The Premier's Award

Dear Friends of Sunnivue Farm,

There is exciting news: Sunnivue has been awarded one of the Premier’s Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence for 2007! These awards are part of a five-year Ontario programme to recognize new ideas in agriculture, and to support the "vision, creativity and hard work" that are so necessary to maintain and renew agriculture in the province.

The award was given for the partnership between ROSE: A Land Care Association and Sunnivue Farm, that is, for the idea of protecting the integrity of a family farm, and relating it to its community, with the help of a non-profit community land trust. The award recognizes the desire of the founders of the land trust "to link the principles of local food systems, community and sustainability that reflected their values."

The citation for the award notes that the model created by ROSE and Sunnivue was the first of its kind in Canada. It is our cherished wish that many more land trusts may arise to protect agricultural land and to ally themselves with farmers throughout the country. To this end, we are anxious to strengthen ROSE and to give it the tools to contribute more effectively to agricultural life and to communication between the city and the country.

This is where we need to solicit the support of all friends of Sunnivue and of ROSE, and ask you to consider becoming a ROSE member, or making a donation.  Membership in ROSE carries no specific responsibilities but it does help us gauge the level of support in the community for our efforts, and the modest membership fee helps us greatly with our promotional efforts through which more and more people are learning about the farm and the land trust. Donations are also very welcome, indeed essential, to help us with annual expenses and with maintenance and construction on the farm.

If you would like to know more about ROSE, please consult the "R.O.S.E." page on this web-site, where you will also find a printable membership/donation form. For more information, or to subscribe to our email notices, please email  And many thanks for your interest, and for any kind of support you can offer, including letting other people know about Sunnivue and ROSE.


Food Sovereignty and the Price of Sunnivue Bread

Dear Friends of Sunnivue,

Last Wednesday I had the privilege of attending a conversation about Free Trade and Food Sovereignty sponsored jointly by locals of the National Farmers Union and the London Waldorf School. The speakers were Ubali Buerrero, a woman representing a farmers’ organization in the Mexican state of Guerrero, Miguel Conlunga, of the Democratic Front of Chihuahua, and Allan Slater, familiar to many as an Oxford County farmer and team member of the Christian Peacemakers.

We heard about the erosion in many countries of food sovereignty and the plight of small farmers around the world, who are forced to sell cheaply regardless of the costs of production. Many countries must now import food staples, and in the midst of world hunger see grain crops grown to "feed machines rather than people." Increasing food prices for consumers, privatization of water, and in some places victimization and violence toward farmers who attempt to resist these trends add to the gloomy picture.

Though our own situation is far less dire than some that we heard about, we too are feeling the bite of these changes. Recently the farmers at Sunnivue received an apologetic letter from their suppliers of flour, who find it necessary to raise drastically the price of the organic flour they sell. As a result, a loaf of Sunnivue bread will have to cost more: $5.00 for the whole wheat and rye bread, $6.00 for the white, and 90¢ apiece for the buns.

Ellinor, baker-in-chief at Sunnivue, laments this increase. In all her years of bread-baking, she has never before had to raise the price. Despite the high quality of the ingredients and the labour-intensive process, despite sharp increases in the price of electricity and worries about the supply of honey, she has always felt that bread should be as affordable as possible. But, as one contented customer points out, Sunnivue bread is a nutritional treasure trove as well as delicious, and it lasts a long time. I for one will regard it as more precious than ever, and will take great care never to waste a slice.

Truly we are united with farmers and other families in Mexico and many other countries as we face challenges to our easy access to affordable and nutritious food. Perhaps our best hope lies in dialogue such as that undertaken last Wednesday, giving us the opportunity to compare experiences and to support one another in asserting the value of small-scale farming and the rights of all to clean water and decent food.

All best wishes,

Sally (for Sunnivue)