Organic Equipment Needs

“You don’t need the most expensive new paint on the block, but you do need reliable access to certain essential pieces,” says Mary-Howell Martens of Lakeview Organic Grain located in Penn Yan, New York.  Mary-Howell and her husband Klaas operate a 1600 acre organic farm and feed mill operation there. Martens recommends at minimum: A

Challenges & Opportunities for Large Scale Organic Farming

Originally published in the December 2017 issue of Better Farming magazine. For Dan Konzelmann, who farms 1,800 acres near Wyoming, Ont., the transition to organic was motivated by a troublesome soybean field. “We sprayed Roundup (glyphosate) before planting but (the field) still had weeds.  To save the soybean crop, we used an in-row cultivator.  At the same

They’re Not Your Grandfather’s Oats… Oat Production 101

Originally published in the December 2017 issue of Better Farming magazine. “Historically oats have been the ugly stepsister, planted and then left until harvest, with farmers using the same seed stock year after year,” says Sam Raser, Manager of Organic Procurement at Grain Millers Inc. of Minnesota. “You’re not going to have the gross revenue from oats. 

Profitability of Organic Farming

Originally published in the December 2017 issue of Better Farming magazine. “With ever-increasing costs and tight margins for conventional commodities, organic production offers an opportunity for farmers to increase their net returns without having to expand acreage,” says Rob Wallbridge, Organic Specialist with Thompsons Limited. “Ontario cost of production budgets (from OMAFRA) show an average $200

Mastering Market Gardening – Two Takes on Small Scale Agriculture

By Cameron Bell, 2018 Guelph Organic Conference Attendee and Volunteer “Baler twine, like duct tape, is your friend”, grins Kristine Hammel of Persephone Market Garden. She’s describing her approach to bed layout in the spring, measuring and marking out rows to create corridors of crops as the season progresses. Over a hundred workshop attendees are

Climate Change & The Garden – Lessons Learned from the 2018 Guelph Organic Conference

By Heather Reid, 2018 Guelph Organic Conference Attendee and Volunteer Climate change was a pervasive theme throughout the 2018 conference. Farmers, gardeners, and consumers are increasingly having discussions about what a changing climate could mean for food production and farm/garden management. Following this theme, below is a quick summary of some of my key take-aways

Farmers & Fashionistas?

Farmers + Fashionistas? “It’s time to talk”… says Guelph Organic Conference   For Immediate Release – January 8, 2018 Guelph, Ontario – On January 25, 2018 farmers and fashionistas, an unlikely combination, will get together to mingle, to talk fashion and to brainstorm sustainability and farming. Hosted by the Guelph Organic Conference, a popular annual trade show and

Rare Breeds New Arrival! White Park Heifer

Great news from Rare Breeds Canada…. First registered White Park heifer calf born in Canada in a very long time, born April 8th. “Can’t tell you how thrilled Elwood is….” – Pam   Some additional background information from Pam of Rare Breeds… The White Park herd… they’re pretty special. Our British counterpart, Rare Breeds Survival

Action Item – Proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulation (SFCR)

On January 21, 2017, the Canadian Government published proposed rule-making for the Safe Foods for Canadians Regulations (SCR) in Canada Gazette I. These proposed regulations will combine and modernize 14 separate existing regulations including the Organic Products Regulations, 2009. The proposed regulations are designed to implement the Safe Foods for Canadians Act of 2012. These