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Sustainability Resources

Harvest Hastings is about living lightly on the land. Sustainability Resources has sections on land stewardship, tree planting, managing woods and wildlife at  Caring for Land; discussion about Climate Change; you can find out about Green Communities, and read about what's happening in Local Agriculture and Local Forestry. There are  AudioVideos, and a Photo Gallery. Look for "Know your farmer" video or audio interviews with local farmers and other producers.

 Web links has contact information about local organizations as well as provincial ones.

Check Coming Events to find workshops, agricultural events, community meals and much more. 

Wilson's Organic Blueberries is changing hands

August 31, 2015 by Louise Livingstone

To our dear customers,

We have come to the end of the row, but before we pack up the tools, close the gate and head for our next adventure, we wanted to reminisce a bit and say a proper goodbye to all of you who made John's dream come true.

The blueberry patch was a twinkle in John's eye, long before I was ever in the country. He was only in his 20s when he met the original "back-to-the-land" gurus, Helen and Scott Nearing, and was inspired to grow blueberries.

In the late 80s John found the land for his passive solar home 10 km east of Tweed, and later found the perfect spot for his blueberry farm. And it was already a U-pick berry farm! Russell Flieler (yep, that would be Jim's Dad), had a U-Pick raspberry farm where the blueberries now grow. Russell not only sold the land to John, he became a wonderful neighbor and most of all, a great source of farming information and encouragement to a young city fellow who'd done lots of research but didn't have much dirt time.

It was the spring of 1987 when over 1000 one year old, one-foot high, bare root saplings arrived in Tweed. John spent weeks planting them in individual pots, nursing them through the summer and then protected them over their first winter. This is when I arrived on the scene. So there was love as well as blueberries growing that summer.

In 1988, John, with some help from my Dad, spent the late spring, planting all the little blueberry plants, sometimes literally by a headlamp and the light of the moon. Fast forward to 1991, Wilson's Organic Blueberries opened for the first picking!!!

It is incredible to look back at the books and see that some of the people that came that first season, were here picking this year, our last season.

In addition to growing blueberries, John had a long career making wildlife and travel documentary films for television and lecture presentations. I was a Naturalist at Bon Echo and parks across the U.S. before making films with John. During the years we were away filming, a number of other local people ran the blueberries in our absence. Then in about 2003 we took it on full time and have spent Spring, Summer and Fall each year irrigating, pruning, weeding, mowing, mulching and picking ever since.

It's hard to believe that almost 30 seasons have passed since the blueberry bushes of John's dream began to grow in Tweed. Along the way we have met so many wonderful people – YOU! How many times have we thanked people for their purchase, only to have them turn it around and express deep gratitude to us for providing the opportunity? You have brought us gifts; given us your smiles; told us how thrilled you were to come and pick berries; made eating local, organic produce an important part of your lives; kept coming back in the boom years and stood by us in the bust years. We have heard friends and families making memories in the blueberry patch; we have watched children grow up picking our blueberries and then bring their own children to pick and we remember with great fondness some of our long time customers who are now picking blueberries in that ever-bearing patch in the sky. It is truly because of you, that Wilson's Organic Blueberries was a dream come true. It is you who made it the fulfilling and gratifying endeavor that it was.

And now it's time to hand the neckties and berry baskets over to James and Teresa Murray to continue the tradition John started in Tweed. We are delighted to have found a young couple that has the energy and commitment to keep bringing you local, organic blueberries for years to come. And the next time we see you in the patch, it will be from the other side of a bush and we might just be reaching for the same berry.

With bushel baskets of gratitude we wish you great picking in fields wherever life takes you,

John and Denice

The portrait of Denice and John is courtesy of the Belleville Intelligencer,  A bumper crop of blueberries

Denice and John are retiring

Off the grid at Earth Haven Farm

August 13, 2015 by Louise Livingstone

The following video was created by Amanda Cheung, a student of photo journalism at Loyalist College. This is a brief video that speaks to our sustainable lifestyle here on Earth Haven Farm. For more details about Earth Haven Farm visit our website at www.earthhaven.ca

See video

Grow your farm profit

August 6, 2015 by Louise Livingstone

Growing Your Farm Profits WorkshopAugust 10 and 17, 2015 in Tweed
 There is a Growing Your Farm Profits Workshop scheduled for August 10 and 17 in the Tweeds Lion Hall in Tweed. If you have not registered make sure to register now. Start the business planning process for your farm business by attending this free two-day Growing Your Farm Profits (GYFP) interactive workshop followed by a one-on-one review meeting. You will assess your business management practices, determine priorities and key goals, and develop realistic action plans and learn about cost-sharing opportunities. We provide workshop materials and snacks. Please bring your own lunch.

Note: Completion of a Growing Your Farm Profits Workshop may be a requirement for some components of GF2 Cost Share Funding. This 2 day workshop is free. It can then be used in conjunction with cost-share programs to begin implementing action plans. Register on the Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association website

www.ontariosoilcrop.org or go directly to the registration websitehttp://registration.wildapricot.org/Workshops scroll down to the appropriate workshop and click on the Register icon. Thank you and please register today. Eric LawlorWorkshop LeaderEric [dot] Lawlor [at] ontariosoilcrop [dot] orgTel: 1(289) 251-3042
Event Date and Time: 
August 10, 2015 - 09:00 - 15:00
August 17, 2015 - 09:00 - 15:00

Location

Lions Hall Tweed, ON
Canada
44° 28' 29.0208" N, 77° 18' 36.8964" W

Round Table Kitchen Open House

July 29, 2015 by Louise Livingstone

Event Date and Time: 
August 18, 2015 - 12:00 - 14:00

Bancroft Forestry Day 2015

July 23, 2015 by Louise Livingstone

BAFIA, Bancroft Area Forest Industry Association  hosted the third Bancroft Forestry Day for Grade 7 and 8 students at O'Hara Mill Homestead, Madoc in May 3015. Over 300 student learned about sustainable forest management, the importance of forests and the role trees play in mitigating climate change. The Ontario Trillium Foundation made the event possible.

See video

The Resilient Ones: A Generation Takes on Climate Change

July 13, 2015 by Louise Livingstone

COMING SOON! The Resilient Ones is a feature-length documentary exploring how communities are adapting to climate change in the Adirondack Mountains of Northern NY, seen through the eyes of high school students. 

See video

Fibre Fest at Farmtown Park

June 29, 2015 by Louise Livingstone

This year's Fibre Fest at Farmtown Park is your chance to meet some of the talented fibre artists in the region, to see them at work and to buy some of their unique, one of a kind, items.

Fibre Fest

Event Date and Time: 
July 12, 2015 - 10:00 - 16:00

Location

Farmtown Park
437 West Front Street
Stirling, ON K0K3E0
Canada
44° 17' 30.966" N, 77° 33' 52.452" W
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