Food Charter working group is developing a food charter for York Region

The Food Charter Working Group* is developing a Food Charter for York Region! A food charter is a document that outlines the values and beliefs about food that a community considers most important.  This public document can be used by community organizations, municipalities and many others in the community, to guide policies, programs, and projects to build a healthy local food system. This system includes food production, processing, distribution, access, transportation, marketing, education, consumption and waste management.

With your involvement in York Region’s communities, we would appreciate your input in the development this document. Visit Food Charter Survey to complete a 5-minute Food Charter Survey for your chance to win tickets to the 2012 Markham Fair.

Survey closes October 12, 2012

If you are interested in learning more about this exciting initiative, please contact Kate at or on 905-841-3101 ext. 206.

Thank you for your time and input in developing a Food Charter for York Region.


* The Food Charter Working Group is made up of representatives from:

York Region Food Network • Heart and Stroke Foundation • United Way York Region, in partnership with York University • Seeds For Change • York Federation of Agriculture • City of Markham, Sustainability Office • Healthyork • York Region Community and Health Services

*This is a United Way Strength Investments project*

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Key Ingredient to Lasagna Recipe is Compost

In celebration of Compost Awareness Week, York Region Food Network(YRFN) cooked up some lasagna gardening thanks to our friends at Miller Compost. For more than a decade Miller Compost has supplied YRFN with compost, a key ingredient to a nutrient rich garden. Today the compost arrived bright and early at the Aurora Community Garden, just in time for the ceremony in which Blaire McArthur of Miller Compost of Ontario was presented with a certificate of appreciation for the long time support Miller Compost has offered the YRFN Community Garden program. Peter Secord, also representing Miller Compost said, “Miller Compost believes in supporting community gardens with locally produced compost to support food production. “Feeding our soil” with high quality compost allows us to be a small part of the York Region Food Networks big efforts.”

Also recognized was the tremendous support provided by the Town of Aurora to the YRFN Aurora Community Garden. Town of Aurora Mayor, Geoffrey Dawe said, “This program enables members of the community, local government and businesses to come together in a cooperative way to enhance the quality of life for residents of Aurora.” Mayor Dawe further added, “The Town of Aurora actively supports the good work YRFN provides through its community garden initiative.”

Left to Right: Town of Aurora Mayor, Geoffrey Dawe; Miller Compost, Blaire McArthur and Peter Secord

Concluding the ceremony was a demonstration of lasagna gardening, a low maintenance approach to gardening which adds layers of various types of organic matter to the soil. YRFN Aurora community gardener, Barb Taylor along with YRFN Program Coordinator, Catherine Cook grabbed assistance from the attendees to help place layers of newspaper, straw, coffee grounds, vegetable scraps and Miller compost to the garden bed. Within minutes, a nutrient rich garden bed was created, ready for planting.

Foreground, left to right: ACG gardeners, Barb Taylor and YRFN Program Coordinator, Catherine Cook
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International Compost Awareness Week May 1-7, 2011


The Compost Council of Canada is a national non-profit, member-driven organization with a charter to advocate and advance organics residuals recycling and compost use. It serves as the central resource and network for the compost industry in Canada and, through its members, contributes to the environmental sustainability of the communities in which they operate.

The Compost Council of Canada spearheads a Canada-wide veggie-growing and sharing program, Plant a Row • Grow a Row . Established with the Garden Writers Association with support from local food banks across Canada, Plant a Row • Grow a Row encourages gardeners to grow and share an extra row of veggies for neighbours in need.

An extension of the program, Plant a Row • Grow a Row JUNIOR , is designed to encourage and teach children & their families how to start and grow an edible garden at their home, whether with a backyard or a balcony garden or through access to a local community garden.

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