Deep Roots Food Hub - theHumm March 2020
Deep Roots Food Hub - theHumm March 2020
By David Hinks
Carp-area physician Dr. Barry Bruce is a tireless advocate for local food production and healthy living. At the recent Seedy Saturday event in Almonte he engaged passersby at the very professional display promoting the Deep Roots Food Hub and their newly constructed vegetable storage facility near Shirley’s Bay in west Ottawa.
Dr. Bruce is passionate in his criticism of our modern food industry. For example, he points out how we grow healthy oats here, export them to a processing factory and then import them back here as a highly processed breakfast cereal. Above all he believes that proper nutrition is a prime determinant of health, and wants to improve the food system through educational programs and by linking production, storage and distribution within local communities.
Dr. Bruce had a very distinguished career that included a major role in the establishment of the Carp Medical Clinic and a six-year stint as the Chief of Staff of the Queensway-Carleton Hospital. He is certainly not prepared to rest on his laurels. Dr. Bruce walks the talk! He, along with many other volunteers, has spent hundreds of hours constructing the new vegetable storage facility.
The root “cellar” has been formed by using a common steel industrial building structure — basically an above-ground Quonset hut. To achieve conditions needed for root crop storage, an eight-inch layer of fireproof and waterproof foam insulation was sprayed onto the inside of the steel walls. The root cellar is off-grid, is solar powered, and uses microcomputers to remotely monitor temperature and humidity conditions and to control fans and dampers for air movement. The design provides more accurate control of temperature and humidity than is possible in a traditional root cellar — testing to date shows that this will result in vegetables that will last longer and be of higher quality. The food storage chamber is about 600 square feet, which is will store up to 60,000 pounds of produce. Storage of root crops and other vegetables seems pretty simple; that is, until you start examining the needs of particular vegetables. For example, carrots, beets and parsnips prefer 2–5°C with a relative humidity of 90–95%; potatoes and apples like the same temperature but a lower relative humidity of 80–90%; onions and garlic like the same temperature but 60–70% humidity; squash and pumpkin like the 60–70% humidity but prefer warmer temperatures of 10–15°C. The Deep Roots facility is currently being tested with rutabagas and carrots — after three-and-a-half months there appear to be no signs of deterioration.
The Deep Roots Food Hub is a grassroots non-profit organization, created in 2016, with an objective of creating a secure, sustainable food system in West Carleton. Board Chair Judi Varga-Toth states that “the Deep Roots Food Hub was created to revitalize our local food economy”.
West Carleton has been declared a “food desert” — food insecurity is higher than other areas because there are no major fresh food retailers within West Carleton. Deep Roots aims to empower West Carleton residents to grow, store, distribute, prepare and preserve healthy food.
The group received a huge boost in 2016 when it was awarded a $125,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Ottawa. Additional funding was received in 2017 — $48,500 from Ontario’s Greenbelt Fund and $25,000 from the City of Ottawa.
Deep Roots Food Hub is focussing on three main activities. The first is the creation of the community root cellar where local small-scale farmers can secure space to store their crops. The second is making more locally grown healthy food available through West Carleton retail stores and restaurants, and through the expansion of the Good Food Box, a non-profit program that offers affordably priced fruits and vegetables. Thirdly, they are holding workshops on topics such as cooking, nutrition, food gardening, canning and preserving, and home root cellaring.
Go to deeprootsfoodhub.ca for more on the group’s history and current activities, or visit their Facebook page.
The food hub concept has been established in the U.S. for decades but has only recently taken root in Canada. Food hubs help small farmers with access to appropriately sized distribution and processing infrastructure (abattoirs, processing facilities, small-scale trucking) that allow them access to larger markets. They provide small farmers a means of entry into markets they would otherwise have great difficulty accessing. Each food hub is unique, as it responds to the producers and needs specific to its region. In general, all food hubs strive to promote production growth, support farmers, make local food accessible to larger markets and stimulate economic growth.
We are very fortunate to have another Food Hub in our area. The Two Rivers Food Hub is located in the Gallipeau Centre in Smiths Falls. It is a not-for-profit social enterprise with a mandate to support the small- and medium-sized farm community around the two rivers that run through Lanark and Leeds-Grenville Counties. Find out more about them at tworiversfoodhub.com .
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
The mere mention of Transylvania anywhere in the Anglosphere immediately conjures up the occult adventures of Dracula. Having never met anyone from Transylvania before, your intrepid arts reporter was both mesmerized and intimidated by my utter lack of knowledge of the background of this month’s featured artist from Arnprior.
Mária Moldován’s astonishing art is as unfamiliar as her background — and just as fascinating. This accomplished and multi-talented artist weaves he......
