Locke Street Holdiay Market - THIS Saturday is their last day!

Locke Street is having their LAST Holiday Market THIS Saturday Dec 17th.
10am-5pm 211 Locke Street S (Fenian Films)
FEATURING: local arts and crafts, holiday music, food and beverages PLUS! vendors from the Locke Street Farmers' Market.
Jerry's Berries will be selling frozen raspberries - while supplies last!
Richardsons Farm will be there selling their preserves, baked goodies, honey, maple syrup, sweet potatoes and apples!

Tool Drive at Parkview School

The Hamilton Community Garden Network (HCGN) is holding a tool drive!

Wednesday, December 14th from 6:00-9:00pm
Parkview Secondary School, located at 60 Balsam Avenue North in Hamilton.

The Network will be collecting new or gently used tools for community garden projects throughout Hamilton, including Oliver’s Garden Project and a Community Garden Tool Trailer.

The evening also will include a student talent show (starting at 6:30pm), light refreshments for sale and the sale of herbs and house plants to support the Growing Parkview Project. This project will be growing vegetable seedlings in the spring for distribution to community gardens.

An almost-winter recipe!

This recipe comes from Foodland Ontario's great recipe database where you can find great ideas to make lots of great Ontario based meals!

Sweet Potato Apple Pancakes

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 15 Minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) packed brown sugar

  • 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) baking powder

  • 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla

  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) mashed cooked Ontario Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 Ontario Apple, cored and chopped

  • Shortening, for cooking

  • Ontario Maple Syrup


In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, beat together milk, eggs and vanilla; stir in sweet potato. Add to dry ingredients; stir just until moistened. Stir in apple.
Using 1/4 cup (50 mL) batter for each pancake, spoon into lightly greased skillet over medium heat; cook until tops are bubbly and edges cooked. Turn and cook until golden. Serve immediately with maple syrup.

You are invited to....

Environment Hamilton's "Festive Local Food and Frills Fair!"

Local farmers and producers are coming to our office building (22 Wilson St - Sonic Unyon Records) on Friday Dec 9th
7pm-9pm to sell their locally produced goodies.

Vendors include:
Cake and Loaf Bakery
Gathering Bliss
Homegrown Hamilton
Morden's Organic Farm
Parkside Highschool
VG Meats
Weir's Lane Lavender

As part of Environment Hamilton's Open House and James Street North Art Crawl.

Buy Local for the holidays!

Hamilton Eat Local-Slow Food Hamilton's 4th Annual HOLIDAY ECO SCHMOOZE!!

Join us at 7pm when doors open! This year's featured film is the amazing and inspiring "NOURISH PETERBOROUGH", and it's our pleasure to have Emily Blondin-Doan, the director as our special guest!! This film was chosen for screening after meeting some of the amazing people and community food groups encountered at the recent BRING FOOD HOME food conference at Trent University in October.

The film will be followed by a panel of amazing local food activists (Clare Wagner of Green Venture, Theresa Phair of City of Hamilton Housing and Sapphire Singh, the coordinator of the new Hamilton Farmers' Market Community Kitchen) and a group discussion. It's amazing what can be achieved when we work (and eat) together.  Refreshments and community will be served :-)

Only $5 (or $2 unwaged). Ticket info is coming soon but seating is definitely limited, so watch for news!

The City wants to ban Urban Chickens - what do you think?

UPDATE: Its not too late to let your City Councillor know how you feel about urban chickens.
The council will debate the New Responsible Animal By-Laws on Jan. 12th.

The controversy surrounding urban chickens continues as the City will be meeting in regards to the new animal by-laws that includes not allowing urban chickens. If you can, come to this meeting to find out more.

(Also, write to your City Councillor and let them know how you feel about the ban on raising chickens within urban Hamilton).

Details on the meeting:
November 15, 2011 at 9:30 a.m
Hamilton City Hall
Council Chambers, 2nd Floor
71 Main Street West, Hamilton

All are welcome. Anyone wishing to make a presentation is required to pre-register.

Anyone interested in making a presentation on the "Updated Animal By-law for the Entire City of Hamilton" is asked to pre-register as a delegation by no later than 12:00 noon on Monday, November 14, 2011 by contacting:

Vanessa Robicheau
City Clerks' Office, 1st Floor, 71 Main Street West, Hamilton ON L8P 4Y5
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 2729
Email: Vanessa.Robicheau@hamilton.ca

Presentations are limited to 5 minutes.

