Food Action Group

The TC+ Food Action Group gathered for the first time in the spring of 2013. Our goals are to build food security by promoting the local food economy and home food growing. We organize and collaborate widely on a number of annual food-related events and projects, including the March Seedy Saturday, our spring seedling giveaway – the Incredible Edible Plant Festival, an August Tomato Tasting, a World Food Day event in October, and a winter Food Film Series, as well as offering occasional hands on workshops and demos.

To meet your neighbours, have some fun, share and gain skills, learn more about local food, be involved in exciting projects, come meet the TC+ food action group at an event, or contact us at: TransitionCornwallArea[at]gmail[dot]com

Upcoming Events


Thursday, August 24, 11am-1pm, Tasting Summer Tomatoes, Cornwall Public Library

tastingEveryone is invited to celebrate and taste the tomatoes, whether they bring heirloom samples, their own favourites, or no tomatoes at all.

Experts will be on hand to give advice on how to grow tomatoes, prepare healthy recipes, save seeds, and preserve tomatoes for winter.  Stay tuned for details!

TC+ Food Action Group in the News

Edible plant fest keeps growing by Alan S. Hale at the Standard-Freeholder. Experienced and aspiring green thumbs were at the promenade next to city hall on Saturday, to ask questions, learn, have fun, and even take home a plant to care for. It was the Incredible Edible Plants Festival, hosted by the food action group of Transition Cornwall+ with the support of the All Things Food food network. The event attracted a steady stream of a few hundred people to browse the booths and activities. MPP Jim Macdonell even arrived to present the organizers with a certificate for bringing the event back for a fifth year.

A green thumb’s up of thanks for Cornwall city council by Alan S. Hale at The Standard-Freeholder. The council chambers at city hall got a much-needed touch of green on Monday as representatives from the Food Action Group of Transition Cornwall+ brought planters full of edible greens to thank councillors for city’s support of the upcoming Incredible Edible Plant Festival set for May 27.

Mixing food and politics by Alan S. Hale at The Standard-Freeholder. A small group of people gathered at the Cornwall Public Library on Sunday afternoon to watch a screening of The Global Banquet: Politics of Food — a 2001 documentary that discusses the ramifications of the rise of corporate farming and the fall of family farms on the global food supply.

Cornwall’s Seedy Saturday: Idea has grown It’s an idea that goes back a couple of years, got nurtured and grew, and has now expanded to the Benson Centre. Story by Todd Hambleton at The Standard-Freeholder.

Green thumbs up for third annual Seedy Saturday While all signs of winter are still present and accounted for, the third annual Seedy Saturday event kicked off this Saturday, March 18, giving residents a glimpse into spring. By Alycia Douglass at the Seaway News

Some real food for thought  Advocates for locally grown food were feeling empowered Sunday to lobby grocers to reduce waste following a showing of ‘Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story’ by Greg Peerenboom at the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder.

World Food Day something to chew on by Todd Hambleton at the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder. It was the U.N.’s World Food Day on Sunday, and a very special guest attended and spoke at an event in Cornwall

World Food Day focuses on food scarcity and climate change by Marc Benoit at the Cornwall Seaway News. With a global consensus forming around the risks and realities of climate change, some community leaders are trying to get people to rethink everything about their food and where it comes from.

Every shape, size and colour at Cornwall tomato event by Kirsten Fenn at The Standard-Freeholder. Sure, you’ve probably tried red tomatoes before. But what about purple and orange? How about yellow?

tastingTransition Cornwall+ celebrates the tomato by Nich Seebruch at Cornwall Seaway News. The Transition Cornwall+ team were setup outside of the Cornwall Library on Second Street on Wednesday, Aug. 24 with 28 different species of tomato. Some where big and red, some were small and yellow and some kind of looked like red peppers.

Downtown festival grows but stays true to roots  by Adam Brazeau at the Cornwall Seaway News.

 Incredible Edible Plant Festival: Gardeners Young and Old originalIt’s never too early to start working on that green thumb, by Todd Hambleton at the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder.

Festival returns to downtown Cornwall just in thyme for planting season. Grab your garden gloves and head over to the Justice Building Plaza for the fourth annual Incredible Edible Plant Festival. Read more at The Seaway News.

