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After 20 years in Canadian breeding trials, the Cold Snap pear is ready for its consumer debut in 2015. Anticipating significant volumes, Oleen Smethurst, (L) Costco’s general merchandise manager for produce, visited the Niagara peninsula last summer to learn more about the fruit. John Thwaites (behind her) gave a tour of his Niagara-on-the-Lake, high-density orchard along with Mike Ecker, president, Vineland Growers’ Cooperative Ltd. Photos by Glenn Lowson.


Grocers hungry for winter-season pear

 The Cold Snap pear is now on stage, and it deserves to blush with all the fanfare. After 20 years of painstaking study, these bred-in-Canada, grown-in-Canada pears are set for their consumer debut at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, November 6 -15. John Thwaites, a peach and nectarine grower, … [read more]

‘The Holland Marsh is a $1 billion salad bowl’: Jason Verkaik

 Carrots, onions and celery have dominated the Holland Marsh for decades as Jason Verkaik recalls his Dutch grandfather’s marketing trek with horse and wagon back in the 1930s. With influxes of immigrants, first the Italians in the 1960s and then the Asians in the 1980s, the menu has diversified. Greens … [read more]

Reviewing the best cultivars for the future

Elora, Ontario – If you’re a potato grower, it’s always about what new variety improves the growing, processing or eating experience. About 30 people attended the annual potato research field day organized by Vanessa Currie, … [read more]

Innovation and new technologies are essential

 There are many words that come into the vernacular of horticulture to describe the ability to stay in business. The government is driving hard on the words “Competitiveness” and “Innovation.” Indeed innovation is the heart … [read more]

Should food promotion be global or domestic?

I love living in Canada and being a Canadian. That said, to me, travel beyond our borders makes life a little richer, especially where food and agriculture are involved -- which is almost everywhere you … [read more]

SMART water project focuses on Holland Marsh

Farm & Food Care Ontario on behalf of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is undertaking a water efficiency pilot project that will go by the name SMART Water. The SMART … [read more]

Annual sales plans are a win-win

 We all get busy and it is easy to put off building a sales plan. Unfortunately, this is one of the most important initiatives in a business. The annual sales plan allows you to predict … [read more]

Labour-saving equipment now top priority as costs increase

 Princeton, Ontario - As labour costs continue to escalate, so does the need for technology. The drums are beating in North America for a $15 minimum wage and in some Canadian jurisdictions such as Ontario, … [read more]

Hedging contributes to higher quality apples

 Harrow, Ontario - It was on a tour to Chile organized by the International Fruit Tree Association (IFTA) that Doug Balsillie first became aware of the benefits of hedging. In 2010, the practice hadn’t taken … [read more]

Aerial imaging explored at the Muck Crops Research Station

  MARY RUTH McDONALD Drones, also unknown as UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) or RPVs (remotely piloted vehicles) have many potential uses, although it may be some time before we see drones delivering packages. In agriculture, researchers have … [read more]

Blame it on election fever

  We are now fully into election mode across Canada. It is up to every grower to push for his or her issues with their local candidates, and to party faithful who decide on any policy … [read more]

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