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
An exotic houseplant with pink flowers is turning heads across North America and creating jobs in the Niagara region.
The plant, named Medinilla Magnifica, is helping to expand operations and open up new markets for Ted Oorsprong’s Northend Gardens.
Thanks to some support from Ontario Agri-Food Technologies, Oorsprong is selling the plant in chain stores and garden centres across Ontario, the Northeastern United States, British Columbia, Alberta, Washington and Texas. Continue reading Locally grown exotic plant opens new markets, creates jobs
A new approach to labelling a locally produced soybutter is making it easier to use in Ontario’s peanut-free schools.
The toasted soy spread looks and tastes so much like peanut butter that some schools weren’t allowing it, says Scott Mahon, President of WOWBUTTER Foods, a family-owned business in the Stratford area.
To address this challenge, the company has introduced a new peel-off label with individual “Made with WOWBUTTER” stickers underneath that can be applied to school lunch containers identifying their peanut-free status.
It’s a unique system that has just won WOWBUTTER Foods a Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence.
Continue reading New label makes soybutter safe solution for peanut-free schools
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
I get to learn about some pretty neat things in my life as someone who writes about food and farming. The following story, which was released by the Agri-Technology Commercialization Centre a few weeks ago, ranks high on my list of all-time favourites.
PlantForm Corporation, a University of Guelph spin-off company, is using tobacco plants to manufacture treatments used to combat critical illnesses like cancer using technology developed by university researchers. Continue reading Tobacco plants may save lives
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 Soy Food Marketing Council, whose growing membership includes seed researchers and developers, seed companies, farmers, grain handlers, food and ingredient processors and soy food and beverage manufacturers, was founded last fall to help position the Canadian soybean industry as a global leader in soy food innovation. Continue reading New campaign to boost soy food awareness
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