Summer 2016

We have expanded our Golden Horseshoe Asset Mapping Project with a  newly-released report that includes findings across the Greater Golden Horseshoe , an area that accounts for roughly 65% of the total agri-food jobs in the province of Ontario.

The tool is now available to participating municipalities.

Read the full news release here, and check out the latest reports added to our Research Page . We have also shared Lessons Learned from the collaborative Asset Mapping process.

Niagara Region may be known for its wine culture (and understandably so), but as craft breweries are on the rise throughout Ontario, so too, are they growing in Niagara.

In Virgil, Ontario, just west of Niagara-on-the-Lake, sits Silversmith Brewing Company. Award-winning  craft breweries like Silversmith have proven that the craft beer industry deserves a place at the table.

Read more about Silversmith's field-to-glass philosophy and the booming craft beer industry on our blog.
You know what goes on inside of Yorkdale Shopping Mall, but do you know what's been growing on top of it?

At the beginning of the 2016 growing season, Frank Ferragine, also know as Frankie Flowers, officially launched  Elevated Eats  - an urban test farm - on top of Yorkdale Shopping Centre. 

Produce from the first season is being donated to local food banks, and, as part of the initiative, Elevated Eats has developed curriculum-based education materials for primary school teachers. Read more about the exciting Elevated Eat project here .
So many innovative and unique urban agriculture projects are growing across the Golden Horseshoe, that it's hard to keep track of them all.

But Toronto Urban Growers (TUG), a diverse member-based network, has been working to do just that. Initially focused on the Toronto area, TUG has expanded efforts - with some assistance and funding from the GHFFA - to capture urban agriculture project across the entire Golden Horseshoe on an  interactive map .

TUG has also been working to build its capacity to respond to the increased demand for information, resources and networking on their new and improved website. Read more about this online urban agriculture hub in our latest blog post.

The Peel Rural Water Quality Program (PRWQP) is helping to amplify the role cover crops can play in improving soil health and water quality,  offering grants to eligible farmers to grow cover crops. 

Cover crops help build organic matter content - a key element to healthy soil - thus improving soil structure and the soil's ability to keep nutrients on the farm.

And the implications are much more far-reaching than the individual's farm.  Research  has also also been exploring how cover crops could mitigate climate change and increase carbon sequestration. Read more about this promising work on our blog.

 A number of diverse programs across the province are putting forth a vigorous effort to connect Ontario students to healthy food.  Niagara Nutrition Partners  (NNP) is the body linking young students to good food across the Region of Niagara. 

Through their coordination of student nutrition programs in elementary and secondary schools,  NNP are helping to nourish more than 16,000 students every day . They are currently looking to source more local food for these programs - if you know of a potential supplier or producer in the area, get in touch with NNP to help them bridge this connection. And read more here about NNP's valued work in schools.

The Ontario Government wants to hear your thoughts on how to cut  red   tape  and make it easier to do business in Ontario.

Participate in the Red Tape Challenge and help identify the business regulations that need to be updated, improved or eliminated.

We hope you have been celebrating summer by taking advantage of all the goodness that Ontario farms have to offer. Find farm-fresh local food across the Golden Horseshoe using these  city and regional resources .

An endless thanks goes out to all the hard-working farmers who have been out in the fields during this dry, humid season!
Janet Horner, Executive Director,
Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance