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Yours to discover – farming

Ontario’s celebration of Local Food Week took place last week. This is the first of what I hope will be an annual initiative to acknowledge the important role of food and farming in our local area.
The abundance of safe, healthy food available to us is something we tend to take for granted. As a society, we are accustomed to going to the grocery store and expecting numerous food choices to be awaiting us on every shelf.
But there is a lot that happens to grow and process those products before they reach your cart.
My family has been farming in the Guelph area for 85 years. We represent the less than two per cent of Canadians who work with food at the primary level. I know that farmers run family businesses, work hard to produce high quality food and are proud to do it. But most people – the other 98 per cent – do not have these connections, and that is a challenge facing all of us.
In Guelph we are extremely fortunate to have many opportunities for farmers and food consumers (everyone!) to meet. You can follow a map to various on-farm stores or strike up a conversation at the weekly market.
But beyond that, today’s technology makes it possible to connect without necessarily meeting in person.
Many local farmers are active on social media – follow them on Twitter, check out their Facebook pages and tour local farms from your living room on sites like
virtualfarmtours.ca
These opportunities open the door to learning anything and everything you want to know about your food. I encourage you to get involved, ask questions and base your family’s food choices on factual information that you learned first-hand from us as farmers.
Rebecca Hannam
RR #2 Guelph

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