Column: December 24, 2015

Grassroots project gets green light to grow food security in West Carleton

My sincere congratulations to the West Carleton Healthy Food Coalition (WCHFC). The WCHFC is a grassroots coalition of farmers, market gardeners, health professionals, business people and residents in West Carleton who have won a grant of $125,000 from the Community Foundation of Ottawa (CFO) to improve food security in our ward. This grant will allow the WCHFC to create programs and physical infrastructure that will make it easier for residents to access affordable, healthy food grown close to home.

In partnership with the Ottawa Good Food Box, the WCHFC will boost West Carleton’s ability to grow, store and distribute healthy local food. It will also help educate residents about preparing and growing it. To achieve these goals, the WCHFC will:

  • Set up a community root cellar at the Diefenbunker Museum, where area farmers can store their produce year-round;
  • Distribute more locally grown food through West Carleton retail outlets and the Good Food Box program;
  • Start a community garden with local partners in Constance Bay where residents can rent a plot for a small fee to grow their own produce; and
  • Conduct workshops on topics such as cooking, nutrition, food gardening, canning and preservation, and home root cellaring.

This is fantastic news for our community. I’m looking forward to seeing firsthand the many ways our Ward will benefit from this great initiative.

Schedule changes during the Christmas season

There will schedule changes to city services during the holidays. A complete listing is posted on ottawa.ca. Of note, there will be no green bin, recycling or garbage collection on Christmas Day. Christmas Day’s pickup will be on Boxing Day. New Year's Day's pick up will take place on Saturday, January 2. As well, Christmas trees will be collected on your regular scheduled collection day. Please remove all decorations. Christmas trees in plastic bags will not be collected.

Merry Christmas!

My wife Maha, my staff and I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas. Stay safe, have fun and please do not drink and drive!