ontag

Christmas starts in July for Ontario flower growers

While the rest of us are soaking up the sunshine, enjoying the hot weather and barbecuing on the beach, Ron van der Zalm is thinking about Christmas. He’s a greenhouse flower grower in St. Catharines, Ontario and the height of summer is when he starts growing popular Christmas plants in his greenhouse, like Poinsettias, Cyclamen […]

Read More

From rural Ontario to Alcatraz

Guelph grad leads garden restoration on Alcatraz  I’ve long wanted to visit Alcatraz, the notorious prison island off the coast of San Francisco commonly called simply “The Rock”. I didn’t make it there during my first trip to the area almost a decade ago; back then, I didn’t realize you had to buy tickets days […]

Read More

Behind the scenes on a large Ontario farm

I suppose some might consider what I visited several weeks ago a “factory farm”. I’ve yet to actually meet someone who could give me a clear definition of what that term means when I’ve asked, but at first glance, the farm fits many of the notions people often tend to associate with that expression: a […]

Read More

More cooking, better labelling can address food waste

I’ve written about food waste before: here and here, for example. The statistics that are often used to quantify the shocking amount of food that we produce but end up discarding are staggering. Not only are we wasting the actual food, but we’re also throwing out the water, energy and other resources we’ve used to […]

Read More

Happy cows don’t make headlines

Another undercover video of farm animal abuse – this time on a BC dairy farm – means another black eye for farmers in the media. Those of us in farming know these terrible incidents are by far the exception and not the norm – but the many millions who see or read the bad news […]

Read More

Your chance to meet real Ontario farmers

Do you wonder who actually produces our food? Would you like to learn more about who Ontario’s farmers actually are? A website launched last fall by Farm & Food Care will let you do just that. It was inspired by the organization’s popular Faces of Farming calendar, but also includes stories that have been written […]

Read More

Celebrate Ontario’s first Local Food Week

Farm & Food Care is leading efforts on behalf of Ontario farmers to encourage Ontarians to support local food – and they’re turning online to reach out to consumers. June 2 – 8 marks the first-ever Local Food Week in Ontario, which was part of the Local Food Act the provincial government passed last year.

Read More

New Ontario “Asparagus Trail” launched

I await the coming of asparagus season the way many people anticipate Christmas. Yes, I absolutely love the fresh, crisp flavour of newly harvested asparagus spears, but it’s about more than just their yummy goodness. Or the fact that they’re good for you and loaded with iron and vitamin K. To me, it also signals […]

Read More

Healthy school snack program expands

A popular school snack program that has been in place in Northern Ontario schools for the past eight years has been expanded. As a result of increased funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, approximately 36,000 students in 191 schools are now receiving two servings a week of fruits and vegetables […]

Read More

Food hub needs farmers

There’s a potential market opportunity  developing for farmers in south central Ontario – and they’re being asked to step forward if they’re interested in being part of a new food hub pilot project. The South Central Ontario Region (SCOR) Economic Development Corporation has received funding from the Greenbelt Fund to test a food hub concept […]

Read More

Buying beef directly from farmers

The strength of the local food movement and the potential of an untapped urban market keen to buy high quality beef direct from farmers are behind a new marketing initiative underway by Beef Farmers of Ontario. Farm to City Marketing is based on the popular community-supported agriculture (CSA) model that has been successful for vegetable […]

Read More

Meet an Ontario fruit farmer

Family tradition is an important part of Ontario’s farming culture. Innovation and new technology, however, are what helps keep that family tradition going for the future generations. Fruit grower Phil Tregunno is proud of being the fourth generation of his family to farm in the Niagara Region – and with his two sons and a […]

Read More

Ontarians showing apple love online

Facing a bumper crop after last year’s weather disaster, the Ontario Apple Growers (OAG) knew they needed to Ontarians to eat more apples than ever before. To do so, they needed more consumer awareness, so the organization turned to social media to reach out. A series of contests hosted on their Facebook page over the […]

Read More

Young farmers talk about raising veal

They’re young, they’re educated and they’re passionate about their future as veal farmers in Ontario. Tom Oudshoorn and his brother Paul raise about 2,000 grain-fed veal calves on their home farm in the Auburn area near Goderich and on a second farm near Kincardine, where Paul now lives.

Read More

Welfare-friendly housing for young chickens

Chris Mullet Koop didn’t set out to start raising his own pullets (young chickens). He really just wanted to convert his layer barn into an enriched colony system – but as these things sometimes go, one thing led to another and then another. Now, he’s the first farmer in North America with an innovative enriched […]

Read More