sustainability

Plenty of room to grow Ontario’s beef herd in the North

The price of land is a big barrier to growing the province’s beef cow numbers, but northern Ontario may offer a solution for farmers seeking new opportunities. “Northern Ontario, where land is cheaper and could work for cows, is a logical spot. There are 16 million under-used acres in the Great Clay Belt,” Beef Farmers […]

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Farmer saves Ontario snakes

This is the final story in our Earth Day series this week about farmers doing good things for the environment. Thanks for reading! The north shore of Lake Erie is a known habitat for the Eastern Fox Snake, Ontario’s second largest snake species. It’s protected under the province’s Endangered Species Act, so when Dale Vranckx […]

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Certified hay protects endangered birds

Many of Ontario’s species at risk – such as grassland birds – make their homes in farmers’ fields. In honour of Earth Day this week, here’s a glimpse at a program that lets rural landowners do their part to protect those species. Attempts to protect habitats for grassland birds can be a hard sell to […]

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Community & sustainability at heart of local blueberry farm

This is the week we mark Earth Day, on Tuesday to be exact. Many of us give a bit more thought to the environment this week or do a few extra things to mark this day. And those are all good things. Farmers, in my opinion, have a special relationship with the environment, a stronger […]

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Focus on reducing food waste, not just boosting production

Note: This commentary was originally published in Ontario Farmer, June 25, 2013 edition. June 5th was World Environment Day. I don’t normally pay much attention to these kinds of things – we seem to have a day for everything – but this one got me. The theme of World Environment Day this year was food […]

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Returning land to its original state builds habitat, improves water quality

They say you can’t turn back time. Yet Wellington County landowner Daryl Hutton has done just that by turning an old pasture on his farm near Harriston back into a wetland. And in doing so, he is helping improve water quality and increase wildlife habitat in his community.

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Sustainability, stewardship at heart of fifth generation family farm

(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 […]

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Local food made easy

New food service marketing program expands markets for Ontario foods If you build it, they will come. That’s the thinking behind a new marketing program being used by Gordon Food Service (GFS), Ontario’s largest family-owned food service distributor – expanding and promoting their offering of Ontario food products by making it easy for their customers […]

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Apples – organic or conventional?

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.

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Monforte’s local cheese renaissance

The story of Ruth Klahsen and her dairy are well-known in Ontario’s local food world. Montforte Dairy has a loyal – and growing – following of fans devoted to the agricultural values it espouses and the cheeses it produces. So devoted, in fact, that they have raised about half a million dollars as members of […]

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Greenbelt farmers saving energy, survey shows

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 […]

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What you probably didn’t know is happening on our farms

Here’s a piece I wrote as a guest post for the Canadian Beef Blog. Every day is Earth Day on the farm. This slogan has long been used by folks in agriculture to highlight how farming benefits the environment. The good news stories don’t get told is a common complaint I hear from the farmers […]

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Healthy Ontario farms will help us as supplies decline

The crystal ball says we live in the best place in the world. Personally, I’ve long been convinced of it, having lived in this area for most of my life, but this is the opinion of a bio-economy expert who spoke at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre recently. His perspective was a bit different […]

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Protecting the environment – one farm at a time

Folks in food and farming talk a lot about all the things farmers do to protect the environment – but often in somewhat general terms. Here’s a real life example in Terry, a farmer and business owner from the Stouffville area. I interviewed him this past summer for an article that I was writing and […]

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Local food movement needs local processing

Ontario’s farmers and food processors suffered another setback recently when the J.M. Smucker Company announced it was moving its Bick’s pickling operations from the Ontario towns of Dunnville and Delhi to south of the border. This is just the latest in a seemingly ongoing string of food processing plant closures in recent years. Not only […]

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