Written submissions for inclusion in the meeting agenda are welcomed and will be accepted by e-mail or mail at the above noted address, or by fax 905-546-2095, until 12:00 noon on Monday, November 14, 2011.

For comments or questions regarding the revised By-law, contact either:

Sue O’Dwyer
Manager of Animal Services (Acting)
247 Dartnall Road, Hamilton ON L8W 3V9
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 2597
Email: Sue.O'Dwyer@hamilton.ca


Karen Edwards
Program Development Officer
247 Dartnall Road, Hamilton ON L8W 3V9
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 1789
Email: Karen.Edwards@hamilton.ca


Article in The Spec:

Just Food: The Right to Food Exhibition

   Starting November 25th, at the Worker' Art & Heritage Centre, there will be the Just Food: The Right to Food exhibition. It features Canadian and international artists exploring food access, security issues, and well as 'the right to food'. This exhibition is curated by the Mennonite Heritage Centre in Winnipeg. Karen Thiessen, whose work is featured in the show, will be doing a featured talk at the opening ceremonies. 
   In addition WAHC will present special screening of  Yung Chang’s Earth to Mouth a 2002 film that explores life at Wing Fong Farms, a Chinese-Canadian owned farm near Newcastle, Ontario.Earth to Mouth is presented in conjunction with the third annual Hamilton edition of the Canadian Labour International Film Festival.

Hamilton Food Charter

A city advisory committee, the Community Food Security Stakeholder Committee is setting out to write a food charter. This charter will creat a vision that will guide food policies in our city. And we want your imput.
   We invision a food charter that will:
- promote healthy, safe, nutritious, and accessible food system
- support sustinance practices and promote the economic viability of our farmers
- support a just food system
- support a vibrant local food system
But we need to hear from you! Whast would you include in a Food Charter? Be part of creating a food charter for Hamilton. A Food Charter would help shape "A Healthy, Sustainable and Just Food System for the Community of Hamilton".

To contribute to the charter, register by calling 546-CITY (905-546-2489) for one of the six public consultations. Please identify any accessibility needs at the time.

A Halloween Recipe

 Happy Halloween!

 Here is a recipe from Foodland Ontario that is sure to be enjoyed by all.

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffin Squares

Chock full of cranberries and pumpkin flavour, these moist orange-spiked squares are ideal for dessert or weekend breakfast treats. Tuck one or two into packed lunches for a treat kids will love.
Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Cooking Time: 30 to 40 Minutes

Servings: 15 squares or 12 muffins
  • 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) pumpkin pie spice
  • 2-1/2 tsp (12 mL) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) chopped fresh Ontario Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup (120 mL) packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) orange juice
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) milk
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated orange rind
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) cooked Ontario Pumpkin purée

  • Topping:
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter, softened
In bowl, combine sugar, flour, pumpkin pie spice and butter; set aside.

In large bowl stir together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir in cranberries and walnuts.
In separate bowl, beat egg; mix in brown sugar, orange juice, milk, oil and orange rind. Blend in pumpkin purée. Pour over flour mixture and stir just until moistened. Spoon into greased 8-inch (2 L) square cake pan. Sprinkle with topping.
Bake in 375ºF (190ºC) oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Run knife around edges to loosen. Turn out onto wire rack and let cool. Cut into squares. (Alternatively spoon batter into 12 large greased or paper-lined muffin cups, filling to top. Sprinkle with topping. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until firm to the touch.) Serve warm or at room temperature.

10th Anniversary Celebration

   Here  at EH everything is just starting to quite down after our 10th Anniversary Celebration. It was a very eventful evening filled with bidding on the silent auction, listening to great music from both Sarah Harmer and Dawn & Marra, and of course eating the wonderful food that was prepared for us. Thanks go out to Chef & Wife for all of their delicious hors d'oeuvres that were distributed through out the night. Another thanks go out to our refreshment suppliers Steamwhistle brewery and Puddicombes. There was a great deal of people that volunteered through out the night that are all greatly appriciated.
   The evening started out very smooth, and before we knew it everything was under way. People mingled as the found their seats, or browsed the silent auction. There was lots to see in the silent auction, and all of the items went very nicely. Through out the evening we saw speeches, watched a video, and ate delicious desserts and cake. Sarah Harmer did an amazing job, and over all the evening was a great success.
   Thank you to everyone who supported and came out to celebrate with us!

