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Lavender fields forever? Jack Frost nipped that question in the bud in late May, freezing tender shoots which had emerged after another harsh winter. Anita and Steve Buehner along with lavender festival partners Jan and Harold Schooley are recalculating their options for what should be peak season in July. Their story offers insight into the tenacity required for agritourism ventures. Two years ago on a hot July day, this Waterford, Ontario photo shows the ephemeral beauty of what Bonnieheath Estate Lavender has to offer tourists. Photo by Glenn Lowson.

How to make the Instagram moment a paying moment

Waterford, Ontario – Scratch the surface of this calendar-worthy shot and there’s a gritty story underneath. Ontario’s fledgling lavender industry has just endured its second harsh winter and then was tarnished with frost in late May. The agronomists are saying to cut the plants back to the base to encourage … [read more]

Bright spots reported in potato processing with new contracts

 Manitoba Statistics for Canadian potato plantings won’t be available until mid-July, but some patterns are already emerging for 2015. Manitoba’s acreage is up, returning to more traditional levels with contracts with Simplot, McCain Foods and Cavendish Farms. “My best guess is that we’ll be over 70,000 acres,” says Dan Sawatzky, … [read more]

Four shades of colour

In Ontario, this spring has gone from dry to wet, using the same pipe to put water on the field to save plants from certain death, only to pump water off the field four days … [read more]

How do we get heard and are we listened to?

Listening and hearing. These are not the same thing. No matter what the occupation or circumstance, there will always be times when one needs to get a message across which is difficult for the listener to … [read more]

Look to Ontario farmers for local food

  When it comes to food, it’s increasingly clear where Ontario is headed. The province believes local food is what consumers want, and it’s reacting accordingly. Its current course is not the way a lot of modern … [read more]

Closing the loop: Using farm and processing-generated waste to produce biogas

 BRUCE KELLY Following last month’s article on food waste, I thought I would check with the Canadian Biogas Association to see how its thirty plus, on-farm digesters are working to use organic waste to produce biogas … [read more]

Cost increases should not be surprises

  Cost increases are a necessary evil in our industry. They are also one of the most difficult messages to deliver to retailers. Nobody wants costs to go up and it can lead to a strain … [read more]

Eight tips to freshen your market stall display

 Farmers’ Markets Ontario provides many resources to its members, including the marketing talents of Tracy Lamb, Mopani Communications. She presented an array of tips to the annual general meeting held at last winter’s Ontario … [read more]

Source of the rumour

Most of us spend some time at a “local”, be it a diner, a café, a Tim’s or its equivalent. At most of the ones I have dropped into this spring, discussions are on-going amongst … [read more]

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