In an effort to bring to life the value created by the people and initiatives making a difference in the social and informal economy, the Nourishing Communities Research Group has worked with community partners, Nicole Bedford Films and Sheba Films to develop a stunning series of videos. More and more, food connects people who want to make their communities better places to live. Their work creates economic value, but as you will see in these videos, these community leaders are more interested in environmental and social well-being. The Social Economy of Food video series shows what that looks like on the ground—and how these leaders are changing their communities
The videos run the gamut of social and informal economy activities, from urban gleaning to seeding, harvesting and educating about manoomin (wild rice) production. In “Hidden Harvest Ottawa has big dreams for a greener Ottawa. What are yours?” local policy-makers are challenged to look at urban gleaning through a new lens—focused on the hidden benefits produced through waste diversion, social inclusion and food security in their community. “Durham Integrated Growers “DIG” Community Gardens and All Forms of Urban Agriculture” shows how a grassroots network can punch above its weight by harnessing the awesome power of volunteer labour to facilitate new food production opportunities and develop new skills. The video “Community Financing is Cultivating Local Food: FarmWorks shows the way” shows how a community economic development investment fund (CEDIF) has translated funds from local investors into seed capital for over 90 food and farming enterprises across Nova Scotia. “Black Duck Wild Rice: The Resurgence of Indigenous Food Sovereignty within the Kawartha Lakes Region” delivers a powerful message on the impacts of colonialism, and the role of manoomin cultivation in community food security and sovereignty, as well as a call for reconcilli-action.
Coming soon are videos on the diverse seed saving communities and activities across Atlantic Canada, three demonstrating the breadth of social and informal initiatives in northwestern Ontario. Each video has a unique tale to tell. Visit the Youtube channel of the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems and be prepared to spend some time—they’re addictive!