5 Chefs, 5 Pigs and a Blues Band

1st Annual Fergus Whole Hog BBQ 

Fergus, Ontario

On Sunday, September 7, the Wellington Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (WCSA) will host a live blues band and a competition for the title of Fergus’ elite pig roaster, at the 1st Annual Fergus Whole Hog BBQ. Among the jurors for the competition is Zane Caplansky, owner of Caplansky’s deli and the Thunderin’ Thelma food truck. This Food School Farm event will provide an opportunity to talk to the chefs, savour the flavours of their craft and take a walk through the newly transformed grounds of the historic farmhouse.

Tickets can be purchased online through the WCSA website or at Scotiabank Fergus.

$35 for adults; Children 12 and under free.

When & Where:

Sunday, September 7 from 3:00 – 7:00 PM (EDT)

570 Belsyde Road

 Fergus, ON 
Canada

The event will also be the first opportunity for many residents to see the pilot of a newly formed partnership exploring on-site food production. In collaboration with the WCSA and Centre Wellington District High School, the Food School Farm offers the students a unique learning opportunity where alternative farming techniques can be explored, while growing quality produce for the school-run culinary program.

SOIL initiative at hospital keeps growing

Scott Carmichael
The Glengarry News,
Alexandria, ON

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A hands-on “green” program is flourishing at the local hospital. Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital (HGMH) is participating in one of five pilot projects across the province to study how public institutions can also become food producers.

Linda Morrow, HGMH CEO, said the Alexandria hospital was chosen to participate in the Project SOIL (Shared Opportunities for Institutional Land) initiative in October. The program is investigating the feasibility of using institutional land to grow organic produce by examining on-site food production systems already in place at Ontario institutions.

The hospital foundation received $2,000 from the study organizers to expand the hospital’s garden, which was started following reception of a $25,000 Healthy Communities Fund grant from the province in 2011.

Rehab patients, primarily those recovering from strokes, have, along with staff, tended the garden located behind the hospital. Given patient mobility and access concerns, the outdoor garden consists of ground-level and raised beds which contain a wide range of produce, including cabbage, cucumbers, peppers, shallots, squash and tomatoes, as well as various herbs.

Produce grown in the garden is incorporated into patient and staff meals.

Ms. Morrow said the hospital is using the grant to build another aisleway in the garden to allow for easier access for wheelchair-bound patients. She added that the hospital is also looking into other related initiatives.

“Eventually what we want to do is engage our local farmers to participate with us and combine the hospital-grown produce with a current supplier,” Ms. Morrow explained.

“Having a positive impact on clinical outcomes in the rehab program, being recognized as a leader in green health-care initiatives, and demonstrating that we’re a key player in the buy local movement” were other possible off-shoots of growing the garden initiative through Project SOIL.

Chantal Mageau-Pinard, the hospital’s manager of physiotherapy and rehabilitation services, said that many rehab patients feel right at home amongst the veggies and herbs. “Most of these people have been farmers, or are used to working in gardens four or five times larger than this one,” she said recently. “So it’s familiar territory for them.”

Besides HGMH, others participating in Project SOIL are KW Habilitation in Kitchener-Waterloo and GreenWerks Garden at Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital in Thunder Bay; Homewood Health Centre in Guelph and the Food School Farm at Centre Wellington District High School in Fergus.
The joint research team will study the skills that people can gain from participating in on-site food production, as well as the impact of channelling fresh local produce into institutional food supplies, at KW Habilitation and GreenWerks Garden.
At HGMH and Homewood Health Centre, the team will study mostly therapeutic benefits, while the Food School Farm is participating in an agro-ecological program.
SOIL is sponsored by Carleton University, University of Guelph and Wilfrid Laurier University and is supported by My Sustainable Canada.

A New Way to Farm

OCTOBER 2 – 4, 2014 – TWO EVENTS

“Farming with Nature profitably” with Mark Shepard
(Author and Polyculture Expert)

Public Seminar—Steckle Heritage Farm
Kitchener ON

Thurs. October 2nd, 6:30pm-9:00pm

Mark Shepard

Mark Shepard (pdf 380 kB)

Registration: $10 An evening sharing session where Mark will give an overview of his design concepts and facilitate a lively question and answer period. Books will be available for purchase.

To Register visit: http://shepardworkshop.eventbrite.ca or http://shepardpublictalk.eventbrite.ca

Questions email Leanne at Our Farm : leannebaer@gmail.com

Open Consultation Workshop

2-Day Hands-On Experience at Waterloo North Mennonite Church, Waterloo Ontario

Fri. October 3rd, 9:00am-4pm – Principles
Sat. October 4th, 9:00am-2pm- Field Day

Farmer, engineer, ecologist and author Mark Shepard will be providing a 2 day, in the field open consultation in Waterloo, courtesy of Our Farm, project partner at our KW Hab pilot sites.

Mark will explain how to transition from a purely annual production to a perennial system that integrates nut and fruit trees, fruiting bushes and vines, alley crops and pastured livestock. Keyline design, a water management technique, will be included and demonstrated in the field.

Mark joins us from Wisconsin where he has been farming 100+ acres using these design principles for the past 18 years.

Registration: $195
Registration fee includes refreshments and lunch, entry to the Public Talk and the two-day workshop. Limited scholarships are available upon request. Books available for purchase.

Register here:

Perennial polyculture workshop: October 3-4, 2014
http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/mark-shepard-workshop-tickets-1565353013

They grow inclusion at urban microfarm

KW Hab story from The Record, August 14, 2014

With the help of eager student volunteers and KW Hab residents, the farm on University Avenue has become a powerhouse of engagement and fresh food. The harvest is taken to headquarters every Wednesday where residence co-ordinators can pick out what they need for the week. More than 50 kilograms of snow peas, onions, kale, garlic and more have been harvested between the two farms this summer. On Tuesday, staff and volunteers bottled 35 jars of pesto made from the garden’s fresh basil.

Some activity groups and day programs visit the farm on a weekly basis. Franks said some love it so much they want to visit more often. On Wednesday an activity group peeled and ground cherries that will be processed into jam. Others walked around in the pleasant weather or enjoyed the sensory garden. Read more