The local food scene in Dufferin County is thriving. The depth of products available from Dufferin farmers allows local food enthusiasts to indulge in local food through the entire growing season and throughout the winter for special products such as honey, meat and root vegetables.
A new farm-to-plate festival looks to unite local food producers, chefs and consumers while creating public awareness for farm fresh offerings in the region. Savour Fair took place on Sunday, August 24th and organizers hope it will become an annual event in celebration of harvest season.
Dufferin Farm Fresh is Dufferin County’s very own local food map—connecting consumers to their local farmers and food producers. The website introduces the region’s farmers, producers, farmers’ markets, restaurants and retailers who are all interested in growing and selling food that is fresh, accessible, nutritious and sustainable. Hard copy Dufferin Farm Fresh Local Food maps are also available for pickup at locations throughout Dufferin.
DBOT, along with other stakeholders in Dufferin, have identified the opportunity offered by our rich agricultural products and the growing interest in local food. This interest led to the delivery of the First Annual Headwaters Food Summit in April 2012. The event attracted producers, processors, restaurateurs, municipal and social service agency employees along with politicians and interested individuals to learn about strengthening our food system. The event worked through the vast complexities of the food system and examined the various paths open for pursuing a strong local food system.
Five priorities emerged; facilitating distribution for local foods, promoting local food as a healthy, viable choice that supports the local economy, addressing education with respect to food literacy, healthy eating and food skills with a focus on increasing accessibility to healthy local food, examining policy options to enable the local food system and promoting culinary tourism.
Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance
The passion to move forward these topic areas resulted in the formation of the Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance (HFFA) and four main working groups that are addressing the topics identified at the food summit.
Today, the Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance is a collaborative initiative overseeing and supporting activities across multiple working groups to foster a productive, sustainable, transparent and fair food system in the Headwaters region; supporting the health and well-being of residents and food providers; and contributing to a prosperous and equitable economy.
Headwaters “Farm to School” Programs
HFFA is sending farmers to school! In this program, local farmers are paired with schools in Dufferin County, Caledon and Erin for class visits to teach students various aspects of our local food system and farming life. Engaging activities for kindergarten to grade 6 include many curriculum links and full lesson plans. This program is offered free to select schools during the pilot period.
Similar to a food box or farm share program, this pilot program invites families to purchase memberships and receive monthly local food packs through their school. Packs include samples of food sourced from the Headwaters region, information about the farmers and the food, including recipes, nutritional information and handling tips. Extend the learning to your home and enjoy
wholesome local foods together!
For more information contact Program Coordinator Jennifer Payne: 519-925-1851 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit HFFA.ca to learn more.
Click here to read the Growing a Local Food System in Headwaters report.
For full information on the work of HFFA please visit the HCIA website here.
Additional information about the region’s Local Food initiatives can be found in this article by Nicola Ross for In the Hills.