Monday, November 28, 2011

Who Made Your Eggs Today?

Who made your eggs today?

Mine came from my hens, but you need to know I don't begrudge egg farmers their livelihood.  Backyard hens are unlikely to become a fixture on the majority of urban properties, even though it is vitally important to many of us to be allowed to do so.  I don't even believe that the backyard egg movement will ever dent the sales of commercial eggs.  If anything, it serves to highlight why eggs can be a healthful and sustainable food choice, and this might even increase the sales of commercial eggs.

While more people want to take more responsibility for producing our own food for a variety of good reasons, one of the major motivations to allow chickens is that the commercial egg production system is not transparent.

People want to know where their food is coming from, they want more of their food to be local, and, if they eat animal products, they want to know that the animals are not harmed or mistreated.

This seems to have bypassed the thought-process of the marketing team behind the award-winning "Who Made Your Eggs Today?" campaign by the Egg Farmers of Ontario.  You may have seen the billboards around town, showing happy and smiling farm families. There's a website too, with videos where the farmers talk about life on the farm, and why their way of life is important to them.

What disturbed me greatly with both the billboards and the website, is that there wasn't a single hen in sight.  How can a farmer be passionate about chickens and not be seen with them?  How can the poultry farming business be appealing, if it is hidden from view?

It is this lack of transparency that underlies the mistrust many of us have for commercial egg production, and which only serves to increase the determination with which we will continue to campaign for the right to own backyard hens.

I felt I had to respond.  This is what I wrote:
Dear Egg Farmers of Ontario,

I just want to let you know that your campaign isn't working for me.

I live in Windsor, ON, and frankly, I don't understand why a picture of a farmer all the way in Oshawa (more than 400km away) should smile down at me from a roadside billboard.

Windsor is in Essex County, which is an agricultural area, and I know it has egg producers.

In my opinion, there should be no need for us to be obtaining our eggs from outside our county. It is disturbing to me to think that our distribution systems have become so elaborate and opaque that we no longer directly source such basic necessities as eggs from our own area.

What kind of food security or transparency do we have, when we don't have access to the same food that is grown in the area in which we live?

Furthermore, you and I both know that it is the hens and not the farmers who make our eggs.

Why can you not show the hens on the billboards? Could it be that you don't want to show the public the way the majority of hens in Ontario spend their short lives?


What do you think?  Why don't you also let the Egg Farmers know your thoughts?  After all, they want you to talk to them.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sneak Peak at our new Local Good Food Box Program!

 * * * New & Improved for 2012 * * *
Monthly Local Good Food Box!

Orders Not Being Accepted Until DECEMBER 1st, 2011!

Welcome Back!

We are back and we are bigger and better than ever! You will notice several changes from the 'one box fits all' Local Good Food Box Program. Please read through the Page Index and see the changes in policy and in options. After hours of consultations with friends around the province, this is the direction we have chosen to take based on best-practices. If you have any questions, feel free to ask Steve Green directly at

