2018 Small Plot Agriculture
On September 18th, 2018, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation hosted a one-day workshop in Niagara Region in partnership with the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance. The event, held in Niagara-on-the-Lake at the NOTL Community Centre, focused on informing planners, economic developers, farmers, processors and agri-food organizations on the variety of economic opportunities available for small plot agriculture.
A cross-section of farmers, OMAFRA staff and consultants from local food and farms co-op made presentations. OMAFRA reviewed on-farm permitted uses and some emerging specialty crops. A panel of farmers and agri-food businesses discussed how they operate a small plot farm. A short break out session followed in which attendees discussed what municipalities could do to enable and support small plot agriculture.
Following the presentations, attendees were taken on a bus tour in NOTL to Linc Farm and Grimo Nut Nursery to gain a better understanding of the types of opportunities available for commercially viable small plot agriculture.
View and download the presentations from our workshop on Small Plot Agriculture:
- Graham Corbett – Farmer – Fiddle Foot Farm: What It Takes to Make a Small Farm Work
- Evan Elford – OMAFRA - Specialty Crops for Small Plot Farming
- Chelsie Hunt – Consultant – Local Food and Farm Co-ops: The Fair Finance Fund
2018 Implementing An Agriculture System In Your Municipality
On May 2, 2018, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation hosted a one-day workshop in York Region in partnership with the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance. The event, held at the East Gwillimbury Sports Complex, focused on informing planners, economic developers and agri-food organizations on the tools and resources available to assist municipalities in implementing an Agricultural System.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and Municipal staff presented at the workshop. OFA presented on using agriculture as an economic driver, while OMAFRA took part in a panel discussion to answer audience questions and concerns about implementation. A break out session in the afternoon was dedicated to encouraging attendees to share their own barriers and opportunities in implementing an Agricultural System in their municipalities.
Download the presentations from the Agricultural Systems workshop:
- OFA - Danielle Collins - Agriculture As An Economic Driver: The Land Base, Businesses and Connectivity
- OMAFRA - Implementing The Agriculture System
- York Region - Jennifer Best - Planning For Agriculture Systems At Regional And Lower Level Municipalities
- Clarington - Faye Langmaid - Planning For Clarington's Agricultural System
- Simcoe County - Rachel Sullivan - Agriculture Systems That Work: Best Practices
- Northumberland County - Trissia Mellor - Opportunities With Agri-Food
2017 Valuing Natural Capital Workshop
On March 29, 2017, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation hosted a workshop in partnership with the Natural Capital Lab and Ontario Network for Ecosystem Services. Held at Country Heritage Park in Milton, the workshop attracted a wide range of municipal staff, conservation authorities and other stakeholders from across the GGH.
The goals for the workshop were twofold; to communicate the breadth (101 unique services) and value ($3.2 billion) of ecosystem services that flow from Ontario's Greenbelt, and to explore how natural capital accounting can be used as a tool to inform decision making and improve environmental outcomes in a range of contexts. The workshop confirmed there is strong demand for natural capital valuations, and a desire to use them in different ways.
Download six presentations from our workshop on natural capital valuation, including:
- Valuation framework and results from "Ontario's Good Fortune";
- Lessons from Peel and Oakville pilot projects in the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative;
- An update on the development of provincial accounts; and
- A tactical analysis of how best to use natural capital accounting.
2016 Edge Planning Workshop
On October 18, 2016, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation co-hosted a workshop with the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance at Ball’s Falls Conservation Area in Niagara Region. The purpose of the workshop was to educate stakeholders from across the region about the tools and management strategies used to resolve conflicts between adjacent urban and agricultural land uses. The workshop also featured group discussions regarding best management practices for handling the urban and rural interface. The day conclude with two farm visits to Schenck Farms & Greenhouses and 13th Street Winery.
Download the presentations from our workshop on edge planning, including:
- Common issues before the Ontario’s Normal Farm Practices Protection Board;
- Edge Planning lessons from British Columbia;
- Peel Region’s perspective on the changing nature of urban-rural edges; and
- Insights about the kind of policy approaches needed going forward.