Thursday, December 23, 2010

FoodStock 2011: Saturday, 29Jan11 @Kingsland Farmer's Market 2pm-5pm

Read more! FOODSTOCK 2011

Family Friendly Fundraiser 4 the Canadian Right to Food Trial Legal Fund, Saturday, 29Jan11 @Kingsland Farmer's Market 2pm-5pm

Tweet ready: #FoodStock 2011 29January11 -- Every1 invited. Mark your calendars FOODSTOCK #yyc #R2F

Contact FoodStock Event Coordinator:
Chelsea Pratchett oryxzen [at] hotmail [dot] com
Paul Hughes paul [at] paulinate [dot] com

Looking 4 artists 2 donate pieces 4 silent auction. 50% of bid will go 2 the artist.

Looking for musicians 2 play acoustic sets @ FoodStock. Contact reghano [at] gmail [dot] com

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

CFPC hosts Food & Sustainability Mayor Forum on World Food Day, 16OCT10 @ International Hotel

Read more! CFPC Food & Sustainability Mayor's Forum:
World Food Day, Saturday, 16OCT10 @ 1pm
@ International Hotel


Calgary votes 18OCT10.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Calgary City Council: Fact loses to Fear... Again!??!

Read more! imagineCalgary Target #4:

With an estimated 140,000 Calgarians living in poverty and only 6 months until the end of 2010, do you think we'll reach the target of 100% of Calgarians having access to nutritious foods?

We all see and hear that the interrelated issues of chickens/food/household food security/community food security/food justice/local food systems/sustainable agriculture are being discussed not only in Calgary, but across North America & Globally. Myopically, Calgary city council has turned their antiintellectual/antiscience back on our very own proud agrarian heritage and has wittingly endorsed industrial, factory, caged, agribusiness practices.
Regardless of political positioning, food transcends all issues. The inability of city council to:

1. Educate themselves on this issue
2. Defer to unanimously endorsed Federal, Provincial & City Policy recognizing Article 25
3. Support Science Based approaches (Pilot Project)
4. Acknowledge the receipt of 100's of letters of support
5. Disconnect themselves from fear & hearsay
6. Understand Household Food Security

only serves to illustrate the chasm that exists in comprehending this complex issue.

We know:

1. The matter of a Right to Food, represented in this instance by our hens, is going to court.
2. The Food Policy Report is being presented to Calgary Council on 30June10.
3. That regardless of your affiliation, CLUCK, CFPC, SlowFood, CGRN, EAC, AFMA, GFSA, FSC, et al, Food Policy is the common ground where we all come together.

The process to have 99.9% of our population dependent on Industrial Food has taken some 50-70+ years to engineer. This system will not be dismantled anytime soon, but we can begin the process of individually & independently disconnecting ourselves from the Industrial Food Production System by supporting personal and local food policy organizational initiatives.

imagineCalgary Targets:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Introducing the new Calgary Food Policy Council Executive

Read more! Introducing the new Calgary Food Policy Council Executive 2010/2011

At the 18May10 meeting, the CFPC selected a new executive.

Chair Tony Prashad
Vice Chair Ngaio Hotte
Vice Chair Matt Hammer
Sec/Tres Donna Clarke
Events Karren Huggins
Social Media/Communications Tavis Ford
Liaison Coor Vi Gerbrandt Contact Now

It was decided that the immediate focus for the CFPC is the o2June10 report to Calgary City Council on Food Policy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Election: Calgary Food Policy Council: Call for Nominations

Read more!
Hello, CFPC foodies!

Just a reminder that the deadline for Nominations for the upcoming CFPC Board election is this Friday, May 14 at midnight. The following positions are up for election:

Policy Development Coordinator
Liaison Coordinator
Social Media/Communications Coordinator
Events Coordinator

An overview of the responsibilities for each of the above roles is attached.

Nominees are requested to complete the attached Nomination Form. The Nomination Form is also available on the CFPC website . Completed nomination forms must be received by midnight on Friday, May 14, 2010.

Once the nomination process has closed, information about the candidates will be circulated. Members will have the opportunity to meet with the candidates at the next CFPC meeting on Monday, May 17 @ 7pm at the Calgary Co-Op Midtown Market. The meeting will be held in the upstairs meeting room on the second level. Additional information about this meeting and a rough agenda will be circulated next week.

Please note that only information regarding the candidates' background and qualifications will be circulated to CFPC members; no other personal information from the nomination form, other than the candidates' names, will be disclosed. Electronic voting will be open to all members of the CFPC and will take place the week of Monday, May 17, and will close on Friday, May 21 at midnight. Voting will be electronic to reduce paper use and ensure that all members will have the opportunity to participate.

The results of the vote will be tallied and announced following the long weekend on Tuesday, May 25.

