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Harvest Hastings is about living lightly on the land. Sustainability has sections on land stewardship, tree planting, managing woods and wildlife at  Caring for Land; discussion about Climate Change; find out about Green Communities, and read about what's happening in Local Agriculture and Local Forestry. There are  AudioVideos, and a Photo Gallery. Look for "Know your farmer" video or audio interviews with local farmers and other producers. Web links has links to local organizations as well as provincial ones. Check Coming Events to find workshops, agricultural events, community meals and much more. 

Celebrate the first hastkap harvest in Hastings County

June 23, 2014 by Louise Livingstone

James and Audrey Pott invite you to their first harvest of haskap berries on Thurdsay June 27 at 7 p.m.

We're celebrating the introduction of the first harvest ever of haskaps in the county with an eat as much as you want,free of charge on Thursday night. Gathering at the old shack on Hwy 62, just north west of Foxboro Foodland 7.00 o'clock. Bring your kids.
Charge is only for what you take home. Haskaps sell for $1.- per 100 grm.
Nobody has to buy anything.
Event Date and Time: 
June 27, 2014 - 19:00 - 21:00


Palliser Downs
98 Frankford Road
Foxboro,, ON K0K 2B0
44° 14' 34.5588" N, 77° 27' 31.4064" W

Trenton Woodlot Conference

June 11, 2014 by Louise Livingstone

While the details remain to be finalized, it looks like we have a really exciting, full line up for our 25th annual conference. Our keynote speaker will be author, scientist and environmentalist Diana Beresford- Kroeger. Her current projects include 10 Trees That Can Save the World and a new book, “The Sweetness of a Simple Life - Tips for Healthier, Happier and Kinder Living Gleaned from the Science and Wisdom of Nature”.

Peter Hynard, a registered professional forester with over 40 years of experience in forest management and forest management planning will be giving a talk on the historical forces that have shaped our forests today and how information can be gathered about them. Peter is an engaging speaker who gives a thoughtful and interesting perspective on forest history.

After a catered lunch, conference attendees can choose to either attend a field trip, or attend the afternoon speaker session.

The field trip will be to the Frink Centre and will include guided walks conducted by the following:

  • Tim Trustham, Quinte Conservation Ecologist and Planner, on Tree ID with Twigs and Bark
  • Maya Navrot, Conservation Education Coordinator on the history of the Frink Centre, as well as partnerships and roles within the Frink Centre
  • Martin Straite of the MNR, who will provide an update on the emerald ash borer
  • Vicky Wolfrey of the Crowe Valley Conservation Authority, who will share her expertise on Benthic and Riparian forest health

The afternoon speakers include will include:

  • Ewa Bednarczuk, ecology and stewardship specialist for Lower Trent Conservation: Murray Marsh - Amazon of the Trent.
  • Rob Spence of the MNR: MFTIP (Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program)
  • Dave Smallwood, Forestry and Field Operations Manager for Quinte Conservation: small scale forest operations, harvesting sustainably for firewood and forest health
Event Date and Time: 
November 21, 2014 - 09:00 - 16:00

North Hastings students recognize the benefits of living with trees

June 5, 2014 by Louise Livingstone

Two hundred and fifty grade seven and eight students helped the Local Wood Initiative team by brainswarming the beneftits of living with trees at the  BAFIA Forestry Day at Joy Bible Camp on May 28, 2014. Each student wrote down the importance of trees and forests to them, how they use wood and any job they coud think of related to trees. Together they came up with great lists.

Jessica Kaknevicius of Forests Ontario did a similar project when she asked girl guides in Toronto what "They loved about trees". They said trees helps them breath, provides shade, are beautiful, gives nature and stuff, provides maple syrup, fruit, beauty and are good for climbing.


Farmer to farmer workshop: Selling meat

June 2, 2014 by Louise Livingstone

Farmer to farmer workshop: Selling local meat. May 9, 2014

John Canaan Hastings Prince Edward Counties Health Unit, Pierre Adrien , Area Manager, Food Inspection Branch OMAFRA and and Seena Suri, Food Inspection Branch OMAFRA

John Canaan said no one can sell uninspected meat or unpasteurized milk in Ontario.  One can only sell ungraded eggs at the farm gate. Restaurants cannot buy ungraded eggs. Grading has to be done by a certified grading station. Grading looks for cracks, blood spots, the size and quality of eggs. There are Grades A, B, and C eggs. Grade C eggs are cracked and can only be used for different products. Chickens raised on the farm can be sold at the farm gate but cannot be sold at farmers‘ markets. has good information about regulations relating to the small-scale producer of chickens and eggs. When one orders hens or meat birds one has to register as a small-scale producer. One can have up to 100 laying birds and 300 meat birds at any one location. One can sell ungraded eggs at the farm gate and chicken at the farm gate, but one cannot sell ungraded eggs or chicken at a farmers’ market. Restaurants have to keep receipts for a year of where they buy products. John Canaan said if they see ungraded eggs and suspect there is a health hazard from eggs being sold at a farmers’ market they contact the Egg Marketing Board.