Growing green thumbs at Cornwall’s Seedy Sunday by Lois Ann Baker at Cornwall Standard-Freeholder.

Seedy Sunday plants itself firmly in Cornwall by Adam Brazeau at The Seaway News. Dig a hole in a garden, not your pocket – while eating healthy and local.

Past TC+ Food Action Group Events

Incredible Edible Plant Festival 2017, Saturday, May 27, 10:30am – 2pm, Justice Building Plaza

“Over 400 cherry tomatoes, green beans, spinach, and sweet pepper plants have been generously donated by TC+ Food Action Group and Marlin Orchards in preparation for the big event,” explains Kat Rendek, member of TC+ and Coordinator of All Things Food.  “For those new to gardening, we will have experienced gardeners on hand to help you pick the right plant for your patio, step, or balcony.”

Want to give gardening a try? Young and budding gardeners will be invited throughout the day to help plant the Justice Building (11 am), Cornwall Fire Station (12 pm), SVC Health Centre (1 pm), and Police Station (1:30 pm)  community vegetable gardens.  Free gardening activities, outdoor games, cooking and preserving workshops, face painting, and live music have also been organized by The Early Years Centre, Seaway Valley Community Health Centre, the Boys and Girls Club of Cornwall, and several local artists.

**New this year ** Seedling Swap Table

Bring all of your unused seeds and seedlings to our event and swap them for something new! Perennials are also welcome.

**New this year** Free Rare Heirloom Tomato Plants 

An amazing selection of colours, sizes and luscious flavours!  Recommended for experienced gardeners, all are open-pollinated (non-hybrid, non GMO), allowing their seed to be saved, and even better – shared! In exchange for the free heirloom tomato plants, gardeners are asked to bring a sample of tomatoes to the free TC+ Tomato Tasting Event on Thursday, August 24 at the Cornwall Public Library (see below). Quantities are limited. First come, first served!

Saturday, April 8, Free Grafting and Pruning Workshop, with forester Mark Kaddie and orchardist Joe Belmont. Boyer St. Behind Harvest Garden Store Cornwall Centre Road. Bring a bag lunch if you plan to stay for the tree grafting info session in the afternoon.

Sunday, March 26, 1:30 pm,  ‘The Global Banquet: Politics of Food,’ Cornwall Public Library

Timely and provocative, this video examines how corporate globalization of food threatens the livelihoods of small farmers in the U.S. and in developing countries. We see how “free” trade is the route to mounting hunger worldwide despite an overabundance of food. Join us for a cup of homemade soup, public screening and a lively discussion around land and food: the big picture and the local implications.

Saturday, March 18, Seedy Saturday, 10:30-3:30 pm, Benson Centre

Showcasing regional seed vendors, community exhibitors, and educational workshops, with homemade soup and children’s activities..

Admission and refreshments were free, however, donations are welcome. Donations help to support future events by Transition Cornwall+ Food Action Group and All Things Food.

Ukrainian Borsch served at Seedy Saturday March 18, 2017 – posted here by request!

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 onion diced, 3 cloves garlic minced, 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, 1 1/2 lb beets peeled and diced — shredded, 5 cups diced red cabbage, 2 white potatoes (about 10 oz/280 g), cubed, 2 ribs celery diced, 1 carrots diced, 2 bay leaves, 1 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 can tomato paste, 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar, 10 cups vegetable stock, 3 tablespoons vinegar

In large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook onion, garlic and caraway seeds, stirring occasionally, until softened and light golden, about 4 minutes.

Stir in beets, cabbage, potatoes, celery, carrot, bay leaves, salt and pepper; cook over medium heat, stirring often, until beets are starting to soften, about 10 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste and brown sugar; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in vegetable stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beets are tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in vinegar; discard bay leaves. (Make-ahead: Freeze in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)

If you wish to add a spoonful of yogurt or sour cream when serving, it adds to the soup.

Note:   we put all vegs through a food processor and grated them coarsely.

Local Food in the News


Food and agriculture development officer hired for Cornwall and Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry by Rachel Faber at the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder.

Where does your food come from? An organization dedicated to creating healthy, food secure communities is working to change that through an educational campaign called the Local Food Challenge.kat.

