Monday, October 5, 2009

Food, Inc. is Screening in North Bay!

If you are a person in Northern Ontario that is concerned about food and farming, you definitely won't want to miss this!

Food, Inc. is going to be screening in North Bay's Galaxy Cinema on Wednesday October 21st, 2009 at 7:30 pm. The show is being hosted by North Bay Film {go check out their webby for other awesome movies coming to town!}.

This blurb is from North Bay Films info page about Food, Inc.

In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won’t go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.

And here is a trailer:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Conference about Local Food & the History of Subsistence Comes to North Bay

This week from October 2nd to the 4th, there is a Conference about local food and the history of subsistence coming to North Bay. It is being hosted by Department of History and the Canada Research Chair in Environmental History at Nipissing University and Network in Canadian History of the Environment.

The Conference is being kicked off with a panel discussion with some Near North Locavores members, as well as a local producer. The info about this even was forwarded by one of the organizers, James Murton:

Contemplating Local Food: An Evening at the Kennedy Gallery

Where does your food come from? Does it matter? How do you "eat locally" in northern Ontario?

On Friday evening, October 2, join a panel of local food providers and activists for a lively discussion of why local food matters, and what they are trying to do about it.

Brought to you by the Department of History and the Canada Research Chair in Environmental History at Nipissing University, and the Network in Canadian History of the Environment.


Jeremy St. Onge, wild foods enthusiast, aminita to zinania
Dave Lewington, Dalew Farms, Lavigne, ON
Lucy Emmott, gardener

Where and When

Friday, Oct 2, 6:30 pm (panel begins at 7:30)
W.K.P. Kennedy Gallery
150 Main St E
North Bay, ON

For more information contact James Murton at jamesm at nipissingu dot ca (replace "at" and "dot" with appropriate symbols) or 705 474-3450 x4402.

The actual Conference will be held at Nipissing University's Monastery Hall from October 3rd to the 4th. You can find more info about it here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Harvest Festival at the North Bay Downtown Farmers' Market!

This is a press release from the North Bay Downtown Farmers' Market:

Well folks, we are drawing close to the end of another North Bay Downtown Farmers’ Market season...


This coming Saturday September 19, the Downtown Farmers’ Market will be hosting

their Annual Harvest Festival. Friends & family are welcome to visit the

same great location – the parking lot on McIntyre St. East – across from City Hall.

This Saturday only from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, kids can stay & play awhile at the FREE

Activity Centre. There will even be pumpkins to decorate!! There are a limited number of FREE

giveaways, so get there early to claim yours! Kids are also welcome to enter the

Harvest Festival Colouring Contest and prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

Participation at the Activity Centre including the colouring contest is FREE!

All kids will receive a Certificate and goodies for joining in the fun.

There is lots of free parking, and the Market is OPEN until Thanksgiving weekend (October 10th) “rain or shine”, every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

See what your North Bay Downtown Farmers’ Market, has to offer you!

For more upcoming Special Event dates & information, or to learn more about the Market’s vendors please visit the NEW Market website at:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Buy Local, Share Local

Yesterday at the North Bay Downtown Farmers' Market Buy Local, Share Local had a booth for the day.

By Local, Share Local is a food security campaign sponsored by the Ontario Association of Food Banks and the RBC Foundation, along with partners Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Turkey Farmers of Ontario, Homegrown Ontario, and Ontario Farm Animal Council.

The project has been touring farmers markets across Ontario, where they are encouraging folks to buy local produce and to donate some to food banks, along with accepting food donations on the spot.

When they stopped by North Bay yesterday, they were collecting food for the North Bay Food Bank, and we had many generous folks stopping by the Locavore booth to purchase food to donate!

I am not quite sure how much food donations were collected, but the information should be on the Buy Local, Share Local blog. To see the rest of the farmers markets they will be stopping at
(and where they have already been) click here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

An Inspiring Story from Cache Bay

Cache Bay woman experimenting with exotic crops

Greenery from around the world is sprouting in Cache Bay.

Jeanne Labonte's garden on Anderson Road features purple corn from Peru and a Russian sunflower that towers at three metres -- and it's still a baby," she says.

I look for different exotic things that normally don't grow here," says the 45-year-old, who bought seeds online from around the world.

Her purple corn from Peru surprised her.

I didn't think it would grow here," she says, pointing out a corn stalk that has grown to the roof of her garage.

