The Agriculture Sector promotes sustainability across a wide range of agriculture initiatives. Using multiple tools such as research, demonstrations, communications and education, seminars, and projects, this sector seeks to engage the community and develop more awareness of where and how to support more sustainable food production and distribution; both in our region and further abroad.
Sustainable Orillia has created a digital food map to help locate our area Farmers’ Markets, Community Gardens and Independent Growers and Ranchers. Zero Waste Markets and Food Banks are also incorporated into the map with links to websites and other social media sites.
Regenerative agriculture enables soil to better sequester carbon and this is vital to mitigating and hopefully reversing the negative effects of climate change. By greatly reducing or eliminating chemical fertilizers, using low or no tilling practices, covering the soil with diverse cover crops and rotating ruminants on the land, farmers are able to build healthier soil. Healthier soil in turn leads to increased crop production, less erosion and more water retention. Regenerative agriculture done properly is both environmentally imperative and financially beneficial.
The importance of wetlands and forests cannot be understated as they are essential for healthy ecosystems and human health. Wetlands are vital in their ability to protect our water quality, store flood waters and provide habitat for fish and wildlife. They are also highly effective at storing carbon which helps to moderate climate change. Forests are also fundamental in storing carbon (in the wood, plant matter and soil) that has been released into the atmosphere. Afforestation, reforestation and the natural regeneration of forest systems is integral to our ability to cool the planet and sequester massive amounts of carbon.
As I returned from a walk in the forested parkette in my neighbourhood, I reflected once again how at peace I felt compared to when I set out, full of