Cornwall project is bearing fruit. A new community project, funded by Trees Canada and coordinated by All Things Food Network, is hoping to spread edible landscape spaces across the entire city. Read more in the Cornwall Seaway News.

Kanta Ahmad, participant; Kat Rendek, coordinator, All Things Food; Anika Rupert, participant, Mallory McClinchey, horticulturalist.

Kanta Ahmad, participant; Kat Rendek, coordinator, All Things Food; Anika Rupert, participant, Mallory McClinchey, horticulturalist.

Upper Canada creamery Opens August 15 Josh and Jennifer Biemond are looking forward to opening the Upper Canada Creamery on Aug. 15. Boasting a newly constructed facility for yogurt production and approximately 100 free-range cows, the Biemonds are very excited for their yogurt to provide Canadian culture to the market. Article by Brent Holmes in The Standard-Freeholder HERE>>

Old Knowledge for New Gardeners. There was a tasty salad for everyone to enjoy Thursday at the Boys and Girls Club of Cornwall/SDG. Read more in The Standard-Freeholder article by Greg Pereenboom HERE>>

Fun in the Sun. The Seaway Valley Community Health Centre has been helping local families set down their roots, literally. Article by Brent Holmes in the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder HERE>

Hamilton Crescent

Organic  Market Open for Business in Ingleside. Fresh organically grown vegetables are now being sold close to home. By Lois Ann Baker at the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder HERE>

Char-Lan Planting Orchard. One local school is taking the community garden concept once step further. Students from Char-Lan District High School have planted an orchard. Article by Lois Ann baker in the Standard-Freeholder HERE>>


LOCAL FOOD MAP Prepared by Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network. Have a look!



Articles and Resources

Home Food Growing

SDG Community Garden Network. Interested in joining the SDG Community Garden Network? Just fill out the quick registration form/survey to be added to the events and resource mailing list.  Everyone is welcome.  Look for updates and more information on the All Things Food website and Facebook page.

Easiest Vegetables to Grow, Mother Earth News. To guarantee the success of your first garden, stick with the easy vegetables listed HERE>> which grow well in minimally improved soil.

The Climate-Friendly Gardener Union of Concerned Scientists – A Guide to Combating Global Warming from the Ground Up, many tips!

How to Make Instant No-dig Garden Beds, Mother Earth News. HERE>> are several ways to create usable planting space with no digging.

What to Grow in a Small, Basic Garden. Or, general recommendations for the novice vegetable gardener at Seasonal Ontario Food.

Seeds for Beginners, Once you graduate past a few patio tomato plants (not that there is anything wrong with a few patio tomatoes, mind you) you’re going to have to deal with seeds. Here’s what you need to know about saving your purchased seed. More HERE>>

WHEN TO START SEED Need help remembering when it’s safe and smart to start your first spring sowings of vegetable, flower and herb seeds indoors and out? This tool helps calculate when. Begin by entering your final spring frost date, May 24, on the top right of the chart.

20 Crops that Keep and How to Store Them. Garden writer Barbara Pleasant provides detailed instructions for food storage, including curing and storing onions, potatoes, leeks, cabbage, apples, squash and other produce that will last all winter. Read more in Mother Earth News article by Barbara Pleasant.

6 Fast Growing Vegetables. While gardening tends to be a patient process that can’t be hurried, some vegetables reach harvest size more rapidly than others. Six crops if you have both the urge to garden and a need for speed.  Read more at Organic Gardening.

A Crop-by-Crop Guide to Growing to Growing Organic Vegetables and Fruits from Mother Earth News. From More HERE>>

When to Harvest Your Garden Produce -Knowing when to harvest will guarantee the most flavorful produce from your garden. Eliminate much of the guesswork with this guide — and never lament a crop picked under- or over-ripe again! More HERE>>

5 Tips for Planting Your Seed Saving Garden, from Seeds of Diversity Canada.

Specific Seed Saving Instructions for Common Vegetables: HERE>>

Prepping Bed, “My goal is to minimize disruption of the soil and to feed and nourish it from the top down, emulating Mother Nature. I’ve been using my system, with good results, for over 30 years.” – Lee Reich.

Self-Seeding Crops You’ll Never Need to Plant Again, One of the characteristics of a truly sustainable garden is that it produces at least some of its own seed. With most self-seeding vegetables, herbs and annual flowers, you’ll just need to learn to recognize the seedlings so you don’t hoe them down. More in Barbara Pleasant’s article in Mother Earth News HERE>>

Plant a Perennial Backbone for Your Vegetable Garden, A perennial “backbone” will not only increase the aesthetic qualities of your vegetable garden landscape, but it will also welcome all kinds of beneficial insects and animals to your garden. More in Tammi Hartung’s Mother Earth News article HERE>>

Create Small Fruit Trees with This Pruning Method. This revolutionary pruning method will give you more fruit growing options, because nearly any deciduous fruit variety can be trained to stay compact. Read more in this article in Mother Earth News HERE>>

Use Hog Panels for a Greenhouse: Heavy-duty wire fencing, also known as hog panels, can be arched over an existing garden bed to create a simple, cheap greenhouse frame in a jiffy. More HERE>> in Mother Earth News Magazine.

A Farmden (larger than a garden, smaller than a farm) with Lee Reich:



Backyard Orchard Culture. This article is an introduction to the gardening technique of “Backyard Orchard Culture” – a system of high density planting of fruit trees which allows for a wide variety of fruit to be grown in a limited space, and harvested over a prolonged period of time. More HERE>>

Multi-functional Plants for the Permaculture Garden, by Phil Williams. If you have a choice of planting a tree, shrub, vine, herbaceous plant, or groundcover that only has one function or another species that fills that desired function and also provides three other benefits, why wouldn’t you plant the more functional specie. More HERE>>

Miracle Farms, one of Canada’s first commercial permaculture food forests, located in southern Quebec:


Why You Should Ignore Canada’s Food Guide and Follow Brazil’s Instead. Brazil’s food guide got a radical overhaul last year that we should all pay attention to. The new guide categorizes foods based on how processed they are, rather than what they’re made of.  By Genevieve Fullan at Alternatives Journal HERE>>

2015 Dirty Dozen List, The Most Pesticide-Laden Produce You’re Eating Environmental Working Group releases an updated list of the dirtiest-and cleanest-produce on the market:

Dirty Dozen 2015

The not-so-simple reasons for going vegan. For years, we’ve been making dietary decisions based on the calories, fat, fibre or vitamins and minerals foods contain. But, with mounting concerns over freshwater supply, loss of biodiversity and climate change, it’s time to make the shift away from animal foods and toward a plant-based diet. By Leslie Beck, Globe and Mail. More HERE>>

Tips for making the switch to a plant-based diet. While not everyone is willing to go vegan, for those who are, it’s not something you do overnight or without guidance. HERE are some tips on making the transition by Leslie Beck, Globe and Mail.

I Want to Eat Less Meat. Which other Foods are Good Protein Sources? article by Leslie Beck, Registered Dietitian, Globe and Mail. More HERE>>

Try a Flexitarian Diet for Better Health and a Better Food Budget – Choosing to eat less meat — and eating grass-fed meat when you do — is key to a flexitarian diet, and it will help the environment as well as you and your family. Read more HERE>>

Food Systems

Food, Community and Our Place on Earth. If the trucks stopped rolling, how long could locally-produced food sustain your community? Vicki Robin asks “how do we rebuild our local food systems, so farmers can be prosperous, our soils can be in good shape, so that we don’t lose our capacity to feed ourselves?”

How Urban Soil Farming Could Help Feed More People. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, much of our planet’s soil is under threat from human activities, including farming and urban sprawl. By Sarah Elton for CBCNews. More HERE>>

Fighting for a Sane Food System, with Joel Salatin. Pushing back against our broken food system by choosing heirloom vegetables, cooking from scratch and eating grass-finished beef don’t make you a food snob. They mean you’re conscientious. More HERE>>

Grocery Stores or Farmers’ Markets: Which Offer Safer Food? article by Globe and Mail reporter Jason Tetro. More HERE>>

Insecticides Devastating HivesThe Guardian (May 2014) Honeybees abandoning hives and dying due to insecticide use, research finds. New Harvard study shows neonicotionoids are devastating colonies by triggering colony collapse disorder.

How We Can Eat Our Landscapes, with Pam Warhurst:




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