Page Index
The Guiding PrinciplesThe Fine PrintThe Veggie & Fruit BoxesThe Meat Share BoxesThe Meat Share PricesThe Pantry BoxThe Monthly 'Spotlight on Local' Vendor
The Guiding Principles
  • Everyone has a right to fresh, locally grown, healthy food. Everyone.
  • Everyone has a right to access affordable fresh produce.
  • All produce and products in the WECSA Local Good Food Box will be locally sourced.
  • There will be no 'Food Terminal' shipped or trucked in from long distances. 
  • Produce classed as 'seconds', 'expiring', or destined for free food destined for food banks will not be included in this Local Good Food Box.
  • While there is a place for Food Banks in a society, they exist only as a 'band-aid' solution and are not a sustainable solution.
  • Food Security and Sovereignty should be cultivated in all communities. Local Good Food Box participants are expected to know their food and their farmers.
  • Complete transparency in our food system is a must. Large food processors, farms, corporations and grocery stores are not concerned about our food security or whether we like our food. They are only concerned about the legality of what they are producing and whether they are maximizing their profits.
  • The WECSA Local Good Food box is an alternative to 'one stop shopping' and Big Box/Big Industry.
  • Producers and growers of food should be paid a premium, fair, and living wage for their time and dedication to bring us organic and natural produce. All efforts will be made to pay the producers of this food exactly what the farmer feels will sustain their farming operation.
The Fine Print
  • This is a Local Good Food Box. This is not the grocery store. You won't always get what you want. If you don't want it, trade it or give it away.
  • The fruits and vegetables that will be rotated through the boxes will represent what is available locally either fresh from a field or greenhouse, a micro-green operation, or in cold storage. If you want a fresh field tomato in February, go to the grocery store.
  • The produce we purchase will be bought at a fair and living wage for the farmer or producer to continue the operation. If you are looking for the 'cheapest' food or 'free' food, this is not the program for you. It is our belief that less of a better quality food is better than cheaper, mass produced, less nutritious food that does not pay the local farmer a premium for their time and effort.
  • All Local Good Food Boxes will be pre-ordered prior to pick up. Each 15th of the Month will be the cut off date. All orders will be paid for ahead of time by PAYPAL, EMAIL Transfer to localgoodfoodbox @ yahoo (dot) ca , or CASH/CHEQUE at the previous month's Pick Up date. No exceptions.
  • Local Good Food Boxes that are not picked up on the day of Pick Up will be donated to families in need. If you cannot arrange for someone to pick up your boxes for you, they will not be stored overnight. 
  • If you feel like you know someone who needs a Local Good Food Box but cannot afford it, you are welcome to purchase it for them. You will be responsible to pick up and deliver the items.
  • The amount of produce in your box will be governed by weight or quantity to ensure everyone receives an equal amount.
  • Please bring your own grocery bin, hamper, box, cloth grocery bags. None will be provided.

The Veggie & Fruit Boxes
       The $20 Veggie Box - Geared to 1-2 people
    The $40 Veggie Box - Geared to 3-4 people
    * No Substitutions*

The Meat Share Boxes (NEW!)

            Meet Our Very Own Butcher!

Butcher Jamie Waldron, a Harrow native, returns to the region from his title as Head Butcher at Cumbrae’s Dundas, one of the most highly regarded butcher shops in North America to spearhead this most unique opportunity for  Windsor/Essex County. His craft is led by the vision of getting the consumer the best our area has to offer - from sourcing the animals to offering the consumer the choicest cuts for maximum flavour and enjoyment. 

The Beef Share
  • The share of cattle that you've purchased was reared in the most caring manner,
  • from the pasture straight to your plate, at Shawn Morris Farms in Comber, ON.
  • Great butchering ensures that the whole animal is used to it’s fullest potential.
  • Also there are cuts that you may not be so familiar with included in your package.
  • We take the time to seam muscles that would normally go into the mince bin.
  • “Second” cuts such as flat iron, flank, bavette, and short ribs will all find their way into your custom package.
  • Shares will be divided up with an even mix of premium roasts, premium steaks
  • (tenderloin, NY strip, ribeyes), ‘second’ steaks (bavette, flat iron, skirt, etc.), slow roasts, stew beef, beef stock, and mince. Cuts of beef click here.
  • Liver, heart, tongue and stock bones are available on request.
  • All shares come with recipe cards and are vacuumed sealed and labeled, for your convenience.

The Pork Share
  • Wagner Orchards are raising our Berkshire pigs on their farm in Essex County.
  • These animals enjoy the good life; eating a natural diet, free from growth promoting hormones or antibiotics.
  • Berkshire pork, prized for juiciness, flavour and tenderness, is pink-hued and heavily marbled. Its high fat content makes it suitable for long cooking and high temperature cooking.
  • Shares will be divided up with an even mix of roasts, chops, smoked bacon,
  • sausage, mince, as well as offal cuts if desired (head, trotters, liver). A selection
  • of sausages will be made on a rotating basis and at the time of your order you will be able to choose increments of your liking.
  • All shares come with recipe cards and are vacuumed sealed and labeled, for your convenience.


