Agri-Art Tour 2020: Information Sessions in Manotick (Feb 25) and Blackburn Hamlet (Feb 28)

Join the Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network and Just Food for an information session about regional farm and food tours in 2020 that will interest farmers, processors, food producers, artisans and artists across Eastern Ontario!

The Agri-Art Tour 2020 will take place from September 3-5 across eastern Ontario. If you are interested in hosting or being a vendor at a host location, come to one of the following info sessions: 

Southwest

WHEN: Tuesday, February 25, 7-8:30 pm

WHERE: Manotick Community Centre Activity Room

Northeast

WHEN: Friday, February 28, 7-8:30 pm

WHERE: Just Food Farm Red Barn, 2391 Pepin Court, Ottawa

For more info, contact phil@justfood.ca

Fermentation Training 2020 | Register Now!

WHO: People who sell food or are planning to sell food
WHEN:
 First session is three Wednesday evenings:
February 26, March 4, March 11 – 6pm to 9pm  
Second session is two weekends:
April 25 and May 2 – 10am to 3:30pm
WHERE: Just Food Farm (2391 Pepin Court – Bus #25 and free parking) 
COST: $110            
RSVP: Click here to register

Topics include:

  • Non-alcohol fermentation and its potential for incorporating into your existing food/farm business
  • Lacto-fermentation such as making kimchi and tabasco style hot sauce
  • Fermenting beans and peas for making miso and tempeh
  • Grain fermentation varieties, including no-sweetener-added desserts such as sweet rice ferment or jiuniang, and using grains in vegetable lacto-fermentation
  • Daily ferment such as kefir
  • And many more…

Please contact  chigarden2015@gmail.com  if you have any questions about the event.

Background: What is fermentation? Why ferment?
Why is Just Food providing fermentation training?

Just Food partners with Chi Garden to provide a fermentation training that covers the history, science, safety, regulations, and techniques of fermentation. This training will take a system-approach and gives the participants an overview and comparison of many different fermented foods in the market as well as a variety of applications and new product ideas.

Similar to sustainable farming, fermentation is about working with good microbes. Some of these beneficial microbes occur naturally (such as in sauerkraut-making) while others were selectively domesticated, and co-evolved with humans for thousands of years (such as in miso-making).

The training session is designed for businesses that sell food, make food for various clientele, or plan on doing so in the Ottawa region. These can include restaurants, kitchens, food processors, grocery stores and farms.

Vegetables, grains, seeds, beans and peas, meat, dairy can all be found in their fermented forms. Come and find out how you can add fermented products into your business for wonderful taste, variety, cost-effectiveness, waste-reduction, innovation, and more!

From kefir to kombucha, from kimchi to miso, fermented foods have been steadily rising as a food trend.

Yet fermentation is much more than a fashion. It re-connects us to some of the most exciting culinary cultures around the world. Fermentation IS culture.

Although fermentation is now associated with cool trendy foods and even fine dining, it was originally associated with affordability. Since fermentation can turn ordinary ingredients into very tasty, safe and nutritious products, it helps empower communities and people with limited means.

Fermentation can also be used to divert food waste, and give new life to end-of-day produce. Fermentation techniques are low-cost, easy to learn and require no fancy equipment or technology.

Fermentation techniques can make food taste great in a way that is safe, nutritious, and preserves much longer. Our ancestors fine-tuned fermentation techniques long before science and understanding of the microbes at work.

Fermentation is an ingrained part of the local food movement. The sharing of global fermentation knowledge has opened up unprecedented opportunities to revamp the uses of local ingredients and turn them into diverse and amazing sauces, condiments, drinks, and staples.

Your Ideas are Needed to Help Design Just Healthy Neighbourhoods in Ottawa

Your ideas are needed to help design Just Healthy Neighbourhoods in Ottawa before Council votes in March.

WHEN: Saturday, February 22, 2020 from 10:00am – 4:00pm
WHERE: 1701 Woodroffe Ave, Hall A, Nepean Sportsplex
ACCESSIBILITY: Bus tickets and childcare cost available to those with participation barriers
RSVP: Please register here. Registration is required.

On February 22nd, city-wide organizations are holding Just Healthy Neighbourhoods: an action-oriented event sharing information and ideas on how Ottawa can be a sustainable city without expanding the urban boundary.

