September 2017 

For decades,  Richters Herbs  in Durham Region have offered everything one would need to know to grow and use a vast variety of culinary, medicinal and aromatic herbs.

Just look at their herb catalogue, which first came out in 1970: nearly 100 pages reveal a smorgasbord of herbs, some you might not have even known existed.

Earlier this month we connected with Conrad Richter, President of Richters Herbs, to learn more about their beginnings and how they grew into such a successful, unique business. Conrad highlighted their extensive variety, the importance of education, and the value they hold in blending traditional and scientific knowledge. Read more on our blog.
The City of Toronto has officially proclaimed September 15, 2017, as Toronto's first  Urban Agriculture Day ! And if you know anything about the abundance of good food projects in the city, you know there's plenty to celebrate.

Earlier that week, the  Toronto Food Policy Council  hosted a public forum downtown,  Growing in the City , which highlighted some of the innovative projects that have sprouted up across the city, with stories that prove urban agriculture gleans much more than fresh food. 

The forum concluded by paying tribute to the estimable Fiona Nelson, who helped create the Toronto Food Policy Council, and has been advocating for good food policy for decades. After a remarkable 26 years with the Council, Fiona is retiring.

"We've got to work together," Fiona said to the room, "we've got to keep the pressure on." Read more from the forum on our blog .

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) recently released provincial land use plans, which contain new policies on developing an Agricultural System for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) to support the area's agri-food sector and protect farmland across the region.

A recent article in the Toronto Star,  Trying to stop prime Ontario farmland from being 'entombed forever', highlighted the need for this planning.

"It's about making sure that the sector, as a whole, can survive," said Kim Empringham in the article.  Read more here .

Sustain Ontario, in partnership with the Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference and local host Just Food, invite you to attend Bring Food Home 2017: Upstream Collaboration from October 26-29 in Ottawa.

The biennial conference will be host to over 50+ speakers, a number of engaging panels, local tours, hands-on workshops, action planning sessions, networking opportunities and more.

Early-bird registration ends October 6!

Our Serving Up Local project page is now live! Check it out here, and stay tuned for resources and case studies to be shared.

The GHFFA Serving Up Local project  is a partnership with Durham and Halton Regions, and the City of Hamilton, working to increase the amount of local foods offered in their facilities with a special focus on long-term care homes. 

With an estimated $745 million dollars spent by Ontario's Broader Public Sector institutions annually on food and beverages, we are using the purchasing power of public institutions to help strengthen Ontario's agricultural sector, while appealing to customers and long-term care residents seeking local food offerings. 

Agribusiness employers are invited to attend another free half-day  Farmers Feed The World Job Fair,  with the next one coming up in Hamilton on October 25.

The afternoon will provide employers with the opportunity to meet approximately 30 Syrian refugee job candidates, many who have farming experience.  Learn more and access the registration form on our website .

Save the date! A two-day  Municipal Agriculture Economic Development & Planning Forum is taking place in Halton Region on  October 18- 19,  looking at  'What's Possible and How to Create an Enabling Environment for Agriculture'

Day one will feature a full-day premium bus tour visiting farms in the area, with day two full of great speaker presentations. Learn more here.
Canada 150 and Ontario Agriculture Week

The application deadline to our  Canada 150 Farm Family Recognition Program  has been extended until  October 31

If your family has been farming in the Golden Horseshoe for 150 years or more, be sure to  check out the program  recognizing these momentous efforts as we celebrate Canada's 150th this year!

And speaking of celebrating farm families...  It's almost October, and that means another Ontario Agriculture Week is on its way! This  year ,  October 2nd-8 th is the week organizations and communities across the province will be celebrating Ontario farmers, and all they do to put nutritious food on our plates each and every day!
Janet Horner, Executive Director,
Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance