Collecting the missing data on community food production in our province

After working for the past year to put together a survey format, we are getting ready to launch a major data collection project focused on the food we are already producing across this province at the community level.   This information has never yet been collected, and will provide a valuable picture of what we already have.   We believe that community food production (growing and gathering, hunting and foraging) is already providing a significant part of the food we consume, and can become an even greater contributor, once we realize what we are already producing.

To collect the missing information, we have a wonderful team, led by Samantha Young, who recently graduated with a master’s degree from Memorial University, after completing a study of community food sovereignty on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, our newest board members Heather Rhodes who lives in Holyrood and Rachel Snelgrove who is our representative for Labrador, Dr. Nicolas Fairbridge of Memorial’s Faculty of Medicine and Dr. Mike Graham, an agricultural meteorologist who recently retired from a faculty position with College of the North Atlantic.  Over the past year, two students in the Business Faculty at Memorial, Mark Stack and Bennett Newhook have completed important groundwork and preparation for this project, interviewing producers by phone.

We hope to collaborate with Food First NL to get the survey out online, bring it to the attention of the public and then collect and analyze what we find out about local gardeners, community gardens, market producers, fishers, foragers and hunters.   The results of this work will be shared publicly at our upcoming Spring conference and through our links with CBC radio and television.  If you are or have contact with food producers, we would like to hear from you.  The hardest part of collecting this information will be identifying whom to contact.

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