Locavore News — Ontario
Plumbline by Elbert van Donkersgoed
Perspectives on good food and farming
May 20, 2010
Cheese maker gets boost
Local artisan cheese maker Fifth Town Cheese is getting a financial boost. Prince Edward-Hastings MP Daryl Kramp presented Fifth Town owner Petra Cooper with a cheque for $59,000 from the Southern Ontario Development Program last week. The fund provides interest-free loans to existing businesses. "We're celebrating an investment to stimulate the local economy," said Cooper, whose business is less than two years old, and last summer did $400,000 in sales. The money will be used to expand storage and wrap rooms and to add a drying cave. Total cost of the project is estimated at $120,000. Kingston Whig-Standard story.
Windsor area's Lakeside Packing Company all over the place
Pickles and other products from Lakeside Packing Company are showing up in more and more places. Alan Woodbridge, with the family-owned food processor that dates back to 1948, recalls a highlight from a trip to Toronto where he saw a busy hotdog vendor with Lakeside's popular hotdog relish. Lakeside provides products for export and specialty foods, produce and butcher shops in this area. It also supplies gourmet food stores in Michigan with Harrow-made Lakeside products under their labels. Windsor Star story.
Local Harvest explores the history and significance of local foods grown and produced on farms in Waterloo Region and the near vicinity. It brings you face to face with the growers who tend and harvest our food and the artisans who transform it into delectable products. Each free e-newsletter features an in-season food, profiles a local farm or food-related business, and includes recipes and interesting food facts. A list of Buy Local! Buy Fresh! farms and businesses that supply the featured food is included to make your search that much easier. Newsletter.
FoodCycles is a city farm not for profit in Toronto that inspires people to raise worms, make nutritious, vibrant soil compost and grow food. The vision is to create a just and ecological urban food system that encourages all people to come together to grow, learn about, and celebrate food in Toronto. Website.
Urban farmers alive and well, despite bylaw
St. Catharines urban farmers are eagerly awaiting a report from city hall that might make their livestock legal. At this week's city council meeting, Mayor Brian McMullan asked city staff to report on the possibility of allowing chickens to be kept within the urban boundaries of the city. Currently, they are only allowed in rural areas. But some urban farmers who have joined an online petition supporting city chickens say they are already raising chickens and rabbits for eggs and meat -- they just have to keep them indoors. Marquis St. resident Sheri Vogel has had four chickens since the end of March, and she expects them to be mature enough to start laying eggs in June. St. Catharines Standard story
Foodland Ontario Brand Awareness At All-Time High
OMAFRA says consumer awareness of the Foodland Ontario brand is at an all-time high.
The ministry says 96 per cent of the province's grocery shoppers recognize the Foodland Ontario symbol. The provincial government hosted a farmers market on the lawn of Queen's Park yesterday [Monday] to encourage more people to buy locally grown food. That market involved more than 20 exhibitors representing dozens of different Ontario products including mushrooms, honey and ice cream. OMAFRA says there are now more than 300 registered on-farm markets in Ontario. CKNX Radio 920AM Wingham story .
Farmers' Market starting early
The Chatham-Kent Farmers' Market is getting an early start at new location this year.
The market, which opens on Saturday -- more than a month earlier than last year -- is moving to in front of the Chatham-Kent Civic Centre, from along King Street beside the Downtown Chatham Centre. The roadway between Second and Third streets will be closed to allow people to walk freely through the new market location. Ellen Jennen, president of the farmers' market committee, said, "the change in venue is going to help with us facilitating a better access to our market." Chatham Daily News story.
Onion farmer is a prolific tweeter
I got to know Holland Marsh onion and carrot farmer Avia Eek through some of her 5,862 tweets. “Eat today? Thank a farmer,” is one of her signature sign-offs. She might write poetic ditties about the weather, fire off insightful comments on food policy, or vehemently protest plans for a gas-fired electrical power plant uncomfortably close to Canada’s beloved “salad bowl.” These 140-character snapshots into an interesting stranger’s mind and life are my rewards for trolling Twitter for food stories. Jennifer Bain is Food Editor for the Toronto Star.
ALUS ready to moveout of pilot phase
Although a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow has not yet appeared, the Alternate Land Use Services pilot is still going full steam ahead. "We think we have the funding together to break out of the pilot phase and work into a new structure going forward," said Bryan Gilvesy, chairman of the ALUS Partnership Advisory Committee. The original Norfolk County pilot of ALUS, where the concept of paying farmers and landowners for providing ecological goods and services, was to wrap up next spring. Then, funding from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, allowed it to be extended two years. Initially, organizers were hoping the pilot would be funded by one government source -hence the pot of gold. Instead, funding came from a variety of private, institutional, foundations and smaller government sources. The ALUS concept came from Keystone Agriculture Producers in Manitoba and Delta Waterfowl Foundation. Simcoe Reformer story.
Plan to expand city on GTA farmland to go ahead
A controversial Markham plan to become the first GTA municipality to freeze expansion on prime farmland to make way for a permanent food belt has been narrowly defeated after one last debate at council that ended late Tuesday. The final 7-6 vote in support of a staff proposal to expand onto the so-called white belt that lies outside the urban boundary and the provincially protected Greenbelt came after hours of debate and hundreds of presentations and meetings over the past few years. The critical vote in support of expansion came from regional Councillor Jim Jones, who was absent for a crucial 6-6 tie vote that supporters of the food belt recently lost. Toronto Star story.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
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