  • Bus tickets and a small amount of childcare cost will be provided for those with participation barriers. For more information, please contact Khulud Baigat at kbaig@cawi-ivtf.org
  • Vegetarian lunch will be provided
  • Presented by Healthy Transportation Coalition in collaboration with Just Food, City for All Women Initiative, Ecology Ottawa, the Federation of Citizens Associations, Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital, and Healthy Transportation Coalition 

Photo credit in featured image: David Doran

Local Food Networking Event For Farmers and Chefs

WHEN: Tuesday, March 10, 2020 from 11:00am – 2:00pm
WHERE: Algonquin College
COST: $15 (Lunch included)
RSVP: More information and registration will be found on www.justfood.ca in the coming weeks

Join us for the Ottawa Local Food Networking Event for Farmers and Chefs on March 10th.

  • Presented in partnership with the Egg Farmers of Ontario, Just Food, City of Ottawa and Ottawa Tourism
  • Presentation from the Mayor on the new Rural Strategy and Action Plan
  • Highlights from local food regional innovators on sustainability including a keynote by David Beking of Beking Poultry Farm

COG Seeking Growing Up Organic Volunteer Director

Growing Up Organic

Canadian Organic Growers (COG) is looking for a volunteer director for their Growing Up Organic (GUO) program in Ottawa. Some of the duties include:

  • Oversees the GUO Program carrying out our Mission and Strategic Plans
  • Reports to monthly meetings of the COG OSO Steering Committee under the umbrella of COG National.
  • Leads the Growing Up Organic Program with support from the GUO Advisory Group through the GUO Manager.
  • Oversees and ensures fundraising plans and liaises with funders of the GUO program notably the Ottawa Carleton District School Board and Grant funders.
  • Develops the GUO Annual Budget in conjunction with the GUO Manager and Advisory Group.

For more information and for the full volunteer description, please click here.

Feb 15 | WORKSHOP How to Start a Community Garden

Join us on Feb 15 and learn about the steps involved in starting a community garden. How to search for land, what is essential when starting a community garden, the supports available, tips for organizing and much more!

The attendance of at least one garden coordinator (or a member of the garden who is working on the proposal) at a How to Start a Community Garden workshop is a requirement in order to apply for funding through the Community Garden Development Fund. The coordinator must have attended a workshop in one of the past 3 years as criteria and processes have changed throughout the years, and we encourage more than one to attend at a time. 

WHEN: Saturday, February 15 from 1:30pm – 3:30pm
WHERE: Hintonburg Community Centre, 1064 Wellington St
RSVP: Please RSVP to communitygardening@justfood.ca, and let us know if there’s something specific you would like covered!

January 2020 Newsletter

Food News and Events in the Ottawa Region  


Just Food News and Events 

1. Jan 29 | Just Food joins call declaring that Ottawa is in a Housing Emergency 

2. Feb 26, March 4, 11 (Second Session April 11 and 25) | Fermentation Training for People Who Sell Food

3. Feb 15 | How to Start a Community Garden

4. Every Weekend | Buy Local Food This Winter

5. March 7 | Ottawa Seedy Saturday 


1. Jan 29 | Just Food joins call declaring that Ottawa is in a Housing Emergency 

Councillor Catherine McKenney is setting forward a motion to the City Council to declare a Housing Emergency in Ottawa. 

Just Food believes that the universal right to access good food is the responsibility of everyone. For everyone to be food secure, everyone must be housing secure. The current housing emergency in Ottawa must be urgently addressed. 

There are two ways you can show your support for McKenney’s declaration:

  • Sign the petition declaring Ottawa in a Housing Emergency
  • Come out to the Housing Emergency Rally on Jan 29!

When: Wednesday, January 29 from 9am – 9:30am
Where:
Marion Dewar Plaza, Ottawa City Hall (For directions, click here)

2. Feb 26, March 4, 11 (Second Session April 11 and 25) | Fermentation Training for People Who Sell Food

This fermentation training will focus on non-alcohol fermentation and its potential for incorporating into your existing food/farm business. Some topics include:

  • Lacto-fermentation such as making kimchi and tabasco style hot sauce
  • Fermenting beans and peas for making miso and tempeh
  • Grain fermentation varieties, including no-sweetener-added desserts such as sweet rice ferment or jiuniang, and using grains in vegetable lacto-fermentation
  • Dairy ferment such as kefir
  • And many more…

Please contact communitygardening@justfood.ca if you have any questions about the event.

