The Tyler farm family includes (from left) Sam, Jean, Joanie and Godfrey Tyler
(Haliburton Highlands) – If you take care of the land, the land will take care of you. That’s the philosophy of Godfrey and Jean Tyler who farm their family’s fifth generation century farm in the rocky Haliburton Highlands.
With no off-farm income, the Tylers use all four seasons to grow and sustain their small farming business.
“Our goal is to live simply and beautifully off the land and we are always looking for new ways we can create a livelihood for ourselves and our children,” says Godfrey. “For us, part of the equation is not to be in the commodity business; all of our markets are niche.”
The Tylers use bio-dynamic agricultural methods, which is a system of organic farming that seeks to create a diversified, balanced farm ecosystem. Continue reading Sustainability, stewardship at heart of fifth generation family farm
Winemaking and farming aren’t two things most people associate with Muskoka.
Yet fruit wines and an iconic fall holiday berry are helping farmer Murray Johnston and his wife Wendy Hogarth put their family business on the map.
The couple, with help from their four sons, run Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh and Muskoka Lakes Winery near Bala, where they grow 27 acres of cranberries and produce a range of wines using locally grown fruit.
Most people think they know how cranberries are grown and harvested, says Wendy, but what they’ve seen in television advertising doesn’t paint an accurate picture. Continue reading Producing wine and cranberries in cottage country
A new vegetable oil-based multi-purpose lubricant is now available for sale in Canada – with the potential to open up significant new markets for Canadian grain and oilseed farmers.
Smart Earth Corporation’s new Ecolube product was developed in Canada by Linneaus Plant Sciences Inc. as an environmentally friendly substitute for popular lubricant and penetrant products currently on the market for home and work use. Continue reading “Green” lubricant alternative now available in Canada
Biomass is a promising emerging market in Ontario and farmers can learn more about growing and making money from these purpose-grown crops on a series of upcoming regional car tours. The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) also showcased miscanthus (seen in the image at left) and switchgrass test plots at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show last week.
The plots are part of a larger research project in conjunction with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) that is evaluating the potential of biomass crops in Ontario, including establishing a business case and determining possible market opportunities. Continue reading Growing plants for energy
She was the winner of the Golden Apple Award for industry service and leadership at the 2011 OFVGA annual meeting. Now, in 2012, Cathy McKay will also be a calendar model.
She is the first-ever apple grower to be featured in the popular Faces of Farming calendar, produced annually to promote awareness of food and farming in Ontario. Thirteen Ontario farmers or farm families are featured in the calendar every year, nominated by the project’s sponsoring organizations. Continue reading Apple grower featured in Faces of Farming calendar
The debate over organic versus conventional agriculture is an ongoing one in the world of food production.
For one Ontario apple grower, though, that debate ended a decade ago after some firsthand research into the issue.
But first, a little bit of background. Continue reading Apples – organic or conventional?
A new study shows that energy saving initiatives by farmers in Ontario’s Greenbelt are conserving enough energy to power 1,788 homes annually.
And on-farm solar panel installations in the Greenbelt are generating enough electricity for an additional 170 homes, says the report completed by engineering consulting firm Agviro, Inc.
“Our study showed some really positive results related to energy conservation and energy generation on farms in the Greenbelt,” says Katie Gibb, a project manager with Agviro who worked on the report. “Through conservation measures and generation projects, Greenbelt farmers are able to off-set enough power sufficient for almost 2,000 Ontario homes every year.”
Continue reading Greenbelt farmers saving energy, survey shows