The Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada was formed in 2001 with a vision to serve Canada’s organic sector through science and education. There is a very good website full of information about research into organic farming, courses for producers and extension services. There is contacti nformation about a range of credit and noncredit courses both online and campus about aspects of organic farming.
There are links to research from all over the world for example looking at crop yield from organic and conventional agriculture, which concludes maybe a hybrid approach is needed to feed the world.
Doctoral student, Verena Seufert, and the geography professor Navin Ramankutty, both of McGill University, and Jonathan Foley, the director of the Institute on the Environment of the University of Minnesota compared yields between organic grain production and conventional production and found conventional production had 25% higher yields. They concluded "in the end, to achieve sustainable food security we will probably need many different techniques — including organic, conventional, and possible ‘hybrid’ systems — to produce more food at affordable prices, ensure livelihoods for farmers, and reduce the environmental costs of agriculture…."
Verena Seufert thinks there is nothing black or white about organic agriculture. One thing they did identified in their study was
"An important knowledge gap we identified is the performance of organic agriculture in smallholder farming systems in developing countries. These are the places where yield increases are most needed and where organic agriculture could potentially provide an important tool for sustainable intensification of farming. Research in these systems is urgently needed."
The Quinte Agricultural Hall of Fame recognizes leaders in the agriculture and food industry in Hastings, Prince Edward, Northumberland and Lennox and Addington counties. The portrait gallery is in the Dairy Building at Farmtown Park, Stirling Ontario. You can now find the portraits and information about each of the inductees online. Each of them contributed in different ways to agriculture both regionally, provincially and some nationally. Find out more at Growing Our Heritage.
The 2012 Induction Ceremony is on Sunday, September 16 at 2 p.m. in Heritage Village at Farmtown Park. The following people are being inducted:Robert and Evelyn Burkitt, Dr. Bruce and Edith Murray, George Reynold, Elmer Laver, and John Watson. For further information please contact: Jim Dalrymple (613) 475-2701 or jrdalrymple [at] hotmail [dot] com or Farmtown Park, Stirling, (613) 395-0015 or info [at] agmuseum [dot] ca.
Else Vierich very kindly hosted an apple grafting workshop at her home in Madoc township. She and her husband moved there around 35 years ago. Else learned how to graft apple trees from her father who was from Germany. There were several old MacIntosh apple trees in the orchard and an early Duchess. She has made grafts of other heritage apple trees in Madoc township including Wolf River.
After showing people around her orchard (Apple Grafting Part 1), she took us inside and showed us how to make a graft (Apple Grafting Part 2). In March she had collected some of last year's twigs with good leaf buds from the trees she wanted to graft. She kept these in plastic bags with damp tissue paper in the fridge to prevent the buds from bursting.
She referenced a book called Fruit Tree Propagation produced by Agriculture Canada in the 1960s, which she finds to be very helpful.
Jeff and Jen Ferguson love the fact that their customers believe in what they do on our farm as well as how they do it.
"We often get praises on how good our meat tastes,"" said Jeff. "We have put together some recipes that we use all the time and even some I have invented over the years. We can appreciate how busy people’s lives can be and ours is no different. I especially like the slow cooker recipes because they are time saving and tasty. Hope you enjoy these recipes and that you think locally when you buy the ingredients. It not only supports farmers and communities but tastes great as well, enjoy!!"
Hastings Stewardship Council presents the Winter 2012 Speaker Series
February 1 Tweed Fairboard White Building, Tweed , 7 p.m.pel some of the myths associated with winter feeding. Quinte area has 352 documented bird species and many can be attracted to feeders in the winter and summer months. Supplier “A Place to Perch” will be on hand as well with an assortment of feed and feeders. Door prizes supplied by “The Chicken Coop” in Tweed.
Tom Brown of Clemmens, North Carolina, became interested in finding and saving heritage apples in 1999. As he says on his Apple Search website,"Heritage Apples are the apples of our grandparents and great-grandparents. Their uses were varied, for drying, frying, fresh eating, Halloween treats, baking, brandy, cider (hard and sweet), vinegar, livestock feed, and much more. The diversity of their shapes, sizes, colors, textures, tastes and times of ripening was amazing. For every early farm family an extensive orchard was essential. As more and more land was settled, a well developed orchard was a sure sign that civilization had reached the American frontier."
To date Tom Brown says over 900 apple varieties have been discovered, with an actual original tree being found in each case. The apple trees are saved for future generations to enjoy by donations of scionwood to heritage apple nurseries and preservation orchards, plus trees are grafted for return to their original counties.
He helped us find out more about the heritage 100 year old Gano apple trees at the Pigden Farm in Madoc Township. Harvest Hastings is planning a campaign to protect our heritage apples and raise awareness about prunning and granting apples. The Hastigns County Museum of Agricultural Heritage has a display about what was once a flourishing apple industry in this area.
This year's inductees to the Quinte Agricultural Wall of Fame include a former MPP and, for the first time, a couple.
The five honorees -- Howard Sheppard, Helen and Robert Williams, Reg McCann, and Joe Best -- will have their portraits along with explanatory text added to the wall at the Hastings County Museum of Agricultural Heritage in Stirling Sept. 18.
The idea of the 100-mile diet or a diet based on food grown within a 100-mile radius of where one lives has become popular partly because of a book by Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating. They chose the title 100 miles rather than 100 kilometres as it rolls of the tongue better.
This June, Trees Ontario and its local partners are conducting five free tree seed forecasting workshops across the province to help improve seed collection efficiency and restore tree seed inventories across Ontario. This workshop is intended for individuals with a strong interest and prior experience in tree seed collection and forecasting.
During the workshop, attendees will learn about flower morphology, seed production, ideal weather conditions for seed development and release and seed crop progression.
A light lunch and refreshments will be provided. Registration is highly recommended as space is limited.
Register for this free workshop.
Event Date and Time:
June 18, 2013 - 09:00 - 16:00
Harvest Hastings is about living lightly on the land and buying what you can locally.
The County of Hastings, which includes the present Hastings County, the City of Belleville and the City of Quinte West, with its forests, farmland, lakes, rivers, and small and large communities, is well situated to lead in the field of alternative energy development, conservation of natural resources, sustainable forestry and agriculture, and artisan food production.
Spring is here at long last and now is the time to plant trees and to buy perennials. Check out the tree nurseries and garden centres. They will all be open in the next few weeks.