Tag Archives: edmonton

Riverdale AppleFest BBQ, September 21st, 1-4pm

Wondering what to do on a nice Saturday afternoon in September? Come on down to the Riverdale Community LEague celebration, AppleFest BBQ. OFRE has been invited to attend and make cider. Come join us for cider, good food, and fun! Community league memberships are on sale at the event.

Please welcome OFRE’s new board members!

I really should have posted this sooner and apologize for not getting the word out, but let;s give a big welcome to OFRE’s first ever non-profit board of directors!!

  • Amy Beaith-Johnson, President
  • Jordan Wilson, Vice-President
  • Melisa Zapisocky, Secretary
  • Mike Johnson, Treasurer
  • David Kahane, Director at large
  • Sarah McPike, Director at large
  • Molly MacDougall, Director at large
  • Jan Hazen, Director at large
  • Amy Wilson, Director at large
  • Bonnie Patterson Payne, Director at large
  • Gillian Turney, Director at large
  • Kevin Kossowan, Director at large

Congratulations to all the newly elected members! They are great group with a variety of skill and experience!

  • Date of next board meeting: June 6th @ 7pm.
  • Who can attend? All meetings are open to the public.
  • Where is it? Address: is Kasian Architecture, Interior Design & Planning, 2nd floor boardroom. 251 – Commerce Place, 10150 Jasper Ave., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T5J 1W4
  • Past minutes: May 09, 2013

OFRE presenting at Beer & Berkshire, May 26th, Yellowhead Brewery

SLow Food Edmonton is putting on a fundraiser dinner tonight called Berkshire & Beer for the Slow Food International Project called: Thousands Gardens in Africa. It’s an amazing and inspiring project envisioned by Slow Food Africa out of the Africans for Africa movement. Be sure to check out the websites for more information. I could write a whole book about how awesome this initiative is!

Screen Shot 2013-05-26 at 2.36.46 PMPart of the evening will include short petcha kucha style talks/presentations by a handful of interesting folks doing interesting things in and around Edmonton. Mike Johnson will be talking shop on OFRE and what we will be up to this season with our community fruit orchard and I will be giving a talk on Terra Madre: What it meant to go, why you should go if you can, and what I’ve gained from the experience.

Hope to see you there! It promises to be an interesting night filled with delicious food, beer and people. Need I say more? Oh yes, check out the menu of what delicious foods you will  be eating tonight if you can make it! Many local producers are on the list! Bacon Whisky ice cream interest anyone?!



Servus Credit Union Ripple Fund – Vote for OFRE!

OFRE recent’y qualified for a community driven grant/funding program called the Ripple fund from Servus Credit Union. It’s a facebook contest that is designed to help organizations creating a ripple in their cities or communities get a bit of funding to help them continue to create ripples and lasting community change.

OFRE volunteers have been working hard behind the scenes to plan an exciting year and have a few fun projects in mind such as a Community Orchard right here in Edmonton! To read more about us and our grant application, please go to the website and vote for us! Every vote counts and thanks for your support!

Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton (OFRE)

Video: UK activists look to use wasted food

I came across this great little video through the Aljazeera network about UK activists involved in food gleaning projects, who are hoping to draw attention to the amount of food that goes to waste as well as to show ways people can make a positive impact on local food access.

IMG_3499 IMG_3501 IMG_3502OFRE volunteers glean fruit from urban trees and share the bounty with many groups to help build community through food. It’s part of our mandate to get locally grown fruits into the hands, mouths, and minds of Edmontonians. A somewhat newer initiative of OFRE is to do farm gleans to rescue the end of harvest vegetables. It all started a couple years ago when we got a call from a farm in Pigeon Lake area asking us if we rescue vegetables. The thought hadn’t really crossed our minds before, and that’s probably because we are quite overwhelmed with just trying to keep up with the fruit requests! Our first farm glean at Gone Green Acres Farm in 2011 was a great success, and the interest has grown from there. Last fall OFRE volunteers went to a local farm Riverbend Gardens, which you may have heard of before in regards to the Horsehill ASP and Friends of Farmers initiative. They are working hard to keep their farm as farmland. They care deeply about growing local food and want to be able to continue doing that in the future but are facing many challenges from city council, apathy, and developers who are wanting to ever expand the suburbs.  At Riverbend Gardens, OFRE volunteers rescued approx. 7-10 tonnes of vegetables! Can you imagine?! 5 tonnes were donated to the Salvation Army in Edmonton who run hot meal programs for people living in the inner city and dish out over 400 meals a day! They were very excited about the fresh vegetables to cook up for fall meals making hearty soups, stews, and casseroles. Yum! The rest of the vegetables were divided up among the volunteers who came out for the day and Riverbend Gardens. I think it’s so powerful to see local farms reach out to organizations such as ours to help them get the rest of the harvest out of their fields and share the bounty of locally grown food with a wide network of people who can benefit from it. It’s such a great initiative and I look forward to seeing it expand in the future!

