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|For the first time, Nature Fresh Farms rented exhibit space at last month’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. Thanks to sister company, South Essex Fabrications, a miniature-sized working greenhouse was erected complete with grow-lights, recirculating irrigation system, retractable energy screen, beehive and tomatoes growing in coconut husk media. Putting time – and brand – on the line with “The Learning Greenhouse,” owner Peter Quiring says consumer engagement is the next step in increasing domestic demand. Photo by Ben Radvanyi.
Exhibit shines light on myths about greenhouse produce
Toronto, ON -- Cool as a cucumber, Peter Quiring fielded media questions about the “Learning Greenhouse,” one of the new exhibits at last month’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. It’s the first time that the owner of Nature Fresh Farms has put his brand in front of a consumer audience. The … [read more]
Tomato farmers are crushed by closure of H.J. Heinz plant
Leamington, ON –Ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co., has hammered the tomato capital of Canada, announcing the closure of its century-old plant by next June. Physically located at the center of Leamington, the second-largest facility in the Heinz universe will let go 740 employees. The impact will have far-reaching effects in … [read more]
A Chinese delegation visits Canadian blueberry farms
Farmer conversations are always the same around the world. What kind of soil do you have? What are the pests? How are the prices? That’s exactly what Jeff Zelem discovered when he hosted a … [read more]
‘Fresh from the farm’ fundraiser scores high marks with schools
Schools are hungry for cash. So when a fresh fundraising idea comes along that involves messages about healthy eating and local foods, it scores high marks. The Fresh from the Farm, Healthy Fundraising for Ontario … [read more]
Close to a deal for harmonized rules on potato cyst nematode
Only three areas in Canada are positive for potato cyst nematode (PCN): specific pockets on Vancouver Island, in Quebec and Newfoundland. Despite most potato-growing areas being free of PCN, the costs of testing and monitoring … [read more]
A step forward, two steps backward
The good things that grow in Ontario just got a major boost with the passing of the Local Food Act. This bill was first read in the legislature in March 2013 and received royal assent … [read more]
Will horticulture be priced out of business?
Over the past couple of months the advisory panel on minimum wage has been touring Ontario and listening to presentations from concerned citizens regarding Ontario’s minimum wage. They have heard both extremes from folks advocating … [read more]
How about engaging farmers in the battle against food waste?
I wrote a story about University of Guelph researchers feeding pigs waste chocolate once…or perhaps I should say “once upon a time,” it was so long ago – back in 1988. Then, feeding waste seemed … [read more]
Weather monitoring program, pesticide survey, on environmental agenda
Seeking weather observers: Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Program
Are you a weather enthusiast? Do you keep regular rainfall records? There is a new weather network for you!
Farm & Food Care Ontario is … [read more]
Loblaw Companies still have the highest sales
Our Canadian food business is worth approximately $90 billion per year and Loblaw Companies continue to deliver the highest annual sales. The dominant position enjoyed by Loblaw in the ‘90s has been eroded with industry … [read more]
Encouraging results for the edible tropical tuber to replace imports
Two statistics are driving sweet potato research. Canada imports $42 million of the antioxidant-rich tubers from the southern United States every year, and in the last five years, Canadians have doubled their intake to … [read more]
5th Annual Hazelnut Symposium slated for March 2014
The Ontario Hazelnut Association (OHA) has announced that the the 5th Annual Ontario Hazelnut Symposium is to be held in Brantford, March 25, 2014. The symposium will also feature the 2nd Annual Ontario Hazelnut Association … [read more]
Contest attracts a big crop of photos
Lavender naturally brings a twinkle to the eye. That’s been proven in spades in this year’s inaugural photo contest sponsored by the Ontario Lavender Association. What better way to promote lavender, a relatively new crop … [read more]
Learnings from lavender trials
Thanks to two growers -- Weir’s Lane Lavender and Bonnieheath Lavender – more is known about how to propagate the right cultivars of lavender under Ontario conditions.
We examined the success of propagation of … [read more]
The quest for sustainability
The sustainable sourcing of agricultural products is becoming important for food retailers and manufacturers. For example, Unilever intends to source 50 per cent of its agricultural inputs sustainably by 2015, and 100 per cent … [read more]
Thanks for giving
As I pass through life, I get to meet a lot of interesting and valuable people: valued by me for varied and eclectic reasons. This past year has taken an inordinate toll on many ‘contributors,’ … [read more]
Tannin alert: a new tool to improve wine quality
For a great take on tannins, look to none other than Beppi Crosariol, the Globe and Mail’s wine columnist.
“They’re astringent, sometimes furry-tasting compounds found mainly in red wines,” he wrote in an October … [read more]
Different business models distinguish vineyards in emerging regions across Canada
Mining history has always been a favourite tactic for wineries. Tell the story of your roots. Evoke the smells of the past.
Harper’s Trail Estate Winery offers an excellent case history, … [read more]
Geotextiles can reduce freeze injury in Ontario vineyards
With our changing climate and more and more erratic weather events being recorded both during a growing season, and just as importantly, during the dormant season, freeze injury is an on-going threat nationally for … [read more]
Constructed treatment wetland purifies vineyard waste the natural way
Lilian Schaer for Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association
Tough new regulations governing vineyard waste management meant the owners of Sixteen Mile Cellar in the Niagara Region had some tough choices to make. Previously, small estate … [read more]