In 2009, Keene was ranked "prettiest town in Canada" by Harrowsmith Country Life magazine due to its distinct blend of rustic shops, skilled artisans, beautiful gardens, and rich history. All these unique features will be highlighted tomorrow, May 15th, when the Keene Farmers' Market re-opens for the 2015 season
community food security
Big yellow taxi was one of the first Canadian songs I learned. A friend of mine had a copy of Ladies of the Canyon where the song was first released. Its environmental theme appealed to me and its catchy chorus became forever etched into my memory. From that point on, any cursory glance at parking lots would bring back Joni Mitchell’s playful alliteration:
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot.
Do you know how much it costs to follow a healthy diet in Ontario? If you are not sure and want to find out, you can ask your local health unit, they have the answers. In fact, they have been gathering answers to this question for the past 6 years throughout the province, and for close to 25 years here in Peterborough.
For the past 9 months, St Andrew's United Church in Peterborough has been the site of a mouth-watering pilot project called A Taste of Nourish. Every other week until September and weekly since then, participants have been invited to enroll in cooking classes designed to grow access to healthy food and enhance food skills. Participants' feedback and a recently conducted evaluation have taught us that this initiative is having a positive impact.
On December 14th, along with over 30 community members, I had the opportunity to participate in a Walk of Hope and friendships. For the second year in a row, organizers of the event wanted to grow a symbolic garland of lights, streaming together bright landmarks of social justice throughout the city of Peterborough.
Under the leadership of the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough, Vital Signs brought together community leaders and stakeholders, professional consultants and statisticians, as well as everyday citizens in assessing our regional vitality. The purpose is to understand and evaluate how we, as a community, are doing across a number of “issue areas,” while helping us identify significant trends, and highlight our community’s needs and strengths.
I enjoy gardening for lots of reasons. One of them is seeing how powerful a small item, such as a seed, can be. Kale seeds, for instance, are really small, yet they have the power to yield such nutritious meals, beauty, conversations and community. Why conversations and community? Because I plant most of my kale in my front yard. As a result kids in my neighbourhood and some of their parents ask me about those strange vegetables that grow in my yard. I also get lots of questions about how to cook kale.
I mentioned in my last post that most of the seeds sold and/or exchanged at Seedy Sunday were heirloom ones. You may wonder what is meant by that. In general, heirloom seeds are defined as old, open-pollinated cultivars. In other words, these seeds were introduced before the 1950s and when planted they should grow 'true to type.'
Do you have a fruit tree which produces more than you can use? If so, would you be interested in calling gleaners to the rescue? They can come, collect the fruit from your tree and leave you a third of the harvest or simply pick what you don't want. It's a win-win solution! No more mess and an opportunity to support people who may not have access to healthy, local food.
Early on weekend mornings, before the sun rises, I take Maddi for long walks. One of our favourite hikes takes us to a large community garden, near the Lift Lock. Surrounded on three sides by bushes and trees, the garden has all the appearance of a secret one. Usually, by the time we get there, the light starts to peak out in the sky. Yesterday morning, as we walked by the garden, the trees were glistening with snow and frost. There was no one around, the air was crisp with cold and the snow was crunchy under my feet.