Quebec adopted a food sovereignty policy this May. This is good news for all Quebecers. Here are some of the highlights that got us really excited here at Equiterre:
government agencies encouraged to buy local (to this end, a local food procurement strategy is slated to come out by year’s end)
a mention of the need to reduce pesticide use
the intention to increase the protection of farmland in or around our cities
recognition of the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet reduction targets
Lots to be happy about!
Equiterre, which has helped such institutions as day cares, schools and hospitals access more local food for ten years, has also offered its full cooperation to the government as it applies this policy.
We’d like to see more about the need to support and develop the organic food sector.
We’d also like to see some clearly defined local food procurement targets.
Joel Salatin, one of the most visible and influential leaders in the organic food and sustainable farming movement makes a simple argument for how each of us can make a difference in the way food is produced and the way the land is farmed to unsustainable levels.
It starts with one of us cooking at home with raw ingredeents. That is ecological participation.
It is a busy time for the local food movement. We need to be busy because there is a tremendous amount of pushback from the industry and the entrenched food system that is not happy losing market share to people like us and losing people to their dependency on Velveeta cheese and Coca-Cola.
And so that is why voting with your food dollar whether it is to find your farmer, grow your own garden, or go down to farmer’s market or to the roadside stand or whatever, any of these things.
The thing is, we need to just kick the supermarket addiction. Treat it like a bad habit and get in our kitchens. The number one thing you can do is get in your kitchen and cook from scratch. Because that takes the dollar away from all the food processors and all that distribution-food-processing network that is all devoted to taking the life out of food and making sure food will not perish or will not rot, extending the shelf life.
The longer the shelf life is on food, the less nutritious it is. So re-develop your larder. Enjoy culinary, domestic arts, and begin — one bite at a time — extricating yourself from the agenda of people that if you knew what they actually believe, it would curl your hair.
And the fact that we have given over to the government the safety of our food — I mean, we are talking about people who think it is much safer to feed your kids Twinkies, Cocoa Puffs, and Mountain Dew than raw milk, compost-grown tomatoes, and pastured poultry.
This is just unprecedented in the history of the world, and we are a culture of guinea pigs. Nobody has you by the throat. To make the changes that we described today do not take an act of Congress. They do not take a change in the legislature. They do not take a change in the tax law. What they take are individuals to make committed, participatory, convictional decisions and change the landscape of our culture.
Action Communiterre members are promoting an upcoming NDG-based public consultation on urban agriculture as a citywide effort to integrate more community gardening space into the landscape continues to build steam…
The public consultation will be hosted on June 14 at the St. Raymond Community Centre (5600 Upper Lachine) from 7 to 10 pm. The consultation process was born from more than 25,000 signatures demanding a public consultation process be hosted by the city of Montreal, as more and more city dwellers turn their rooftops, backyards and public spaces into gardens.
“What we want to do, is have as many people as possible participate,” said Girard. “It’s a citizen initiative and the more people submit, the more they will take this initiative seriously. This is a call-out to the whole population so we can have, for example, edible landscapes, parks with more food growing, native plants to help bees, more bio-diversity and more land dedicated to urban agriculture.”
Gardening, said Girard, isn’t only about the food. It’s about a connection to soil, to nature and to each other and it’s important to localize food. Gardening, she concluded, is therapeutic and “good for the soul.”
Greece offers a potential view of the future for North America. Their solutions to difficult problems can be implemented now, without economic crisis. Sign up for a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) food basket and buy fresh, local food directly from farmers. More information about CSA’s in Montreal.
As incomes fall and retail prices rise, Greeks have found an ingenious way to pay three times less than they usually would for potatoes.
The craze, which some are already starting to call the “Potato Revolution,” began in the northern town of Katerini two weeks ago. A group of local activists set up a website to allow people to order potatoes directly from local farmers, and then pick them up in a parking lot on the weekends. Their project was an instant hit. In the past two weeks, they’ve already sold 100 tons of potatoes, and inspired agricultural students in Thessaloniki to launch a similar program. Dozens more cities across Greece are planning to follow suit.
