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Behind the scenes on a large Ontario farm

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The Burnett Family

Alex Burnett, and son Darryl with wife Anita and their four young children – all of Burnett Farms – hosted Toronto area food media on their grain farm recently.

I suppose some might consider what I visited several weeks ago a “factory farm”.

I’ve yet to actually meet someone who could give me a clear definition of what that term means when I’ve asked, but at first glance, the farm fits many of the notions people often tend to associate with that expression: a large, modern farm that uses science and technology – like pesticides and genetically modified crops – to produce food.

When you begin peeling back the layers, however, you start to learn the real story of Burnett Farms, of the passion of the multi-generational family that runs it – and how that negative misnomer couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here’s what I saw, heard and learned on my visit to Burnett Farms near Orangeville, Ontario as part of the annual Farm & Food Care food media tour last month. Continue reading Behind the scenes on a large Ontario farm

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Your chance to meet real Ontario farmers

Scott-Snyder

Scott-SnyderDo you wonder who actually produces our food?

Would you like to learn more about who Ontario’s farmers actually are?

A website launched last fall by Farm & Food Care will let you do just that.

It was inspired by the organization’s popular Faces of Farming calendar, but also includes stories that have been written as part of other Farm & Food Care projects or by other farm organizations. Continue reading Your chance to meet real Ontario farmers

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Celebrate Ontario’s first Local Food Week

I Heart Local - Local Food Week avatar logo

I heart local banner logoFarm & Food Care is leading efforts on behalf of Ontario farmers to encourage Ontarians to support local food – and they’re turning online to reach out to consumers.

June 2 – 8 marks the first-ever Local Food Week in Ontario, which was part of the Local Food Act the provincial government passed last year. Continue reading Celebrate Ontario’s first Local Food Week

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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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