And with Mother Nature being less than giving this summer, it leaves Labonte to wonder what would happen in a better growing season.

I am sure everything would be a lot bigger."

Monica McLaren, a master gardener with the North Bay's Heritage Gardeners, says it is not uncommon for different seeds to take in this climate.

It depends on the length of the season and how many days are required for the plants full length of maturity," she says.

Seeds can also be started indoors giving those who would like to experiment a leg up on growing.

In Labonte's numerous garden boxes, she has corn of all colours including ruby red, red stalker, strawberry, blue, baby ear and peaches and cream.

And her bean collection -- featuring European Helda, Big Mama lima beans from New Jersey and French purple pole beans -- would put some markets to shame.

Adding to the rainbow are chocolate cherry tomatoes and purple tomatoes.

Her scores of gourds include a batwing pumpkin which is orange on top and black on the bottom.

This year it is kind of like a test garden," she says. Next year, I will actually plant rows of purple corn and stuff I have experimented with this year because I know it will grow in our climate."

And that is the best part. What excites me the most is

seeing what I can produce from a seed and to see if it will grow."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Another Photo Update of the Locavore Community Garden

Just another quick update of how things around the garden are looking. We have some more ripe nightshade toms (yay!), we had surprise chamomile show up in our poppy pot, the bush nasturtiums are blooming, and so are the peas, pole beans and bush beans. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sage & Timely Advice About Canning Tomatoes

Thinking about canning tomatoes this year? Go over and read Late blight warning: Don’t can those tomatoes! over at Poor Richard's Almanac (and have a look at the rest of their blog while your at it!).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Corn Festival at the North Bay Downtown Farmers' Market!

Here is info about the upcoming Corn Festival at the North Bay Downtown Farmers' Market from the Market's website:

On Saturday August 22nd the North Bay Downtown Farmers’ Market will be hosting it’s Annual Corn Festival. Bring the whole family to experience a wide variety of quality locally gown and handmade products. Get to the market early on this day to get your cobs for corn-roast season!! Bags and bags of super-sweet corn will be available from select vendors!

Support the Market by visiting the Market Booth (located in or about the centre of the Market) to get your drinks and snacks. And on August 22nd only you can enjoy hot, buttered corn served fresh on the cob and piping hot. Seasoned with salt and pepper and slathered with butter, corn on the cob is a taste treat that is enjoyed by people universally. You can buy a sweet, juicy, delicious cob of corn for $1.00 each. All proceeds from the Corn Festival go towards the dream of a permanent home.

There is lots of FREE parking and the Market is open “rain or shine” every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Bring your friends & family to the same great location --parking lot #11 on McIntyre St. across from City Hall {behind the TD Canada Trust on Main St.}

Hope to see you there!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Phelps Community Gardens in Redbridge

Volunteers working in the garden {photo by Keri Edmunds Mulka}

In the Spring 2008 community members of Redbridge got together to create Phelps Community Gardens on the property of Phelps Central School on Glenvale Drive. Here is a little blurb about the group from their Facebook page:

We are a group of community members committed to strengthening our local school, the community we live in, and most importantly educating & inspiring through gardening. The schools gardens is a fun way to expand curriculums, conservation efforts, to develop a healthy understanding of nutrition, and to further the academic achievement through hands-on learning.

Phelps Central School students getting ready to work {photo by Keri Edmunds Mulka}

The group is a grassroots organization that runs largely on material and financial donations from community members and the work of dedicated volunteers. The group did receive a small grant from the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unity through the Take Heart Ontario program (the same funding source that the Locavores got this year for our Community Garden) for material start up costs.

Phelps Community Gardens does sell some produce from time to time and also have a neat little cookbook that was created by SOFA Communications, a company which donated its designing services for the cookbook project.

The Community Gardens is in its second year, and the group is very excited to have the children come back to school so they can enjoy the garden!

On a suitable day in late September or early October, students will get to enjoy a harvest festival where they will harvest the veggies, collect seeds, and enjoy a feast made from food in the garden.

Each class is responsible for its own part of the garden {photo by Keri Edmunds Mulka}

This is a fantastic project and the Near North region needs more like it. If you would like more information you can check out the group's Facebook page, and if you are interested in making a donation, volunteering, or purchasing a cookbook, please call Keri Edmunds Mulka at (705) 663-2885.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Calling All Local Producers: Great Opportunity with Vested Interest!

