Nipigon Blueberry Blast Festival    

May 2019

This engaging video shows how a local community utilizes a locally available food source – boreal forest wild blueberries, to attract tourists to participate in blueberry foraging and to support local community participation. This annual event enhances local community prosperity while coalescing all participants in their connectedness to the land and a deep respect for a healthy environment where blueberries thrive.

About the Social Economy of Food Video Series

The Social Economy of Food Video Series showcases local leaders that are using food to improve their communities by enhancing the local and social economies. Watch the complete series here.

Other videos in the series:

Enhancing the production, processing and distribution of local foods in Northwestern Ontario 

April 2019

CLFC emerged from a desire among farmers in the Dryden area to be better connected to potential markets. This upbeat video describes how an on-line local food distribution system, that covers a vast geographic area with sparse population, functions to benefit producers, processors and restaurants featuring local food. CLFC has grown very rapidly since its beginning in 2013. What started with just 85 members in the Dryden community has now grown to a current membership of over 1,500 in more than eight hub communities across Northwestern Ontario, with expansion to more communities currently under way. All products are sold through the co-op’s website (www.cloverbeltlocalfoodcoop.com), which operates year-round.

About the Social Economy of Food Video Series

The Social Economy of Food Video Series showcases local leaders that are using food to improve their communities by enhancing the local and social economies. Watch the complete series here.

Other videos in the series:

Wild harvest as an urban practice

December 2018

By Irena Knezevic

Windsor, Ontario, is in that part of Canada that geographically hooks into the US, and is paradoxically located south of the border, just across the river from Detroit. It is sometimes jokingly referred to as “Detroit South.” The moniker is in fact utterly appropriate. Like Detroit, it is a blue-collar town full of immigrants (largely white, European, but more recently also Lebanese and then Somalian) many of whom came to the city to work in the automotive factories that form the backbone of Windsor’s economy. It is also a city that, like Detroit, has a rich arts and culture scene.

In the heart of that city, just three or four blocks from the Detroit River, is an alley. This is where my mom, who lives in a condo overlooking the river and Detroit’s captivating skyline, picks all her grape leaves for dolmatas. We come from Bosnia, and we love stuffing vegetables of all kinds—peppers, zucchini, cabbage, onion, grape leaves. My stepfather is Greek, so dolmatas are a staple food for him too. Dolmatas make sense in their household. But the two of them live a comfortable urban retiree life, and don’t need to pick their food from alleyways where it’s free. My mom’s neighbourhood harvest is not a product of necessity. Yet, the delight in her voice is palpable when I phone her and she tells me about her recent harvest of mulberries in that same alley. The alley also offers nettle, wild strawberries, and dandelion leaves. Not far from there, she picks amaranth leaves (also known as pigweed or callaloo), and a few blocks over, just by the railroad tracks, is where she gets her rosehips for jam and tea. Continue reading “Wild harvest as an urban practice”