Please send completed Nomination Forms as well as any questions regarding the election process to Ngaio Hotte, Vice-Chair, Calgary Food Policy Council, at



CFPC – Roles and Responsibilities


● Liaise with Board members as appropriate to draw up meeting agendas
and confirm arrangements for meetings.
● Set meeting dates and locations.
● Chair meetings in a respectful and effective manner.
● Be well prepared on topics to be discussed, request agenda items in
● Keep to the agenda, allow adequate time for each agenda item and be
prepared to guide and end discussions.
● Encourage all members to participate in the discussion and ensure all
voices are heard.
● Should a vote be required, clarify the voting procedure and clearly state
the proposals.
● State clearly the agreed outcomes of discussions and votes.
● Liaise with Board members as appropriate over any action to be taken as
a result of decisions taken at the meeting.
● Represent the organization and act as spokesperson when required.
● Be available for consultation as necessary.
● Ensure that the organization’s staff & volunteers are supervised and
● Contact and brief new Board members about responsibilities.
● Ensure a good hand over between old and new committee members takes
● Take overall responsibility for legal, health & safety and insurance

Vice Chair:

● Deputize for the Chairperson in their absence.
● Adopt the responsibility and authority of the Chairperson when
● Co-operate with the Chairperson to encourage and promote the work of
the organization and Board members.

Policy Development Coordinator:

● Provide expertise in the area of food policy.
● Liaise with government officials (e.g. municipal, provincial, federal) in
order to develop policy and affect change within government.
● Maintain contact and flow of information with other food policy councils
in other jurisdictions.
● Remain astride of food policy developments in other jurisdictions.
● Lead policy recommendations and development for the CFPC.

Liaison Coordinator:

● Maintain communication with liaisons.
● Remain-up-to-date on liaison activities.
● Create synergies between liaison activities.
● Communicate liaison activities to the rest of the Board.

Social Media/Communications Coordinator:

● Engage with the public through social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter,
● Manage content of social media.
● Liaise with media (e.g. news/radio); serve as point of contact for media
● Prepare media releases.
● Prepare newsletters and other communications for members.
● Develop materials for communication with the public.


● Record the minutes of all Board meetings as well as the minutes of any
committees to which the Secretary is assigned, making sure that all
actions are duly noted.
● Circulate minutes and notes to Board members and/or committees, as
● Keep all the records of the association in a safe place.
● Keep a record of all policies approved by the Board in the association's
policy manual.
● Maintain and monitor a calendar of important dates for the association
such as grant filing dates, audit dates, etc.
● Dispose of old documents only with the approval of the Board.
● Make sure that all files are in good order for the next Board Secretary.
● Lead and assists in the preparation of the budget.
● Monitor the budget.
● Ensure the Board's financial policies are being followed, where
● Report to the Board of Directors and general membership on finances.
● Prepare any required financial reporting forms.
● Maintain all bank accounts.
● Write and signs off on cheques, with support from other signing
● Pay rent, bills or other fees, as applicable.
● Maintain financial records in a secure manner.
● Oversee all financial transactions.

Events Coordinator:

● Organize events, with assistance from other Board members.
● Coordinate volunteers for events (e.g. tabling).
● Seek out event opportunities and secure positions.
● Coordinate fundraising events.

Monday, May 10, 2010

CFPC Elections

Read more! The CFPC has now set a date for the upcoming election of Board members. The following positions are up for election:

• Chairperson
• Vice-Chairperson
• Policy Development Coordinator
• Secretary/Treasurer
• Social Media/Communications Coordinator
• Events Coordinator
• Liaison Coordinator

An overview of the responsibilities for each of the above roles is attached.

Nominees are requested to complete the attached Nomination Form. The Nomination Form will also be available on the CFPC website shortly. Completed nomination forms must be received by midnight on Friday, May 14, 2010.

Once the nomination process has closed, information about the candidates will be circulated. Members will have the opportunity to meet with the candidates at the next CFPC meeting on Monday, May 17 @ 7pm at the Calgary Co-Op Midtown Market. The meeting will be held in the upstairs meeting room on the second level. Additional information about this meeting and a rough agenda will be circulated next week.

Please note that only information regarding the candidates' background and qualifications will be circulated to CFPC members; no other personal information from the nomination form, other than the candidates' names, will be disclosed. Electronic voting will be open to all members of the CFPC and will take place the week of Monday, May 17, and will close on Friday, May 21 at midnight. Voting will be electronic to reduce paper use and ensure that all members will have the opportunity to participate.

The results of the vote will be tallied and announced following the long weekend on Tuesday, May 25.

Please send completed Nomination Forms as well as any questions regarding the election process to Ngaio Hotte, Vice-Chair, Calgary Food Policy Council, at ngaiohotte [at]

View CFPC Nomination Form
CFPC Roles and Responsibilities

Monday, March 1, 2010


Read more!

Chicks In the City~Avenue Magazine~Raising #Urban #Chickens in COWlessTOWN #yyc #yyccc #HENarchy #HEN #UrbAg #LFS

Monday, February 22, 2010

Calgary Food Summit & FoodNYC: A Blueprint for a Sustainable Food System

Read more!

Calgary Food Summit & FoodNYC: A Blueprint for a Sustainable Food System

The Calgary Food Summit arrived at many of the same policy positions as the NYC Food & Climate Summit. With substantially greater resources, they authored this compelling document. Here are the NYC outcomes.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Calgary: Life 101: The Birds & the Bees

Read more!
The Birds & The Bees

Calgary Herald, "Urban farmers fight to keep animals in city: Backyard passion at odds with bylaws"

Back to basics and reprioritizing seem to be common themes these days for people all over the world. Here in Calgary, Urban chickens and bees are in the news. The act of raising and growing in an urban environment involves issues closely linked with local food systems, food security, urban agriculture and human rights. Those who are embracing urban agriculture have considerable support through international and national laws & declarations to pursue the act of growing food free of persecution and reprisal. Urban farming is not illegal and urban farmers are not outlaws. The act of growing and raising food in an urban setting is not criminal. Urban Agriculture is lawful.

