Grow your own…..Garden of Eatin

Guest speaker, Susan Richards from New North Greenhouses will teach you how to grow your own food, from the large kitchen garden to the small deck or patio garden!  She’ll also inform you of new plants and products for 2010!

Main Library – Program Room – Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm.  Cost is $5.00 per person.  Tickets may be purchased at the Main Library Information Desk.

Seedy Saturday 2010…The First Sign of Spring

Seedy Saturday is a day for people to share, sell and swap their heritage seeds and stories. Sault Ste. Marie’s 3rd Annual Seedy Saturday will be held in the Cafeteria—B Wing West—of Sault College from 10 am to 3 pm.

Last year’s event was organized by Clean North with the help of the Sault Ste. Marie Horticultural Society and Seeds of Diversity Canada and was a great success. People came to swap their open pollinated seeds, attend gardening talks and visit the numerous vendors who offered local and area food and craft items.

It was quite exhilarating to see so many attend last year’s second annual Seedy Saturday event,” says Suzanne Hanna, co-organizer. “We were so gratified to have received so much positive feedback and interest from participants that we can’t wait for this year’s event to unfold. Our aim is to bring together gardeners, farmers, and citizens passionate about the environment and access to safe, healthy food. By doing so, we hope to encourage individuals to become more involved in growing veggies, sharing seeds with their neighbours and friends and helping to protect biological diversity in their own backyards.”

This year Clean North is pleased to announce that Sault College has once again come on board as one of Seedy Saturday’s sponsors and is offering their cafeteria as the new location for this year’s expanded event.

Little did Sharon Rempel imagine when she designed and organized the first Seedy Saturday in Vancouver in February 1989 that her “seedy” idea would germinate into over 70 separate annual events across Canada. With the help of Seeds of Diversity, formerly known as Canada’s Heritage Seed Program, volunteer gardeners and farmers work together to grow, propagate and distribute over 1900 varieties of vegetables, fruit, grains, flowers and herbs, many of them treasured family favourites that are not widely offered by commercial seed companies.

The highlight of each and every Seedy Saturday is the community seed exchange that will take place between 11:15 am -12:15 pm. If you would like to swap your saved seeds, be sure to bring your labelled envelopes containing open pollinated varieties of seed in for sorting between 10 and 11 am. There will be seed for sale as well.

Guest speakers will provide information from 10:30 am- to 3 pm on a variety of topics such as seed saving, the Eat Local food movement, organic gardening strategies and growing heirloom tomatoes. There will be local and area environmental, food security and gardening displays with plenty of free handouts, childrens’ activities and tasty refreshments for sale as well. The Farmer’s Market and other vendors will also be on hand with products for sale. Our venue is wheelchair accessible and parking is free.

For more information, contact Suzanne Hanna at (705) 759-2893 wildgardener@shaw.ca



A Taste of Algoma Valentine’s Brunch

A Valentine’s Day Local Food Brunch doesn’t seem like such a feat if you live in California or maybe even B.C. but here in the Sault it’s another story.

There was a great turnout of hungry people at Willowgrove United Church on Sunday for the first annual ‘A Taste of Algoma Valentine’s Brunch’. They fed on the generosity of the volunteers who prepared a fantastic meal which highlighted a surprising variety of our local producers.

“Living for the Earth” was the theme for the event.

The menu consisted of quiche, local beef or venison sloppy joes, coleslaw and carrot salad, pickled vegetables, a variety of local fruit crisps and Fair Trade tea and coffee.

It turns out that the secret to having such a good variety of local ingredients is to be prepared.  The beginning stages of the event were being planned last summer and fall when freezing and canning were already underway.

It was a delicious and fun event. Not only did we fill up on food but the volunteers also provided plenty of information about the importance of eating local.

Thanks again to Marg Cameron and all the volunteers for all there hard work and dedication.

The local food growers and producers involved were: Penokean Farms, Lock City Dairies, Superior Bakery, Dave and Sheila Garson, Susan Wilding and the bakers, gardeners and berry pickers in the Willowgrove Church Community.

(pictures to follow)

Martti Lemieux is the New Algoma Farmer’s Market President

Local farmer Martti Lemieux has been elected as the new president of the Algoma Farmers Market following Jeff Marshall who served for four years. Last year was one of the most successful summers yet for the market.

2009 was an exciting year for local food in Algoma and the farmers market has become a focal point for the resurgence of sustainable agriculture in the area.

