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

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

Food hub needs farmers

Locally grown peppers

???????????????????????????????There’s a potential market opportunity  developing for farmers in south central Ontario – and they’re being asked to step forward if they’re interested in being part of a new food hub pilot project.

The South Central Ontario Region (SCOR) Economic Development Corporation has received funding from the Greenbelt Fund to test a food hub concept to help get more fresh or processed Ontario produce into institutions, retail and food service markets in the province.

SCOR covers Norfolk, Oxford, Brant, Middlesex, and Elgin Counties. Continue reading Food hub needs farmers

Buying beef directly from farmers

buying local beef

buying local beefThe strength of the local food movement and the potential of an untapped urban market keen to buy high quality beef direct from farmers are behind a new marketing initiative underway by Beef Farmers of Ontario.

Farm to City Marketing is based on the popular community-supported agriculture (CSA) model that has been successful for vegetable producers, said BFO Policy Advisor Katie Dettman in a presentation at the annual general meeting of the Agricultural Adaptation Council last December. Continue reading Buying beef directly from farmers

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