, and present a critical assessment of both the tensions and the achievements of these initiatives.

About the Author: Irena Knezevic is an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication. She studies communication, culture, and health and is especially interested in food systems, food labelling, and the discourse of food and health regulations.

Irena will be joined by Jay Garlough, Co-founder, Hidden Harvest Ottawa; Moe Garahan, Executive Director, Just Food; and Faris Ahmed, Director, Policy and Campaigns USC Canada for a short panel Q&A.

This event is part of the Ottawa International Writer’s Festival.

Studies from the Social Economy in Northwestern Ontario

“The social economy, which places ‘people before profits’ arose from a failure of contemporary political and economic policies to provide minimum acceptable levels of economic and social wellbeing to people.”

These words, from the preamble to the Blueberry Foraging case study (Stolz, Levkoe and Nelson, 2017) help to build a platform from which these new case studies from the social and informal economy of Northwestern Ontario challenge the preeminence of profit and market competition as a motive for social organization. A community collectively selling their surplus to raise funds for youth programs; producers and consumers from across the region cooperating to build more resilient communities; a creative centre using art and gardening to build programs for therapy and rehabilitation—each of these cases identifies threads that, together, comprise the tapestry of Northwestern Ontario’s social economy.

Bring Food Home 2017 in Ottawa!

Impact Ontario’s Food System!

Bring Food Home 2017, brought to you by Sustain Ontario and local host Just Food, in conjunction with the Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference, offers a four day extravaganza showcasing the region for the first time at this biennial network gathering.BFHlogo2017-square

Experience the landscape of the region on the pre-conference tour day, then prepare to join our diverse discussions of issues, policies and challenges, from food justice to food waste. This year’s theme ‘upstream collaboration‘ will be reflected across many plenaries and panels, including the opening plenary—Decolonizing Land and Food.

With a special focus on providing a platform for diverse voices to shape policy strategies for Sustain Ontario network members, this year’s conference offers multiple policy sessions that will inform our collective strategy over the next four years—based on policy position papers prepared by some of Ontario’s leading young researchers.

Join us at Ottawa U on October 26-29, register now!!

Greenbelt Offers Canada’s First Food Hub Management Training

…from the Greenbelt Fund website

Training for Tomorrow’s Food Hub Leaders

The first of its kind in North America, now in its third year and first time being offered in Canada, this program is an innovative blend of hands-on, community-based online and on-campus learning to prepare you for managing food hubs. The program provides the tools you need to advance your career in food systems.

Highlights

  • Taught online with in-person sessions held in Southwestern Ontario – with a plethora of businesses leading the local food movement
  • Syllabus includes: Business Formation, Food Hub Fundamentals, Business Planning, Marketing, Sales, Finance HR & Staffing, Risk Management, Food Safety, Product Development and Knowledge, Supply Chain Management, Storage and Warehouse Management, Distribution, Processing, Technology, Value Chain Facilitation

Who Should Apply?

  • Individuals exploring the feasibility of starting or expanding a food hub
  • Emerging leaders in organizations advancing the feasibility of regional food systems
  • Food Hub practitioners focused on ‘the next ten years’
  • Professionals seeking to develop their career in the local and regional food market

For more details, see the Greenbelt Fund site

Workshop Report

This spring, the Nourishing Communities Research Group hosted a one-day workshop in Ottawa which brought together researchers and community partners who were working on diverse food initiatives with a social or informal purpose, in diverse communities from Atlantic Canada to the Northwest Territories.

The purpose of the workshop was to think about evaluation, indicators, and metrics—ways of measuring and reporting that are useful and relevant for social and informal economy projects. These indicators would help researchers do comparative work while identifying commonalities and gaps, and help everyone to communicate outcomes in a way that would be intuitive to those without food systems background; useful to other social and informal food initiatives; and useful to influence policy-makers and funders.

Read more, and access the report