Since the farmers sell the potatoes for a higher price than they would be able to sell them to distributors – but for less than what supermarkets charge customers – both the farmers and their customers win.
Every little bit helps for crisis-hit Greeks. Austerity measures have led to pensions and salaries being repeatedly slashed, as well as to a steep rise in unemployment – one in five Greeks are now jobless. On top of this, the government has raised taxes in a bid to curb its debt.
Our family farmer program, started in 1995, provides food to an estimated more than 30,000 people each year. It helps Quebecers adopt a sustainable diet, and encourages local farmers.
Ingredients for a healthy workplace
We can help you set up a drop-off point in your workplace. Many hospitals, businesses and academic institutions already have a family farmer, including, in 2010, RONA, Standard Life, CHUL, Demix and Ubisoft.
Simply follow the steps outlined in our set-up guide to establish a relationship with a family farmer.
For more information, contact our community supported agriculture (CSA) team at 514 522-2000, ext. 295 (toll free, 1 877 272-6656) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Believe it or not, growing your own food or visiting your local farmers market is more revolutionary and constructive than burning down your own city and killing security forces…
They need us, we don’t need them. That’s the big secret. We get our freedom back as soon as we take back our responsibilities for food, water, security, the monetary system, power, and manufacturing; that is independence. Independence is freedom, freedom is independence. We’ll never be free as long as we depend on the Fortune 500 for our survival.
Fixing these problems unfolding overseas starts with fixing the problems in our own backyards. Boycott the globalists, cut off their support, undermine their system, and they lose their ability to commit these atrocities. That will be a real revolution and it can start today. Not burning cities and masked rebels waving flags, but communities no longer dependent and fueling a corrupt system we all know must come to an end.
Where are farmer markets in Montreal? Jean-Talon is the city’s largest farmer’s market, but there are others.
The NDG Food Depot and the Montréal Permaculture Guild invite you to a free evening with Claude William Genest, on Wednesday April 20th at 7pm at the NDG Food Depot (2120 Oxford Ave).
Mr. Genest, permaculturalist and former Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada, will present a selection of episodes from his PBS produced Emmy nominated television-series “Regeneration – The Art of Sustainable Living.” “Regeneration…” follows Mr. Genest as he explores the ways innovative people all over the world are building, growing, and living more sustainably. The screening will be followed by a discussion led by Mr. Genest about his experiences with the project.
Local food production and the regeneration of farmers
Permaculture to transform acres of lawn to a “multi-yielding food forest”
Sustainable housing with straw-bale construction
The “farm of the future,” a model for renewable energy production
Watch ReGeneration Episode #1:
Hear Professor Todd say, “The idea that you can’t have economy and ecology is complete bull!” Very inspiring stuff here. Highly recommended for anyone interested in sustainable architecture and living buildings.
In order to help you out with your gardening, The Coop Maison Verte has organised a series of workshops related to gardening techniques, local food and food conservation for April and May. They are all free, bilingual, and will all take place at the coop, 5785 Sherbrooke street West.
Seed saving April 13th with Nel Ewanè, agr. Msc. from Action Comuniterre 7 to 9 pm
Beekeeping workshop April 14th with Alain Péricard from Rucher Apis 7 to 9 pm
Community Farming information session April 15th with Dave Merson from Ferme Mange-tout 7 to 9pm
Compost 101 May 2nd with Julieta from Eco-Quartier NDG 7 to 9pm
Green Smoothie workshop May 3rd with Ildiko Brunner from Raw in Montreal 7 to 9:30pm
Vermi composting workshop May 10th with Philippe Robillard from Pousse-menu 7 to 9pm
Sprouting and fermentation workshop May 12th with Philippe Robillard from Pousse-menu 7 to 9pm