Seasons Come & Seasons Go...

The season and reason to align our city's bylaws with the UN Declaration of Human Rights, The Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms is here. I am suggesting that the current position taken by the City of Calgary, puts us on a collision course with the UN Declaration of Human Rights & the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Is the City of Calgary going to play chicken with these global & domestic citizenship/governance-defining documents? It certainly does not have to be this way if my position on a Right to Food as it relates to a specific Calgary Municipal bylaw is considered.

*Full disclosure: I am currently charged with "Possessing and Keeping Livestock". My first court appearance is on 25March10 and the first challenge of the Corporation of the City of Calgary Responsible Pet Ownership bylaw by Mary March is on 01April10, April Fools Day.

The basis of my position on why urban agriculture is, and will continue to be, enthusiastically welcomed in Calgary is founded in my deep belief that Calgarians are passionate & compasionate people. We care deeply about the health and well being of our families and the health of our community. Calgarians are proud of their involvement in initiatives that strengthen community and create recreational, cultural, educational, economic & social development opportunities for all. The primary fuel that fires all of our passion is food. Sustainable passion that allows for each of us to pursue our vision requires healthy & nutritious food. We are what we eat.

Article 25 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights identifies food as a human right. Canada has ratified in Canadian Parliament the UN Declaration of Human Rights and other international human right treaties 7 times. We are governed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Constitution. The rights and responsibilities of the provinces are bestowed upon them through the Canadian Constitution. Each province bestows governance powers to municipalities via the Alberta Municipal Government Act. Bylaws are created by municipalities to establish local governance patterns. The following from Wikipedia:

"Municipal bylaws are public regulatory laws which apply in a certain area. The main difference between a bylaw and a law passed by an international/national/federal or regional/state body is that a bylaw is a made by a non-sovereign body, which derives its authority from another governing body, and can only be made on a limited range of matters. A local council or municipal government gets its power to pass laws through a law of the national or regional government which specifies what things the town or city may regulate through bylaws."

Municipal bylaws must align themselves with the laws, policies, agreements, et al that are sanctioned by the bodies from which municipal governance powers are derived.

Based on the above interpretation, our laws are very clear about the scope of municipal governance and the right to food is not an area under municipal jurisdiction. The actions of the City of Calgary vis-à-vis urban agriculture are unconstitutional and therefore illegal. The city must cease and desist from the act of issuing violations for the raising of livestock for the purposes of household food security/sovereignty and move quickly to amend bylaws which are in stark contravention of provincial, national & international charters, laws and declarations.

Paul Hughes

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

HENvironmentalist: Finally, CLUCK President officially charged with Keeping Livestock

Read more! HENvironmentalist:
Finally, CLUCK President officially charged with Keeping Livestock in Calgary.

Paul Hughes receives official City of Calgary Violation Ticket on Wednesday, 10Feb2010 from Animal & Bylaw Services Community Officer, Jordan King.

Link to CLUCK: Calgary Liberated Urban Chicken Club

Link to The Right to Food Is A Basic Human Right, UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25

Monday, February 8, 2010

Paving Paradise: The CFPC in the Media: Backyard Gardens vs Asphalt Jungle

Read more!
Paving Paradise: The CFPC in the Media: Backyard Gardens vs Paving Paradise

The Metro

“I think we should be promoting green spaces and arable areas instead of focusing on aesthetics. I think we need to have more garages under houses than in the backyards,” Hughes said.

The Calgary Sun

Paul Hughes, chair of the CFPC, said proposed amendments to the document that guides city development could be the death knell for backyard gardens and green spaces if it’s approved.

Paving paradise is exactly what we’re doing here — we’re turning our backs on our heritage and people being able to make decisions with their own properties,” he said.

“The city is so focused on how things look from the front that everything else is ignored.”

Seems some members of #YYCCC Calgary City Council would like to eliminate options for homeowners to choose where and how they build their garages (with their money), even if it is at the expense of backyard family gardens. There is very little creativity coming from admin or council on this issue. Seems Paving Paradise is their solution. Calgarians know better.

The CFPC position on urban land use is not an exclusive focus, except where applicable, such as the redevelopment of individual lots for another single residence. The current implementation of Calgary Land Use Policy vis~a~vis Development/Redevelopment does not consider the option of assigned growing spaces (within 500m) to allow for a dovetailing of Household Food Security & Increased Urban Density.

Regardless of our dreams for increased densities, Calgarians continue to purchase single family older homes with the intention of building a new single family home. Only this time, the home is to have a rear detached garage, usually built on top of the space where the backyard garden exists. Certainly it is more than a Food vs Car issue and the CFPC recognizes this. We are attempting to assert the argument that, in cases such as redevelopment, priority consideration should be given to maintaining arable green space, not parking space. The benefits of less asphalt, more intact green space, more neighbours and decreased construction costs factor into our position as well.