Mmm Apple Sauce

Monday afternoon we headed over to Fortino's in the Eastgate Mall, and used their wonderful community room to make apple sauce. We didn't get a great turnout, but we still had fun. The apples we used came from Dundurn Castle and they tasted great! We use about ten pounds of apples, that turned into great sauce!

Local meat producer and processor is connecting with Hamilton FoodShare THIS Saturday as part of their grand opening

Local meat producer / processor VG Meats has expanded and has decided to call Stoney Creek its second home. They have been in Simcoe for 40 years and the three brothers are celebrating their Grand Opening of their second location THIS Saturday October 22nd.

As part of their storefront launch, Ontario Heritage Meats will be there and offering various tasting of their products and the first ones to walk into the store on Saturday will get a chance to take home VG Meats homemade sausages.

Saturday October 22nd,
131 Upper Centennial Parkway at Highland Road.

Here an email from one of the owners, Cory Van Groningen

"We're having an opening on Saturday in Stoney Creek. One of the main things going on is that we're asking people to come in and sign our guestbook. For every signature, we will be donating ground beef to the Hamilton Food Share. Our idea is that we would rather give meat to the food bank than wasting paper on printing and distributing flyers.

We're hoping that the day is so successful that we can continue to work with the Hamilton Food Share all year long!
the event is Saturday October 22nd from 9 am to 6 pm. The address is 131 Upper Centennial Parkway at Highland Road, Stoney Creek."

Check out this youtube video: http://bit.ly/qZE58w
For more information, check out

Rural Routes goes to Simpler Thyme Organic Farm for the last tour of the year

Ann plays "Guess that Green?" with participants.

Ann (in the black hat) talks about their 25 acre maple syrup bush and challenges and successes.

The day was chilly and wet but that did not stop Rural Routes participants from enjoying a guided tour of Simpler Thyme Organic Farm (near Freelton).

Learning from Ann, Bill and Charles is always a treat, and they never give the same tour twice! (We know from experience :)

We learned about their passive greenhouse that grows the coolest things (we are not going to tell, as we strongly encourage folks to go to Simpler Thyme and find out all the impressive things that they do), their maple syrup bush and their veggie garden (complete with trees).

One of the concerns Ann bought up was with their 25 acre maple syrup bush. Tapping time is when the daytime temperature is 6 degrees C and the nighttime temperature is minus 6 degrees C. While 2011 had these temperatures, previous years have not been as successful. Ann suspects that ideal temperatures are going to harder to come by and therefore affect maple syrup production in the near future.

While we learned about some challenges that farmers face, Ann focused our attention on successes and plans for the future - including planting native trees and keeping the forest close to her garden (actually growing trees IN her garden) as she argues that forests bring a lot of benefits to the soil and environment in general.

We were offered homemade bread (with swiss chard as the secret ingredient) and hot soup -perfect fare for a fall day. It was delicious!

This Rural Routes is the last tour of the year (as far as we can tell). Check in for 2012 bus tours.

Thank yous:
Smart Commute Hamilton
Homegrown Hamilton for selling our tickets
Hamilton Street Railway

All the farms that we have visited in 2011:
Black Walnut Lane
Murphy's Country Produce
Shearlea Acres
The Boar and Chick
Simpler Thyme Organic Farm

Thanks to our volunteers who come out and help us out with the logistics of the day.

And of course, last but definitely not least, thank you to everyone who has come out to our tours! Its been a pleasure to share these farm tours with you all.

Rural Routes will be back in 2012.

Rural Routes and Neighbour to Neighbour Centre go to Lindley's Farm Market

What a great Thanksgiving Saturday!

Rural Routes participants from Neighbour to Neighbour Centre spent the morning last Saturday at Lindley's Farm Market in Ancaster. Joe, the farmer treated us to their corn maze (this year, featuring Ontario Foodland Symbol - check out their corn maze photos here).

The group picked pumpkins and spent time at the on-site farm market.

Big thank you to Neighbour to Neighbour organizer, Sara, as well as Darlene (and William). This Rural Routes was supported by the Hamilton Community Foundation - thank you to them!

