Automating the acoustical devices that keep birds away from grape crops in Ontario’s vineyards could improve the effectiveness and efficiency of these tools.
Better management options for the devices – also known as bird bangers – can reduce crop losses and improve relations with non-farm neighbours put off by the noise, according to a recently completed Ontario study. Continue reading Keeping birds away from wine grapes
I get to learn about some pretty neat things in my life as someone who writes about food and farming. The following story, which was released by the Agri-Technology Commercialization Centre a few weeks ago, ranks high on my list of all-time favourites.
PlantForm Corporation, a University of Guelph spin-off company, is using tobacco plants to manufacture treatments used to combat critical illnesses like cancer using technology developed by university researchers. Continue reading Tobacco plants may save lives
A recently established Canadian marketing council, led by Soy 20/20, hopes to raise awareness of Canadian soy food products with several new initiatives.
These include a new website, outreach efforts to dietitians and food industry professionals, and a market research study to gauge existing awareness and attitudes towards soy foods among Canadian dietitians.
The Canadian Soy Food Marketing Council, whose growing membership includes seed researchers and developers, seed companies, farmers, grain handlers, food and ingredient processors and soy food and beverage manufacturers, was founded last fall to help position the Canadian soybean industry as a global leader in soy food innovation. Continue reading New campaign to boost soy food awareness
New food service marketing program expands markets for Ontario foods
If you build it, they will come.
That’s the thinking behind a new marketing program being used by Gordon Food Service (GFS), Ontario’s largest family-owned food service distributor – expanding and promoting their offering of Ontario food products by making it easy for their customers to identify and buy local food.
Earlier this year, the company was the recipient of a grant from the Broader Public Sector Investment Fund, a partnership between the Greenbelt Fund and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) that aims to increase the amount of Ontario foods purchased through municipal, school, university and hospital food service settings. Continue reading Local food made easy
Ontario Conservative Leader Tim Hudak announced this spring that, if elected, he’d make convicted provincial prisoners work to clean up Ontario’s highways.
According to a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a variation on this theme was recently launched in Georgia, where teams of probationers are working on fruit and vegetable farms.
Many farm workers there don’t have legal status and with a new law cracking down on illegal labour, many no longer come to the state looking for employment as they used to. Continue reading The farm labour side of local food
Mmm, there’s nothing quite like cracking open a bag of fresh, crunchy potato chips.
I confess to consuming more than my fair share of the salty snacks over the years and love seeing what new flavours will be coming out next.
But one thing I’ve certainly never really thought too much about was how the contents of that crinkly bag get there in the first place.
I mean, I know chips come from potatoes and that there are farmers who specialize in growing potatoes – but that was pretty much the extent of my potato knowledge.
Well, as it turns out, there’s nothing easy about growing a perfect potato chip potato.
And after spending a couple of hours with Ontario farmer Jack Murphy on his Alliston-area potato farm recently, I have a whole new perspective on the contents of that chip bag – and on the work that farmers put into growing those potatoes just right. Continue reading Where potato chips are grown
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and the Greenbelt Fund are spearheading the grants and two other initiatives in an effort to connect Ontario’s farmers with public institutions like daycares, schools, hospitals, universities and long term care facilities.
Ontariofresh.ca, a new business to business website is being launched this fall to link buyers and sellers of Ontario food. The 2011 Ontario’s Local Food Champions report is currently available and nominations are now open for the next round of Champions. Continue reading Getting local food into our public institutions