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Manitoulin, Nipissing & Sudbury Districts,

August 3rd - August 6th, 2017 

A Day in Manitoulin District

We were very fortunate to speak with a wide variety of local food stakeholders in both the Sudbury and Nipissing Districts as well. We first met with Arik Theijsmeijer of FedNor, who provided valuable information regarding available federal and provincial funding programs for producers of various sizes in the North. We then stopped by Eat Local Sudbury, and spoke with manager Erica Lagios about the work that the organization has done and the challenges and opportunities she sees for the distribution of local food in northern Ontario. 
Our next meeting was with Pierrette Desrocher of OMAFRA in Verner, and she was kind enough to provide us a tour of the agricultural and local food activities of West Nipissing. While showing us the wide variety of crops grown in the region she also took us to Leisure Farms which is an agritourism and u-pick operation. She then introduced us to Isabelle Legault of Field Good Farm , who spoke to us about her motivations for starting a farm in northern Ontario, and the challenges and opportunities she sees for the future of farming in the North.  
 
We then ventured to Warren to meet with Peggy Baillie, who is part owner/ operator of Three Forks Farm, and is also the executive director of the Local Organic Food Coops Network. She provided valuable insight into many different aspects of local food in the north. We began our last day in Sudbury by visiting and chatting with many producers at The Market Sudbury. While at the market we briefly chatted with Stephane and Erin of Smart Greens Sudbury, who grow a variety of greens using indoor hydroponic technology. Lastly, we visited the vibrant North Bay Farmers' Market and perused the variety of goods available for purchase. 
Again, we would like to thank all of the local food stakeholders who took the time to chat with us about their thoughts and experiences with the expanding local food movement in the north. We highly value your input and will be in touch regarding the next steps of this research project. 
We then had the opportunity to tour Burt Farm Country Meats abattoir, processing and retail facilities and sampled their delicious sausage and beef jerky. Following this we ventured to Massey to the Emiry Berry Farm to speak with producers about the challenges and opportunities of operating a strawberry u-pick operation and the value of processing as they recently invested in a frozen yogurt machine and retail cart. Our next stop was to Martin's Country Market located along highway 17, where we spoke with Oliver Coburn about the challenges and opportunities for the distribution of local food in the region.  Our last official stop was to the Birch Lake Abattoir, which is an Anabaptist owned and operated facility. We spoke with owner Amos Weber about the unique challenges of processing meat in the north. Our tour of the region ended at the bustling Espanola Farmers' Market and community garden.  
We would like to thank all of the local food stakeholders who took the time to chat with us about their thoughts and experiences with the expanding local food movement in the north. We would especially like to thank Brian Bell, for organizing this tour and providing a wealth of knowledge on the agricultural activities of the region. We highly value the input we received from all of those involved in local food and will be in touch regarding the next steps of this research project. 

 

Local Food Tour of Sudbury

& Nipissing Districts

We had the pleasure of meeting with Brian Bell of OMAFRA early Thursday morning at his office in Gore Bay in the Manitoulin District for what would be a whirlwind tour of an impressive variety of local food initiatives in the region. Our first stop was to Mike Meeker's organic rainbow trout farm in Evansville, where Anna Armstrong showed us around the innovative operation. We then ventured back to Gore Bay to visit the newly established craft brewery Split Rail Brewing co. where we chatted with Eleanor Charlton who is part owner/ operator of the brewery about the motivations to open a craft brewery on the island and discussed the development of a partnership with their neighbour, Buoy's Eatery. The smell of the pizza oven drew us to Buoy's Eatery where we briefly chatted with owner/ operator Richard Anger about the challenges and opportunities for restaurants to source locally produced ingredients.
 

Source: Howes, K. (2018). 

Source: Howes, K. (2018). 

Source: Howes, K. (2018). 

Enhancing Local Food in

Northern Ontario