Our next public Rural Routes is heading to Simpler Thyme Organic Farm, near Dundas. Rain or Shine (fingers crossed we have shine!) with farmers, Ann and Charles, leading us - it is sure to be a great tour!

Fruit Tree Projects

When the time has come to prepare for the winter season, and farmers need a little help rounding up the last of their produce the Hamilton Fruit Tree is at the ready! The Hamilton Fruit Tree is a variety of volunteers that go to farms, or orchards in the Hamilton area that need help to finish up the season. When harvesting at a farm, the pickings go to the Hamilton Food Share, and if not there, always to another food bank. To find out more information, or if you want to get involved please check out the Hamilton Fruit Tree Project Blog. Along the sames lines at the Hamilton Fruit Tree Project is Not Far From The Tree, a group based out of Toronto that also aides in picking whenever there is an abundance of local fruit. The harvest that Not Farm From The Tree picks is splitted up into thirds. One third to the tree owner, one third to to volunteers, and one third is distriuted by bicycle to a foodbank, shelter, or community kitchen. Another fruit tree organization is the Halton Fruit Tree Project a third of the Growing and Sharing Food in Halton project. This project is to increase local harvest availability for the people of Milton.

Bring Food Conference

Bring Food Home brings together those who are sowing these seeds across Ontario to share successes, gain skills, and collaborate. This action-focused event will generate new ideas and connections and will move us towards a brighter food future. This year's Bring Food Home Conference at Trent University, on the 27th-29th of October, is three days of hands on workshops, keynote speakers, action planning sessions, and more, all based around Preparing the Ground for a Sustainable Food System. The workshops will be directed at new and experienced farmers that cover the followning topics: CSA Mini School, Intro to SPIN (Small Plot INtensive ) Farming, Crop Planning for Organic Vegetable Growers, Grazing 101, and Buying and Selling Organic Field Crops. Keynote Speakers include: Raj Patel, Mark Winnie, Jeanette Longfield, Dawn Morrison, and Jon Steinman. For more information and registration you can visit the Bring Food Home Website.

Farmer's Markets Fall Update

As the fall is setting in the Farmer's Markets we have around town will be finishing up for the winter. Here are the closing dates of some of the markets we have around our city.Ancaster Farmers' Market: October 5th, Binbrook Farmers' Market: End of October, Dundas Farmers' Market: October 27th, Locke Street Farmers' Market: October 28th, and Mountain Farmers' Market: November 5th. Hurry out to get some of Hamilton's great local food for the winter!

Food author, Lynn Ogryzlo at the Ancaster Farmers' Market in one weeks time!

Wed Sept 21st, 3-5pm, 272 Wilson St E (St John Anglican Church), Ogryzlo's newest book, The Ontario Table, is a farm resource, culinary travel guide and a beautiful cookbook. But it goes further as Ogryzlo has also issued ‘The Ontario Table $10 Challenge” arguing that if every household spent $10 on local food each week, it would mean a 2.4 billion dollar annual influx into our provincial economy. Her book will be available for sale.

Rural Routes goes to The Boar and Chick!

The sun was shining, the pigs and piglets were lounging, and Tania (the farmer) led us through their beautiful farm. Rural Routes spent our September trip at The Boar and Chick, Troy, ON that specialize in wild boar and free run eggs.
We learned about their Berkeshire pigs that were much larger then we anticipated and were led around to their beaver pond. It was a great day!
Thank you to Tania of The Boar and Chick for hosting us and thank you to Tracy at San-Barr Farms who helped out as well. We had a great time! Get tickets for the October trip to Simpler Thyme Organic Farm - Sat Oct 15th! www.environmenthamilton.org for more information.

Author Lynn Ogryzlo will be at Ancaster Farmers' Market! Wed Sept 21st!

We are absolutely thrilled to announce renowned author, Lynn Ogryzlo is coming to Ancaster with her new book - The Ontario Table. More then a cookbook, Lynn challenges us to the "$10 a week challenge" - If every household in Ontario spent $10 a week on local food and wine, we’d have $2.4 billion in our economy at the end of the year. Thats one year! Think of what local farmers and producers could do with that kind of support and investment! We invite you to join us on Wednesday September 21st from 3-5pm for a meet and greet and book signing with Lynn! Ancaster Farmers' Market is located at 272 Wilson Street East. (behind St John's Anglican Church.