 The health Unit runs a safe food-handling course primarily designed for restaurants. They can put on a modified courser or condensed version. The full certification lasts for five years and costs $35.

 The inspector found meat being sold by someone who was not able to show a copy of the receipt for where it was processed. The Health Unit needs to see receipts, so that know the meat was processed at an inspected facility. Receipts show the health inspector where the meat was processed.

 The health unit inspects premises depending on the scale of risk. They will inspect premises providing food for seniors or day care more often as these are vulnerable populations.

 The health unit aims to keep things simple it does not distinguish between different types of markets.

 There are three levels of government involved in food safety

  Federal, provincial and municipal

The Nation Program is concerned with export between provinces within Canada and with export out of Canada. The province is concerned with meat in Ontario and aims to keep food safety risks to a minimum.

Make sure a facility is in compliance with the regulations. Meat processed in provincial plants cannot be marketed across provinces.

 The federal meat plants has food safety programs in Place HACCP certification  Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point approach is systematic and preventative

 It helps to find, correct, and prevent hazards throughout the production process. These include physical, chemical, and biological hazards. Food labeling.

Provincial abattoirs work to a risk based perspective, which isn’t as rigorous a HACCP

 There isn’t a plan to make HACCP mandatory, if one meets the requirement for provincial inspection is not such a leap to get HACCP certification 33 federally inspected abattoirs dealing with 80 per cent of animals.

 If a provincially inspected abattoir wishes to become HACCP certified they can get support from Growing Forward 2.

Retails stores need to review their policies. Independent stores can sell meat for provincially inspected abattoirs.

An abattoir can request the grading services of a provincial inspector. The Canadian Beef Grading Agency teaches both provincial and federal inspectors. The cost could be split between the abattoir and the farmers 

If one wants to sell good quality beef one needs to have it graded or build a close customer relationship.

An abattoir can provide a beef grading services by asking for it.

Meat leaving abattoir, as a dressed carcass is low risk

 Amendment of regulations for meat products does not apply if meat is 32% or lower.

Transportation standards for injured animals need a certificate from the vet

 Labeling meat

 Meat regulation 310: pre packaged meat needs to be fully labeled. A bulk container needs to be labeled

 The box needs to be fully labeled and then the farm can label individual pieces

Custom pack of meat for personal consumption or sale from the farm gate or farmers market also needs to be labeled.

 If one sells a processed meat product it needs a list of ingredients.

 CFIA has requirements on what they put on labels.

 When selling quarter or a half a carcase direct to customer, the carcase needs to be stamped that it has been inspected. Chicken and rabbits have a tag. One can’t labels meat as to quality without meeting CFIA standards For example bacon has to have salt, preservative and be made from fresh pork belly. There are federal labeling guidelines. If something is not fully cooked it has to be labeled uncooked with cooking instructions.

Products in Canada have to be bilingual labeling.  Local now means the whole of Ontario.

 Frozen Meat needs to be maintained in a frozen state during transportation.

 An inspector looks for any sign of disease if there are any lesions and various other things these can cause the meat to be condemned.

 Animals can be slaughtered on the farm but the meat cannot be sold.

 Hunted game cannot be sold. Hunted game does not have to be inspected.

There are different regulations for a licensed trapper.

Trappers (3) Despite subsection (1)’s requirement for a licence, the holder of a licence to trap furbearing mammals may, without any other licence, sell all or part of the carcass of a furbearing mammal trapped by or on behalf of the holder of the licence, including the pelt.



Regional Local Food BR & E 2014 outcomes

June 2, 2014 by Louise Livingstone


 The first of its kind; the Regional Local Food BR+E project crossed into 9 jurisdictions and fostered numerous new partnerships in Eastern Ontario. 

The project offered participants a unique opportunity to explore and develop relationships between: local government, non-government organizations, local food businesses, and stakeholders in the local food movement. 

Two years have passed since the surveys were completed and recommendations developed, and each community continues to help Local Food Producers, Processors and Retailers find new markets, identify opportunities to increase revenue, to ultimately grow their businesses. 

This project demonstrated how a number of jurisdictions can work in partnership to help develop the Local Food sector in ways that are specific to each community, while also making progress on a series of common regional goals. 

This report lists specific actions being undertaken in 2014, and highlights some of the actions undertaken in 2012 and 2013 which demonstrate the ongoing commitment to the success of the Local Food sector in each of our communities.

Marj Brady will be at Fibre Art Day at Farmtown Park

June 2, 2014 by Louise Livingstone

Marj Brady of Amazing Graze Alpaca  will be at the Fibre Arts Day at Farmtown Park on July 7. The video was created for Communities with Opportunities by Investinhastings. 

See video
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