Encouragingly, some subdivision developers are attempting to eliminate backlanes. There are options for garage space other than backlane, detached garages and some developers are introducing alternative construction choices. One option supported by the CFPC focuses on a garage design that is incorporated into the home's footprint, essentially locating the garage underneath part of the home.

Ironically, proponents of vibrant front streets want to transfer more energy and interaction to the back lane. The New Urbanism Curb Appeal chant does not recognize many of the factors that actually encourage active & dynamic streets. Relegating certain elements of daily life to backlanes defaults to a defacto class system. By hiding certain 'undesirable' aspects of urban life in backlanes, we create an ideal environment for other activities, just ask the CPS how convenient backlanes are for crime. The backlane-double garage combo divides neighbours like a 21st century Urban Hadrian's Wall. It is a reach to consider backlanes/garages as positive elements of vibrant communities.

Again, the CFPC prioritizes expanding/increasing collaborative local urban agriculture/food security initiatives. Clearly we'll choose parking our vehicles on the street (they must be that wide for a reason), waving, greeting, talking to our neighbours out front and talking to all of our neighbours while cultivating our backyard gardens if the other option is a policy that continues to pave paradise.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Calgary Food Policy Council Minutes: 20Jan10@ Calgary Water Centre

Read more! Calgary Food Policy Council:
20 January 2010, Water Centre 7pm.

32 attendees, 7:11 commencement

We began with a round table of introductions, each person stating their interest and motivation to see a sustainable food model. The backgrounds were diverse, yet the inspiration was common. After the basic introductions, several individuals representing more developed interests spoke of their current efforts toward more sustainable food models. The evening dispersed by 9pm, and I made an attempt to make into point form what are very large and respectable ideas. Do forgive me for mis-spellings, and I invite you to send in corrections as you see the as I will become more accurate with greater familiarity of the individuals and groups participating in Calgary’s Food Policy Council.

philipsarsons [at] hotmail [dot] com

Paul expressed his thanks to Susan & Nancy from city of Calgary for their presence here and for making the arrangements to use the Bow River room at the Water Centre.
Susan mentioned briefly that her group’s purpose is to reduce Calgary’s eco-footprint, launching a campaign regarding local food this spring, featuring and encouraging local markets, organics.
Nancy, from the Office of Sustainability gave her greeting, her office is directly inside City Manager’s Office being of note, coordinating Council’s mission for food sustainability. They are looking to respond to Council by June, to listen and observe and learn of the CFPC.

Brief round table introductions:
Tavis - community organizers, behing “Purple Revolution” - incubating change, growing community (Prov & Federal govt liason)
Nile: co-chair and sucession planning
Harlen: McKay’s Ice cream
Wade S: Infuse Catering, specializeing in local food “Local 101”
Justin: UofC student coordinator - mini farm project
Matt: food policy founder, education focus
Michelle M:
Al. info to follow on Iron Mills, Rocky View/County
Chromna: from S. Korea in small town famous for Greenhouses
Tony: Community Gardens, Chef. Community Liason for CFPC
Mary: concerned Mom, raises Chickens, CLUCK member
Sarah: (used to have chickens!) “Civic Camp,” Land Food Group Nov. 25 5-7 Eau Clair
Ursurla: CLUCK.
Walter: “YA” Youth petitions against cosmetic pesticides, 2500 youth, Clagary Youth Food Policy Council?
Rain: Local Witch, Herbalist & Massage, permaculture designer, Prema Sai Calgary
Mike: Gardener, City of Calgary - watersheds, Chicken interest
Justin: anti-GMO and chemical based food, micro-farm project
Tommy: Engineer, community interest, Civic Camp, Permaculture TUCs
Eliese: A.B.C
Adrian: Big Sky, education in permaculture design liason
Susan: Nutritionist Ab Health Services, Horticultural Society
Kathryn: Meals on Wheels, Olds College Alumni
Dee: Chef & Educator since 1983, poet, writer, SlowFood Calg.
Dana: UofC, Students Association
Myrla: Meals on Wheels, UofC environmental management, community gardens “FreeHand Consulting; Ecology”
Ron: Farm Boy gone Architect, City of Calgary
Shauna: cook and gardner, concerned citizen
Pamela: Nutrition Student.
Phil: spud.


Local 101, March 13, 2010
AB Agriculture support through Dino Program
“Vision 2020” - vision for local food system, asked of cooks & chefs
Feb 1rst meeting
wants to expand to education and health care
interested in defining a common direction, and creating a common use data base = blog

UofC, 240 acres, much undeveloped land, wants to launch a mini-farm to incorporate into the UofC expansion devleopments 1/4 acre pilot with hope and passion to expand; coordinated with campus community bike shop

Rocky View Urbanization (race track, shopping mall, meat packing plant)
Issue: Sewer pipe to reach these developemnts 200Million, Urbanizing a massive plot of farm land 16000acres
public input requested.
100% of the comments were oppossed.
The report on the public input said “several responded” and recommended the by-law be passed
Jan 26 people can speak in person, anticipates the by-law will be passed
Hearing is in the county office on 32nd Av by the bus barns for info = blog a