WHEN: First session | three weekday evenings, February 26, March 4, March 11 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Second session | two weekends, April 11 and 25 from 10:00am to 3:30pm.
WHERE: Just Food Farm (2391 Pepin Court – Bus #25 and free parking) 
COST: $110 + HST             
RSVP: Click here to register

3. Feb 15 | How to Start a Community Garden

Join us on Feb 15 and learn about the steps involved in starting a community garden. How to search for land, what is essential when starting a community garden, the supports that are available, tips for organizing the garden, and much more!

The attendance of at least one garden coordinator (or a member of the garden who is working on the proposal) at a How to Start a Community Garden workshop is a requirement in order to apply for funding through the Community Garden Development Fund. The coordinator must have attended a workshop in one of the past 3 years as criteria and processes have changed throughout the years, and we encourage more than one to attend at a time. 

WHEN: Saturday, February 15 from 1:30pm – 3:30pm
WHERE: Hintonburg Community Centre, 1064 Wellington St
RSVP: Please RSVP to communitygardening@justfood.ca, and let us know if there’s something specific you would like covered!

4. Every Weekend | Buy Local Food This Winter

There may be snow on the ground, but you can still get your fix of local food by stopping by your local farmer’s market. Thankfully, the Just Food Farm Stand, the Ottawa Organic Farmer’s Market on Bank and the Ottawa Farmers’ Market at Lansdowne are still up and running throughout the winter season!

For those in the east-end, connect with the Just Food Farm Stand every Sunday from 11 am – 12 pm

WHEN: Sundays from 11am – 12pm
WHERE: Just Food Farm (2391 Pepin Court – Bus #25 and free parking) 

  • Enjoy good food from Cadence Ecological Farm, Chi Garden, Flat Earth Farm, and Capital Bees.
  • You can find your local food fix from a variety of eggs, microgreens, ferments, lamb, honey, beeswax wraps, candles and more! 
  • This winter, the Just Food Farm Stand will be having an egg CSA! Eggs are offered at $7/ dozen. Buy 7 dozens and receive the 8th dozen free.
  • For all other Farm Stand updates, please visit the Just Food Farm Stand Facebook page.  

For those downtown, drop by the Aberdeen Pavilion at the Ottawa’s Farmer’s Market at Lansdowne Park for local food, music, and crafts. 

WHEN: Sundays from 10am – 3pm 
WHERE: Aberdeen Pavillion, 1000 Exhibition Way

  • Fill your baskets with goods and good food while supporting local producers! 
  • For more information on their Winter Market, click here.

For those in the Alta Vista / Heron area, come out to the Ottawa Organic Farmers’ Market 

WHEN: Saturdays from 10am – 2pm 
WHERE: 1644 Bank Street, near Heron, at are the Canada Care Medical building behind the Canadian Tire store

  • Browse the bounty of local, organic products from meat and bread to fruits and vegetables to herbs and teas
  • For more information, click here

5. March 7 | Ottawa Seedy Saturday

Come and stop by the Ottawa Seedy Saturday on March 7! There will be plenty of fun to be had with a day of garden talks and seed sales, and seed exchanges. 

WHEN: Saturday March 7 from 10am to 3pm
WHERE: Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre, Britannia Beach, 102 Greenview Ave
RSVP: For more info, please click here

Accessing Good Food in Ottawa through the FoodLink Directory

Feeding Communities

In collaboration with Just Food, Ottawa Pubic Health has launched the new FoodLink Directory on Good Food Ottawa. The FoodLink Directory is an online hub for food and nutritional programs and services in Ottawa, providing those who may be experiencing food insecurity with a comprehensive directory on where to find good food. To us, good food meaning food that is affordable, healthy, nutritious, local when possible, and culturally appropriate.

Ottawa Public Health has also just released its annual Nutritional Food Basket survey for 2019. This survey measures the cost of basic healthy eating for families in Ottawa. The Nutritional Food Basket found that roughly 1 in 7 households in Ottawa reported being marginally to severely food insecure. This would mean that one or more members of the households could not afford balanced meals; are going hungry due to skipped meals or eating less; or could not afford the food they need. The survey notes this food insecurity as a major public health issue as it can lead to poor mental health, heart disease, and diabetes.

Some findings from the 2019 Nutritional Food Basket showed that :

  • The monthly cost to feed a family of four in Ottawa was $901 (based on the costs of 67 food items in 10 grocery stores)
  • The cost of the Nutritional Food Basket has risen 22% since 2009
  • Canadian single mothers had the highest percentage of food insecurity with 33.5% of households reporting marginal to severe food insecurity

The survey concluded that poverty was the underlying cause of food insecurity. Once rent is subtracted from monthly income, there are many remaining expenses with little left over to cover them. The budget for basic expenses such as transportation, heat, hydro, childcare and medications, becomes increasingly smaller once rent and nutritional food are allocated.

