Newsletter 131, 19 February 2018

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Feature documentary: Symphony of the Soil

Transition Brockville and the Brockville Public Library


Filmed on four continents, featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil is an intriguing presentation that highlights possibilities of healthy soil creating healthy plants creating healthy humans living on a healthy planet.



  • Funding addresses Mohawks' weather concerns
    Kingston Whig / Tim Meeks / 01 February 2018
    Climate change is causing much concern for the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. A major drought in 2016, followed by severe flooding in 2017, resulted in myriad of issues in Tyendinaga, so recently announced funding in excess of $300,000 from the federal government is welcome news for Chief R. Donald Maracle. "We are extremely appreciative of this funding from the federal government to help us plan to deal with these issues in the future," Maracle said. The First Nation Adapt Program is providing …
  • Some choices matter: Eastern Ontario
    Credit Unions of Ontario / 26 September 2017
    Home to our nation's capital, Eastern Ontario is chock full of people looking to make positive change happen in their communities, their province and across the country. Discover how credit unions are supporting this change, and sparking a new wave of progressive ideas from Kingston to Ottawa.…


  • Energy efficient improvements for social housing
    Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change / 09 February 2018
    Chris Ballard, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, was joined today by Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing and Parminder Sandhu, Green Ontario Fund board chair, to announce the launch of the GreenON Social Housing program. Along with existing provincial programs designed for larger social housing buildings, this new program will help improve the energy efficiency of social housing apartment buildings with fewer than 100 units across the province. Improvements will include upgrades to …
  • Still work to be done to meet climate change goals: report
    Yahoo! News / Paola Loriggio / 30 January 2018
    Ontario’s first year of carbon pricing went well but more work is needed if the province wants to meet its long-term goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the province’s environmental commissioner said Tuesday. In her annual report, the commissioner said the government needs a better plan for spending the funds brought in by the cap-and-trade system, which amounted to close to $2 billion last year. The money is meant to be earmarked for green projects and almost all of the …
  • OFA: Focus on adapting to climate change
    Simcoe Reformer / Michael-Allan Marion / 28 January 2018
    “The OFA is pleased to see a renewed focus by government on the need for adaptation to the potential impacts of climate change,” president Keith Currie said last week in a presentation to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, which is posted on the ministry’s Environmental Bill of Rights website. “The agricultural sector has a long history of learning and adapting to the variability of Canadian weather and climate. Global warming and climate change, …


  • Earth's ice is melting much faster than forecast
    Garn Press / Jason E Box / 05 February 2018
    While individual climate models come close to observations on this or that piece of the complex big picture, what ends up in global assessment reports intended to help guide policy decisions and national discussions of climate change are very conservative averages of dozens of models that don't include the latest, higher sensitivity physics. So, alas, when it comes to ice, how fast it can go and how fast the sea will rise, if I were a betting man, I'd put my money on it going faster than …
  • Oceans hit hottest temperatures ever recorded … by far
    Common Dreams / Jessica Corbett / 26 January 2018
    A new analysis conducted by Chinese researchers and published in a peer-reviewed journal on Friday found that 2017 was the hottest year on record for the world’s oceans, renewing concerns among those in the scientific community about the man-made climate crisis. “The long-term warming trend driven by human activities continued unabated,” the researchers, Lijing Cheng and Jiang Zhu, wrote in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences. “The high ocean temperatures in recent years …
  • What's Earth's 'ideal temperature'? That's a misleading question
    Mashable / Andrew Freeman / 14 February 2018
    Climate scientists say that it’s not so much the exact global average surface temperature in 2100 that makes the most difference for whether certain species will survive global warming or if Miami will be inundated by rising seas. Instead, the rate of change is what is so important. The faster that climate changes, the more significant the impacts will be. Just this week, for example, a study was published showing that due to the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, sea …
  • Climate modeling is more powerful than ever before
    MIT Technology Review / James Temple / 08 February 2018
    Just a few years ago, the conventional wisdom held that you couldn't attribute any single extreme weather event to climate change. But now scientists increasingly can and do state the odds that human actions caused or exacerbated specific droughts and hurricanes. One big reason for the change is that the science of climate modeling is becoming increasingly powerful as improvements in technology, techniques, and data sharing allow researchers to set up novel experiments or simply run many more …
  • Energy, money and technology – from the lens of the superorganism
    KAUST Official / Streamed live on 23 January 2018
    In his #WEP2018 keynote, Nate Hagens discusses how all of our lives will be influenced by how we react to the coming era of harder to extract and more costly fossil fuels that will be combined with cleaner but more stochastic energy types. Special thanks to our Platinum #WEP2018 sponsors: Saudi Aramco and Sabic…