Community Gardens
year round applications
water accessibility - a primary issue
and funding
looking to develop a resource centre or information line to aid in CG development
values: trust, community, safety

Land-Food Group, Civic Camp
an organization form grassrots origin
people who want to start gardens or mini-farms, raising chickens, possible other animals, slow food
many angle operation, a hub for many groups

facilitating responsible beekeeping practices
education forums, guest speakers in Feb.
new website to arrive soon

permaculture liason
concepts strategies and materials to meet the needs of all living things
Food-forest: mimics a climate ecology of forests = high yield, effective water use
wishes to provide a permaculture lens
Calgary fallen fruit rescue Initiative: harvest unused fruit: 34 full size trees on board and growing, with a group of volunteers
food goes to volunteers, tree owners, and food needs groups
Residents can develop a portion of their yard unused for food
Permaculture Course: 2 day intro courses March 27-28 - to create a resiliant food economy, matching yields to needs, April presentation ahead(!)
large turnout to first meeting (planned 30, got 75)

march = National Nutrition Month, “Farm To Table”
Individual and Household Food Security focuses on Access to Food.
Awareness raising and data collection: Prevelence of food security, ability of household to afford food.
Costing of food and healthy diet. partner with poverty organizations See “cost of Eating in Alberta executive summary
Seniors and social support or winimum wage: finding household income is inadequate to meet the needs.
Encouraging advocacy with MLA’s and councillors.
Programs to link with: PaCT project, partnership with low income housing/affordable housing. Developed a community garden and developed a ‘kids kitchen.’
food access concerns: the food dollar is very limited. Food is the only maleble part of the budget. Also, time resources under two jobs for example.
pilot project: clinic sites within Alberta Health services, focusing on food security and nutrition
poverty and income relief

Paul: Google list to post links related to food policy

Meals on Wheels
feeds seniors; started in Calgary by local women concerned about hospital discharges who needed support, delivering meals to 8 clients by 2 women; 1900 meals per day now(!); service chronic illnesses, health concerns, near the end of their lives and want to live at home; a practical visual safety check for people; 44 year history, never missed a delivery date. 75 volunteers blanket the city in two hours; bag lunches to the working homeless at the DIC; collaborates with many charities; meals are hot; children helped create the menu; allows for annonimity and integrity for children; helps to maintina independence (magic meals delivered once per week)
current challenge: building size and condition; equipemnt issues and layout - intended for 1000 meals per day... expansion needs; City of Calgary = landlord. Capital Campaign is afoot, purhcase of new building has been made.
expansign demographics = increased need.

John Marr’s motion: admin was asked for reommendation, admin came back with ‘this isn’t our mandate’ Wheels continues to request being put on the council agenda.

Slow Food
commitemnt to Local
an international group
100000 members
grassroots movement to preserve tradition methods of growing, preserving and consuming
The Presidia, 300 methods of growing food important to culture
Educaiton component.
The pleasure an doh of food and promotion of thriving local economy, defense of biodiversity, food & food cultures
the commodity mindset is unwelcome ie: not “product” but someone’s “supper”
not interested in facroty farm, monoculture gmo, desertificaiton, biofuel, long distance food, seed patents ... Monsanto
farmers leaving the farm, fast food, that food is only fuel
Vandana Shiva = Vice President
sovergn access to food culturally appropriate to us
monthly meetings
“bring food to these meetings!”
value and meaning of food - intrinsic value, grounding aspect of food (ie: “we’re all Carbon”)
re-assured by community gardens comign allong

slowfood reading list
does not endorse businesses
has a list of local growers - posted on sfc website

teaches how to CAN!!!
seed saturday = purchasing and swapping of heirloom seeds

john dutton theatre, Calgary public library = film screenings
fEb 8th - kitchen party - Kris Vestor - goat chees & milk

UofC - Urban Calgary Studensts Assoc.
Fall of 2008
Community tours - examples of Urbanism (Garrison Woods)
Paul = inagural speaker
planet open house: to inform students
used mac hall = opportunity for FPC to reach students

decreased foot print for house and garage, and in so doing can make for gardening space (deep rich soil)
800 sq ft of land can produce up to $3000 of food. an aninuity of 33k can only provide a payback of 1k.

Commulatively, this adds up to a tremendous amount of land and income generating potential.

read up on the blog

tomorrow: Transitions Towns - a movement for renewable energy and ideas.
between 2-5pm Calgary Area Outdoor Council.
Umbrella Structure

“Vital conversations”
calgary foundation focusing on “sustainable cities”
register on Calgary foundation website
at john dutton theatre

Micheal Schmit Case on Raw Milk comes down tomorrow. is following it closely = chritina Lake BC raw milk dairy Karen & Curtis

Deconstructing Dinner at

now a member of te north american food policy council
lobbying to council
nov 30th notice of motion
deliverable by june

purpose: to bring yoru “crop-o-ganda” to the table to be heard and feasted upon(!)
little money, lots of energy

local food is at a crux,

the above issues to be put forward to a city council

goals: liaison position to make effective
there is no blueprint for a food policy council: each one is unique to the area/region
beginning to get traction
an open invitation to all food initiative within the food system

the conversation has just begun!
post ideas on teh google list 24/7


Friday, February 5, 2010

Paving Paradise

Read more! Paving Paradise

Calgary City Council @ the Combined Meeting of Council 2010-02-08 will be considering

This is the Calgary Food Policy Council's position on Household Food Production, Backyard Gardens, Neighbours, Vibrant Streets VS Detached Garages, Rear Garages, Backlanes, Alleys & Rear Lane.

