News

Thursday, 22 May 2014 09:40

Foraging for Fun Food Finds

By Sheila Petzold, USC Canada Director of Communications Biodiversity Day arrives at the height of the spring foraging season. This is when people "in the know" take a walk in woods to hunt for wild food treats. I can't claim to be a forager – at least not yet. But, last weekend up in the hills north of Ottawa, I discovered this strange looking treasure growing by a footpath, the first live one of these I have ever spotted. A morel mushroom! Some 19 different varieties of this delicacy, cherished by chefs everywhere, grow wild in North American forestlands. Their…
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 00:00

Sowing Seeds of Diversity in Cuba

You might wonder what Nepal, Cuba and British Columbia, with vastly different agricultural landscapes, could possibly have in common in fighting climate change. The answer is seeds.
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 00:00

These Kids Made Our Day!

We are often inspired by the many personal handwritten notes from our donors. But last month, we received a pretty special one from a young Alberta farming family that we just had to share.
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 00:00

Eight Alternatives to Cut Flowers for Mom

Mother's Day is fast approaching. But don't worry, you still have time to think outside the vase. Here are eight alternatives to cut flowers.
Maude Forte has a passion for corn. Not the conventional fare dominating most of Canada's corn fields. She is interested in the thousands of varieties of multi-coloured corn farmers have developed since maize was first domesticated in Mexico 9,000 years ago.
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 00:00

What is the Future of Food?

Six years, thirteen countries and ten interim reports later, Olivier de Schutter is completing his term as the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. His final conclusions on how well (or poorly) people's right to food is being upheld are now available to the public. But to sum it up: our global food systems are dysfunctional.
Thursday, 03 April 2014 00:00

GM Alfalfa on Hold… For Now

This past February, a Toronto Star article was one among many voicing growing alarm over the proposed commercial release of genetically modified (GM) alfalfa in eastern Canada. This introduction would have marked the first time a GM perennial – like alfalfa – had been launched in Canada.
Friday, 21 February 2014 00:00

What a Difference!

Take a look at these pictures of our program in Timor Leste taken from the same spot over the course of the past 10 years. We've moved from barren hillsides to... well, you just have to see it for yourself!
Thursday, 13 February 2014 00:00

Spreading Seeds and Empowerment in Bangladesh

Young women in rural Bangladesh are a most vulnerable group, with little access to earning income either before or after marriage. However, garden space is something virtually all of them can gain access to from parents or in-laws.
Farmers harvesting millet despite the scorching 40°C temperatures near Djibo, Burkina Faso. By Laurent Viot, Director, International Programs It’s difficult to imagine more challenging climate and soils than you find in the West African Sahel. Most farmers depend on rainfall to provide moisture for their crops and degraded soils. This region of the Sahelian belt records around 550mm of rain per year (about half the annual rainfall in Ontario), all falling in just over one month around September. As well, in recent years, farmers have noted irregular and unpredictable rain patterns which are affecting seed germination and yields. In 2012, the…

LottaHitschmanova tbnWhat's in a Name?

We’re called USC Canada because we started out way back in 1945 as the Unitarian Service Committee, founded by the energetic Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova. We’re still planting the seeds that Lotta sowed. Find out more about our founder, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova.

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