Two days, three trips, and lots of corn

Hamilton Eat Local made the most of Cornfest at Shearlea Acres this past weekend! With a public Rural Routes trip Saturday morning, a trip Saturday afternoon with members of the Community Access to Child Health (CATCH) program and a trip Sunday with the Hamilton East Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club, more than 100 people took an HSR bus out to the Lynden, ON farm.

The rain held off while we got a tour of the grounds. The 80-acre property holds a wide variety of fruits and veggies. Farmer Kevin Clugston showed off his crops and equipment while he explained how daily operations work at Shearlea. We then stopped to visit the family's miniature horse and Silkie chickens before heading to the farm store for all-you-can-eat free corn and other treats.

At the farm store, the kids in particular enjoyed the chance to fill their shopping bags. Some of the freshly picked produce was new to them, so they were excited to bring home new dinner ideas. Once shopping was done, there were places to sit and take in the countryside air and an outdoor play place for the kids to enjoy before boarding the bus and returning home. Special thanks to Hamilton Community Foundation for their support, so that we are able to offer Rural Routes to organizations such as the Kiwanis Club and CATCH. Thank you to Shearlea Acres for their time, offering us tasty fruit and cake, and donating some of their popping corn for the kids.

There are two scheduled Rural Routes trip remaining - the Boar and Chick Farm on Saturday September 10th. Enjoy a family day meeting farmers Tania and Mark. NEW! Sat October 15th tour is heading to Simpler Thyme Organic Farm. For more information visit www.environmenthamilton.org and click on "Rural Routes"

Neighbour to Neighbour takes a trip to Simpler Thyme

Members of the Neighbour to Neighbour community centre, with the support of Hamilton Community Foundation and Hamilton Eat Local, enjoyed a trip to Simpler Thyme Organic Farm on July 30th. The curious and energetic group was given a tour by farmer Ann Lanigan, who offered a unique look into life in one of Hamilton’s rural communities.

As she showed us some of the more than 250 varieties of fruits and vegetables she grows, the group learned that Ann’s work at Simpler Thyme was a labour of love. When she moved out to the Freelton area from downtown Hamilton 25 years ago, she didn’t plan on farming, she explained. Now, she has volunteers from across the world who are there helping her grow and harvest.

First, she talked with us about concerns facing farmers in Ontario, as well as her efforts to eat a completely local diet. She then led us through her garden, where she challenged us to identify the various plants. With the help of one member of Neighbour to Neighbour, she even discovered a new variety in her garden. Then, in the forested half of the 50-acre farm, she described the hard work that goes into harvesting maple syrup from the trees in a traditional and sustainable way.

At the greenhouse of Bill Orosz, who owns half of Simpler Thyme, Ann showed us the various natural methods (from thick plastic to geothermal technologies) that the building uses to simulate a warmer climate. In the greenhouse, Bill has grown bananas, papayas and other tropical fruits. We then stopped by to see Ann’s pigs and chickens before heading back to her home for refreshments and market shopping.

The adventure with Neighbour to Neighbour is one of five trips for Hamilton community centres that Hamilton Eat Local is helping to organize this summer and fall. Be sure to get your tickets for Hamilton Eat Local's Rural Routes tours, which are open to the public.

Farmers' Market Update

Now in the heat of summer, to keep your fridge stocked with fresh, local fruits, veggies and other products from Hamilton's farmers' markets!

Ancaster Farmers' Market is one of the city’s largest and most scenic outdoor markets, open every Wednesday from 3-7pm until the first week of October. Come by for live music every week, and to visit market mascots Benni the pygmy goat and Frank the giant rabbit! The market is located at St. John's Anglican Church, 272 Wilson Street East (corner of Halson St), in the Ancaster Heritage Village.

Binbrook Farmers' Market is open Saturday mornings from 8am to noon at the Binbrook Fairgrounds (2600 Regional Road #56). It's sponsored by the Binbrook Agricultural Society, which is gearing up for its 157th Binbrook Fair from September 16th-18th.

Downtown Farmers' Market underwent renovations over the winter and was reopened in Jackson Square (York Blvd side) in February. Its hours are Tuesdays 7am-6pm, Thursdays 7am-6pm, Fridays 8am-6pm and Saturdays 6am-6pm. In addition to its themed cooking classes, Saturdays at the market feature Kids in the Kitchen (10-10:30am), the Market Fresh Cooking Demonstration (11-11:30am) and live entertainment every other weekend in the market food court.