As Calgary City Council meets on Monday, 08Feb1o to discuss Land Use vis-à-vis Infill Housing Policy, the Calgary Food Policy Council supports the high priority protection of backyards for time-honoured urban agriculture and traditional backyard household food cultivation (which in Calgary dates back to the 1800’s).

The Calgary FPC looks at the potential elimination of front driveways as a strike against the backyard garden. Some of the most fertile soil in our country is in our backyards. The prospect of redevelopment plans having to incorporate detached garages on top of these gardens is not an option the Calgary FPC supports. In addition, new developments forced to create backlanes and rear garages essentially requires citizens to 'Pave Paradise'. Other considerations are: division/separation of neighbours (from 5 down to 2), poorly maintained backlanes and additional municipal costs (including paving, snow removal) and anti-social activity (crime via obstructed rear vision from homes).

This Calgary FPC blog post, also highlights some of the fundamental issues to be considered:

Household Food Production, Backyard Gardens, Neighbours, Vibrant Streets VS Detached Garages/Back Lanes


Paul Hughes, Chair of the Calgary Food Policy Council today stated:

"Under current Land Use Bylaw and Infill Housing Policies, inner city communities are becoming bereft of traditional backyard gardens.”

1. City ordinances now require that vehicular access to parking and garages be located off of back alleys, in space where people were once able to grow their own food.

"We advocate an increase in urban agriculture, which is local and home grown fruits and vegetables. Back lanes, alleys & detached garages are destroying 1000’s of acres of fertile land in Calgary. We're paving paradise,”
adds Hughes.

This is in direct contradiction of the City's Triple Bottom Line requirements; a policy that requires the Social, Economic and Environmental impacts of regulations be evaluated prior to implementation. Back lanes & garages also challenge many of the assumptions in Plan It and is a flawed policy that values aesthetics over function.

“A backyard garden can easily produce over $1,000 of healthy, high quality food every year, in perpetuity and tax free. A family would require nearly $35,000 in a bank annuity to generate that income to buy the same food from a store. Why would the City of Calgary deny people the opportunity to grow their own food by insisting that double garages fill up our back yards?" Hughes asked.

2. The alley garage policy is an environmental disaster, economically foolhardy and socially counterproductive. Traditionally, citizens living in inner city communities have always had the choice of front or rear access, but no longer. Today, we are getting long, uninterrupted rows of alley garages that eliminate the possibility of natural surveillance of anti-social activity and urban agricultural opportunities. Allowing over/under garages reduces construction costs and environmental impact significantly. Over/under garages dovetail nicely with maintaining curb appeal.

Once considered assets, homeowners with front access & backyards are being forced to remove their driveways when they redevelop their property and destroy gardens.
"We advocate the freedom to choose and express one's lifestyle in the design of a home,” he said. "It's the same principal behind the freedom to express your opinion in a public forum, without the interference of government."

3. Clearly, this issue is divisive if attitudes become entrenched in ideology. The path forward is directly linked to Council Priorities, democratic principles, Land Use Policy and historical/heritage/traditional uses.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A.B.C Level One Beekeeping Course

Read more! Click poster to enlarge...

A.B.C Level One Beekeeping Course

March 6 and 7th, 2010

A.B.C is proud to offer its first Level One Beekeeping Course!

This course will integrate all aspects of beekeeping to the new beekeeper. With a focus on beekeeping in the urban environment, this course will offer the following skill development:

Establishing a beeyard
Plants, crops, and pollination
Tools of the trade. What do you need to keep bees?
Safety practices and neighbor friendly beekeeping
Responsible hive management/ Beehive politics
Disease and Non-disease disorders
Honey production
This course has been designed for beginner small scale hobby beekeepers by Patty Milligan: Patty has worked as a small scale apiarist for 11 years and lives in Bon Accord, Alberta. She has spent many years working as an educator for agri-tourism in Edmonton. Co-teaching with Medhat Nasr, Alberta provincial apiculturalist, for the Government of Alberta's Bee-ginners course for the last couple of years, Patty has gained an incredible reputation as facilitator and educator. Patty is passionate for new beekeepers and the public about responsible and creative methods of beekeeping. Seeing urban apiculture growing in popularity, Patty has developed a unique course for A.B.C.

On-line registration will be available February 2, 2010.

A.B.C is only accepting 30 spots for this first course, so be sure to sign up asap. The course will be held at

Any questions or comments contact at eliese [at] backyardbees [dot] ca

Eliese Watson
Founder- A.B.C

The Raw Food Verdict, Seedy Saturday in Calgary & Dine Alberta Event @ Wild Rose Brewery

Read more! Judge Finds Raw Dairy Farmer Michael Schmidt's Cow Boarding Program is Within the Law

How Schmidt's Strong Stand Should Inform our Activism on Food "Safety" Bill

The Constitutional Right to our Own Body and the Food of our Choice

Max Kane on Schmidt Verdict, Our Constitutional Rights to Our Own Bodies

2010 Calgary Seedy Saturday
2010 Calgary Seedy Saturday
What: Informational Meeting
Start Time: 20 March at 10:00
End Time: 20 March at 16:00
Where: 5003 16 Ave NW, Calgary, AB

To see more details and RSVP, follow this link.