Maple Marches into the Valley! - theHumm March 2020
By Sarah Kerr
March! I can’t believe it! We’ve made it through the darkness and are heading to the light — with longer days and spring just around the corner. I find March is a favourite month of mine, not just because it’s my birthday month, but it’s also Nowruz (Persian New Year on spring equinox) marking a new year, a fresh start, spring!
I love planning March with kids because its full of maple goodness; there’s still snow but lots of sunshine to get the sap running. The beginning of the agricultural seaso......
In April 2018, ten Mississippi Mills artists held their first show, expecting 500 people to visit. By the end of the two-day exhibit, more than 1,200 had attended the show and visited the town. In 2019 attendance increased to 1,600. Visitors came from Mississippi Mills, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto. The artists were overwhelmed and sold many of their paintings. It was also very busy weekend for the local restaurants and stores.
“The overwhelming success of the last two shows and......
By Submitted Maureen Running and Nancy Chevrier, Social Justice Committee, CFUW Perth and District
In 2020, youth homelessness continues to be a difficult and complex problem across Canada. In Lanark County youth homelessness is often invisible but is nevertheless very real. Man......
Stand-Up and Take Notice! - theHumm March 2020
By Article submitted Vicki Graham, standup comic wannabe. Vicki lives in Merrickville and is active in her local theatre group. A retired Bank Manager and breast cancer survivor (two things you don’t ass
I always enjoy going through the Humm monthly. While looking for a winter adventure, I came across an article promoting stand-up comedy. I jumped at the chance, and for the last four weeks, seven......
By Barb Purdy
To take on the climate emergency, we need to inspire voters and volunteers to join us, the Green Party first responders. What are the best ways for us to work hard and work smart together?
ADHS Presents Noises Off - theHumm March 2020
By Elizabeth Golding is a grade 12 student at ADHS
Come see Almonte and District High School’s latest play, and don’t forget the sardines! This year ADHS will be performing Noises Off, which was written by Michael Frayn in 1982. It was during a t......
By Sebastian Weetabix
The word restaurant derives from soups sold “to go” in marketplaces. As we know them, restaurants date to the time of the French revolution. Today the term restaurant covers a very wide range of ......
TheHumm’s Daily Dose for March 28, 2020 Support Almonte Merchants, Get Out and Run, and Stay Healthy with Modern Thymes - theHumm March 2020
Destination Almonte has created a wonderful online resource for folks wanting to support their local merchants. At destinationalmonte.com......
TheHumm’s Daily Dose for March 27, 2020 Art Kits for continued creativity, and original art in exchange for ordering books! - theHumm March 2020
JB Arts in Almonte and Art & Class in Perth are both offering a creative way to stay creative: custom art kits that can be delivered or picked up! In Almonte, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and......
TheHumm’s Daily Dose for March 26, 2020 Good food for dinner, the history of Fortune Farms, and Mississippi Mudds-wear. - theHumm March 2020
If you find yourself running out of flour (or inspiration), why not order dinner tonight from The Good Food Co? Petra writes: “We are trying to keep food waste and traffic into the storefront to ......
TheHumm’s Daily Dose for March 25, 2020 Bubbles & Bites, YouTube Yoga, and band banter with Blackie & the Rodeo Kings. - theHumm March 2020
Good news! Artizen Kombucha is teaming up with friends to deliver an assortment of delicious goodies made right in Perth. They write: “Our small rural town boasts incredible culinary creativity a......
TheHumm’s Daily Dose for March 23, 2020 Online yoga, delivering groceries to seniors, and a virtual April Humm! - theHumm March 2020
Starting today (Monday, March 23), Carp’s Yoga & Tea Studio will be offering their daily schedule of yoga classes LIVE online since the studio is temporarily closed due to Covid-19. Find out ......
May 22 - Sep 5 Head Over Heels
Jul 12 - Sep 6 Eric Uren
Aug 2 - 31 Exhibit: Ghosts of the Highway
Aug 4 - 31 Jazz Night w/Spencer Evans Trio
Aug 6 - 7 Rideau Artist of the Year Competition
Aug 8 Matt Dickson
Aug 11 The Tempest
Aug 12 - 14 Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival
Aug 12 Jeff Callery
Aug 13 - 14 Perth Lions Garlic Festival
- David Dunn — Doing What Comes Naturally
- Richard Gill’s Annual Show Burnstown Sculptor Sheds Light on 50-Year Career with Milestone Show
- Travel to Wonderland with Alice! Summer Fare at Smiths Falls Station Theatre
- Ghosts of the Highway New Exhibit at Perth’s Concave Gallery
- Calling All Hippies… To the Killaloe Craft and Community Fair!
- A Midsummer Night in Perth Landscapes Interpreted Through Art and Fashion
- MMLT Presents The Festival of the Wild Child Outdoor Family-Friendly Event is Better than Ever!
- Perth Garlic Festival
- 3 Galleries; 3 Shows
- Beautiful Art in Beautiful Westport!