Locavore News - Ontario, March 31, 2010 edition of Plumbline

Locavore News — Ontario

Plumbline by Elbert van Donkersgoed
Perspectives on good food and farming
March 31, 2010

Ideas for the Future of Farming

A farm commentator from Wellington County says farmers need to re-connect with consumers. Elbert van Donkersgoed says the dis-connect we have now means Ontario is importing food products we could be producing within the province. He says farmers have to change from being producers of raw, bulk product. Van Donkersgoed says we need to find creative ways to market local food products. He argues doing that successfully would force the supermarket chains to follow suit and start putting more and more local product on their shelves. CKNX Radio 920AM Wingham story <http://www.am920.ca/news.php?mode=day&day=26&mth=03&yr=2010&cat_id=6> .

Grocer connecting with Net-savvy customers

The result of months of research and planning was a highly interactive website, launched in September of 2009, with a strong social media outreach to further expand the store's savvy and highly connected customer base. The website is a hub of activity with videos on how to bag your own groceries, videos of Toronto chefs involved in raising money for The Stop Community Food Centre on why they shop at Fiesta; and stories on how to make a perfect Dagwood and Meatball Madness. You can link up with community organizations and events or even find a carpool to shop at Fiesta. Currently the store has more than 680 Facebook members and as many followers on Twitter. Hypenotic keeps the spaces fresh with newsfeed updates and Tweets. Globe and Mail story <http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/grocer-connecting-with-net-savvy-customers/article1511442/> .

Foodlink Waterloo Blog: Local Dish

Fresh postings each week will share with you special local finds you won't want to miss, exciting news about the Region's bounty, insider stories from our local farmers and chefs, inspiring book reviews to keep you informed and inspired to expand your local food passion and ... well let's just say we have lots of great surprises in store for you. Read it here <http://www.foodlink.ca/index.php?p=blog.ViewPost&post=1.

Sell the food-buying experience, farmers told

Now that spring’s here, sort of, farmers who market directly to Ontario consumers through roadside stands or farmers’ markets are gearing up for what should be a busy season. Local food is becoming part of our culture, and these farmers strike a chord with localvores and others who believe direct sales are good on many levels, with quality, freshness and safety at the top of the list. But now, another trait is emerging as a local food priority: that is, fun as a point of differentiation. Owen Roberts commentary<http://news.guelphmercury.com/Opinions/EditorialOpinion/article/613305in the Guelph Mercury.

Niagara Falls MPP Kim Craitor's open letter to the Ontario wine industry

I have received so many emails and phone calls about the efforts of Andrew Peller Limited and Vincor's attempt to get the government to rescind the government's recent initiative to ensure that 100% of the Ontario grape crop gets put into bottles and not end up on the ground that I feel I should publish this response as an open letter to the industry so Niagara's grape growers can decide from a position of knowing another point of view on this issue. The so-called Winery and Growers Alliance is in fact a lobby group for the handful of giant wineries that enjoy a monopoly position in the trade of "Cellared in Canada" (CIC) wines. St. Catharines Standard story <http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2489508

Local veggies available year round 

It's probably the very worst time of the year to find local fresh fruits and vegetables to eat. But local certified organic market gardener Ann Slater is still eating veggies she grew last year on her organic vegetable farm, along with some fresh spinach greens she grows in a hoop house on her property north of Uniondale. What's surprising, Slater said, is that she freezes and cans very few vegetables and still has plenty to choose from over the winter months. Woodstock Sentinel-Review story<http://www.woodstocksentinelreview.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2507524.

Forum Urges Action On Local Abattoir Situation

They talked about over-regulation, the reality of food safety and even what some called a lack of common sense. Panelists and audience members alike at last night's public forum on local food in Wingham all seemed to agree something needs to be done to protect the remaining small abattoirs in Ontario. One of the panelists was Kevin Green, owner of Green's Meat Market in Wingham. He says his whole business is based on the agricultural community in his area. Green says the costs of meeting increasingly tough regulations have to be passed on to the consumer and to the farmers who get their animals processed at his plant. CKNX Radio 920AM Wingham story <http://www.am920.ca/news.php?mode=day&day=26&mth=03&yr=2010&cat_id=6> .

Ontario’s Greenbelt Turns 5, and has a lot to Celebrate!

Ontario's 1.8 million acre Greenbelt has protected endangered plants and animals, saved environmentally-important green space, and preserved farmland. That's not all. One study shows that the Greenbelt contributes $2.6 billion annually in ecological services. Despite these tremendous successes, the Greenbelt is under threat from unnecessary infrastructure, such as highways, and gravel pits and quarries. And while the Greenbelt has protected farmland, more needs to be done to support farming. Green Among the Grey: Fifth Anniversary Progress Report<http://www.environmentaldefence.ca/reports/Green_Among_The_Grey.htmlon the Greater Golden Horseshoe Greenbelt from the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance <http://www.greenbeltalliance.ca/> .

Markham's appetite for food belt grows

A large majority of Markham residents have concerns about urban sprawl, traffic congestion and growth issues and would support a food belt instead of the expansion of the city's urban boundary on to prime agricultural land, a new poll shows. The poll, conducted by Pollara for the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance, shows that 83 per cent supported a food belt. However, the survey found 61 per cent of respondents were not initially familiar with the proposal but supported the idea after it was explained to them. Toronto Star story<http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/765598--markham-s-appetite-for-food-belt-grows> .




AND if You Have Time


Dare They Sell You Stale Veggies Now!

In supermarkets where loads of veggies is stacked and dumped, freshness may not be a priority. Keeping a track of all that’s been brought in can be time consuming and not all buyers may have a knack for freshness count. The Fresh Code offers a simple solution to this problem; it’s an intelligent barcode with a graph that indicates the freshness level. As time passes by, the graph on the barcode keeps receding, till it finally reaches “0”; indicating that the veggie needs to be dumped and not sold. Yanko Design website<http://www.yankodesign.com/2010/03/17/dare-they-sell-you-stale-veggies-now/> .


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