We are please to announce our support for a new and exciting venture that is being undertaken by Vested Interest that is both sure to benefit local food producers, as well as local eaters!

A little while back, Brent and Jenn Bywater, the owners of Vested Interest has approach the Near North Locavores with their idea. They are looking to carry products grown and made by local producers in their store, which is centrally located in downtown North Bay.

To start with they are looking to carry products with a longer shelf life, and may expand further to other products, dependent on the success of this initial trial run.

If you are a producer who might be interested in getting involved (or know of another Near North food producer who might be, for more information and application please contact Jenn and Brent Bywater at (705) 474-5055 or email them at

Thursday, August 6, 2009

More Locavore Community Garden Photos

This is just a quick photo update of the Near North Locavore community garden. These have been taken over the last couple of weeks, including a few yesterday. Enjoy!

Lemon balm




The last poppy in bloom

Bush beans

Sweet marjoram ready to be harvested!


More peas

Rainbow Swiss chard

Finally! Some ripe tomatoes!

The shade garden got a bit of a makeover {stones that we dug up when creating the garden beds}

Pretty purple flowers that I have no idea what they are called {does anyone know?}

Sweet basil {looking a little sad due to all the rain and attention from the ear wigs!}


Herbs packaged and ready for the Amelia Rising food bank! {pictured: peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, sweet basil, oregano, sweet marjoram, parsley, garden sage, tri coloured sage, pineapple sage, English thyme, rosemary, and cilantro.}

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

2009 International Plowing Match & Rural Expo in Temiskaming

From September 22nd to 26th, Earlton Municipality (in Temiskaming) will host the first ever International Plowing Match & Rural Expo in Northern Ontario. Here is a blurb about the event from the website:

...the IPM 2009 will be geared to all ages and all interests, providing a perfect venue for education, awareness and entertainment. Its sheer size and diversification will provide areas of interest for everyone. There will be displays of antique equipment from the mining, forestry and agricultural sectors, local food sampling, forest harvesting demonstrations, fashion shows, a quilt tent, musical entertainment, dance troupes, traditional French Canadian singers and native wind singers and dancers. We will showcase the culture and heritage of Northern Ontario and focus on the growth of our natural resources in mining, forestry and agriculture.

The International Plowing Match and Rural Expo will also feature over 100 acres of Tented City showcasing 600 exhibitors. From a fantastic educational program, including little sprouts tent to interactive exhibits, a Show Ring Corral, Queen of the Furrow competition, Theatre Tent, and of course plowing competitions. There literally is something for everyone. These are just a few of things to discover at the IPM!

Go check out the website for more details. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Workshop Topic Survey

Hello fellow folks in the Near North!

The Locavores are looking for your input on what type of topics you would be interested in seeing us host in the next upcoming year. Please take a moment to fill out our survey.


Click here to take our Online Survey

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Great Video on Local Food from Northern Edge Algonquin

Near North Locavore member and kitchen and garden manager at Northern Edge Algonquin Greg Waters talks with Todd Lucier (also of Northern Edge) about local and organic food, and
gives a tour of the garden at Northern Edge and local farmers' markets. This video was shot last summer.

Enjoy the video!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Photos from the Locavore Community Garden

Finally here are a few photos of the Locavore garden!

It is a mish-mash of photos from different times, and we will get more taken once there is more to see. ;)

First, the overall layout of the garden:

We started this from scratch...lifting the sod, and then digging about 1.5 feet down and adding compost. No easy task, even with such a small garden! It is a grid of 20 deep beds, that vary in size, but none more than 4 feet across (for easy access).

This is a view facing West, showing the whole garden, including the containers (there are newly planted peas in the recycle bins, and other veggies and herbs in the containers).

Facing South, there are tomatoes in the first bed, then nasturtiums, dill, carrots, and cilantro in the beds behind.

Again facing South, there are nasturtiums, pole beans, bush beans, carrots, onions, chard, and chives in this row of beds.

Again bush beans, pole beans, nasturtiums, chard, lettuce, carrots, and beets.

This is the last row of beds. Pole beans, beets, nasturtiums, lettuce, and spinach.

And now here are some random shots of the garden:

Mint in the shade garden

Double chamomile

Daisy fleabane



Lemon balm

More mint




Sweet woodruff in the shade garden

Lady's mantle in the partial shade garden

More sweet woodruff