News/Events - November 2014

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Farm to School: Grade 3 Initiative

Food For Kids Program

Farms at Work, in partnership with Food For Kids, worked last summer to produce a curriculum-linked presentation for grade 3 classrooms in Peterborough County.  Two local farmers, Erin McLean and Katie Jackson - who have previous experience in the classroom – were selected to go into four schools and present to four classes of children. 

They talked about the parts of a plant, and how everyday fruits and vegetables represent all the plant parts! They explored the cycle of seed-to-fruit-to-seed, and the idea of seasonality in Canada. Each student had a tasty vegetable snack and planted their own seeds to watch germinate and grow in the classroom. The farmers were also able to talk about the work they do on their farms.

It is hoped the program will continue and expand, but funding will be required. Contact Farms at Work or Food For Kids for more information.

Douro Community Centre Buzzing Over Pollinators

Pollinator Day in Peterborough County 

Pollinator Day in PTBO
On Saturday November 1st, nearly 100 farmers, gardeners and concerned citizens flocked to the Douro Community Centre to learn about native bees and beneficial insects. Led by pollination biologist, Susan Chan, Pollinator Day in Peterborough County introduced attendees to the fundamentals of bee biology, the inner workings of pollination systems, and the importance of healthy, diverse populations of native pollinating species on human ecology. 

On hand were several guest speakers who shared important insights on the roles and strategies being taken by government agencies to mitigate threats to native bees. Assistant Deputy Minister, Debra Sikora (OMAFRA) outlined some of the steps being taken as the Ministry works to develop a Pollinator Health Strategy for the province; Ecologist Team Leader for the Rouge National Urban Park, Dr. Leonardo Cabrera (PhD) spoke about the fascinating research being conducted at Point Pelee and Rouge Urban National Parks on Monarch butterfly migration patterns; and Medical Officer of Health for the Peterborough County-City Health Unit, Dr. Rosana Pellizzari (MD) outlined the findings from a scientific literature review recently conducted by Public Health Ontario on the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticide usage on food security in Ontario. The Honourable Jeff Leal, Minster of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, also stopped by for lunch to show his support. 

Pollinator Day in PTBO

Also featured was the Pollinator Exhibition, a showcase of several regional businesses and organizations, including native plant suppliers, community gardening groups, conservation authorities and beekeeping experts, all of whom were on hand to celebrate their commitment pollinator conservation efforts across rural and urban landscapes throughout the region. 

Many thanks to all who came out for this informative event. Feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive, and we very much appreciate the coverage by both CHEX TV and The Peterborough Examiner. We would also like to thank and acknowledge the Peterborough Foundation, without whose generous support this event would not have been possible.