By Chad Ingram
Published April 7 2016
Agriculture is the fastest growing sector in Haliburton County.
That’s according to a recent community food assessment performed by a number of partner
organizations that moving forward will be working under the banner of Harvest Haliburton.
The results of the assessment – which examined food production and consumption food
access and municipal food policy in the area – are being shared with the county’s municipal
“We have more people moving to this community to do small-scale agricultural production”
Rosie Kadwell a dietician with the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit told Minden Hills council during a March 31 meeting. “Some of them are taking over the family farms. It’s relatively more affordable than other parts of the province to buy land.”
Kadwell said the county has gone from two community gardens to 12 in the recent past and that not only is there an increase in food producers there is an increase in young food producers especially.
There is a growing local food culture in Haliburton County with the Haliburton County Farmers’ Market Association growing to include three market locations since it was established in 2009.
Kadwell said more education is needed in the community about the benefits of purchasing locally produced food. She said that 73 cents from every dollar spent on locally produced food stays in the community versus 43 per dollar from food brought at grocery store chains.
“We’re moving into a less traditional approach to agriculture” Angel Taylor president of the farmers’ market association told councilors. “We need smaller areas.”
Currently there is no specific agricultural or specialty crop zoning in Haliburton County’s official plan.
“Some of the policies we’ve included include language to support local agriculture” said county planner Charlsey White as she gave council an update on the county’s official plan.
Councillor Jean Neville wondered if there’d been any communication with the province about easing regulations around the selling of eggs and poultry at farmers’ markets. While
pork beef and other farm products can be sold at markets poultry and eggs cannot.
Kadwell said Harvest Haliburton is a member of Sustain Ontario and that organization is doing some advocacy in that area.