Local food is gaining popularity and support due to public concern with food safety and security. Growing food locally also addresses issues of transportation costs and the ecological footprint created when food is shipped long distances. A visit to the farmers market on Saturday mornings is a great start for some families to get involved with local food markets, but more could be done in order to address our growing population.
The University of Guelph and the Arboretum will be hosting a symposium showcasing local food and the idea of Urban Agriculture. This symposium entitled Opportunities for Action: An Urban Agriculture Symposium will be held on November 20th in the Arboretum and will draw academics, municipal planners, community activists, gardeners and farmers. This is a great opportunity that will showcase the available options for farming in our urban landscape. Some of these include backyard and rooftop gardens, community plots, and even large open land within city limits for citizens to be a part of.
This is a fantastic event that I am sure will draw many people to the University campus on Friday. The day will start with keynote speaker Karen Landman, a University of Guelph professor in landscape architecture. A lunch and snack will be provided, and made only with local products of course. This would be a great opportunity for students to also get involved and become more educated about how to spread public knowledge about issues and programs such as these. As a student who looks to local producers on a regular basis, I am very interested in learning more about how to manage my own backyard garden to have fresh produce throughout the summer.