New Ontario “Asparagus Trail” launched

first asparagus of the year - web

Asparagus in waterI await the coming of asparagus season the way many people anticipate Christmas.

Yes, I absolutely love the fresh, crisp flavour of newly harvested asparagus spears, but it’s about more than just their yummy goodness. Or the fact that they’re good for you and loaded with iron and vitamin K.

To me, it also signals the beginning of the local food season in Ontario and represents just the first of the many deliciously wonderful foods that await us in the months ahead. Continue reading New Ontario “Asparagus Trail” launched

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Healthy school snack program expands

Fruits and vegetables served to school kids

Fruits and vegetables served to school kidsA popular school snack program that has been in place in Northern Ontario schools for the past eight years has been expanded.

As a result of increased funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, approximately 36,000 students in 191 schools are now receiving two servings a week of fruits and vegetables through the 20-week provincial program.

Sudbury joined the program April 1, along with five communities on the James Bay coast: Attawapiskat, Kashechewan, Fort Albany, Peawanuk, and Moosonee.

Previously, the snack program, although very successful, was only available in Algoma and Porcupine districts. Continue reading Healthy school snack program expands

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Meet an Ontario fruit farmer

Tregunno family fruit farm

Tregunno family fruit farmFamily tradition is an important part of Ontario’s farming culture.

Innovation and new technology, however, are what helps keep that family tradition going for the future generations.

Fruit grower Phil Tregunno is proud of being the fourth generation of his family to farm in the Niagara Region – and with his two sons and a daughter-in-law working alongside him and his wife Lorna, the fifth generation is also firmly entrenched in the family business. Continue reading Meet an Ontario fruit farmer

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Ontarians showing apple love online

Ontario apple in an orchard

Ontario apple in an orchardFacing a bumper crop after last year’s weather disaster, the Ontario Apple Growers (OAG) knew they needed to Ontarians to eat more apples than ever before.

To do so, they needed more consumer awareness, so the organization turned to social media to reach out.

A series of contests hosted on their Facebook page over the fall and winter months, along with recipes, blog posts, grower profiles and other apple tidbits, drew plenty of entries and apple-friendly chatter. Continue reading Ontarians showing apple love online

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Community & sustainability at heart of local blueberry farm

This is the week we mark Earth Day, on Tuesday to be exact.

Many of us give a bit more thought to the environment this week or do a few extra things to mark this day. And those are all good things.

Farmers, in my opinion, have a special relationship with the environment, a stronger bond if you will.

They work with the soil and the water every day to grow crops and raise livestock – and unlike most of the rest of us, they also live where they work.

That’s just the way farming is, and this makes them all the more aware of what’s going on with the environment and of the need to be good to it.

This week, in honour of Earth Day, I will be introducing you to some of the many Ontario farmers I’ve met over the years and sharing with you some of the unique and interesting things they’re doing on their farms where the environment is concerned.

Sometimes it’s a better farming practice to save time or money (or both!), other times it’s purely for the good of the world around – and most times, it’s a little bit of both. Continue reading Community & sustainability at heart of local blueberry farm

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