food

Behind the scenes on a large Ontario farm

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 […]

Read More

Pilot school program uses Ontario produce to raise funds, promote healthy eating

It’s a new initiative that’s a win for farmers, students and healthy eating. Fresh from the Farm is a pilot program being launched this fall in select school boards that will let students fundraise for their schools by selling Ontario fruits and vegetables. Modeled after a similar program in Manitoba, the Ontario initiative is a […]

Read More

New label makes soybutter safe solution for peanut-free schools

A new approach to labelling a locally produced soybutter is making it easier to use in Ontario’s peanut-free schools. The toasted soy spread looks and tastes so much like peanut butter that some schools weren’t allowing it, says Scott Mahon, President of WOWBUTTER Foods, a family-owned business in the Stratford area. To address this challenge, […]

Read More

Apple grower featured in Faces of Farming calendar

She was the winner of the Golden Apple Award for industry service and leadership at the 2011 OFVGA annual meeting. Now, in 2012, Cathy McKay will also be a calendar model. She is the first-ever apple grower to be featured in the popular Faces of Farming calendar, produced annually to promote awareness of food and […]

Read More

New crops in local soils raising high hopes

Lavender, hazelnuts and sweet potatoes are not crops we commonly associate with this province. Yet they’re starting to emerge in Ontario’s south coast area, the fertile sand plains in Norfolk, Brant, Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford counties where tobacco used to reign supreme. As the decline of the tobacco industry continued over the last decade, agricultural […]

Read More

Local food made easy

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 […]

Read More

Bringing local farmers and food buyers together

As an unabashed advocate for local food and farming, I was thrilled to see that here in Guelph we have an officially recognized local food champion in our midst. Leslie Carson, of St. Joseph’s Health Centre, was honoured in the 2011 Local Food Champions Report, part of a series of initiatives by the Friends of […]

Read More

Keeping tabs on where the cows are

Many modern-day pet owners microchip their four-legged companions. This is to help identify them should they become lost, injured or otherwise harmed in some way. Farmers are doing a similar thing with their beef cattle. They’re using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to keep track of their animals as they move from farm to farm […]

Read More

The farm labour side of local food

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 […]

Read More

Apples – organic or conventional?

The debate over organic versus conventional agriculture is an ongoing one in the world of food production. For one Ontario apple grower, though, that debate ended a decade ago after some firsthand research into the issue. But first, a little bit of background.

Read More

Monforte’s local cheese renaissance

The story of Ruth Klahsen and her dairy are well-known in Ontario’s local food world. Montforte Dairy has a loyal – and growing – following of fans devoted to the agricultural values it espouses and the cheeses it produces. So devoted, in fact, that they have raised about half a million dollars as members of […]

Read More

Where potato chips are grown

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 […]

Read More

As cows live and eat

Here’s the third in a series of guest posts I’ve been writing for the Canadian Beef Blog. Last month, I described some of the different cattle breeds and how to tell the difference between a dairy cow (one that gives milk) and a beef cow (one that is raised for meat). Now we’re going to […]

Read More

Getting local food into our public institutions

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 […]

Read More

Greenbelt farmers saving energy, survey shows

A new study shows that energy saving initiatives by farmers in Ontario’s Greenbelt are conserving enough energy to power 1,788 homes annually. And on-farm solar panel installations in the Greenbelt are generating enough electricity for an additional 170 homes, says the report completed by engineering consulting firm Agviro, Inc. “Our study showed some really positive […]

Read More