Welcome. The project started from a placement at university. Looking at the situation of school gardens in Thunder Bay, Ontario. There are many pieces of the puzzle and eco-justice, social justice, food security and education all find a home at my Blog.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Food Inc...

I've just watched Food Inc again. What a fascinating observation of today's society. The documentary takes us along the industrial food chain from food lot to slaughter house to Monsanto and how our food has changed over the years.

I've long been a proponent of local food and spent many happy Saturdays at local farmers markets and seeking out local food vendors. The idea of the industrial farm scares me more and more, particularly when I watch such powerful films as Food Inc. Every year, we hear of more and more massive food scares and I daily receive updates from the FDA on food recalls in the USA. We live in a frightening time. Obesity is on the rise and there is a huge public health issue that travels along with this. How can we stop this?

Food Inc suggests that the industrial farm is a HUGE problem, along with the big industrial food companies. I bet, if you walk around the supermarket and look at all the pre-packaged, snack foods and tinned goods, along with the shrink-wrapped meat, you'll find the names of but a few companies. Sad, when you think that many of the smaller producers have been swallowed up by these big companies, even sadder when you consider what it might take for these few companies to have problems with their factories or transportation systems. What would be the outcome of all this? Food shortages in North America and Europe?

I have been thinking about these things for many years now. The cost of oil seems to be growing and growing. Food is getting more and more expensive, especially the cost of good, nutritious food. Fresh, nutritious food seems to be more expensive than the mass produced stuff, which to me is even scarier.

All this tells me that it makes more and more sense to grow your own food. Talk to the local farmers and see what they can offer us, vote with our wallets at supermarkets and demand more locally grown produce. I'm going to be starting a neighbourhood gardening project in the Sault this year, which has many in the community excited for the possibilities of cheap and fresh produce for their kids this Summer.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oh Boy...

well... it might be fall in Canada, but I am trying now to figure out how I can start some community gardens in the neighbourhood where I work. I've totally forgotton about the blog for the most part and am very sorry about this. Hope the information I posted earlier this year is still of benefit for my readers and I will try and post more as and when I find it. In the meantime, if there are any Sooites who have information about starting community gardens, please can you contact me


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Back to School

September winds are blowing in Sault ste Marie and the children go back to school this week. I can't believe the Summer is almost gone. I've heard several geese heading south and seen some trees changing colours already.With back to school, brings much that is new for those starting school and for those who are heading to their senior years are high school.

We've spent our summer getting to know our new district, a staycation, if that's what you like to call it. We've been working on our new garden and planning for the next summers planting.

I hope all those schools who began their gardens this Summer have had much success and are able to share that success with other schools. This is a growing movement in more ways than one.

Monday, August 8, 2011

School Meals

I grew up in the UK, eating the nasty school meals of the 1980's, hating every moment of it. Jamie Oliver, British chef extraordinaire, has in recent years, been trying to revolutionize school meals, first across the UK and now in the USA. Thinking about this, I have begun to realise just how important it is for children to have access to healthy food during their school day.

It seems in Ontario, there is no school meal policy. Children at elementary school have to bring their own meals to school in order to eat. There is of course, limited funding for emergency food to give to children with no lunches. This seems though to be diminishing. What kind of government condones children learning at school with little or no access to  hot lunches? Many children attend school without having breakfast. Schools rely on outside charities to provide breakfast programs.

I personally think its so sad that there is little money to provide access to healthy meals to children. Without good food, children cannot be active learners. With so much pressure on children to perform, without access to healthy food, children will have difficulty living up to all the expectations upon them. Access to healthy food should be a right. It is a preventative measure, to ensure children grow up healthy and strong. Surely prevention is a good thing?

School meals could also be part of a school garden program. The children could grow the food as part of a school garden program. Being able to grow their food in a garden and then eat it, teaches children so much about being a part of their environment. That connection has been lost in this modern, consumer society. Food is an integral part of our society. Without healthy food, children will grow up sick and obese. What kind of world will it be if we don't stop and think about our children's future?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

: Gardening as a Spiritual Practice

Spirituality & Practice: Map: Gardening as a Spiritual Practice

Just found these books. Haven't read them yet, I must admit, however, I think its a subject that needs to be thought about when out in the garden. I personally find being in the garden and outdoors at the local parks or in the countryside very spiritual. Its a time when you can be one with creation and enjoy fresh air and the trees swaying in the wind. I know from watching my children, how being in the countryside helps them to relax and rejuvenate.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hiawatha Highlands

I've just enjoyed a wonderful visit to the Hiawatha Highlands near Sault Ste Marie. Its a total gem of a park and great escape for those of us who live in the city.Pity I didn't bring the camera as we found the waterfall today. Its an easy climb on boardwalk( Some steps are missing). We also walked around the lake at the bottom of the hill and were lucky enough to spot a turtle. The pines smelled wonderful and the peace was enjoyed by all!

Meatless Mondays

Meatless Monday | one day a week, cut out meat

I've been a vegetarian for about 15 years now. Living in Canada, I find this quite hard as Canadians seem to me to be a people who love their meat, just look out west to the beef production! I found this website that has recipes that can help you adopt a vegetarian meal once per week. You never know, you may enjoy it enough to become a vegetarian like me!