farm

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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Producing wine and cranberries in cottage country

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, […]

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“Green” lubricant alternative now available in Canada

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 […]

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New campaign to boost soy food awareness

A recently established Canadian marketing council, led by Soy 20/20, hopes to raise awareness of Canadian soy food products with several new initiatives. These include a new website, outreach efforts to dietitians and food industry professionals, and a market research study to gauge existing awareness and attitudes towards soy foods among Canadian dietitians. The Canadian […]

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Growing plants for energy

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 […]

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Apple grower featured in Faces of Farming calendar

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 […]

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World’s farm journalists come to Canada

It’s finally here. The International Federation of Agriculture Journalists (IFAJ) 2011 congress is now underway with several pre-congress events taking place in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. Together with my colleague Owen Roberts (@theurbancowboy), I’m co-chairing this gathering of about 260 farm journalists from 30 countries around the world, which is taking place in Ontario […]

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New crops in local soils raising high hopes

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 […]

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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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Bringing local farmers and food buyers together

As an unabashed advocate for local food and farming, I was thrilled to see that here in Guelph we have an officially recognized local food champion in our midst. Leslie Carson, of St. Joseph’s Health Centre, was honoured in the 2011 Local Food Champions Report, part of a series of initiatives by the Friends of […]

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Keeping tabs on where the cows are

Many modern-day pet owners microchip their four-legged companions. This is to help identify them should they become lost, injured or otherwise harmed in some way. Farmers are doing a similar thing with their beef cattle. They’re using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to keep track of their animals as they move from farm to farm […]

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The farm labour side of local food

Ontario Conservative Leader Tim Hudak announced this spring that, if elected, he’d make convicted provincial prisoners work to clean up Ontario’s highways. According to a story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a variation on this theme was recently launched in Georgia, where teams of probationers are working on fruit and vegetable farms. Many farm workers there […]

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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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Where potato chips are grown

Mmm, there’s nothing quite like cracking open a bag of fresh, crunchy potato chips. I confess to consuming more than my fair share of the salty snacks over the years and love seeing what new flavours will be coming out next. But one thing I’ve certainly never really thought too much about was how the […]

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