Here is the video called: UK activists look to use wasted food.

Edmonton Permaculture monthly speaker series – Eating Local, Monday, Mar 4, 6pm

So, are you free this monday evening and want to hear about local food resources and initiatives going on in the city? If so, come to the Riverdale Rink House for their monthly speaker series. Potluck starts at 6, talk starts at 7pm!

IMG_1432 “Eating Local – A panel presentation of how to reduce your carbon footprint by eating local”.

There is lots of talk about eating local these days. The big question is HOW?? When so many of the food stores deliver from all parts of the world, and we have snow covering our growing for so long, how does one access local food year round in Edmonton?

This month we will hear from a number of people actively involved in the local food scene. Each one will do a short presentation on their area of expertise, and help us to understand how we can eat more local food throughout the year.

  • Anita Gregoire has run an Urban CSA for 5 years, focusing on growing gardeners and reclaiming lost agricultural land. She will talk about what brought us to our current food system, and how Community Supported Agriculture can help.
  • Tam Anderson has been in operating Prairie Gardens and Adventure Farm for nearly 30 years, offering u-pick strawberries, peas, potatoes. She grows 10 acres of pumpkins, a CSA garden, a corn maze and hosts on farm food festivals. Proud recipient of the Direct Farm Marketer of the year awards, she will discuss U-pick and market gardens
  • Amy Beaith will talk about accessing local fruit through OFRE and the importance of preserving the fruits of your labour. She will briefly talk about her involvement with culinary education and “Shovel and Fork”.
  • John Schneider is a fourth generation Canadian Farmer of 400 acres of certified organic grains, and heritage or heirloom varieties of vegetables, livestock and grains that represent a safeguard against possible collapse of conventional agriculture. His family runs Gold Forest Grains and markets their stone-milled grains directly to consumers via farmers markets and retail stores in Edmonton. John will talk about his journey, including farmer’s markets and eating seasonally.
  • Chantelle Leidle is a consumer. Although she is not a specialist in any of the above areas, she has managed to eat local for the whole year. Through her small backyard garden and connections with other groups, her family has vastly increased their local food consumption. She will share thoughts from her journey towards personal sustainability for her family.

IMG_1362Where & When?

Riverdale Rink House, 100 Ave and 92 Street
Potluck at 6 (please bring dish and your own cutlery and dishes), speakers start at 7. You are welcome to attend all or part. Admission by donation.
Follow the event on Facebook under Edmonton Permaculture Group. Contact Anita Gregoire http://www.onborrowedground.com for more details.

Inspiring food new stories on Terra Informa

A couple weeks ago I got to meet Nikki Wiart of Terra Informa and be part of a food series show they were putting together for this week.

The show will be airing today, January 29th at 5pm on 88.5 fm. You can also listen to the podcast on the Terra Informa website right now or whenever it works for you. There is lots of great information on the Terra Informa site about the speakers and local food organizations you can connect with.

On the podcast there is also interviews with Crystal Sherris and Raj Patel! Raj Patel is coming to Edmonton tomorrow and will be giving a lunch time talk at City hall and is a guest speaker Wednesday night as part of U of A’s International week. Raj is one of my heroes, so was pretty excited to get included in the same podcast as him and am looking forward to hearing him speak tomorrow.

Avenue Top 40 under 40 – Two OFRE volunteers recognized!

This past week Avenue magazine had their annual Top 40 under 40 awards where they recognize people they feel are leaders in the community and are contributing to the building of a better Edmonton. OFRE is pleased to announce that 2 of the recipients were core OFRE members who have been contributing to OFRE by volunteering as fruit pickers, visioning crew members, fruit captains, and spreading the word about the good work OFRE is doing. Those winners are: Kevin Kossowan and Amy Beaith-Johnson. Congrats to all of the 40 winners!!

To read each of their stories, click on their names above. To see the full list of 40 winners, check here.


Building community through food: MacEwan Apple Project

As the Director of OFRE, I often get more requests for interesting partnership projects than we can handle in a season and it’s hard at times to say no. But, that is sometimes the case when you are working a volunteer run organization. One project that came by our desk this year was a partnership with MacEwan business students to donate apples to their campus foodbank. One of the group leaders of this project is Jacquie Lycka who joined OFRE this year as a Neighborhood Fruit Captain, approached us about the idea. When we heard what they wanted to do, we couldn’t help but say yes!  She has been a instrumental volunteer with OFRE and I knew with her energy and joy for apples, this project would get off the ground and be a success.

Here is a great short video the students put together on their apple project. Please watch and show your support for this great cause to increase healthy food donations to foodbanks on campuses. It’s inspiring, fun, and may cause you to think outside the kraft dinner box! Enjoy!

It’s so great when we do get an opportunity like this to partner with other organizations and help build a stronger food community in Edmonton. Thanks Jacquie and congratulations on your project!!

P.S. follow updates about the project via Twitter: @MacEwanApple