It was only mid-August when the nation's urban ag enthusiasts gathered in Toronto for the first Urban Ag Summit. Launching the new Grow T.O. plan, Torontonians set forth on an inspiring path to achieve greater urban resilience - starting with economy-driving local food systems. It made all of the work we've been doing with the SELRS project seem a lot more profound.
Canada's first Urban Ag Summit in Toronto (August 15-18, 2012) brought together an emerging group of visionaries from around the world that are cultivatng a new way to grow and relate to food. These "urbanagrepreneurs" are innovating and openly sharing new ideas that merge food growing practices with 21st Century technology... all while building community and satisfying your appetite!
It's hard to believe eight months have already passed since we started the SELRS project in Central Alberta. The new growing season is upon us and the seeds we've sown for a community food system are soon to sprout new growth in local food security.
“We're building bridges for islands in the prairie.”
That was the feeling in the room in Coronation as people began to arrive to hear Joel Salatin, of Polyface farms (http://www.polyfacefarms.com), speak.
Much of the success of the GFSA Network has been a result of the facilitated Community Building Food Security (CBFS) workshops that Network communities have hosted over the last seven years. These workshops have helped organize and leverage the food security efforts of groups and individuals within these communities, provided forum to share some great stories and feast on some incredible food together.
From my experience (Brenda) – no question created more discomfort in our conversations than asking “what does equity mean to you?” After many long pauses, we received a wide variety of answers and from these conversations we have had many large lessons that inform the framework we are building.
There is a difference between Equity and Equality
"Most people working in the non-profit sector would love it if their organization could do more with its existing staff and volunteer resources. We often care passionately about the work we do, but lament the wasteful ways we have to do things. Wasted hours, wasted money, wasted contacts, and wasted opportunities! We're tired of being frustrated by the way things are. We want to make a difference, a bigger difference." - Joseph Murray, PhD