Posted by Denise Deby. Thanks to Talia Klein of Savour Ottawa/Just Food for information.

Heirloom Cherry and Plum Tomatoes by Heather Flournoy - Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License

Heirloom Cherry and Plum Tomatoes by Heather Flournoy on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License

Savour Ottawa, which promotes local food producers, retailers and restaurants, is organizing a couple of great opportunities for people to discover and enjoy locally grown, creatively prepared and tasty food.

Savour Ottawa Tables

Between July 15 and August 30, 2015, Savour Ottawa is collaborating with several area restaurants and farmers to offer menu items that feature ingredients grown close to home. Participating restaurants, kitchens and cafés will be offering a table d’hôte menu, a special event, or prepared, take-home meals based on local ingredients. You’ll find dishes made with heirloom vegetables, seasonal herbs, local cheeses, organic poultry and beef, for example. Check out the menus at

Harvest Table 2015

The fifth annual Harvest Table happens on Sunday, August 30, 2015. This is a multi-course lunch where Ottawa chefs partner with area farmers to create dishes that celebrate the local harvest. It will be held in the Horticulture Building, Lansdowne Park, next to the Ottawa Farmers’ Market; you need to buy tickets in advance. Check here for details.

Savour Ottawa is an initiative of Ottawa Tourism, Just Food and the City of Ottawa. (Check out Savour Ottawa Online, where you can order food from local producers and pick it up at the Parkdale Field House every week.)

Tables General Facebook all chefs


Written by Denise Deby.

Murphy's Point - D Deby

One of the benefits of living in Ottawa is the proximity of provincial, recreational and conservation parks. Gatineau Park, Fitzroy and Rideau River Provincial Parks, and other nearby conservation areas and parks make for great day or weekend outings (or longer). Many offer hiking, swimming, canoeing/kayaking, interpretive programs, camping and more, as well as the chance to appreciate the diversity of ecosystems in this region.

Although any time is a good time to spend time in a park, the July 17-19, 2015 weekend has lots to offer.

Ontario Parks is holding Healthy Parks Healthy People on Friday, July 17, to draw attention to the health benefits of nature. Day use admission to provincial parks is free, and many parks have activities planned. (Check the website under “Event Listing.”)

Saturday, July 18 is Canada’s Parks Day, and admission to many national and provincial parks and historic sites is free. Some are offering special programming for the day, too. You can see some of the activities on the Got Parks website.

(Parks Day and Got Parks are courtesy of the Canadian Parks Council, a little-known but important network through which provincial, territorial and national parks connect and address issues of common interest.)

If you don’t have access to a vehicle, don’t worry. Parkbus still offers a service to Algonquin Park from Ottawa. Check the schedule here. (The next trip is the August long weekend.)


Written by Denise Deby.

Just Food barn - D. Deby

Just Food has operated a working farm on Greenbelt land near Blackburn Hamlet since 2012. It supports new farmers to learn organic farming, and partners with area farmers and community groups on projects that improve access to sustainable food in the Ottawa region.

A couple of weeks ago, Just Food and the National Capital Commission signed a 25-year lease for a community farm on 150 acres of land at the site.

The agreement means that Just Food can continue to offer space and programs to support farmers, provide public education on food issues and help create a viable, healthy and sustainable local food system.

If you’re interested in seeing what’s growing on site these days, check out the Just Food Start-Up Farm Program farmers. Their vegetables, herbs, wild and forest foods, honey and other products are available to buy at the Just Food farm stand or from the farmers directly.

Just Food has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help it grow. They’re welcoming donations to upgrade the soil to make the land more productive. (The campaign coincides with the 2015 International Year of Soils.)

As well, anyone can become a member of Just Food. More information here.

From Just Food:

Just Food is a community-based, non-profit organization that has been working towards vibrant, just and sustainable food and farming systems in the Ottawa region since 2003.  In addition to the now established Just Food Farm, Just Food programs include Savour Ottawa, the Community Gardening Network of Ottawa, Buy Local Food Program (including the Ottawa Food Hub), and diverse food policy and food access initiatives.”

Update: Just Food launches the Farm Stand on Sunday, July 26! Check out the fresh, local produce grown by Just Food farmers.

Written by Denise Deby.


From July 3-5, 2015, people across Canada are calling for a new approach to the environment, the economy and society.

On July 5, thousands of people will gather in Toronto for the March for Jobs, Justice and the Climate. They’ll be drawing attention to the connections among social justice, good work, clean energy and a healthy environment, and highlighting solutions for addressing climate change. The March brings together a wide range of participants including representatives of Indigenous, marginalized and racialized communities, human rights, labour and environmental groups, and many others.

The March precedes the Climate Summit of the Americas hosted by Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, and a meeting of government and business representatives, the International Economic Forum of the Americas’ Toronto Global Forum.

Additional activities across Canada on July 3 and 4 are calling for fossil fuel divestment and a shift from tar sands to clean energy. You can follow these on Twitter through #JobsJusticeClimate.

(350 Ottawa is organizing a bus to take people from Ottawa to Toronto for the July 5 March, but check first to see if seats are still available.)

July Actions Image


Written by Denise Deby.

Ottawa River from Victoria Island D Deby (2)

You already know about the Parliament Hill events, the neighbourhood barbecues, the fireworks. Here are a few other ways to make Canada a more liveable and just place:

1. Learn more about this country of ours by reading the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. The Commission sets out what happened at residential schools and recommends how non-Indigenous and Indigenous people can renew their relationships based on understanding and respect. Make reading the Executive Summary a Canada Day or summer project; listen to Indigenous people across the country reading excerpts of the report.

2. Chances are there’s a river or lake near your Canada Day celebration, and chances are it’s not protected by law from industrial pollution or other risks. Ask the Canadian government to reinstitute protection of lakes and rivers (in the 2012 “budget bill” they reduced the number of protected lakes and rivers from 2.5 million to just 159). Read about Gwich’in ultramarathoner Caribou Legs’ run from Vancouver to Ottawa calling for protection of water, and sign the Council of Canadians’ petition to the federal government.

3. Youth from the Algonquin community of Kitigan Zibi and from Wakefield and Chelsea are paddling the Gatineau River from Maniwaki to Ottawa together, arriving at Victoria Island on July 1. Learn more about Chimeda, “a journey of unity and love for our waters,” and their efforts to protect the watershed for everyone, here or here. (Also take a few minutes to read about the significance of Chaudière Falls and Chaudière, Victoria and Albert Islands in the Ottawa River.)

Guest post written by Carol Burnup, EnviroCentre.

"3D Green Energy" by Chris Potter on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

“3D Green Energy” by Chris Potter on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Since March, EnviroCentre has been hosting monthly workshops to Ottawa residents on a variety of topics ranging from basic bike maintenance, understanding utility bills and misconceptions about draftiness and windows.

Given that two of the major areas contributing to greenhouse gas emissions in Canada come from the energy sector, such as heat and electricity generation, and transportation, the workshops aim to educate and empower residents on aspects of home energy efficiency and getting around more sustainably, so they can make changes within their own lives and contribute on a grander scale to the problem of climate change that faces us all.

The next workshop is coming up this Thursday, June 25 and is on the theme of how an energy assessment can help you plan your next reno. Register now for this workshop!

Or learn more about EnviroCentre’s other workshops.

About EnviroCentre

EnviroCentre is a local Ottawa-based environmental non-profit that helps residents, families and businesses save energy and money while reducing their impact on the environment.

With a goal of greenhouse gas reduction, EnviroCentre focuses its efforts in improving building or home energy efficiency and sustainable transportation.

To learn more, visit:


Written by Denise Deby.

CSA share

A few posts ago I wrote about where to obtain CSA shares of vegetables and other foods from local farms.

There are plenty of other ways to get fresh, local produce on your plate. Here are a few:

Savour Ottawa Online

Savour Ottawa Online is a weekly service that lets you select and order food from local producers and pick it up at the Parkdale Field House. With Savour Ottawa, you visit the online marketplace, choose whichever products you’d like, and your order will be ready for pickup on the designated day a few days later. There’s everything from vegetables and meats to baked goods, prepared meals and personal care products.

Ottawa Good Food Box

A group of Ottawa organizations got together a few years ago and decided to create a way for people to obtain groceries closer to home and at affordable prices. They launched the Ottawa Good Food Box, which buys in bulk so members can get fruits and vegetables at wholesale prices. Not all of the food is locally sourced, but organizers strive to obtain produce as locally and affordably as possible. Anyone can participate in the monthly service, which offers a range of box sizes and types (including an organic box). Check the map to find the closest distribution site near you.

Good Food Markets

Good Food Markets bring food to communities that are underserved by regular grocery stores. At the markets, you’ll find a variety of fruits, vegetables and dry goods, as well as music and other community activities. Check the website for locations and dates.

Market Mobile

The same group that brought about the Good Food Markets has launched Market Mobile, kind of a grocery store on wheels that brings healthy, affordable food to even more neighbourhoods. Find the schedule and locations on their website.

More local food sources

Ottawa’s numerous farmers’ markets offer fresh produce and other foods as well as a sense of community. Sometimes area farmers have farm gate stands where you can buy local, too. Check out Just Food’s Buy Local Grow Local Food Guide for more options.




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