  • Companion planting with vegetables and flowers
    Mother Earth News / Barbara Pleasant / April/May 2011
    The idea of "companion planting" has been around for thousands of years, during which time it has become so besmirched with bad science and metaphysics that many gardeners aren't sure what it means. The current definition goes something like this: Companion planting is the establishment of two or more species in close proximity so that some cultural benefit, such as pest control or increased yield, may be achieved. Historically, North American and European gardeners have based many of their …
  • Are pickles fermented? Pickled vs. fermented foods
    Mother Earth News / Chelsea Clark / 11 May 2015
    Since I discovered the various health benefits of fermented foods, I have become a complete fan of these sour, delicious treats. I have learned to make my own fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, and more. But when it comes to grabbing a fermented snack from the grocery store, choosing the right product can be confusing. So what are fermented foods, exactly? And are pickles fermented, or are pickled foods different from fermented foods? These types of questions shouldn't be …
  • Mark's ten seedling tips
    West Coast Seeds / Mark Macdonald / 22 February 2017
    You've selected your seeds, you've invested in unfamiliar seed starting equipment, you've planted the seeds — and now the damn things are coming up! What to do?! Lesson One: Take it easy. Remember that seeds are just like any other embryo, and that their parents have bestowed upon them a supply of food to get them started. As seeds germinate, they use this food to unfurl their first leaf/leaves, and to pop out a tiny, rudimentary root with which to take in water and nutrients. As those first …
  • Garden planning for food preservation
    Mother Earth News / Deborah Niemann / February/March 2016
    Our vegetable gardens offer us beautiful, fresh bounty during the growing season — and they also have the potential to increase our food security the rest of the year. When you craft a plan to put up some of the crops you grow, you're preparing for the future, simplifying winter meals, reducing waste, and saving money, too. As you plan your garden with preservation in mind, consider what your family loves to eat versus what they merely tolerate. Talk with your household members about what you …


Selling Food to Ontario: Regulations, Marketing and Scaling Up Sustainably

OMAFRA Regional Economic Development Branch, East Region
WHEN: Wednesday, February 21, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
WHERE: Amphitheatre 1, Parish Hall, Kemptville Campus, 830 Prescott Street, Kemptville

This workshop will feature a panel of regulatory experts from Public Health, OMAFRA and Canadian Food Inspection Agency. An interactive Q&A will give you the opportunity to ask questions about labelling, transport, processing, food safety, and any other aspect of the regulatory environment that you need to understand for your business. Then, learn from local experts who have resources and experience in growing a food business.

Fee, includes local lunch: $35, plus tax

Safe for Birds - Managing cats and other issues on the rural property

Nature Canada, Burnbrae Farms and the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network
WHEN: Wednesday, February 21, 6:15 pm - 8:00 pm
WHERE: Burnbrae Farms Conference Room, 3356 Country Road 27, Lyn

Live in a rural area? Own cats? Like birds? Then this workshop is for you! We will learn about the impact of cats on bird populations and participate in a focus-group and round-table discussion on this issue. As well as cats, you will have the opportunity to comment on Nature Canada's draft guidance for bird and bat-safe country living, share stories and solutions.

Space is limited for this fun, informative and FREE workshop! Registration ends Monday Feb. 19 so don't miss out.

Eco Farm Days

Canadian Organic Growers - Ottawa/St Lawrence/Outaouais Chapter
WHEN: Saturday, February 24 - Sunday, February 25
WHERE: Ramada Inn, 805 Brookdale Blvd, Cornwall

The theme this year is a simple word : Adaptation. In the context of agriculture, however, that single word conjures up a great many different issues facing farmers. Some ideas we will explore at Eco Farm Days are:

  • How can farmers adapt to a changing climate
  • How do plant nutrient needs change over time
  • Breeding new plant varieties for your farm
  • Exploring better ways to feed your animals

More info:

What We Ate: A Cook's Tour of Canadian Food History

Brockville Museum
WHEN: Tuesday, February 27, 10:00 am
WHERE: Brockville Museum, 5 Henry Street, Brockville

Sarah Hood presents a brief sketch of the ingredients, food businesses and cooking technology that have influenced the meals on Canadian tables from the 1600s to the year 2000.

Bio: Sarah B. Hood is a writer with a strong interest in social history. A board member of the Culinary Historians of Canada and a volunteer historic cook at City of Toronto museums, she enjoys experimenting with antique cooking methods and recipes. She contributes monthly articles about Ontario food icons to TVOntario's website. Her most recent book is "We Sure Can, How jams and pickles are reviving the lure and lore of local food". She is currently writing a world history of jams, jellies and marmalades.

The cost is only $10. Light refreshments will be served during the break. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. To purchase your seat you are welcome to phone us at 613-342-4397 or stop by the museum. Due to the popularity of the series, we cannot accept reservations without payment.

Seedy Saturday

Transition Brockville and Brockville Public Library
WHEN: Saturday, March 3, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Memorial Centre, Megadoma Drive, Brockville
FREE ADMISSION! And plenty of parking ... for both bicycles and cars!

Seedy Saturday features a free planting activity for kids, displays by local garden clubs and market vendors, our resident expert master gardener on hand to answer your questions, and a free seed swap. If you'd like to volunteer to help out at this fun event, we would welcome your participation.

Contacts: Brandy at (613-342-3936) or Chris at

Beauty and the Eats

Brockville & District Horticultural Society
WHEN: Monday, March 26, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Wesleyan Church, 33 Central Avenue West, Brockville

Presenter: Judith Cox, Master Gardener. As past gardener of the culinary garden at Saunders Farm in Munster, Judith is well qualified to share tips on growing vegetables and edible flowers as she provided tasty, fresh produce to the chef daily. Non-member fee: $2.

Good Food In Schools Forum 2018

The Table Community Food Centre and foodcoreLGL
WHEN: Wednesday, March 28, 9:00 am - 3:30 pm
WHERE: Smiths Falls (exact location TBA)

Welcome to our 2nd Good Food In Schools Forum! We had a lot of fun at the first forum in 2017, and we invite you to join us as we continue to build our capacity in Lanark, Leeds and Grenville to encourage healthy eating, gardening and food skills development in our schools. At this year's forum we will explore a wide range of topics and local experiences from students, teachers and supporting organizations including:

  • School garden implementation and support
  • FoodCore LGL in our Schools
  • Healthy snack and lunch programs
  • Other food accessibility programs geared to children and youth

In response to feedback from last year we will be having even more breakout discussions, an opportunity to connect with others on their experiences and good food dreams, plus discussions on a potential School Gardens Network in our communities.

Locally sourced lunch, coffee, tea and snacks will be included with a small registration fee. More details to come very shortly. We would appreciate your sharing this event your contacts. We hope to see you there! For more information please contact:

What is Good for Us: Bees, Pollinators, Native Plants, Vegetables

Yonge in Bloom
WHEN: Saturday, April 7, 8:30 am - 3:00 pm
WHERE: Mallorytown Community Centre, 76 County Road 5 South, Mallorytown

Gardening seminar:

  • 8:30 Registration
  • 9:30 Bees: John Switzer, bee keeper
  • Pollinator Plants for the Garden: Suzanne Patry, Whitehouse Perennials
  • Lunch (included): Catered by Junetown Women’s Institute
  • Getting Back to Nature with Native Plants: Peter Fuller, Fuller Native and Rare Plants
  • Vegetables: Jeff Klug, Roots Down Organic Farm

Registration: $25. Call Catherine at 613-923-1571 or email to reserve your seat by March 31. Limited to 56 seats -- first paid, first served.

Perth Tiny House & Green Home Festival

Algonquin College and The 2 Marys Events
WHEN: Saturday, April 21, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
WHERE: Algonquin College - Perth Campus, 7 Craig Street, Perth

The Perth Tiny House & Green Home Festival features affordable, sometimes quirky, energy efficient and sustainable housing. It aims to inspire and explore options to reduce the ecological footprint in constructing and furnishing homes, providing an important opportunity to promote products and services to an appreciative and informed audience. On-site, there will be six or so tiny houses for public viewing; speakers addressing Green Living and New Technologies topics; exhibitors promoting their related services and products; and background music, food and kids' activities for a relaxed atmosphere.

Ticket Price: $17 in advance (includes ticket fee & taxes) - $20 at the gate - Children under 16 are free - Free entry to Algonquin students and staff with ID card. More info:

Eastern Ontario Active Transportation Summit

EOATS Committee - City of Brockville, lead partner
WHEN: Thursday, May 10 - Friday, May 11
WHERE: Brockville

Are you interested in living in a healthy active community? One that is safe for walking and cycling? Learning how towns are transforming themselves into a more livable place? Are you an engaged citizen interested in living in a town like this? Learn about these simple concepts that make towns healthier, more vibrant and stronger economically. Perhaps you're a downtown business person, discover the economic potential of pedestrian and cycle friendly communities? Or a town planner or staff person, learn best practice techniques of others building healthier towns. Maybe you're a resident that wants to be able to get around your community more easily and safely on foot or on a bike. Join us at the Eastern Ontario Active Transportation Summit.

Mother's Day Tree Sale

CRCA and the Friends of Mac Johnson
WHEN: Saturday, May 12, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
WHERE: Mac Johnson Wildlife Area, Centennial Road entrance, Brockville

One of the highlights of spring at the Mac Johnson Wildlife Area! All trees and shrubs are native stock grown at the Mac Johnson Wildlife Area nursery. • • Facebook Group