Land Over Landings
For four decades the people power of ‘Land over Landings’ have fought to preserve 18,600 acres of prime farmland within the boundaries of Canada’s largest urban area.
This tenacious and essential work to preserve land, food, and farming, began in 1972, when the Canadian Federal Government expropriated the farmland in Ontario for an international airport. Fierce opposition by this grassroots movement succeeded in stopping the project.
Now in 2013, the land is at dire risk again, as the federal government proposes to go forward with the building of an airport and other non-agricultural development.
Land Over Landings represents the tenants who live on the lands and the rights of all Canadians who believe that it is necessary to protect our food resources and irreplaceable farmland.
This prime farm land is well-positioned to support the slow food, eating locally, and “field to table” movements. Land Over Landings is proposing that farmers be allowed to stay on the land and continue to benefit Canadians and the agricultural economy.
This land needs to be preserved for future generations.
Kevin O’Leary (Dragon’s Den)
“It’’s got smackings of Mirabel all over it — a complete waste of money…”.
“Politicians make mistakes, often big ones. This is a big one.”
You too can make a difference.
To bring awareness to Canada’s food production industry and celebrate their love of food, photographers, writers, Carl Hiebert www.giftofwings.ca and Deb Cripps www.tryoneofakind.ca took an AgVenture and drove a 1949 vintage tractor from British Columbia to Newfoundland.
Along the way, they photographed and captured the stories of Canada’s farming families for the book, “Keepers of the Land … A Celebration of Canadian Farmers.” http://www.giftofwings.ca/book_store.htm – and donated the proceeds to the Lions Club’s charitable causes.
The book’s stories and photographs exemplify the authors’ and the farmers’ tenacity and commitment to protect our national gardens. ‘Keepers of the Land’ filters the complexity of Canada’s food production system to reveal the richness and diversity of rural landscapes and the families who farm it.
As Gerry Ritz, Canadian Minister of Agriculture, said,“From one end of the country to the other ‘Keepers of the Land’, with its beautiful pictures and interesting stories, illustrates the many reasons why agriculture is the backbone of the Canadian economy.”
The following information is an excerpt from “Keepers of the Land.”
Why should you eat locally produced foods?
There are so many reasons to eat locally, but at the top of the list is definitely taste and nutrition. Why eat a tomato that’s traveled for days on a truck when you can enjoy locally grown plump beefsteak? That tomato is not only fresh picked and loaded with flavour, it contains more nutrients than one shipped from a distance, and it is also better for the environment. Today the average food item travels more than 1,000 miles before it lands on our tables. Eating locally grown foods means burning less fossil fuel.
The significance of buying local can be startling. A study completed in the Waterloo Region of Ontario revealed that 58 commonly eaten foods (all of which could have been grown or raised locally) traveled an average of 4,497 km from source to retail market. Substituting local foods for imports, for just this area alone, would result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 16,191 cars off our roads.
Buying Local: When you buy from local farmers, you are supporting local businesses and providing income for families in your own community. In a time when many farmers are struggling to maintain their livelihood, you can do your part to support them and preserve our rural heritage and keep our food dollars where they belong. Participate in a CSA farm http://csafarms.ca/ program, where you purchase shares and in return, you support your local economy and receive fresh, in season fruits and vegetables.
Pride of Canada: Request retailers do their part and buy Canadian. Do your blueberries come from New Brunswick, such as from the Hawkins family farm of blueberry growers www.hawkinsfarms.ca or Mexico? Does your favourite restaurant offer a range of our great Canadian wines? Are the origins of products clearly identified? If not, demand that produce is clearly marked. And better yet, suggest the manager dedicate a ‘Pride of Canada’ to showcase Canadian only products.
Education for your Family: Educate yourself and your children about food production and agriculture in Canada. Take the time to visit local fairs, farmers’ markets, U-pick farms to get to meet farmers face-to-face. Canada’s largest outdoor market http://www.stjacobs.com/farmers-market in St. Jacobs, Ontario is a feast for the eyes and taste buds, as it bustles with local growers, Old Order Mennonite farmers, market wares, edibles, bedding plants and entertaining buskers
Share Your Concerns: Voice your concerns about the food safety and the environment with your local Member of Parliament, and cc the office of the Prime Minister # 80 Wellington Street, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org