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
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.

Start-Up Food Processor Training *SOLD OUT*

This event is sold out, but don’t despair we are holding this training again.

If you wish to do this training, please leave contact info with Talia Klein at info@justfood.ca to be contacted for next course.

For more immediate assistance with food start-ups, please contact Moe Garahan at Moe@justfood.ca about customized assistance through Ottawa Kitchen consulting hours.

Presented by OttawaKitchen.ca, Just Food and North House Foods in partnership with Agri-Food Management Institute (AMI) with guest expert chefs and food businesses

  • Introduction to food production and production equipment.
  • Introduction to the regulatory environment for successful food processing businesses.
  • Validation and testing of your food products.
  • Information to help turn your idea into a business plan.


Ottawa Kitchen_ Food Processing Course (final)

Food Processing- Details

CGN blog: Norman Johnston Secondary Alternate Program

This is the fifth piece in an ongoing CGN’s blog. This blog will be filled with snapshots of the network, garden activities, garden profiles, coordinator profiles & more!

This post is about Norman Johnston Secondary Alternate Program, where indoor and outdoor gardens and even a greenhouse are used to teach students more than just gardening techniques.  The post is written by Nancy Moir at her blog Grown In My BackYard. 

Norman Johnston

CGN blog: Growing Up Organic

This is the fourth piece in an ongoing CGN’s blog. This blog will be filled with snapshots of the network, garden activities, garden profiles, coordinator profiles & more!

This post is about Growing Up Organic, a garden and farm-based educational program for children and youth.  The post is written by Nancy Moir at her blog Grown In My BackYard.

Parents and teachers, are you looking for a unique way to engage school-aged children in learning, teach them food skills and nutrition, and connect them with the environment?  Growing Up Organic (GUO) may have a solution for you!

GUO is a garden- and farm-based educational program for children and youth provided by the Ottawa, St. Lawrence, and Outaouais Chapter of Canadian Organic Growers.  Since its inception in 2007, GUO has enabled many schools across the region to build their own school garden programs. These gardens do more than produce delicious, healthy food; educators use them to foster experiential learning to meet their teaching goals.  They enliven the curriculum for students who feel disengaged or who could benefit from hands-on experience to help with their comprehension.

Implementing a school garden does not add to a teacher’s workload; rather it reduces it by providing a simplified, vivid, real-world model that can be used to teach almost any subject.  This program requires that students draw plans, calculate many different types of variables, engage in physical activity, and much more.  Students of all ages and backgrounds have expressed delight at working within a school garden and their schoolwork reflects this newfound excitement.  Through this, they acquire a solid understanding of the life cycles of plants, and an appreciation of the environment.

So, how does it work?  GUI hosts gardening workshops in the spring and fall that are free to OCBSB educators, and available to other schools for a fee.  In these workshops, GUO provides educators with an overview of the garden-based activities that they can facilitate in their schools. Their website offers a thorough overview of the preparation that should be undertaken before a garden is built. As well, each garden requires a support team of interested parents, teachers, and other community members.  GUO provides the information needed to fundraise, build, and maintain a school garden, and most importantly, to use as a tool within the curriculum.

GUO is more than just a repository of information.  Behind the website are the friendly faces of its facilitators and volunteer advisory committee (teachers, master gardeners, and stakeholders), who shape the program and provide support.  For more information, visit their website.


COG ECO FARM DAY 2018: Feb 24-25, Cornwall, ON

The Canadian Organic Growers are hosting ECO FARM DAY 2018 on Feb 24-25 in Cornwall, ON.  This year’s theme is ADAPTATION.

Feb 24: Keynote address, 40 exhibitor trade show, organic lunch and a dozen workshops relating to plants, livestock, and soils.

Also a reception dinner and screening of the new documentary Modified, by Aube Giroux, in partnership with Transition Cornwall+ and All Things Food.

Feb 25: ALSO JOIN COG for one of two full day, intensive and participatory workshops:

 Polyculture Livestock: Managing and optimizing health with multiple livestock species in a single pasturing system, with veterinarian Dr Hubert and Suzanne Karreman, of Reverence Farms and Café.

 The Permaculture Market Garden: Apply Permaculture principles without jeopardizing production, with Zach Loeks, author and farmer at Kula Permaculture Farm.

Check www.ecofarmday.ca and www.facebook.com/cogosochapter and
www.twitter.com/ecofarmday for details and updates