research and innovation

Ontario edamame ready for harvest!

Back in the spring, I wrote a post about an Ontario farmer who is experimenting with growing edamame this year. Edamame is a succulent soybean that is popular in Asian cuisine. Currently virtually all edamame consumed in Canada is grown in Asia, which means there could be a market opportunity for Ontario farmers to begin […]

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Chocolate as a local Ontario food?

I make no secret of my love affair with chocolate. In fact, as someone born in Switzerland, I sometimes feel like it’s my cultural duty to my heritage to ensure that my blood flows as chocolate-brown as possible. So, given that background, the thought that products like Nutella and Fererro Rochers might soon be considered […]

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Thermal blanket helps lower greenhouse energy costs

Farmers are looking at many different solutions for dealing with rising energy costs. For one greenhouse grower, the answer lies with a new technology, a thermal blanket installation, which is expected to lower his energy costs by about one-third. Gerard Schouwenaar of Orchard Park Growers, a St. Catharines-area flower producer, retrofitted a 30,000 sq ft […]

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Farmers take safe pesticide application seriously

Sometimes I wonder whether we’re actually hard-wired to be instantly attracted to bad news and shocking revelations. I see negativity often dominating our 24-hour news cycle, leaving the less sensational but equally important good news to fall by the wayside. More and more people are now writing and reporting about food, farming, science and the […]

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Weighing in on wind energy

Wind farming is blowing up controversy in many parts of Ontario these days. On the one hand, it is being promoted as a green alternative to traditional energy sources that we desperately need to lessen our dependence on less environmentally-friendly supplies we have been relying on to date. It is also credited with bringing good […]

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Lovely local lavender

To me, the thought of lavender always brings images of the south of France to mind – and a lovely vacation I spent there with my Mom in the late 1990s. It’s time for me to change my thinking, though, because lavender is set to have a bigger presence as a homegrown Ontario crop as […]

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Birds weigh in on organic question

It seems even birds are weighing in on the debate over the nutritional benefits of organic food. A newly released study by Newcastle University in the UK showed that wild garden birds preferred the more protein rich regular bird seed over that which was organically grown. Lead researcher Dr. Alisa McKenzie says this is because […]

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Finding markets for the whole soybean – even hulls

One of the things I enjoy a lot about my job as a freelance food and farm journalist and corporate writer is the chance to learn about really cool new things. The story below about soybeans, which I originally wrote for Ontario Grain Farmer and is published in the May/June 2010 issue, is one of […]

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Connecting rural Canadians to the Internet

For many of us, the Internet is a vital part of our daily lives – business and pleasure. Personally, I have a hard time imagining my life without the Internet in it in some way shape or form. From a work perspective, I’m a freelance writer and communications project manager and my husband and I […]

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Research needed to meet local food demand

There is a growing demand for Ontario rabbit meat, which means opportunity for Ontario farmers to fill a local food niche. But there is very little research to help farmers improve and increase their production, according to a literature review commissioned by Ontario Rabbit. In fact, there are North America-wide gaps in meat rabbit research […]

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Edamame – a new local food?

It’s a healthy green vegetable that is growing in popularity with consumers. So much so that a niche market for Ontario-grown edamame could be one with potential for farmers. Edamame is a succulent soybean that is a staple in some Asian diets. Although it is planted and grown like a regular soybean crop, edamame is […]

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Saving Ontario’s fruit farms

This post is courtesy of fellow blogger and farm and food aficionado Tiffany Mayer. She writes in the Niagara Region – check out her blog, Eating Niagara or follow her on Twitter. Len Troup has been doing something unusual this past week. The Jordan Station tender fruit grower has been farming. It’s a drastic change […]

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New markets for Ontario ginseng

An innovative residue extraction process for Ontario ginseng is poised to open up new market opportunities for the high value crop. The new method allows for the removal of crop protection residues without affecting the structure and quality of the ginseng, a pilot project has shown.

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Luxembourg’s green wines

The Moselle region of Luxembourg produces some fantastic wines – which we’ve been lucky enough to sample abundantly during our three day visit to the country this week. The tour was part of the International Federation of Agriculture Journalists (IFAJ) congress that is being hosted this week in Ostende, Belgium. The wines of Luxembourg take […]

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Longer shelf life for Ontario berries

As a lover of fresh, local berries, this following piece is music to my ears…. New research by the Ontario Berry Growers’ Association (OBGA) shows that a different on-farm storage method can extend the shelf life of strawberries and raspberries, allowing consumers to enjoy fresher fruit longer.

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