Locavore News — Ontario
Plumbline by Elbert van Donkersgoed
Perspectives on good food and farming
May 6, 2010
Is staying small a niche market luxury?
Some abattoirs need to be able to stay small, so they can continue to meet the needs of farmers who provide meat to the growing numbers of eaters committed to local food across the province. Farmers interact with small abattoir owners on a daily basis and know they are committed to safe food, and are hardworking, honest and trustworthy. They also know many small plants are working at, or at close to, full capacity and each time one small plant closes, our options as farmers to increase the amount of meat we sell to local markets decreases. Ann Slater writing http://www.oxfordreview.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2552805 in the Oxford Sentinel Review.
Buy to Vote!
We don’t have to solve all the world’s problems at once. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. But by shifting just $10 a week to local sustainable food, you can make a real difference by voting with your dollars for fare that fair, healthier communities and good food for tomorrow. By shifting $10 per week, you can have direct, measurable environmental and economic impact. So take the pledge to shift $10 of your weekly food spending to Certified Local Sustainable food. For healthier communities, and good food for tomorrow, vote with your dollars! Local Food Plus project http://localfoodplus.ca/buy-to-vote.
Ensuring the Economic Viability of Farming in Markham’s Whitebelt
The town of Markham holds some of the best agricultural land in all of Canada. Unfortunately it has lost most of its farmland and much more is threatened by potential house construction at the expense of support for an emerging creative agri-food sector The Academic Alliance for Agriculture is a group of academics from a number of disciplines who have joined together to consider examples of successful near urban agriculture and propose smart and sustainable options for preserving and bolstering Markham’s agricultural community. The Academic Alliance for Agriculture proposes that the Town of Markham considers strong protection of Markham’s’ dwindling farmland as part of its larger vision of smart economic development. Academic Alliance for Agriculture report http://www.greenbelt.ca/sites/ourgreenbelt.ca/files/A%20Bright%20Agricultural%20Future%20for%20Ontario%20and%20Canada.pdf.
City committee to run poultry proposal past public
The backyard chickens may yet come home to roost in Kingston. This week, the city's arts, recreation and community policies committee met to consider whether to allow citizens to have backyard chickens, how many and under what conditions. Rather than just refer the matter to council with a set of recommendations, members of the committee decided to hold two public meetings, either this month or next, to give residents a say on the issue of whether they thought the idea was fair or fowl.Kingston Whig Standard story http://www.thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2559599 .
Local food movement facing challenges
Even after reading Locavore, Sarah Elton's heartfelt and useful new book, I still don't entirely understand the recent rise of North American interest in local food. I think I know what it is, how it happened and a lot about who provided leadership here and elsewhere on the continent. That's all reasonably well documented and a story I have personally embraced in this column and in my own kitchen. For me, it's mainly about food quality. The fresher the food, the better it tastes. But there's more to it than that. What puzzles me about local food are the whys of this social phenomenon. Why did it happen and, more particularly, why now and not 30 years ago when so many farmers wanted it to happen? Owen Sound sun Times story http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2543403.
Farmers' market aiming at young families
To market, to market... and that's exactly what Brockville people did this past weekend. The sun shone brightly for the opening day of the Brockville Farmers' Market on Saturday, and organizers are hoping it will continue to be blessed with good weather all summer long. "We're off to a good start," said market president Doug Avery of Avery's Garden Market. He was busy selling his annual and perennial plants to a steady stream of customers Saturday morning at his Market Street West booth at the corner of King Street. Brockville Recorder and Times story http://www.recorder.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2562125 .
Community gardens sprout
A community garden project that began small a year ago is sprouting several new plots this spring. Four users of Canadian Mental Health Association services tended a small vegetable patch last year at the United Way building, producing food to support the CMHA's Unity Place drop-in facility's brunch program. This year, with several additional community partners and an expected 15 CMHA gardeners earning minimum wage, CMHA will add four more garden spots in the city. Owen Sound sun Times story http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2565696 .
Greatness Is In Our Nature: Food
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation works with dedicated people and organizations all over the province to make the Greenbelt bigger, better and permanent, so that it can continue to provide us with delicious, healthy, homegrown food. Greenbelt fact Sheet 3 http://www.greenbelt.ca/webfm_send/748 – Food.
Green among the Grey: Fifth Anniversary Progress Report on Ontario's Greenbelt
Ontario's Greenbelt is now five years old. A new report by Ontario's Greenbelt Alliance takes a look at Ontario's 1.8 million acre Greenbelt - its successes and its challenges. Green Among The Grey: Fifth Anniversary Progress Report On Ontario's Greenbelt. Greenbelt Alliance report http://www.environmentaldefence.ca/reports/pdf/GreenbeltProgressReportFINAL.pdf (1.25MB PDF).
Durham's planning war
Durham's blinkered politicians have received a well-deserved slap from Queen's Park in the form of an unequivocal rejection of the region's sprawl-friendly growth plan. The province had little choice. Durham's renegade plan – which is at odds with the province's overall plan for the Greater Toronto Area – was perceived as a test case. Had the provincial planners allowed Durham to defy Ontario's priorities for development across the GTA, the wrong signal would have been sent to other municipalities. Toronto Star story http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/783029--durham-s-planning-war .
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Breakfast and a haircut at London salon
It's not uncommon for spas and salons to offer their clients beverages and even snacks during the course of a treatment or service. London's Percy and Reed, however, is taking that a step further by letting clients preorder the breakfast items of their choice for enjoyment during a morning appointment. Springwise storyhttp://www.springwise.com/lifestyle_leisure/percyandreed.
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During normal weeks, Plumbline distributes two newsletters on Locavore News and one on Locavore Events edited by Elbert van Donkersgoed. Submissions for the newsletters are welcome atPlumblinehome@terracoeur.ca.