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Brothers Paul (left) and Ian Smith have taken a long-term view to water management on their Smith Gardens family-operated farm near Keswick, Ontario. At their processing plant for carrots, they are recycling 70 per cent of the 50,000 gallons of washwater required each day. Here, an irrigation rig stands ready to nurse recently transplanted onions with barley as a cover crop to preserve soil moisture. Photo by Glenn Lowson.

Water? Priceless! There are some things money can’t buy

Within a stone’s throw of Lake Simcoe and a seemingly plentiful water supply, Paul and Ian Smith are under no illusions: “With population increases, we have realized that going forward, water will become a bigger issue.” Along with other family members, they operate Smith Gardens, a large carrot and onion farm … [read more]

From Toronto to Toledo, Ontario greenhouse vegetables build favour

Maple syrup isn’t the first crop anymore. Just as sweet, Ontario’s greenhouse vegetables are out of the gate in tandem with the first day of spring, and often before. With 2,398 acres now in production, growers are anxious to supplant Mexican product in the northeastern U.S. and Canada. Up by … [read more]

The quest for flavour in greenhouse-grown tomatoes

 Like the grape industry, the quest for flavour in greenhouse tomatoes involves balancing the elusive ratio of sugars and acids. Particularly in tomatoes-on-the-vine (TOV), the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers is seeking to enhance those qualities. … [read more]

CHC: AGM delegates pass 13 resolutions

Delegates to the Canadian Horticultural Council’s 2014 Annual General Assembly, which took place March 4 - 9 in Kelowna, BC, passed 13 resolutions on significant issues affecting Canada’s fruit and vegetable growers. 2014-01 National … [read more]

Local needs require national strategies

The Annapolis Valley is one of those icons of Canadian geography, made famous by its annual apple blossom festival. Now in its 82nd year, the ritual focuses on the rich agricultural heritage of a valley … [read more]

Sustainability: How can we spend so much time and money on something we cannot even define?

 BRUCE KELLY I may be showing my age here, but sustainability has been here before. The concept is not new. In England, King Edward I banned the burning of sea coal in 1272 after its smoke … [read more]

Local tomatoes in winter: no longer a fairy tale

 Naysayers who believe local food is mostly about smoke and mirrors – and surprisingly, some still exist, right here in Ontario -- need only look towards Stuart and Esther Horst’s greenhouses in Elmira, where, yes, … [read more]

Walmart’s march across Canada

  Since acquiring the Woolco stores in Canada in 1994, Walmart has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the Canadian market to grow to a total of 389 stores. Originally the company was opening stores … [read more]

Sharpen application skills for liquid seed piece treatments

 Better worker safety and broader spectrum efficacy promised For potato growers, moving to liquid seed piece treatments is a seismic shift from dusts. To make that transition easier, Gary Secor, North Dakota State University plant pathologist, … [read more]

Bee all, end all

 I guess you know that you struck a nerve when the reaction becomes personal. Some folks cannot understand that freedom of speech is enshrined in our Bill of Rights! While their sentiment may be pure, … [read more]

Computerized technology enables precision watering

  Similar systems are now available for diesel units as well, protecting the pump and saving fuel. These units may even include remote start and monitoring capability and tie the pump to a particular field for … [read more]

Variable rate irrigation reduces production variability

Maps that look like a catscan of your brain are now in use for micro-irrigating potato fields. The first step to employing variable rate irrigation (VRI), these colour-coded maps prescribe the right amount of water … [read more]

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