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In this issue..

More local affordable food destined for West Carleton in 2016

Val Ward and Judi Varga-Toth, Sustain West Carleton

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A grassroots coalition in the rural Ottawa ward of West Carleton is set to launch a series of programs to make it easier for residents to access affordable, healthy food grown close to home.

Programs to make it easier for people to access affordable, healthy, local food are set to launch in West Carleton in 2016. Photo courtesy of R. Tovell.
Programs to make it easier for people to access affordable, healthy, local food are set to launch in West Carleton in 2016.
Photo courtesy of R. Tovell.

Made up of farmers, market gardeners, health professionals, business people and residents, the West Carleton Healthy Food Coalition (WCHFC) is partnering with the Ottawa Good Food Box and EnviroCentre’s Sustain West Carlton project to boost the ward’s ability to grow, store and distribute its own food. Helping people learn about food gardening and preparation will also be part of these efforts.

The WCHFC’s plans were given a boost in December 2015 when it won a grant of $125,000 from the Community Foundation of Ottawa (CFO) to improve food security in West Carleton.

“We’re committed to addressing the needs of small farmers and eaters in West Carleton,” says Katie Ward-Chiasson of Our Farm CSA in Woodlawn and a WCHFC member. “The end goal is a more secure local food system and a stronger local economy.”

Food security programs coming to West Carleton this year will include a community root cellar on the site of the Diefenbunker Museum in Carp. Photo courtesy of R. Tovell
Food security programs coming to West Carleton this year will include a community root cellar on the site of the Diefenbunker Museum in Carp.
Photo courtesy of R. Tovell

West Carleton has been classified as a “food desert” by the Ottawa Food Policy Council, says Judi Varga-Toth, coordinator for Sustain West Carleton, an EnviroCentre initiative that supports the WCHFC. “There are no full-service grocery stores in the area and only a handful of convenience stores that sell little or no fresh local produce. Residents must travel an average of 45 km round trip to buy fresh produce compared with an average of 8 km in the rest of Ottawa.”

To tackle the problem, the WCHFC will:

  • set up a community root cellar at the site of the Diefenbunker Museum, where area farmers can rent space to store their produce year-round. This type of root cellar may be the first of its kind in Canada;
  • distribute more locally grown food through West Carleton retail outlets and the Good Food Box;
  • launch a community garden with local partners in Constance Bay where residents can rent a plot for a small fee to grow their own food;
  • conduct workshops on topics such as cooking, nutrition, food gardening, canning and preservation, and home root cellaring.

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For more information, contact Judi Varga-Toth at sustainwestcarleton@envirocentre.ca or Katie Ward-Chiasson at ourfarmcsa@gmail.com


PEN Spring 2016 Simple

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The PERC thanks the above organizations for their support.

Thank you to Sustainable Eastern Ontario, the Community Foundation of Ottawa, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation for sponsoring the Winter 2015-2016 edition of the PEN.

 

Viewpoints expressed should not be taken to represent the opinions of the Ottawa Peace and Environment Resource Centre, the Peace and Environment News, or our supporters. The PEN does not recommend, approve or endorse any of the advertisers, products or services printed in the PEN or referred to on the PERC website. Health-related information printed in the PEN or online is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified and licensed health care provider. The PERC and PEN are not responsible for the content on any external website links.