NEWSLETTER #2 – January/February 2021
We are pleased to share the latest news from our projects and friends. We have accomplished a lot in just a few months and invite you to connect and join us in helping rebuild community food production!
EARTH SHELTERED GREENHOUSE UNDER CONSTRUCTION
We are about halfway along with construction of the Earth Sheltered Greenhouse at the O’Brien Farm in St. John’s. This structure, designed by three engineering students at Memorial University, will be our model to demonstrate year-round food production. Our contractors have been very generous with time, materials and financial support. Once warmer weather arrives we will be looking for volunteers to help with construction. Email us if you want to help.
FEDERAL FUNDING FOR GREENHOUSE
We have received an additional federal grant that will allow us to fully equip the greenhouse with a solar energy system, wiring, lights, fans, automatic vents and heaters. This means the structure can be up and running by mid-2021 to show what is possible.
FOOD PRODUCERS FORUM INCORPORATED
Food Producers Forum, Inc. is a provincial non-profit with a new Board of Directors: Dan Rubin, Chairperson (garden educator); Jeremy Carter, Vice Chair (farmer); Alison Snow, Secretary (systems analyst) and Steve Gullage, Treasurer (wildlife biologist), plus board members Tim Walsh (MUN Botanical Garden), Viviana Ramirez Luna (community gardener), Solange Fuekang (engineering student) and Dr. Atanu Sarkar (professor, MUN Faculty of Medicine).
FPF WEBSITE LAUNCHED
Our new website is launched (www.foodproducersforum.com) and growing rapidly, as we add new pages focused on specific areas of local food production. Along with a video of the week to keep the website fresh and changing, we now have a link to the FOOD MAP, an online map of local food sources put together by our partner Nancy Winsor. Check it out and let us know what you would like to see added to your provincial information hub!
OUT OF THE FOG – postponed because of Covid
Nancy Winsor and our chair, Dan Rubin, will be interviewed in the near future on Out of the Fog on Rogers television about the Food Map, the greenhouse and our new website.
FUNDING FOR NEW STUDENT POSITIONS
We will be hiring student interns for our membership development, social media and conference planning to help build an effective website and sustain our non-profit group. We have received new federal support to match university funding for these positions.
GUERILLA GARLIC GARDENERS
Three gardeners associated with Food Producers Forum have launched a project to create raised bed gardens planted to garlic, where food security is a real issue, in and around St. John’s. This project has raised $2300 online and will be reaching out to single parents, seniors, students and immigrants to help them begin growing their own food.
SECOND HARVEST SEEKING NATIONAL FOOD WASTE COORDINATOR
This national organization is addressing the fact that Canadians throw away more than half the food we grow and buy, by tackling food waste from the major grocery chains. They are hiring a coordinator to work with Sobey’s across Canada to redirect unsold food to where it is needed most: food banks and other community distribution centres. For more about this bilingual position, go to: https://secondharvest.ca/career/sobeys-food-rescue-coordinator/.
FALL CONFERENCE – REGENERATION: SOIL, FOOD, COMMUNITY
Along with a number of other groups working on food production and food security, Food Producers Forum will be organizing a major local and international conference to take place in early October, 2021. This will focus on how we can produce more of our food locally by building regenerative soil systems and community-based food distribution. The conference will combine international and local speakers online with small group practical hands-on workshops and public engagement sessions focused on policy change. Stay tuned for more details, and email us if you or your group would like to participate.
WE WANT YOUR PHOTOS!
We would like to collect a portfolio of images of local gardeners, growers, farmers, foragers, hunters and fishers who are helping gather the healthy, local food we need. These photos will become part of a slide show on the main page of our website and will also be used in our online dialogue and publications. Please share favourite photos of you and your family and friends. These can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. We promise to use what you send us and we will credit the source when we use any photos.