Ontario greenhouse vegetables – specifically cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers – are one of our largest local produce crops and one that we an enjoy almost all year round.
Most of the vegetable greenhouses are centered in the Leamington and Niagara areas.
Earlier this spring I was able to tour one of these operations Flamborough area : Beverly Greenhouses, where brothers Jan and Dale VanderHout grow 22 acres of English cucumbers. Continue reading Inside an Ontario vegetable greenhouse
Charles Stevens in his orchard. Photo by Courtney Stevens.
Newcastle – Damaging weather and predators can mean the difference between a good year and a bad one on the farm.
No one knows that better than Charles Stevens, who grows apples and blueberries on his farm near Newcastle, east of Toronto.
He’s turned to technology and innovation to protect his apples against hail and frost – and to Mother Nature to help keep his blueberries safe from hungry wildlife. Continue reading Innovations protect fruit crops against weather, predator damage
A group of young farmers has taken to social media to share with Canadians how they produce food and two fruit and vegetable growers are right in the thick of it.
Erin McLean, whose family runs a pick-your-own berry operation near Peterborough and serves farmers’ markets and local grocers with fresh fruits and vegetables, and potato grower Stephanie Kowalski from the Alliston area are part of a recently launched initiative called Dinner Starts Here.
Central to the project is a website called dinnerstartshere.ca, which features blog posts by ten young farmers as well as recipes, answers to frequently-asked farming questions and information about buying local. Social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest will be used to share information and bring visitors to the site. Continue reading Young farmers reach out to consumers
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
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
Ontario lavender bunches
Lavender, hazelnuts and sweet potatoes are not crops we commonly associate with this province.
Yet they’re starting to emerge in Ontario’s south coast area, the fertile sand plains in Norfolk, Brant, Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford counties where tobacco used to reign supreme.
As the decline of the tobacco industry continued over the last decade, agricultural and economic development leaders in the area began grappling with key questions governing the future of their region, which is a key producer of many Ontario foods, including fruits and vegetables.
How can we bring new life and new value to this farmland? How can we keep farmers profitable and sustain the rural and regional economies? At the same time, is there an opportunity to bring new products to Ontario or to grow crops here that we’re currently importing from other places around the world? Continue reading New crops in local soils raising high hopes
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?