There are quite a few initiatives here in London that endeavour to promote urban food growing and foraging, reducing food insecurity, increasing the ability of people to access and prepare healthy and nutritious foods. There is also a growing understanding that we need to work together, to join up the silos of our activism to effect greater change.
I attended several events that feature local people connecting.
This event, "Rooted in the Region: Agriculture and the Arts in Southwestern Ontario" took place in Blyth Ontario, an all-day event that brought together farmers, farm workers, artists, curators and indigenous people to share experiences.
Creative Food Research Collaboratory Germinating collaborations at the intersection of art and food studies.
I also attended Urban Roots Fall harvest sale and bought some fresh, organic produce, listened to the music and connected with people attending. Urban Roots is a farm that worked very hard to get a farm licence in the city to grow commercial crops and sell to the public.
They were joined by Oneida Sweet Treats from Muncey Reserve and Growing Chefs
who made delicious food for the event.
Urban Roots is a non-profit organization that revitalizes underused land in the City of London for agriculture by
Producing high-quality, organic vegetables and herbs
Distributing produce locally, directly to consumers and to private and social enterprises
Developing agricultural opportunities for the neighbourhood, social enterprises, and community organizations within the City of London
Growing a self-sustaining, urban agricultural model to germinate to new sites
And, along with Forij Thrills Katelyn Landry who also is a part of Forest City Treeats, we had a booth at "Know Your Food: Grow, Eat, Understand".
The Middlesex-London Food Policy Council organized this event bringing together food people from many aspects of the spectrum: farmers and food producers and processors, chefs, educators.
There were two panel discussions both full of information which shed light on aspects of local food that may not have occurred to us, especially the place of large local food processors and growers in our food systems, and the struggles of indigenous peoples on the reservation and off to access their basic needs.
I certainly learned a lot.