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Market Garden Intensive

Join two seasoned market gardeners and popular speakers as they discuss market garden production on small acreages and cover a variety of topics.

This full day workshop takes place Thursday, January 25th from 10am to 4:15pm

Hanna Jacobs of Matchbox Garden & Seed Company will focus on Crop Planning and Design.

Photos from Matchbox Garden & Seed Company
Kristine Hammel of Persephone Market Garden will focus on tools – not just the hoe in your hand!
Photos from Persephone Market Garden
The Farm to Fashion Runway
Models walking on a gravel lane.

Fashion begins on the farm and passes through many hands before appearing in the runway limelight.

Join us for this special Evening Seminar on Thursday, January 25th starting at 6pm.

A fantastic line-up of panelists including:

Peggy Sue Deaven – Peggy Sue Collection

Deborah Livingston-Lowe – Upper Canada Weaving

Jennifer Osborn – Upper Canada Fibreshed & AllSorts Acre

Moderated by Becky Porlier, Upper Canada Fibreshed & Upper Canada Mercantile

Sheep and wool photos related to workshop.
Image of schedule

Some of our generous 2018 conference sponsors...
Link to The Big Carrot
Link to Field Farms Marketing website
Link to Homestead Organics
Link to Pfenning's Organic.
Keep in touch & follow us online!

OTTAWA, 18 December 2017 - The government of Canada is moving forward with the development of a much needed Food Policy for Canada, which will incorporate the social, environmental and economic aspects of the food system into an integrated policy framework. To support the successful implementation of this multifaceted policy, a broad alliance of more than 50 food industry, civil society and farming groups is calling on the federal government to create a National Food Policy Council.

A National Food Policy Council would bring together key stakeholders from across the food system to work collaboratively with the government. It would provide diverse expertise and evidence-based advice on how to progress toward a food system that better promotes a healthier, more equitable, sustainable and prosperous Canada.

A Food Policy for Canada is expected to support Canada’s ambitious agri-food economic growth targets while integrating critical food security, health and safety, and environmental sustainability requirements. While the policy will provide a framework for action, much work will remain to further address the challenges and opportunities within our food system, engage stakeholders, and move from policy formulation to implementation. Some of these challenges include four million Canadians living in food insecurity, high levels of diet-related disease, and climate change mitigation and adaptation; while there are significant opportunities to build public trust and advance Canada’s international trade objectives.

Recognizing this complexity, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food recommended a series of actions to support the development of A Food Policy for Canada. In its report released on December 11th, the Committee recommended that the government create a permanent advisory council consisting of multiple stakeholders.

“I applaud the federal government’s leadership and consultative approach to building a national food policy as the foundation for a more sustainable food system,” says Michael McCain, President and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods. “But governments can’t do it all – business and civil society must engage and be part of the solution. An inclusive National Food Policy Council is the best way to drive bold action on the strength of evidence and collaboration.”

“A national food policy is a long-standing priority for Canadian farmers,” says Ron Bonnett, President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. “CFA supports a multi-stakeholder governing council as a means of ensuring that farmers have a place at the food policy development table. We see it as an important forum for sharing perspectives and encouraging dialogue. Through joint discussions, we can clarify misperceptions and identify opportunities where farmers can help meet emerging consumer demands."

“The non-profit sector is deeply knowledgeable and engaged in advancing a more equitable and sustainable food system and provides an important voice that has not yet been integrated in food policy making,” says Diana Bronson, Executive Director of Food Secure Canada. “Bringing more diversity to the table will ensure that social, health and environmental issues are given proper attention as well as bringing innovative community practices to the policy-making table”

“Working with the academic and research community was a necessary part of the process,” says Evan Fraser, Director of the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph and a Canada Research Chair in the Department of Geography. “And through a rigorous research process, we were able to distill best practices from food policy councils from around the world to inform our recommendations to the Canadian Government.”

Over 40,000 Canadians responded to the online consultations for A Food Policy for Canada, demonstrating clear interest in the future of our food system. A National Food Policy Council would create a forum in which this conversation can continue and incorporate the diverse voices of all Canadians.