Dine Alberta
Good turnout of Calgary & Area Foodies at the Dine Alberta event at Wild Rose Brewery.
Many Chefs, Producers and a group I would identify as aspiring and involved.
Mini roundtable discussions focused on a variety of topics that impact local food producers/chefs and topics that have implications for the population as a whole. Capably hosted by Wade Sirios, dee Hobsbawn-Smith & Marlene Abrams. Wild Rose Brewery catered the event with their exceptional beer as the perfect complement to the discussion.
Contacts and a final report of the day is being prepared by Marlene. There were many ideas, so it may take a few weeks to fully 'digest'.

If you are a chef or producer, don't miss the next Dine Alberta event...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Finally, a suspect in bee decline... The Varroa Mite

Read more!

Finally, a suspect in bee decline

Mites in carcasses cited by University of Guelph entomologist

Full story here.

In a report to be published in the journal Apidologie, Guzman identifies what killed them: the varroa mite, a crab-like parasite the size of a pen dot.

Abetted by poor bee populations and low food reserves for the winter, Guzman says, the bee bloodsucker is without question why colonies in Ontario, at least, are dwindling so fast.

Ed Nowek of Planet Bee apiaries in Vernon, B.C., ventures the same conclusion for his side of the country. "I've never seen it so hard to keep bees alive than in the past four to five years," he says of his 30-year run in the business."

Though the mite isn't new, beekeepers say what's most disconcerting is the probable cause behind its sudden explosion: a built-up resistance to the chemicals used to kill them. For the same reasons some hospital patients succumb to antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA, varroa has become the superbug of Canada's bees.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Calgary Urban Farm Meeting @Crowsnest Room, McDougall Centre - 455 6ST SW @1pm on 26Jan10

Read more!

Calgary Food Assistance Organizations:

The Calgary Urban Farm Meeting @Crowsnest Room, McDougall Centre - 455 6ST SW @1pm on 26Jan10.

Please advise who will be attending from your organization.

Please call if you have any questions... 403.383.3420

As promised, project premise attached.


Paul Hughes
Chair, Calgary Food Policy Council

Calgary Urban Farm Project for Food Assistance Orgs & SAGA

Calgary Food Policy Council: Enabling Food Assistance Orgs (FAO) through the Calgary Urban Farm (CUF)
1. Food Assistance Orgs have food demands every day/month/year.
2. Demand has increased significantly.
3. Very dependent on industrial food system.
4. Many food drives this year. People asked to donate every year.
5. We are still giving people fish. We are not teaching people how to fish and we are not reconceptualizing the entire fishing industry, which is the focus of this project.
6. A one time investment that will give us a return every year? Planting the seeds of systemic and profound social change.
7. Reconceptualize our approach to food procurement. Presently, these orgs rcv donations (money/food) and buy, prepare and/or distribute to clients. We propose to grow the food in partnership with these orgs and provide yield to same. We suggest green infrastructure. The CUF & SAGA: Sustainable Agriculture Academy in Calgary. Focus is on staples that thrive in Calgary hardiness growing zone.
8. Sponsored CSA for your client. Expand knowledge base of clients. Expand reach of Community Gardens & teaching people to fish concepts
9. Generates revenue from subscribed CSA's. Revenue can go to purchasing other food stuffs outside of CUF production and allow CUF to function as a social enterprise .
10. Employee pool comes from unemployed, food insecure and those experienced with and/or specializing in Sustainable Urban Agriculture (SUA).
11. CUF would function as a partnership between the FAO's & CFPC and any other organizations that understand how this revolutionizes food security in Calgary. There is substantial urban/peri-urban land available to farm, with yields going to these programs. Development of a local food system that benefits the most vulnerable.
12. Request to Alberta Government and Premier's Office to rename TUC to TUF-C Transportation, Utility & Food Corridor

SAGA or The Sustainable AGriculture Academy

The design I suggest incorporates the most innovative and efficient ideas in Sustainable Urban Agriculture (SUA). It is a model for the many advances taking root in the 21st century small scale farming sector. I call the concept SAGA or The Sustainable AGriculture Academy. The vision is to work with the city, local business and the provincial government to create an urban ag institute in Calgary. Think of SAGA as the ag equivalent to SAIT or ACAD.

Alberta Farmer's Market: FT3, Taste of Alberta & Buy Local

Read more! February 18, 2010 @7pm @Red & White Club, Calgary
Tickets: $30

Click on image to enlarge...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Schmidt Victory Hard Won, Important for Free Enterprise

Read more! Courtesy of Kimberly Hartke:

Schmidt Victory Hard Won, Important for Free Enterprise

Today, a hard won victory in the battle for food freedom and farmer's rights was won. Michael Schmidt, a Canadian dairy farmer is now cleared on all 20 counts of "selling" raw dairy in violation of Canada Health regulations. He is now free to continue operating his cow boarding program. I believe this signals health regulators in all of North America (this problem is happening here in the U.S. also) that their current campaign against raw dairy farms and their customers is without merit and an overstepping of their bounds and duties.

