Digging Carrots in Home Garden; (2015) Jude Keefe

Settlement Heirachy Used to Classify Our Communities Click here to show/hide the table

A video showcasing food stories from OUR FOOD PROJECT (Ecology Action Centre)

  • Resilience Skill Building

    As discussed in The Resilience Imperative sustainable food solutions can be achieved by 'addressing critical connections between ecology, economy, and community.'(147,Lewis/Conaty; 2012) Though in the current reality of industrial food solutions dominating the economic system, advocates of the transition towards alternative land-tenure options are empowered by methods of diversifying production, distribution, and relationships with consumers. Numerous initiatives have evolved to encompass this undertaking at a local level, one of which is education streams to support learning alternative methods of resilient living. Learn more

  • Santropol Roulent

    "We use food as a vehicle to break social and economic isolation between generations and to strengthen and nourish our local community." - vision statement.
    Collective supporting a number of strategies including a general store, meals-on-wheels, local/organic gardening and supporting Montrealers with accessible food resources and skill building sessions. Learn more

  • Slow Food International

    The principles of Slow Food's mission are centred around celebrating food, its producers and consumers. Each year a global conference is held in Turin, Italy to share and collaborate to bring the mission of Learn more

  • CSAs and Food Hubs

    For the average farmer, they do not have the time to go to the markets of their choosing to conenct with community members over the life story of the bag of carrots they so desire. That time can be better spent harvesting, washing, planning, or living a life away from the field for a moment. A solution to this is the distribution mechanism called a food hub, which allows for the marketing and sales component to be managed by a third party. Learn more

  • Collaborative Food Communities

    As entrepreneurial owned restaurants continue to thrive, they impact the wellness fabric of community in multitudinous ways. The menus have the power to make use of local produce, the regular customers become a life-long food family, and the recipes which knit everyone together continue to nurture productive nostalgia for the placemakers who keep the restaurants alive. Learn more about Riverhouse Cafe (Athabasca)

    Learn more about High Level Diner (Edmonton)

  • Economic Challenges to Promoting Local (and Organic)

    Farmer's markets are only a meeting location, not a time-saver for the farmers who populate them. For the price-conscioue consumer (everyone these days it seems), this can reduce the amount spent on an individual item in some senses, however compared to a grocery store the price seems inflated. The logic behind the food hub economics is that the end return back to the farmer is greater, due to keeping the distribution stream out of the hands of larger corporate channels. Learn more

  • Gleaning to Reduce Food Waste, Solve Food Insecurity

    This community group is committed to supporting individuals who have gardening knowledge share with others as they learn how, using common land and shared resources. They also promote harvesting techniques called 'gleaning' which allows for a minimized end food waste, as produce originally passed over is collected by those who are able to make use of these seconds in the kitchen. Learn more

  • Resolving Food Deserts

    The innovation to resolve issues of food desertification has recently inspired effective solutions of distribution as one way to bring food to the people who might not otherwise be able to access healthy resources. By using a modified city bus, the areas of the city which can often not manage to access healthy food options, is then able to feel connected to local food communities, and others who are excited to reach health goals.
    Learn more about Halifax, NS Mobile Market

    Learn more about Boulder, CO Mobile Market

  • Our Food Stories Project

    An initiative proud to be Nova Scotia local, though not uncommon around the world, the telling of food stories is the most powerful and emotional connection to place. By enabling a community to help fix its own issues, the sccess remains rooted in community as well, giving it the staying power to remain long-term. This project features individuals from all over Nova Scotia, and often identifies immigrants who were able to contribute to their new homes by tending to gardens and sharing recipes, as a way to connect with new neighbours as much as it is also about finding a way to use skillsets from home. Read more Food Stories

  • Skill-Sharing for Socio-Ecological Resilience (Cuba)

    “Ecological farming arose as a response to a reality that smacked us,” he continued. That reality was the collapse of the Soviet Union. “They were difficult years. We had to produce food somehow, somewhere.” - said Juan José León, an official at the [Cuban] Ministry of Agriculture

    Learn more about Cuba

  • Food Asset Mapping

    "The community assets approach starts with what is present in the community concentrates on the agenda-building and problem-solving capacity of the residents stresses local determination, investment, creativity, and control" (MSU Best Practices Brief ) Using Food Charters, community knowledge, and visions of a better future food system, community members and nutrition professionals collaborated to produce this helpful resource to assist low-income groups out of impoverished lifestyles one meal at a time.

    Learn more

  • Regional Network Support of Initiatives

    One of the greatest ways to connect with the places of food production is to keep them together in one handy resource managed by passionate individuals. These serve as centres for innovation - disseminating information in both directions, farmer to table, table to farmer. The questions raised by producer and consumer can be addressed on this common ground to enable both sides to reach their goals of a healthier, sustainable way of life moving forward. CSAs, job opportunities, resource sharing, and community events are all brought together by such focused groups. Learn more about local organic communities

Key Concepts

Resilient Sustainability

The emerging movement of resilience in urban design and rural nurturing of food systems is critical to ensuring longevity of communities. This philosophy applies many facets of community placemaking as it is rooted in thoughtful applications of creativity and resourcefulness. The food movement requires a continuation of age-old skills for preservation as much as it encourages new innovation. Resilience is about finding a way for these to cohabitate as they support growing communities. This strategy places the control back in the household, rather than in corporate solutions. It keeps costs low, as well as ensuring the knowledge of maintaining food systems stays alive in communities for generations.

Explore this concept

Place Matters

Urban advocacy legend Jane Jacobs spoke out about the importance of retaining the power of place when making design and policy decisions. The concept of placemaking has since been a pillar of academic research and, more importantly, in policy design, implementation, and assessment. Jacobs was a citizen who noticed elements of her New York City urban streetscape were being negatively impacted by the emptying of sidewalks in favour of automobile usage. She expressed concern in the form of advocacy, using literature and public speaking as empowering tools for the average citizen. Because of this work, she has ensured the fundamentals of communities are considered when implementing urban policy.

Explore this concept

Food Hub Economics

While food production is being continuously innovated, a recent development in local food economies is the idea of a supportive food hub to nurture local economic development and support distribution methods to empower community sustainability. The powerful linkages possible with food hub networks can be a game changer for small-scale farmers who need to devote the majority of their time to the production of food, not marketing themselves out. Food Hubs are often located in urban centres, and therefore serve as a fundamental linkage to sustain rural economies through urban distribution.

Explore this concept

Explore examples of innovations in capacity building which promote food security

& use strategies of resilient ecological design.

Click the images below!