Dundas Farmers' Market is located in Municipal Parking Lot 7D at Hatt Street and Miller’s Lane and is open every Thursday from 3-7pm until October 27th.

Locke Street Farmers' Market is back for a second year, open every Thursday from 3-7pm at 211 Locke Street South (Fenian Films parking lot - across the street from Locke Street Bakery). The market will run until the end of October.

Makers' Market, open outside Christ’s Church Cathedral (252 James Street North), is in its fifth season. Browse art, photography, jewellery, clothing, gifts and accessories made by local and independent artists. It’s open on Saturdays from 10am to 3pm, and during Art Crawl on the second Friday of every month.

McMaster Farm Stand was started last year as a project of the McMaster Students Union, and is back for another season, having celebrated its grand opening for the year on July 13th. It will be open two days a week, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11:30am to 3pm. The farm stand will feature deals on in-season produce. It is located on the McMaster campus, across from University Hall and in front of the Nina de Villers Memorial Garden.

Mountain Farmers' Market has a wide selection, friendly people and a great view of the city! It’s open every Saturday from 7am to 1pm until late October. It’s located at 19 Viewpoint Avenue, just off Concession Street.

Ottawa Street Farmers' Market is open year 'round, Fridays and Saturdays from 7am-3pm at 204 Ottawa Street North. The market is gearing up for "Sew Hungry: Food Truck Rally 2011" on Ottawa Street. The big event will take place on Friday, September 16th, 2011. Keep an eye on the market's Facebook page for details.

Master Gardeners at the Ottawa St Market

With so much heat and so little rain, it's a challenging time for backyard gardeners. Luckily for you, Master Gardeners will be at the Ottawa Street Market this Saturday, July 23! They'll be available to answer your questions and give you tips from 8am to 12pm. Don't miss out!

For those of you that come by, look for the Environment Hamilton table, where we'll be distributing the brand new, 2011 version of the Passport to Hamilton adventure maps, along with the Hamilton Farm Map and Directory and other EH materials.

See you Saturday!

Rural Routes takes home agri-innovation award

Check out the video below on the recent Premier's Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence ceremony, at which Rural Routes was named an award winner! Karen Burson, who accepted the award for her work on last year's series of local farm tours, appears around 2:25.

In case you missed the coverage in the Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton Eat Local was a regional winner at the agri-award ceremony on June 24. MPP Ted McMeekin presented the set of awards on behalf of the Ontario government for the winners' efforts to strengthen the province's farming industry.

Congrats to Karen and to the whole Rural Routes team!

Rural Routes heads to Murphy's Country Produce

The sky was clear, the air was fresh and the strawberries were ripe for the picking at Saturday’s Rural Routes trip to Murphy’s Country Produce in Binbrook.

The July 9th adventure was the first of the summer in Environment Hamilton’s series of bus trips to local farms, and it was a great success! Brian Murphy, his daughter Megan and the friendly staff at Murphy’s invited the 40 of us to harvest from fresh and plentiful fields of strawberries, raspberries, sweet peas and fava beans.

Some spent an hour and a half filling their baskets in the fields, while others took some time to enjoy the beautiful day in the shade. Before leaving the farm, everyone stopped at the market to buy whatever they had missed during the pick, or to pick up some cherries and strawberry jam.

Many thanks are due to Smart Commute and HSR for their support.

Be sure to get your tickets soon for our next trips! On August 6th, we’re heading to Shearlea Acres in Lynden for their eighth annual Corn Fest! The Boar and Chick Farm in Troy, which specializes in meat, will be the destination for the September 10th trip. An October trip is also in the works, though details are to be determined.

Rural Routes is back!

Get your tickets for this year’s series of bus trips to local farms! A great family outing! It’s a great chance to learn about the people and places that grow and raise your local foods. We’ve got three trips planned for the summer, with one in the works for October.

