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Profile: Wendy Banks, farmer and local food innovator

Except for the occasional sign pointing the way, it would be easy to miss Wendy’s Country Market. Located in a weathered 1880s  school house, the store sits on family farmland outside the village of Lyndhurst,  a half-hour drive from Kingston.

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Inspiring Initiatives in Food Justice

Graduates from the St. Lawrence College’s Sustainable Local Food certificate program discuss three exciting food justice programs.

 

The revival of sustainable local food systems is increasingly being recognized as not merely a marketable idea but a matter of social and environmental justice—of food justice. Critics of the industrial food system advocate that access to fresh, nutritious, local food is a human right and that a radical re-imagining of our food supply is essential.  

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Food and Oil

Greg Williams explains why Eastern Ontario needs sustainable agriculture right now

 

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Spirit and Soil

Alan Foljambe explores the integration of contemplation and activism.

 

I – Diverging Paths

For decades, a small number of courageous and visionary environmental activists have been attempting to halt the industrial destruction of the biosphere. Devoting their time, resources, hearts and minds, and sometimes putting their bodies on the line, these activists have raised public awareness about the dire threats to wilderness, air, oceans, and forests.

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Meeting the Challenges of Local Food

Karen Holmes interviewed eighteen people to get their take on eating local.

 

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Teaching Food Skills to Children

Suzanne Biro on how to get kids involved in the kitchen.

 

Many of us are unnerved by the idea of teaching our kids how to cook.  We worry about sharp knives, blistering steam, hot ovens, glass dishes, salmonella, counters too far from the floor, and more.  Plus, teaching kids food skills seems to take too long in our time-crunched, hungry effort to get some semblance of dinner on the table.  And the mess!

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Students share the harvest

Teacher Mike Payne explains why kids who grow healthy food also eat healthy food.

 

Grade six students savoured bruschetta on freshly baked focaccia during their class visit to the culinary arts program at Loyalist Collegiate.  Who would imagine eleven-year-olds enjoying a mixture of tomatoes, onion, garlic and basil? Students explained readily: “It tastes better when you grow it yourself.”

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Farmers who save seed

Farmers are saving heirloom varieties and breeding new ones, writes Cate Henderson.

 

“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.” This Indian proverb succinctly states why Kingston area farmers are ahead of the sustainability game in at least one respect; many of them save a portion of their own seed.  Why is this a sustainable practice, and why should local eaters care whether farmers buy seeds anew each year or save their own?

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Garlic Mustard

Leda McDonald describes the value of wild edible garlic mustard for health and ecology.

 

Following the bleak winter months, even the brown leftovers of snowbanks look appetizing to a forager of wild edibles. Dedicated eaters who have searched for green leaves under mulch and snow delight in the abundance of growth that occurs as soon as the temperature climbs above freezing. The harvest of wild weeds can begin well before the first garden vegetables sprout.

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NFU’s “OpenFarms” Welcomes Visitors With Open Arms

Last September, over 30 farms throughout Eastern Ontario opened their doors to their communities by inviting the public to tour, taste and experience life on today’s local farm. By using the OpenFarms website, community members could view which farms were involved and design their own tour throughout the countryside and at several “urban farms”. The event included farms from Prince Edward County to Gananoque.

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