In this first of two episodes looking at local food, we consider the goal of London becoming food self-sufficient.

Mariam Waliji talks about Urban Roots London (the city’s urban farm), On The Move Organics food box delivery program, and The Root Cellar restaurant, as well as food security and the effects of climate change and the pandemic on local food systems.

Mike Bloxam of the London Food Bank outlines the many food rescue programs and on-site growing projects underway at the London Food Bank, that made it the first food bank in Canada to offer 50% fresh food to clients.

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Mariam Waliji, Director at Urban Roots London Mariam Waliji, Director at Urban Roots London
Mike Bloxam, Fresh Food Co-ordinator at the London Food Bank Mike Bloxam, Fresh Food Co-ordinator at the London Food Bank.
Compost bin filled with organic material Compost bin at the London Food Bank
Newly built hoop house Newly built hoop house at London Food Bank
Harvest dinner attendees outside tent Harvest Dinner attendees at Urban Roots London
London food bank truck London Food Bank truck

Links Mentioned in the Episode

  • Food Secure Canada - An explanation of food sovereignty.
  • Ojibiiikaan Indigenous Cultural Network - an Indigenous-led nonprofit offering land, food and culture based programming in Toronto and the surrounding region.
  • Afri-Can Food Basket - a non-profit organization that has been at the forefront of championing Food Justice and Food Sovereignty for Toronto’s African, Caribbean, Black (ACB) community.
  • Forest City Worker’s Co-op - a network which includes The Root Cellar Cafe, London Brewing and On the Move Organic. Their goal is to grow food and make beverages sustainably.
  • Urban Roots London - a non-profit, urban farm with the goal of making produce accessible to all.
  • Life*Spin - The Low-Income Family Empowerment * Sole-Support Parents Information Network provides information and support for individuals who are surviving off of low incomes in London.
  • TVO - “Getting at the root of the problems facing Ontario’s ginseng industry” an article about ginseng production in Ontario.
  • Ontario Federation of Agriculture - “Feeding our diverse culture with locally grown” an article highlighting the diversity of Ontario crops.
  • London Food Bank - a non-profit, charitable organization that distributes food and food-related products to those requiring assistance in London.
  • London Food Bank - The community Harvest Program is a program run by the London Food Bank that aims to rescue unsellable produce from farmers, farmer’s markets and grocery stores.
  • London Food Bank - Plant a Row, Grow a Row is an initiative to encourage gardeners to grow an extra row of their favourite veggies and donate the harvest to the London Food Bank.
  • London Free Press - “Could London Food Bank's first greenhouse become a model across the city?” An article about the London Food Bank’s urban garden.
  • TVO - “How edible forests are changing London’s landscape (and foodscape)” is an article about London’s food forests.
  • London Environmental Network - Information on the City of London’s Urban Agriculture Strategy.
  • Food Not Lawns - an international movement that supports the transformation of lawns into gardens.

Additional Resources

  • Canadian Mental Health Association - Information on My Sister’s Place, a centre that supports women through drop-in and wrap-around services.
  • Crouch Neighbourhood Resource Centre - A multi-service neighbourhood resource centre offering a range of neighbourhood-based social, recreational and educational programs.
  • ALUS Middlesex - Is a community developed program with a mission to enable Canadians to provide direct support to a national network of farmers and ranchers delivering ecosystem services in their communities.
  • Climate Ontario - “Agriculture: in a changing climate” is an article on the impacts of climate change on agriculture in Ontario.
  • Resource Recycling Systems - “Organics: Compost vs Landfill” An article explaining why the decomposition of organics in a compost produces less greenhouse gasses than in a landfill.
  • Middlesex-London - Local seasonal food guide.

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