As a means of alleviating the root cause of food insecurity, Ottawa Public Health recommends income-based strategies such as basic income guarantee, increased social assistance rates and strengthening employment standards.

In light of the findings from the 2019 Nutritional Food Basket survey, the need for access to healthy food in Ottawa is loud and clear. To find where and how to access nutritious food in your community, check out the FoodLink Directory.

Fermentation Training in Ottawa 2019 and 2020

For Restaurants, Food Processors and Farms on How to Incorporate Fermentation into Your Business

This fermentation training will focus on non-alcohol fermentation and its potential for incorporating into your existing food/farm business. To ask questions, contact: info@justfood.ca

Two identical courses, maximum 15 people each:

First Session: Two Saturdays, November 30 & December 7, 2019, @ 10:00 am – 3:30 pm

  • Cost: $110 + HST 
  • Where:  Just Food Farm (2391 Pepin Court, Ottawa – Bus #25 and free parking) 
  • To register and pay for the first session click here 

Second Session: Three Thursday evenings, January 23, 30, & February 6, 2020, @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

  • Cost: $110 + Hst
  • Where:  Just Food Farm (2391 Pepin Court, Ottawa – Bus #25 and free parking) 
  • To register and pay for the second session click here 

Topics include:

  • Lacto-fermentation such as making kimchi and tabasco style hot sauce
  • Fermenting beans and peas for making miso and tempeh
  • Grain fermentation varieties, including no-sweetener-added desserts such as sweet rice ferment or jiuniang, and using grains in vegetable lacto-fermentation
  • Dairy ferment such as kefir
  • Fermented drinks using SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) or the likes, such as kombucha and ginger soda
  • History and background on fermentation 
  • Health perspectives and science – connection of fermented food and human microflora/microbiome
  • Kitchen setup, equipment and specialty utensils
  • Food safety and regulatory framework
  • Worldwide applications and innovations in using fermentation in farms and food businesses
  • Canadian market and potential 
  • Tasting and demonstrations

The goal of the workshops is to inspire local farm and food businesses to innovate – by using the ancient art of fermentation to transform local and fresh produce into new products and ingredients that taste great, are good for health, and contribute to stronger businesses in this region.

Trainers:

Presented by Chi Garden, with additional guest fermentation business.

The trainers – Sun Shan and Li Bo of Chi Garden – both grew up with rich family traditions for making fermentation. Equipped with education in biology and biomedical research, being world travelers and now farmers in Canada, plus years of practice making various ferments and bringing fermented vegetables to the farm market in Ontario, the trainers will deliver an interactive training to inform and inspire a new generation of fermentation practitioners and businesses.  

Interested in fermentation training for your home?

This training is designed for local food businesses, including restaurants, processors and farms only. We will offer hands-on training geared towards eaters and home chefs later in the season.  Please send us a message at info@justfood.ca if you are interested, and we will contact you directly when the courses are coming out.

Healthy Diets for World Food Day


It’s World Food Day, and this year’s theme—Healthy Diets for a #ZeroHunger World—reminds us of the complexity of the task in front of us. A Healthy Diet demands “sufficient, safe, nutritious and diverse foods”, but also fresh, locally produced foods—foods that support farm families, and enable them to produce food for their communities in a manner that regenerates biodiversity, soil and water.

Seek out these farms on your regional Buy Local Food Guide, because Healthy Diets aren’t just healthy for today, they are healthy for generations, and they enable the farmers who supply the food to build viable, stable enterprises, and supply healthy diets for generations. As we discussed in our Bring Food Home event last week, ‘sustainable diets’ must include the long-term health of the ecology, community, farmer and eater, which is why our conversation about “good food” must go beyond the essential components of nutrition, accessibility, affordability and cultural relevance. 

The UN World Food Day backgrounder concludes “nutritious foods that constitute a healthy diet are not available or affordable for many people”. That is the case in our local communities as well. Healthy Diets for a #ZeroHunger World asks us to take concrete actions that encourage transformation toward a food system where healthy, nutritious diets and universal access are accepted as the basic standards by which our communities are measured, standards that brook no exceptions. Take action! 

http://www.fao.org/world-food-day/take-action/en/