The ad hoc working group was formed in early 2017 with the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Food Secure Canada, Maple Leaf Foods and the McConnell Foundation as founding members. This proposal has garnered support from a broad cross-section of businesses, non-profits and sectoral organizations from across Canada in a letter sent to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay last week.

For additional background, see The Case for A National Food Policy Council report.


November 29, 2017

A wave of recent research positively linking coffee consumption to health and longevity will increase opportunities for coffee manufacturers to appeal to health-conscious consumers, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Two separate research studies published this year have already linked higher frequency of coffee consumption to a reduced risk of mortality. These findings have now been supported by a wide-scale meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal.

Melanie Felgate, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The findings will be welcomed by coffee consumers around the globe, particularly as other caffeinated beverage options such as fizzy drinks and energy drinks become increasingly criticised due to their high sugar content.”

According to GlobalData’s Q3 2016 consumer survey, 60 percent of consumers globally are often or always influenced by how the product impacts their health and wellbeing when choosing non-alcoholic beverages. The survey revealed that 89 percent of consumers are interested in food and drinks that claim to improve general health and wellbeing, ensuring that coffee is likely to be an increasingly attractive beverage option.

Felgate continues: “Coffee consumption is already on the rise globally, with GlobalData forecasting volume sales of coffee to grow by around 2.4 percent per year from 2016 to reach 6.8 billion KG by 2021.  As awareness of the positive benefits of coffee become more widespread, it is likely to become even more attractive as a form of healthy functional hydration supporting further growth.”

Coffee also has the advantage of being a natural product, likely making it more appealing than the array of functional health beverages, such as added vitamin waters, hitting the market. GlobalData’s Q1 2017 survey revealed that 90 percent of consumers globally find products naturally high in nutrients to be appealing; well above the 68 percent who find products fortified with added nutrients appealing.

Felgate concludes: “As the understanding of the link between coffee consumption and health increases, there are opportunities for other food and drink brands, beyond coffee, to capitalize by incorporating coffee as a flavor or ingredient to enhance the healthy ‘halo’ of such products.”


Calgary, AB – October 18, 2017 – Left Field Foods launches naturally simple and delicious SPOKES air-puffed potato snacks. A unique entry into the North American Better-For-You (BFY) snack category which is growing rapidly due to consumer preference for simple ingredients with no preservatives.

A light and crunchy potato snack that is air-puffed {never oil fried}, SPOKES are lightly oil-misted and seasoned for a naturally delicious clean and crisp taste experience. Made with good-for-you simple ingredients, SPOKES are gluten-free, Non GMO Project Verified and have only 40 calories per cup. Free of the 11 major allergens including dairy, gluten, wheat, soy and egg, no artificial preservatives or colours, and no trans fat or cholesterol, SPOKES are a potato snack everyone can love. Plus, they’re made locally in a peanut free facility in Calgary, AB, Canada. Available in nine (9) mouth-watering flavours, there is something for everyone: Sea Salt, Mango Habanero, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Barbecue, Dill Pickle, Salt & Pepper, Fiesta Salsa, Sea Salted Caramel and Simply Bare.

“Created by a Canadian Mom who wanted a Better-For-You (BFY) snack for her family, SPOKES was born as a result of many years’ work refining product development and consumer research. We’re naturally curious, and are always experimenting with new things. With an emphasis on wholesome, naturally simple ingredients and great taste, we set out to create a delicious snack the whole family can love. The new brand is quickly gaining traction with extremely positive consumer response so far, and for good reason,” says Dave Pullar, CEO of Left Field Foods. “Selective about everything we do, we listened carefully to our customer. This is at the heart of our commitment to excellence and the driving force behind what we do every day – from sourcing simple, quality ingredients, to our product innovation and production processes, to ensuring consumer satisfaction – and above all, creating a naturally delicious taste experience for families to enjoy, without all the bad stuff,” says Pullar.

SPOKES air-puffed potato snacks typically retail $3.99 for a regular size bag, and are already available across Canada in most natural, conventional and independent grocery and drugstore retailers including: Whole Foods, Kardish, Goodness Me!, Planet Organic, Blush Lane, Safeway, Sobeys (Western Canada), Thrifty Foods, Metro (Quebec), London Drugs and Bed Bath & Beyond. For more information on where to find SPOKES, please visit


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