The Lamb Share
  • Ewe Dell Family Farms in Woodslee, ON began as a modest 30 ewe farm. 
  • The operation has grown to include a flock of 4,000 and includes a modern, government inspected abattoir, which was specifically designed to process sheep.
  • Our lamb is allowed a setting up period of 7 days to ensure the meat has properly aged for tenderness and flavour.
  • Shares will be sold in ½ lamb boxes. Each 20lb lamb share will contain 1 rack, 4 loin chops, 2 sirloin chops, 2 shanks, 1 leg roast, 4 shoulder chops, stewing lamb and mince.
  • All shares come with recipe cards and are vacuumed sealed and labeled, for your convenience.
The Chicken Share
  • Our naturally fed and raised chickens are air chilled and come from Fenwood Farms in Ancaster, ON. 
  • They are cage free and barn raised.
  • Chicken shares are sold at a minimum of 2 birds per order, with the ability to add on singles thereafter. The chickens weigh approx 4-6lbs ea. 
  • We are happy to prepare the birds into 9 cuts if desired (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 drums, 2 wings, 1
  • neck & back).
  • All shares come with recipe cards and are vacuumed sealed and labeled, for your convenience.
The Meat Share Prices

Shawn Morris Farms Beef 
20lbs (approx) $155.00

Wagner Orchards Berkshire Pork
20lbs (approx) $165.00

Ewe Dell Farms Lamb
20lbs (approx) $185.00

Fenwood Farms Natural Chicken
Minimum 2 chicken order (approx 4-6lbs) @ 3.99/lb
Each chicken thereafter (approx 4-6lbs) @ $3.79/lb

The Monthly 'Spotlight on Local' Vendor

Each month WECSA will invite a select vendor from the Windsor Essex region to set up shop at our Pick Up location (999 Drouillard Road) for a meet and greet, and to see and purchase their products. Stay tuned for January's Vendor! Find their Profile and Links Here! Local Good Food Box customers will be able to purchase items from these vendors.


localgoodfoodbox @

Friday, November 11, 2011

Locavore Dinner for WECSA Nov 20 2011

Locavore dinner shares the harvest

Southwestern Ontario is one of the most agriculturally-rich areas in the country and we often take it for granted. Other regions long for the months of sun, extended growing season, and vine-friendly soils that Windsor & Essex County are known for.
Butcher Jamie Waldron
FILE PHOTO - Local butcher Jamie Waldron. Photo by Sanja Frkovic.
To celebrate agriculture, local food, and to introduce citizens to some of the work that they do, Windsor Essex Community Supporting Agriculture will be holding a locally-sourced dinner on Sunday, November 20.
The three-course meal will use local and seasonal ingredients, many of which will come straight from the WECSA farm where volunteers grow their own vegetables and raise chickens on a small plot of land in McGregor. The work is mostly done by hand with tools carted in a trusty wagon that has served the farm well for its first three years but needs to be replaced.
“We’ve just about killed my little wooden wagon,” said Steve Green of WECSA. The dinner is being held as a fundraiser to buy a “high-quality farm wagon for the co-op farm.”
Along with great food and great company (only 25 tickets are available), local butcher Jamie Waldron will be speaking to the group sharing some of his background and discussing protein products available in the region, particularly the quality meats that he works with.
WECSA’s fundraiser dinner will be held on Sunday, November 20 at New Song Church (999 Drouillard Road, Windsor). Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the meal will be served at 6 p.m. The menu will be announced when all the details are finalized, but a vegetarian option will be available. Advanced tickets are $25 and there are only 25 seats available so you must reserve your spot by contacting Steve Green at