Friday, February 3, 2012

Nourishing Hamilton: Food Faith and Our City

Feb 2nd 2012
Hamilton Eat Local's February is Farm Month had a great kick off with Greening Sacred Spaces, 'Nourishing Hamilton: Food Faith and Our City' event at the Freeway Coffee House.

We screened 'Nourish Peterborough,' a documentary film that follows ten unique community groups from Peterborough who are advocating for food security and sovereignty. These are programs that have a substantial influence on many people's lives, though many of them go overlooked and/or underfunded. Nourish Peterborough provides a platform for these organizations, giving members, participants, volunteers and staff, a louder voice in the community. 

The screening was followed by a panel discussion on nurturing the growing organic food movement in Hamilton. 
Crystle Numan, from Environment Hamilton's Good Food Box Network and Neighbour to Neighbour's Building Better Futures talked about how advertisement and the media have us thinking that 'healthy' means blemish free, symmetrical, polished etc when in reality this means unhealthy pesticide use, or transportation over great distances.
Crystle has been involved with community gardening since starting Hill Street Community Garden (5 churches initiated this) in 2010.

Loretta Jaunzarins, pastor at Grace Lutheran church talked about how her church got involved with food security issues by starting a good food box program ( veggies and fruits at a very low cost, once a month and available to everyone who wants one). She's experimenting with straw bale gardening on church grounds and so far, good things are happening. She is also looking into growing fruit trees at the church.

Bill Wilcox, with Hamilton Victory Gardens ( a faith based initiative) spoke about the work he and his organization are doing to fight poverty in Hamilton. They have already secured sites to raise more garden beds across the city.
Bill talked about the Cuban example of urban agriculture and how much we can learn from these masters of simplicity.

Clare Wagner, Community Garden Program Coordinator at Green Venture showed us a map of community gardens in Hamilton. She talked about the need to collaborate with one another as community groups in order to get the best results.
we also heard from pig farmers Tanya and Mark Veenstra who shared with us photos of their ethically run farm (Boar and Chick farm).
We enjoyed organic chili at $2 a bowl and a very kind person from the audience brought a large bag of delicious apples that he shared with the crowd!