Urbanites it is your turn! Rooftop Farms!

Finally, urban-dwellers can participate in the enriching experience of being a gardener!

Amanda Kwan, the financial post, wrote about the greenhouses and farms up on top of those giant buildings. What could be better than using that space efficiently?

Here is an exert:

Sitting on top of an office building in Montreal is a 31,000-square-foot greenhouse. Inside are rows of hanging vines and trays bearing tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, which are all grown hydroponically with no pesticides.

You can read the whole post HERE. It is a very interesting read!

So, any urban-dwellers that love to garden out there? What do you think? Is this a plausible idea?

Tweet @OliviaRutt or leave a comment below!

A great local food Documentary

WOW! Can I just say that this was an AMAZING documentary! I was hooked from the very beginning. I didn’t even want to pause it to answer my phone.

This documentary really dives into how the local food movement works.

It shows what local food is, how restaurants use local food, the local vs. organic fad, how meat factors into it, and how local and organic labels are used improperly. It also talks about what is next for local farmers.

If you have 30 minutes, I highly recommend this video!

LOCAL – A Short Documentary from Christian Remde on Vimeo.

What’s Canada’s part in the Local Food Movement?

You can’t deny how awesome Ontario corn or Ontario strawberries are! I live for them every spring and fall. Other than privately owned food markets, it is hard to see how Canada plays a role in the local food movement. Canadian Co-operative Association released an article that goes into detail about the different ways Canada is involved in Local Food.

Here are a few highlights:

This research shows that Canada is home to a vibrant local food movement, with initiatives in every province

It defines local food initiatives as “food organizations, activities, and businesses that support the creation of local food systems in which food is grown, processed and sold within the same geographical region.

Key Players in local food initiatives:

  • Restaurants and Chefs
  • Farmers’ Markets
  • Grocery Stores
  • Community Supported Agriculture
  • Foodbox Programs

With over 2,300 local food initiatives identified and more to be discovered, communities in Canada have begun to establish local food systems that are secure and environmentally sustainable. Every province in Canada has been touched by this movement and has proactive groups promoting the qualities of locally grown food.

I encourage you to read the report, HERE. This report is from the 2009 fall harvest, so I am sure that Canada has grown exponentially in local food initiatives, but it is interesting to see exactly how Canadian are reacting to the local food movement!

How are you reacting to the local food movement? Tweet me @OliviaRutt or leave a comment!

Out of the Garden: Roast Carrots

Roasted Carrots

Have too many carrots from your garden? Feel like you are eating steamed carrots, carrot soup, and raw carrots? Well, this very simple recipe can get your taste buds singing.

All you need is:

  • 1lb medium sized carrots
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 tbs of thyme
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 or three garlic cloves chopped finely
  • 1 /2 cup Parmesan

All you need to do is:

  1. Cut carrots into 1 inch sections
  2. Cut asparagus into 1 – 11/2 inch section bottom inch off
  3. Put into bowl
  4. Pour ½ cup of olive oil
  5. Sprinkle thyme
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  7. Mix all ingredients
  8. Place on parchment paper on cookie sheet in oven 380oF for 30 min top rack preferred
  9. Top with Parmesan cheese

Mmmm… Enjoy these delicious carrots , there are one of my favourites!

Out of the Garden: Brussels Sprouts

Okay, so my last post inspired me to write about different but yummy recipes on food we can grow right here in Southern Ontario!

Lets start with the B- word: Brussels Sprouts. EWW! ya, that is what I though too, until my wonderful Grandmother made this recipe! Ontario is great for growing Brussels sprouts, we have the best climate for it next to, well, Brussels. So in case you think, hey, Brussels sprouts aren’t that gross and have a great amount growing in your garden, here is an amazing recipe from my very own grandmother. I can’t get enough of it, and I hate Brussels Sprouts.

All you need is:

  • 10-20 Brussels sprouts
  • Sprinkle of Olive oil and Butter
  • 2 pinches garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar

All you need to do is:

  1. Shred the Brussels sprouts very thin
  2. Heat pan sprinkle olive oil and butter
  3. Add galic salt and sugar and mix together
  4. Add in Brussels sprouts and mix well
  5. Stir it continuously
  6. Cook until tender

Now enjoy a really tasty simple recipe straight from YOUR garden!

Infographic: Your own garden!

This was pretty amazing. If those of us that have the luxury of having an acre or so of land could build a decent hobby farm, we could really be self-sustainable.

However, this all depends on what your family likes to eat. Ours doesn’t eat a lot of wheat, so we would buy flour. My mom would be driven insane by chickens, but my dog would love them.

Our neighbours have a rather small garden that consists of cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, and other yummy veggies. It is only about 4-6 square metres. Not big, but we get so much tomatoes and other goodies that we can them. That’s only us! They share with other neighbours too! So having your own is definitely doable!

We also have a herb garden that tastes so yummy in recipes!

For those who don’t have space, maybe a single tomato plant, and a small herb garden would work?

Here is the infographic, click it to see a bigger version.

If you have space what would you include in your garden? Tweet me @OliviaRutt

Globalization vs. Local Food

Check out this argument made by two Globe and Mail writers back in 2010.

The article may be dated, but the information is not. Both parties raise good points for their side of the see-saw.

Globalization: local food is a dated concept, what happens when there are bad crop years, we need to feed 7 billion people, local food is less efficient at producing food, addition of variety with food from around the world, and it is a solution to feeding the world’s starving.

Local Food: industrial food system is unsustainable, why do we outsource products we grow in Canada, tastier and more nutritious, a sense of control of what you put in your body, and loss of genetic diversity due to globalization.

So what do you think?

Globalization or Local Food?

comment or tweet me @OliviaRutt

What is Local Food

Here in Southern Ontario, we have some of the most nutrient rich land, yet we rely on a lot of imported food, processed food, and convenient food.

Our viewpoint of food since the industrial revolution has shifted from local to global. Imagine the layperson of old England eating a pineapple.  Yet, the trend of local food has yet again arisen with Alisa Smith & J. B. MacKinnon’s “100 mile diet: a year of eating locally” 

This poses a question to me: Is eating local really better?

Pros:

  • Fresher, tastier food
  • Healthier, less preservatives
  • the knowledge of where the food has come from
  • more personal
  • free range meat

Cons

  • not a diverse diet
  • expensive
  • harder to find
  • not year round

By mentioning these, I hope to explore each point.

People are being more conscious about what they are putting into their bodies through food. We are also putting more emphasis on global environmental issues and how food is involved in those issues.

Local food is by far important. I am hoping to use this forum to find an answer to how important it is.

 

Follow me on twitter @OliviaRutt