Originally from the Sault, Martti moved back here during the winter of 2008 with his young family to develop a diversified farm raising Icelandic sheep, pastured pigs and poultry , grass fed beef and market vegetables. Last year he and his wife Melanie drew considerable interest from market goers. Their table featured organic vegetables and home baking such as spelt scones, biscotti, cookies, butter tarts and pies from local in season berries and produce.

Martti is a pragmatic and passionate advocate for growing the Algoma food shed and developing the local food chain and the robust economies they facilitate. The new local food chain is distinguished by food that is produced, processed, distributed and sold using ecological, efficient and humane methods. It’s food that is fresh, rich in nutrients and taste and exchanged at a fair price between farmers and buyers.

The new president already has a plan of action which involves developing a holistic vision for the future of the farmers market while resolving space restrictions that keeps the market at its current size. This he envisions would enable the market to handle the growth of new farmers in the area and expand both the diversity and volume of products available. What a lot of people are starting to realize, he says is that farmer’s markets have become a viable place to purchase their weekly groceries, and for many it’s become a new way of life.

The Summer farmers market is located at the Roberta Bondar park and will be opening June 5th, the second Saturday in June and will be open from 8:00am to 12:00pm on Saturdays. In July the market will also be open on Wednesdays from 2:00 to 6:00pm. “Come early, it’s fresh and goes fast.”

What is a Food Charter and Why Should Sault Ste Marie want one?

Everybody needs to eat!
And everybody deserves access to healthy foods.

A Food Charter is a document to help guide policy makers, communities and residents with regards to food.  It comes about through public consultations and discussion groups where various stakeholders express their needs, concerns and visions about the future sustainability of our food system.

Sault Ste Marie is not only a beautiful place but a bountiful area with the potential to have a strong local food system.  While there have been many strides in this direction, much more can be done.  Past events and projects have raised awareness of the need to support and foster a vibrant local food system where our producers and processors can make a fair living and everyone has access to sufficient, nutritious and ethically produced food.  Awareness is growing but a number of challenges remain.  Members of our community still go hungry while much of our local agricultural land lies unused or is misused.  Much of the food knowledge and skills of our ancestors have been lost due to a reliance on processed food.  A food charter is an acknowledgement of the achievements to date and a commitment to work together in meeting the challenges facing our food system in the future.

Edible Algoma Raises over $2000.00

Birgit Kroll and Suzanne Hanna from the Algoma Food Network were on hand yesterday to present Calna McGoldrick with a $650.00 donation to help offset some of the costs involved with keeping the Sault Ste Marie Soup Kitchen running. The funds were raised as part of “Edible Algoma” a local food dinner held this past Sunday at the Riverfront Golf Club Restaurant. There were 14 restaurants and producers who participated in this exciting event as well as over 80 guests and volunteers who attended and enjoyed the many varied dishes all using at least one local ingredient.

The dinner raised over $2000.00 for local food banks; Vincent’s Place and the Algoma University Student Food Bank will also receive $650.00 each to help with the upcoming Thanksgiving season.

“This event was a great success” Hanna noted. “It was a chance to educate the public on the subject of food security and generate excitement for the local food movement which is really growing here in the Sault.”

soup_kitchen

Get on Board the Local Food Movement

Stop! Before you put that fork in your mouth, did you stop to think where the food came from and just how fresh is it?

There is a growing movement across the country that is discovering the abundance of food that is locally grown and produced. Even in Sault Ste. Marie, it is possible to eat locally produced meat and vegetables. To demonstrate that fact, the Algoma Food Network is hosting an “Edible Algoma” dinner on Sunday September 27th at the Sault Ste Marie Golf Club. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit local food banks.

“It’s the best of what we have,” says Brigit Kroll of the Algoma Food Network.

The dinner will feature local produced beef and lamb, as well as a variety of vegetables from local farmers, and even locally made goat cheese.

Kroll said area restaurants were eager to get on board with the dinner. “There is a real excitement about the movement,” says Kroll.

Some of items on the menu include pizza from Solo that will include locally made goat cheese from Honeybrook Farms. Waterfront Inn will turn local vegetables into vegetarian lasagna, and Absolutely Delicious will provide Blueberry Cheesecake squares. Check out the full menu at the end of the article.

But the dinner isn’t just about eating. It is also about education. It’s learning about food security, making sure that everyone is fed, and that there is a safe and bountiful supply of food.

Let’s face it… many us pick up food in the grocery never thinking where it came from or how it was grown. A lot of our food comes from Mexico. You don’t know the time span between picking and it ending up on the shelf.

When you purchase local food, there is a connection. “It’s picked when it’s fresh, not picked to be fresh when it arrives in the store,” says Kroll.

Kroll points out there are three area Farmers Markets, at which locally produced food is available. The Sault Ste. Marie Farmers Market takes place at the Roberta Bondar Pavilion on Saturday mornings. On Saturdays and Wednesdays, there are farmers markets on St. Joseph Island, and there is also one in Desbarats. “Each one is different and unique,” says Kroll.

While we can’t rely on all our food to be local because of the shorter growing season, Kroll says that there is plenty of variety available from local producers. “It’s about doing the best with what we have, and achieving a balance between global and local.”

“Small farmers are very busy,” says Kroll. “Too busy to market their goods.” But that’s where the Algoma Food Network comes in — to provide information to local consumers and increase awareness of local producers.

Kroll calls Edible Algoma a good exercise for the Algoma Food Network to gauge interest in the local food movement.

Kroll says over the winter, the Algoma Food Network will be working on their website as well as putting together a food charter. A food charter is a document that talks about how food is grown and distributed.

There are still tickets available for Sunday’s dinner. Kroll will be selling tickets at the Pavilion’s Farmers Market on Saturday morning, and they are also avaialble at Stone’s on Queen Street.

You can visit the Algoma Food Network online at algomafoodnetwork.wordpress.com to learn more about the local food movement and what is available in Algoma.

view complete article here

Edible Algoma: A Local Food Dinner

From: SooNews.CA

Food banks are always in a time of need, however this year has been particularly rough for local emergency food relief services. Vincent’s Place could be closing its doors as early as this fall due to the double impact of decreased donations from a struggling economy and an increase in hungry residents who need their help more than ever.

To bring awareness to this community need, the Algoma Food Network will be hosting a local food dinner, Edible Algoma, on Sunday September 27th 4-7PM at the Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club Restaurant. With the aid of local food producers, retailers, and consumers, the dinner will raise funds for local emergency food relief organizations, including the Algoma University Student Food Bank.

By including all aspects of the local “food chain”, the Algoma Food Network hopes to educate the public of the importance of locally produced food. Representatives will be available from local food banks, farmer’s markets, community gardens, NORDIK Institute / Algoma University, Penokean Hills Farms, and community supported agriculture groups. Edible Algoma is not just a fundraiser; it is meant to be an experience for the community to build relationships and learn more about the local food system.

Tickets are available at $30 each from Stone’s Office Supply (529 Queen St. E.) For more information, please contact Birgit Kroll at: (705) 945-1538

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Edible Algoma

News Release for SooNews.ca
Tuesday, September 15, 2009, 2:25PM

farmers market

Food banks are always in a time of need, however this year has been particularly rough for local emergency food relief services. Vincent’s Place could be closing its doors as early as this fall due to the double impact of decreased donations from a struggling economy and an increase in hungry residents who need their help more than ever.

To bring awareness to this community need, the Algoma Food Network will be hosting a local food dinner, Edible Algoma, on Sunday September 27th 4-7PM at the Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club Restaurant. With the aid of local food producers, retailers, and consumers, the dinner will raise funds for local emergency food relief organizations, including the Algoma University Student Food Bank.

By including all aspects of the local “food chain”, the Algoma Food Network hopes to educate the public of the importance of locally produced food. Representatives will be available from local food banks, farmer’s markets, community gardens, NORDIK Institute / Algoma University, Penokean Hills Farms, and community supported agriculture groups. Edible Algoma is not just a fundraiser; it is meant to be an experience for the community to build relationships and learn more about the local food system.

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Tickets are available at $30 each from Stone’s Office Supply (529 Queen St. E.)
For more information, please contact Birgit Kroll at: (705) 945-1538 or visit: www.algomafoodnetwork.wordpress.com

Algoma Food Network presents: Edible Algoma – Local Food Dinner

Edible Algoma Local Food Dinner

Sunday September 27th
4-7PM
Sault Ste. Marie Golf Club Restaurant

Featuring an array of delicious appetizers, entrees, and desserts prepared using fresh, local ingredients.

Celebrate and learn more about the local food movement. Lend your support to feed our community!

All proceeds support the Algoma Food Network and local food banks.

Tickets $30 (Only 100 Available)

Tickets available at Stone’s Office Supply (529 Queen St. E.)
To reserve, e-mail: marnie.stone@shaw.ca