Background on the case here.

Verdict and sentence announced today.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Organizational Structure: Calgary Food Policy Council

Read more!

Organizational Structure: Calgary Food Policy Council

The organizational structure of the Calgary & Region Food Policy Council reflects our commitment to an inclusive, responsive, transparent & collaborative council.

The liaisons reflect the reality of our present food system and the role of the Calgary Food Policy Council in creating an open governance environment where all stakeholders can participate in the design of progressive food policy for Calgary.

If there is a Liaison position you are interested in, please contact us @

Please nominate, suggest, encourage, identify and nudge friends & associates to become involved. We are not suggesting this list of liaisons is complete. If there are omissions, please advise and we will remedy the oversight.

CFPC Liaisons:
Urban Agriculture
2011 x 2011
Calgary Food Charter
City of Calgary
Provincial/Federal Government
Community Garden
Policy Development
Local Food System
CLUCK/Urban Egg
ABC (Bees)
TUFC Urban Farm
Research & Development-
Calgary Food System Assessment
Local Producers
Farmers Market
Food Justice

Academic Orgs:
U of Calgary - Dana
MRU - Alana

Food Assistance Orgs:
Calgary Interfath Food Bank
Calgary Meals On Wheels
Calgary Drop In Centre
Brown Bagging It for Calgary Kids
Mustard Seed
Calgary Dream Centre

Industry & Community Partners:
SlowFood Calgary
City of Calgary

High River

CoChairs: Jenelle Kitto & Ngaio Hotte
Chair: Paul Hughes

Any questions, just call or email the CFPC... 403.383.3420 or info [at] calgaryfoodpolicycouncil [dot] ca

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 Local Food & Urban Ag Predictions for Calgary

Read more!
1. Urban Hens become legal. Many North American urban hen groups are bogged down by the bureaucraZy. To catapult to the core of this issue, consider this article from the Winnipeg Free Press which provides an example of the Universal Human Right to Food option.

"...when up against a "right to grow food" challenge, it is doubtful jurisdictions would be able to defend their bylaws..."

Ergo, there shouldn't be a community in North America, or anyplace on the Planet for that matter, that outlaws growing/raising your own food. If there is, I'm sure many on this list would like to hear about it.

CLUCK: Calgary Liberated Urban Chicken Club goes to court on 01April10 to present a Right to Food challenge against the present bylaw.

2. Permaculture/Community Gardens/Urban Farms see huge increase in numbers. So many great ideas come from the principles of Permaculture and Calgarians can apply the gentle science at home or in their community.

Permaculture: Rob Avis & Adrian Buckley
The 1st Calgary Permaculture Community Group Meeting
January 9, 2010 at 7:00PM
Marlborough Community Centre
636 Marlborough Way NE (near Marlborough Mall)

Community Gardens:
Gael Blackhall & Community Garden Resource NetworkGRN
Maggie Thompson & City of Calgary

3. Long Term Sustainable Urban Ag/Local Food System Green Infrastructure Development (#LFS or #UrbanAG on twitter)
Look for exciting announcements from the City of Calgary & the Alberta Government in 2010.

4. Sustainable Urban Ag Enterprises & Slow Money come to Calgary
The wave of investments in local food systems will connect with the smart money in Calgary.

5. School Gardens & Farms
Schools will embrace the robust learning opportunities associated with growing food.

6. Someone in Airdrie will try growing bananas
See Going Bananas over Urban Agriculture

7. 2011 New Growing Spaces x 2011
More nominations will 'germinate' as we near spring 2011. Vancouver is on track for 2010 spaces & London is fired up for 2012 new plots.

8. More Downtown Gardens in the Heart of Calgary
Many corporations, building managers & businesses are looking at initiating a 2010 downtown community garden for their employees/company.

9. The Calgary Food Charter
The CFPC goal is 100,000 signatures on the Calgary Online Food Charter

10. New Blood & New Leadership @ the Calgary Food Policy Council
I will be stepping down as the Chair of the CFPC to allow for a new generation of leadership & guidance to emerge to take us down the road of progressive food policy. Look for Calgary's best and brightest to step up.

11. City Council will support the concept of a Calgary Food Policy Council and move decisively on supporting a Food Policy for all Calgarians.

These predictions are just the tip of the iceberg lettuce, as 2009 was a breakthrough year for food policy and local food systems. There were many highlights as the CFPC turned 1 year old, hosted the 1st ever Calgary Food Summit and made it onto the Calgary City Council agenda, which wisely passed Calgary's 1st Food Policy Notice of Motion.

The 1st CFPC meeting of 2010 @Bow River Room @Calgary Water Centre @20Jan2010 @1900

So many wonderful and amazing Calgarians participated in a myriad of ways to strengthen our local food system and bring Calgary up to speed, and exceed on innovative food security initiatives.

Buckle up, 2010 promises to grow & yield even more fresh ideas.

Everyone Eats!

Paul Hughes

Fresh Eggs from the Killarney Urban Farm Out, 02Jan10: