February 16, 2022
You Can Help Save Canadian Farmland
We’re losing farmland in Canada at an alarming rate. Newfoundland and Labrador have lost 51% of their farmland in the last 20 years — by far the most in Canada. That’s nearly seven times the national average, according to Stats Canada data. Nova Scotia has 28.4 per cent fewer acres being farmed. New Brunswick is just behind at 28.3 per cent, and Prince Edward Island is at 21.8 per cent.
In Ontario the latest census numbers revealed a total loss of 582,392 acres since 2016. Ontario’s farmland fell from 12,348,463 acres in 2016 to 11,766,071 in 2021, according to census data, taking a notable 4.7% plunge. On average, this means a loss of 319 acres of farmland each day over the five-year period, almost double the 175-acres-per-day loss seen between 2011 and 2016.
A 2018 report showed that half of B.C.’s reserved agricultural land (ALR) is lying unused because famers can’t afford to buy it.
According to a U of A study, between 1984 and 2013, the amount of land used for urban or industrial purposes between Edmonton and Calgary grew by 52 per cent. The urban area of Calgary had also tripled in that time.
Expansion peaked in the 80s, but the upward trajectory has continued into the aughts, with more than 625 square kilometers of land converted from agricultural to urban or industrial use between 2000 and 2012. Of land developed in that 12-year period, 35 per cent of it was the highest quality farmland, while 34 per cent of the land was in the second-best category.
The average age of Canada's farm operators was 56 years in 2021. In the next 20 years these farmers will be looking to sell their land and retire. However, the only people who will be able to afford it will be large investment firms looking to hold the land in their investment portfolios.
What Can We Do About This?
A promising solution to this problem is in creating Community Land Trusts. Land Trusts are community organized non-profits that hold valuable farmland. They can then give secure, long-term leases to aspiring farmers that can be as long as 99 years. By putting land into Land Trusts we can protect and preserve farmland, provide affordable land to farmers and improve our food security.
This work is being done in the US by a non-profit called the Agrarian Trust. I highly encourage you to check out their website, YouTube and to listen to this podcast which explains everything that they do. Their work is inspiring and essential for the next generations of farmers.
How You Can Help
In the US, donating land into a Community Land Trust is considered a charitable donation. The land being donated or purchased through crowd funding isn’t taxed and donations are given a tax credit. In Canada however, land donations are not considered a charitable donation. This is a huge barrier for communities wanting to create Land Trusts because they will not be able to get charitable tax breaks.
The good news is that the Canadian National Farmers Union has just crafted a petition to change this. It calls upon the Federal government to allow for donations of land to Community Land Trusts to be capital gains exempt in addition to a tax credit or deduction which can be provided in exchange for the land, based on the fair market value.
If this legislation is passed, communities across Canada can start protecting farmland and giving aspiring farmers easier access to land. This legislation will be a game changer for our national food security.
You can help push this legislation forward right now by signing the Canadian National Farmers Union’s petition. All you have to do is click the link below.
Butternut & Ricotta Calzone
Description: You had a long day, your feel tired and the last thing you want to do is cook. Why not try our frozen Butternut & Ricotta Calzones?
In just 12 minutes you could have a steaming hot calzone fresh from the oven. Cut one open and let the cheesy squash filling slowly flow out. Pick it up and take a bite. The rustic crust has crispy edges and a satisfying whole wheat flavour. The filling is cheesy and slightly sweet with a touch of spice .
These calzones are easy to make, guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser, won’t make a mess and require minimal clean up. What more could you ask for!
About Our Calzones
For these Calzones we started with a combination of our freshly-milled Red Fife flour and Anita’s fine-grind whole wheat flour. This makes for a flavourful crust with a rustic feel. We then hand-fill each Calzone with a three cheese blend of ricotta, mozzarella and Grana Padano parmesan, locally-grown potatoes and garlic, frozen winter squash from our farm, and herbs and spices. Once filled we fold the dough over, seal the edges and cut vents on top to let steam out.
Details: Each box contains four large frozen calzones.
Bake-At-Home Strawberry Pie With Crumble Topping
Description: In just minutes you can have a fresh from the oven, warm, homestyle Strawberry & Raspberry Pie. Simply pop it in the oven and let the smell of sweet strawberries and raspberries get the whole family excited.
Once it's ready, pull it out of the oven. Cut a nice thick slice, add a big scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream and watch it slowly melt over the pie. The shortbread cookie pie crust is sweet, buttery and flakey. The filling is warm and sweet. The slightly acidic raspberry combined with sweet floral strawberry chucks makes for an unforgettable pairing. And the slightly crunchy crumble topping adds a wonderful contrast of textures that delights with every bite. This is a simple, yet elegant strawberry and raspberry pie that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home with minimal mess or clean up.
About Our Bake-At Home Strawberry & Raspberry Pie with Crumble Topping
For this pie we started with a buttery classic cookie crust made with our freshly milled Soft White flour. The Soft White flour is slightly sweet and adds a nice nutty flavour.
At peak ripeness we plucked raspberries from our raspberry bushes, picked strawberries from our strawberry patch and then immediately froze them. For the filling we used only our frozen berries, organic sugar and organic tapioca powder to thicken it. To finish it off we added a layer of crumble topping made with Soft White flour, butter, sugar and salt. The combination of strawberry and raspberry is something you rarely see, but once you taste it you'll recognize it as an instant classic that your family will be boasting about!
Each pie is 9 inches can comes frozen
The pies are frozen so let them thaw on the counter for about 2 hours before baking. Scroll to the bottom for baking instructions.