Forest Gardening

Dave Jacke, part of the team responsible for introducing temperate climate forest gardening. See him on Thursday, January 29, 2015. Don't miss it! SET YOUR GPS FOR: 50 Stone Rd. East, Guelph University Centre, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1G 2W1

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  • Edible Forest Gardening Volume 1 and 2 are award winning books and the go to resource for forest gardening.

    Edible Forest Gardening Volume 1 and 2 are award winning books and the go to resource for forest gardening.

  • Dave helped define forest gardening and opened up many new ways of thinking about how ecosystems function.

    Dave helped define forest gardening and opened up many new ways of thinking about how ecosystems function.

Workshops

Workshops

40+ workshops over four days.
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Registration

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Exhibitors

Exhibitors

From seeds to soil.
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Volunteer

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Why These Beekeepers Filed a Class-Action Lawsuit

By Environmental lawyer

For the Huffington Post

Posted: 

 

Last week, Canadian beekeepers filed a class action lawsuit in Ontario Superior Court (Windsor) against two massive chemical companies, Bayer AG and Syngenta AG, for over $400 million in losses allegedly caused by neonicotinoid pesticides to Ontario bees.

This is the first Canadian class action lawsuit filed for harm to bees caused by these widely used pesticides. Since the 1970s, reaching obvious and disturbing levels in 2006, honeybees have been dropping like flies, prompting scientists around the world to research potential causes, e.g. cell phone radiation, parasites, and the thinning ozone layer. After eight years, the conversation has focused on neonicotinoids.

Corn, soy bean and other crop seeds are treated with these pesticides to prevent insects from damaging them before they sprout. According to the Grain Farmers of Ontario, neonticotinoids have been used on all corn seeds in Ontario since 2004.

So far, the named plaintiffs include Sun Parlor, a family business that has been in operation for 89 years and which represents one of the largest honey producers in Ontario. Between 2006 and 2013, Sun Parlor alleges losses consisting of $1.4 million in lost bee hives and about three quarters of a million dollars in lost honey production. Munro Honey, another of Ontario’s largest honey producers, alleges similar losses. The proposed class will include all Canadian beekeepers with potential losses dating back to 2006 unless they opt out.

According to the Statement of Claim, the three pesticides named persist in soils and have half-lives ranging from five months to sixteen and a half years. That’s a long time.

 

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Bees help restore Sudbury mining site

Beekeeper Wayne Tonelli, left, and Vale superintendent of reclamation and decommissioning Glen Watson with honey produced at the Copper Cliff site.

Beekeeper Wayne Tonelli, left, and Vale superintendent of reclamation and decommissioning Glen Watson with honey produced at the Copper Cliff site.

“Unsightly” mess left behind by a century of mining.

Retired foreman Wayne Tonelli worked in Sudbury’s nickel mines since he was a teenager, but his new gig is pretty sweet.

That’s because his old boss Vale (formerly Inco) is mining for more than metals these days. The company is in the ‘liquid gold’ business, enlisting thousands of honey bees to help restore a Sudbury landscape blighted by more than a century of nickel and copper mining and smelting.

“I like being outside after 40 years underground,” says Tonelli, now a bee-keeper for the international resources giant as part of a company program to re-green the area that decades back looked like a moonscape.

He carefully tends to seven hives containing 350,000 bees that are used to pollinate the blooming wildflowers the company has planted across 120 acres of unsightly black slag piles formed by waste from the Copper Cliff smelter complex, upon which the massive Superstack chimney sits.

“Bio-diversity is the buzz word in the resource industry these days,” explains Glen Watson, superintendent, reclamation and decommissioning for Vale’s Ontario operations.

Vale also has an underground tree greenhouse, where the company got the seedlings to plant more than 10 million evergreens in the Sudbury area. The year-round underground temperature of 23C is perfect environment for the tree nursery, says Watson, a biologist by trade.

The BIg Carrot’s Nature’s Finest Fund

For thirty years The Big Carrot has been searching for Nature’s Finest to provide our shoppers with delicious, nourishing and sustainable food. In celebration of this commitment The Big Carrot created the Nature’s Finest Fund. This annual grant program expands the availability of locally produced food and supports and strengthens the working relationships between local family farms and The Big Carrot.

As founding members of Carrot Cache (a small foundation that funds local organic food initiatives), we have seen the transformative power of investing in our regional food economy. Inspired by this success, we want to provide a similar opportunity for our own producers.

Five grants were awarded to Ontario farmers in the inaugural year of the Nature’s Finest Fund increasing our supply of local beans, pastured chicken, organic vegetables and greens. The grants lent support to some long-standing producers as well as bringing new farmers into our community.

This year The Big Carrot is committing $15,000 for new grants to eligible Ontario Producers.

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