Saturday, July 9th: Murphy’s Country Produce

Saturday, August 6th: Shearlea Acres Farm Market

Saturday, September 10th: The Boar and Chick Farm (see free range animals)

October: Trip to be announced

Tickets are on sale at Bread and Roses Café (27 King William Street, off James Street North). An adult ticket costs $7 and a child/senior ticket costs $5. On the day of the trip, meet at the Hamilton GO Centre (36 Hunter Street East) at 10 a.m., where we’ll board a chartered HSR bus and head to the farm. The farm visit will offer an opportunity to hear from the farmers, shop at the on-farm market and, in some cases, participate in an activity. Expect to arrive back at the GO Centre by 1:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Juby at jlee@environmenthamilton.org, or call the Environment Hamilton office at 905-549-0900.

Locke Street Farmers Market presents .... Taste of Locke

Taste of Locke

Thursday, June 9th, 6-8pm, at Fenian Films (211 Locke St S)

Locke Street Farmers’ Market is celebrating its second season by partnering with Locke Street restaurants and shops to bring you a Taste of Locke.

Come enjoy live music and samples featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients from the Market farmers. Try samples from Cheese Shoppe on Locke, Earth to Table Bread Bar, Forrat’s Chocolates, Goodness Me!, Il Fiasco, Chuck’s Burger Bar, and The Courtyard while exploring Locke Street. Return every Thursday between 3 and 7pm to stock up on fresh, local foods from the Market.
Learn more at lsfm.wordpress.com. Tickets are $15 and are available for advance purchase at Cheese Shoppe on Locke and Earth to Table Bread Bar.
Space is limited, so get your tickets soon!

Feed the Dream! Support Student Nutrition Programs

Did you know that 1 out of 4 children in Hamilton live in poverty?
Over 23,000 students receive breakfast / lunch / snack at their local school / community centre daily.

Help support these programs:

Hamilton Partners in Nutrition Presents:

Feed the Dream

in support of student nutrition programs.
Saturday June 18th
Discovery Centre
57 Discovery Drive

Auction: $30 / person
Auction and Cruise $50 / person

11:30am boarding
12:30pm cruise departs
3pm auction starts


905-522-1148 ext 0.

Extra produce in your garden? Become part of West Hamilton Produce Cooperative Exchange!

There is an exciting new food exchange happening! West Hamilton Produce Cooperative Exchange between gardeners
is getting started and looking for backyard gardeners interested in exchanging their produce for other goodies!

This is a way for backyard veggie gardeners to share their surplus garden produce with other local gardeners and receive some of the tasty treats from other people’s gardens. This model has been used with huge success in the southern US (North East Los Angeles)and the woman who started the original co-op there 2 years ago now has over 200 members.

There is lots more info about West Hamilton Produce Coop on their blog: westhamiltonproducecooperative.blogspot.com.

For more information, please contact Karen McLaughlin at westhamiltonproducecooperative(at)gmail(dot)com

Mountain Market is up and running - starting THIS Saturday!

With Spring in the air (finally!) the first seasonal farmers market of 2011 is open!
Hamilton Mountain Farmers Market will be open THIS Saturday May 14th from 7am - 1pm.

This market will be open until late October.

19 Viewpoint Avenue (just off Concession Street).

Farmers that will be present on opening day:
Robinsons Farm
Drummond Farm
Simpler Thyme Organic Farm
Farm Fresh COuntry Market
Trembling Aspens Herb Farm
Richardsons Farm

Products available on opening day include: apples, field greens, hot house tomatoes and cucumbers, fiddleheads, honey and more!

Wednesday June 15th: Ancaster Market is open!

The Ancaster Farmer's market is celebrating their second season. Think local. Think fresh. The market is located on a lovely open green space adjacent to the rail trail. Great access for biking and walking with links to the Bruce trail, Hamilton Conservation and numerous waterfalls. The wonderful vendors offer a lovely variety of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, breads, honey, flowers, plants and more. Ample parking is available, but you are encouraged to bike, walk, rollerblade or even skateboard. Every Wednesday from 3pm to 7pm starting June 15 2011 until October 05, 2011. You are invited to come out and have a visit and wander around our Heritage village core.

Ancaster Farmers Market
every Wednesday
June 15 2011 - October 05 2011
3pm - 7pm

St.John's Anglican Church (behind the church on St. John's Green)
272 Wilson Street East (corner of Halson St)
Ancaster, ON, L9G 2B9

Upcoming Events


Ottawa Street Farmers Market is celebrating Mothers this Saturday May 7th from 10am-2pm.
Bring your mom to the market for a special live musical performance by "The Cardinal Newman Highschool Glee Club" and Plant a Pansy for your mom. Market staff will be helping kids plant their FREE pansies in pots to give to their moms.
The market is located at 204 Ottawa Street North. The market is open Friday and Saturday, year round from 7am-3pm.
For more information, contact info(at)ottawastreetfarmers.com


Thur May 12th: ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL (St. Augustine School, Dundas, ON)

Thursday May 12,
Doors open at 6pm, first film starts at 6:30pm.
St. Augustine School, 25 Alma St, Dundas, ON.

Two award winning presentations:
"Bag It: Is your life too plastic?" We see how our crazy-for-plastic world has finally caught up to us and what we can do about it.
Recommended for grades 4-12

"...And this is my garden." In the small town of Northern Manitoba, two school teachers are empowering their students with the knowledge, disclipine and skill to grow their own food in backyard gardens.
Recommended for grades 1-4

Free Admission
All welcome
Suggested donation $2 for individuals
$5 for families and / or canned goods.
Proceeds to benefit Dundas Community Food Bank and Good Shepherd Services.

PLUS! Community Shared Agriculture Exhibits and Prizes from ManoRun Organic Farm and Plan B Organic Farm.


THUR MAY 12th: HALTON FOOD COUNCIL's "SETTING OUR PRIORITIES" EVENT: (please note the May 9th registration deadline)

You are invited to:
The Halton Food Council's "Setting our Priorities" Forum
Thursday May 12th from 8:30-1:30pm. Burlington, ON

St. Christopher's Anglican Church
662 Guelph Line
Burlington, Ontario

Learn more about community food and farm issues in Halton
Participate in creating local solutions
Help us set priorities for action


local food advocates
community nutrition program workers
food bank workers and food security advocates
food distributors
anyone interested in making healthy food for all a reality for Halton


Karen Burson, Project Manager, Hamilton Eat Local, Environment Hamilton

Dr. Samina Raja, Urban and Regional Planner involved with Food Security Planning and Community Health, University of Buffalo

Halton Food Council - Members will share results of our community food assessment and will join the speakers in a panel discussion about what we can do in Halton.

YOU! - We want to hear your thoughts and priorities on community food and farming in Halton.

There is no cost to attendees for the day.
Refreshments and lunch will be provided.
Limited seating is available so please RSVP by May 9, 2011 by requesting a ticket.
Send this announcement on to others who may be interested in attending.
Thank you to Halton Region Health Department for funding this event.
Phone 905-825-6000 ext. 7887

For the 2nd year in a row Hamilton Eat Local declares FEBRUARY IS FARM MONTH!

We invite you to take part in an exciting assortment of community-based events celebrating a range of issues and adventures in our vibrant local food scene.

Wednesday Feb 23rd - FRWY cafe - 333 King Street East - 7pm. BEN HEWITT!
Author of the successful The Town That Food Saved, about hard-on-it’s-luck Harwick Vermont and how it’s new story captured the imagination of readers across the country. Hewitt’s memorable book examines how some of its citizens saw the development of a sustainable locally-based food economy as a powerful economic and social opportunity to bring lasting prosperity to a town that had seen better days. In partnership with: Greening our Local Economy, Beasley Neighbourhood Association and support from Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Friday February 25, 5:30 pm. FOOD & FILM FESTIVAL at FENIAN FILM - 211 Locke Street South Great food movies King Corn, The Real Dirt on Farmer John and local short feature films; locavore pizzas and more made fresh for our event by Earth to Table Bread Bar and local wines available for purchase for only $15 per person. Proceeds will support Hamilton Eat Local's "Operation Smoothie" and the Locke Street Farmers Market.

Saturday Feb 26th - 10:30am - RURAL ROUTES @ Black Walnut Lane Farm. Join us for a rugged outdoor adventure at the height of lambing season! The bus will depart @ 10:30am sharp from the Bread & Roses Café (27 King William Street) on Saturday February 26 (where you can buy advance tickets to avoid disappointment, since last year’s trips sold out!) and the bus returns to the Hamilton Farmers Market at 12:30. Tickets include the bus trips and delicious samples of Black Walnut Lane lamb products: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for kids. Presented by Hamilton Eat Local and Smart Commute.

For more information check out Environment Hamilton's website: