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Welcome to our August newsletter!

In this newsletter:  

  • Halton Food
    • Receive updates on the Acton Community Garden
    • Check out a recipe with Indigenous origins
    • What to harvest now!
    • A goodbye to our summer students
  • Halton Environmental Network
    • HEN food waste article published in Canadian Geographer
    • Volunteer at one of our upcoming events
#growingtogetherHalton
A Message from Halton Food
August has come and gone, and soon summer will be departed as well. In many instances an ending of one chapter of life will mark the beginning of a new one. Fall will soon arrive and with it a plethora of new opportunities. For the summer student staff that joined Halton Food this year, those new opportunities include pursuing their academic and personal goals. For the rest of us, new opportunities may include the final harvest of the season, collecting seeds, or planting cool season crops. Let us move forward with all the lessons we have learned this past month and continue to grow and prosper.  
 
-Halton Food
Halton Food Updates
In August the HEN team continued to nurture community gardens all throughout the Halton region. We worked with our partners to help provide food security to the residents of Halton while prioritizing access to healthy foods.

This month, more crops were harvested and distributed. Some of the harvested crops include tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, and peppers. All of which found their way to individuals via local food banks, including the Food for Life community fridge in the Acton Public Library and The Roxy Centre
Acton Community Garden Updates

Have you had a chance to visit the Acton Community Garden, located inside of Rotary Park? It is a place for locals to learn about gardening, harvest the produce they need, and meet new friends! Everyone is welcome to pick anything they need, and anything that does not get harvested by locals is donated to neighbourhood food banks.

Join us each Wednesday between 6:30-8:30pm for a community gathering, where we water, weed, harvest and get together in the garden! We plan on continuing to maintain the garden all the way into October, meaning there is plenty of time for you to come out and visit us!

All ages are welcome, and no experience is necessary.

This month we had a very successful harvest of fresh veggies. Some of these include cucumber, lettuce, radish, beets, potatoes, herbs, and zucchini. All were donated to local food banks. 

Check out our Instagram page to see Meghan, Naval and Elin in action! 

On August 10th, 24th and 31st we hosted our children's drop-in “Little Hands in the Garden” inside the Community Gardens. Each date was given its own theme, however, our theme of “colours in the garden” on August 24th was a huge hit among the kids! It involved each person searching through the garden for various colours of leaves, which they would pick and use for a craft!

Fall is quickly approaching, which means school is back in session. We hope to host as many school field trips in the garden as possible. Activities will include learning about the garden, reading garden story books, singing garden songs, and spending time in the soil!

Teachers, please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have regarding field trips; our email is ActonCommunityGarden@gmail.com.

Check us out on Social Media!
Are you following us on Instagram or Facebook? Join us as we share information on sustainable gardening, buying local, recipes and more.

Learn how to maximize the space in your garden or how to reduce food waste using our mouthwatering recipes. Discover why sustainable farming methods matter and discover the link between climate change and soil. 

We will have new content all year long!
Dishes with Indigenous Origins 

For several weeks now we here at Halton Food have been sharing recipes that use seasonal crops that are commonly found in gardens across North America. The crops used in the Foodie Friday recipes find their way to our garden beds and kitchen tables from all around the world. Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) and tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) originated from regions of Southern America, asparagus (Asparagus Officinalis) and strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) both originated from the European continent (though Fragaria x ananassa is actually a hybrid).  


When considering the many origins of the food we consume it strikes us as particularly interesting that so many of our favourite crops were cultivated in the North and South American continents. Crops such as corn, peanuts, some varieties of beans, and squash all were first found on this landmass. These crops have been further cultivated and adapted by farmers in recent history and have been paired with crops and meats that do not originate from the Americas.

Today we would like to share with you a recipe that originates from North America and was a staple in Indigenous diets before the introduction of foods from around the world: succotash. 

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 ears fresh corn, shucked

1 teaspoon fine salt, divided

1 small red onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 medium jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups of beans of your choice (green beans are my recommendation) 

2 tablespoons butter


INSTRUCTIONS: 
  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until it’s starting to shimmer. Add the corn and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring every minute or so, until the corn is turning golden on the edges, about 5 to 7 minutes.

  2. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeño and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often for about 5 to 8 minutes.

  3. Add the garlic to the pan, stir to combine, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beans and cook until they’re warmed through, about 2 minutes.

  4. Add the butter to the skillet and stir until it’s mostly melted. Remove the skillet from the heat. Let it cool for a few minutes.

  5. Enjoy! 

 

Recipe adapted from: https://cookieandkate.com/succotash-recipe/

Be sure to check out more recipes on Instagram @HaltonFood.

What to Harvest Now 
The time has finally come to reap the benefits of all your hard labour tending the vegetable garden.
If you haven't already, start harvesting the following veggies:
- Beans* 
- Corn
- Peppers
- Melons
- Tomatoes 
- Potatoes
- Eggplant 

*the more you pick, the more the plant produces
Goodbye and Thank you! 
August is always bittersweet for the Halton Food team. The gardens are finally reaching their potential but, sadly, we must say goodbye to our summer students as they return to school in the coming weeks. We wish all the best to Gabi, Meghan, Naval and Taryn as they continue their education.
Congratulations to Manny - he will be starting a new role at St. Christopher's Open Doors!

Thanks to the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program, and to MP Karina Gould (Burlington), MP Pam Damoff (Oakville-North Burlington), Michael Chong (Wellington-Halton Hills), MP Anita Anand (Oakville) and MP Adam van Koeverdan (Milton) for giving us the opportunity to hire our amazing summer students this year. 
Make Every Bite Counts
Survey is now published!

We are excited to share that the journal article on food waste conducted by VCMI for HEN has been published in the Canadian Geographer. The study focused on quantifying the carbon footprint of household food waste and associated green house gases.
 

It also touches on a municipality's role in reducing both food waste and GHGs. Read the full article for free during the month of September. 

Quantifying the carbon footprint of household food waste and associated GHGs in Oakville, Ontario, and a municipality's role in reducing both food waste and GHGs

Check out the link here: https://doi.org/10.1111/cag.12794
Volunteer Opportunities
Join HEN at KerrFest and Hops and Harvest Festival!

We need volunteers and it can be you!

We are looking for volunteers to help at the "Hops and Harvest" Festival, running from Friday, September 23rd to Sunday, September 25th. Our Waste Diversion Booth will be set up, to help event-goers put waste in the right place. 

When waste is kept out of our landfills, more of nature can be preserved for future generations to enjoy and make memories in. By helping event-goers recycle and compost, our volunteers keep the dream of a greener tomorrow alive. Come lend a helping hand, and make a big impact in Halton. It’s a great opportunity for youth volunteers looking for community hours and ways to improve their neighbourhood. 

If you’re interested, check out our link below and register to volunteer under "Sort to Divert". 

Find out more about the event and the other booths here: https://buff.ly/3Ki732K

Go to https://form-can.keela.co/volunteer-sign-up-form-waste-diversion-2022 to sign up now!

Halton Environmental Network is dedicated to promoting the values of equity, diversity, inclusion and respect for all people.

Halton Food has been generously funded by the
Halton Region Community Investment Fund. Thank you for all your support!
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Our goal is to educate residents about sustainable food production
and promote access to local, healthy, culturally relevant food
through environmentally sustainable community gardening,
urban farming, and school gardens.
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