Feeding Your Future – Virtual Career Fairs

Are you interested in a career in agriculture? The Ontario Federation of Agriculture is hosting multiple online career fairs. To participate, please see the details below.

Dates: June 18, 2020 Time: 2-5pm Area: Middlesex/London & Surrounding Areas Job Seeker Registration: https://pheedloop.com/register/feedyourfuturemiddlesexlondon/attendee/

Date: June 23, 2020 Time: 2-5pm Area: Brant/Haldimand/Norfolk/Niagara/Hamilton & Surrounding Areas Job Seeker Registration: https://pheedloop.com/register/feedyourfuturebranthaldimandnorfolkniagarahamilton/attendee/

Date: June 25, 2020 Time: 2-5pm Area: Quinte/Hastings/Belleville/Prince Edward & Surrounding Areas Job Seeker Registration: https://pheedloop.com/register/feedyourfuturequintehastingsbellevilleprinceedward/attendee/

Date: June 30, 2020 Time: 2-5pm Area: Renfrew/Lanark/Ottawa & Surrounding Areas Job Seeker Registration: https://pheedloop.com/register/feedyourfuturerenfrewlanarkottawa/attendee/

Employers can register by emailing feedyourfuture@agcareers.com

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Dietitian Recommendations for June Seasonal Produce!

There are so many reasons June is a great month, and local strawberries are one of those reasons. The delicate flavours of June produce are in stark contrast to the more aggressive Brassics we enjoyed in May. Warm weather will continue to expand the flavour and nutrient profiles of what our local farmers will be bringing to market. It was evident in the markets this past weekend that the COVID precautions are becoming second nature, as the respectful shoppers hunted and gathered. 

Consider the pleasing esthetic of the humble strawberry, a beautiful bright red colour with a distinct bite-size shape like no other and a soft, sweet, juicy interior.  It would be enough if it were to boast about being an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of fibre. Still, the antioxidant Pelargonidin, which is responsible for the red coloration, also has some neuroprotective properties.  A recent study at Rush Institute of Healthy Aging in Chicago, concluded, using food frequency questionnaires over six years, that strawberries may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia in older adults. 

Asparagus is a wondrous bit of history dating back to 3000 BC and gaining popularity in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. We are sadly nearing the end of the growing season, which started in May. Harvesting the asparagus shoots is very laborious as it must be done carefully by hand. The delicate green stalks offer two distinct eating experiences. The tip requires very little cooking and is beyond tender with a flavour like broccoli. The stem has a pleasing creaminess when well cooked and a refreshing snap when lightly blanched. Asparagus has a generous 1.8g fibers/1/2cup and is known to be a diuretic, overall a clean sweep.

Small pickling cucumbers make great pickles, but they also make great cucumbers.  These little minis have a thin skin, tiny seeds and a pleasing delicate melon flavour when eaten raw.  Cucumbers are low in calories because of the high (96%) water content. Most of the nutrients are in the peel. Making pickling cucumbers into pickles using the Lacto fermented Kosher method does not use vinegar and can enhance your gut microbiome with probiotics. 

The deep purple-red colour of the beetroot is a clue that this vegetable deserves some attention.  Originally coveted for their edible greens, the beetroot was first known for its functionality as a fabric dye and a digestive aid.  Beets can be eaten raw or cooked, but the slightly bitter skin is more easily removed after cooking. Beets contain natural nitrates, which elevate them to the functional foods category due to their potential to inhibit inflammation and reduce blood pressure. 

How fortunate we are to live in a county that has local farmers producing such aabundance of delicious fruits and vegetables.  Visiting a farmer’s market is a way to really connect with the individuals who dedicate themselves to the noble business of supplying us with the freshest, healthiest food available.  It is worth the effort to supplement your food shopping with a trip to the farmers market. 

 

 About the author: Susan Smith is a volunteer at the MLFPC with long-standing expertise in nutrition. She graduated from UWO, Brescia University College in 1995 and has been a clinical dietitian at the London Health Science Center for almost 25 years! Susan has a keen interest in sustainable food systems that create a harmonious urban-rural relationship with a focus on community health and a minimal carbon footprint. 

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Resource: An inside look into a local farm

Have you ever wondered what goes on inside local egg farms? Megan Veldman, an egg farmer just north of London, Ontario describes and shares her experience. Megan is a family farmer & has 25,000 hens to care for. Her video can be found here!
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London Food Bank Announces their “London Cares Curb Hunger Awareness Drive”

On Tuesday June 2nd 2020, the London Food Bank launched the London Cares Curb Hunger Awareness Drive. The Middlesex-London Food Policy Council would like to extend a giant thank you to the farm groups and members of the London community that have been donating to London citizens in need.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Food Bank is asking the community to consider contributing with monetary donations during the annual London Cares Curb Hunger Food drive. This “virtual food drive” will raise funds to purchase needed supplies while reducing contact between people.

The campaign will be actively accepting contributing until June 13th 2020 and is accepting support and donations in the following ways:

1. Financial Donations

The easiest way is to make a financial donation directly to the London Food Bank at: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/49767

2. Plant a Row, Grow a Row

The most fun way is to sign up to Grow a Row of fresh produce in your garden for the Food Bank. http://www.londonfoodbank.ca/learn/plant-a-row-grow-a-row/

3. Food Donations at Grocery Stores

The traditional way is the donation bin at participating grocery stores. Check with your local store or the list on the website listed below to see all available drop off places.

4. At the London Food Bank

The “drop off” way for fresh and non-perishable food is to visit the London Food Bank at 926 Leathorne Street. Thank you for your patience when visiting as physical distancing measures are in effect.

For more information and to see all available drop off places, http://www.londonfoodbank.ca/events/london-cares-curb-hunger-campaign-2020/

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Greenhouse Academy announces “Growing-kits” to help first-time growers

The art of growing your own produce and herbs can not only save money but can also can be a source of family bonding and community initiative. While many have the desire and intention to create a garden, a recurring problem for some of these individuals is not knowing where to start and which produce and herbs to plant.

The Greenhouse Academy and a number of local Middlesex-London partners have created a unique solution to help more homeowners and their children become excited about growing produce and herbs and understand the first steps to a successful garden.

These Greenhouse Academy growing-kits are perfect for experienced or first-time growers and are easily planted in backyards, patios, store fronts, or balconies. The kits are delivered to your front door complete with growing instructions and stored in a compostable pot, already planted with starter plants to ensure you are as successful as the pros.

Through the Growing Academy online store you can browse through kits to grow ingredients for fresh pizza, spaghetti or garden salad.

To purchase a growing-kit or to learn more information about Greenhouse Academy, the local partners involved in the initiative or events happening in the community, please visit:

https://greenhouseacademy.ca/growingkits/

 

 

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Green and Inclusive Recovery Town Hall

Picture1How can London transition to a green and inclusive city as we recover from the pandemic? On Wednesday, June 3rd, join us for a “Green and Inclusive Recovery Town Hall” – a virtual panel discussion on post-COVID-19 recovery in London.

Political leaders Peter Fragiskatos (MP, London North Centre), Peggy Sattler (MPP, London West), and Jesse Helmer (Deputy Mayor & City Councillor, Ward 4) will address questions from partner organizations and participants about the future of London’s green and inclusive transition.

Please RSVP for this virtual event through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/green-and-inclusive-virtual-town-hall-london-tickets-106439728092

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