Category: Fruit and Vegetables

Diverse, with high value: a look at B.C’s evolving agriculture sector

While the total land area isn’t necessarily the largest in Canada, B.C.’s agriculture industry tops the list when it comes to diversity and total economic impact, depending on the sector. RealAgriculture founder Shaun Haney recently got a chance to interview the Honourable Lana Popham, British Columbia’s agriculture minister. The conversation is a part of RealAgriculture’s… Read more »

City kids connect farmers to consumers in ‘Before the Plate’

What do you get when you connect two ‘city kid’ filmmakers, a world-class chef, and nine farmers and their families? You get Before The Plate, a genuine behind-the-kitchen-door, on-the-farm look at how food is produced in Canada, and the passion and commitment chefs and farmers apply to their craft. The driving force behind the film… Read more »

Specialty crops set roots in Ontario

Pawpaw, Haskap grapes, quinoa, edamame, tiger nut and hops. Do you grow any of these specialty crops on your farm? Maybe not, but more and more Ontario farmers are taking a serious look. OMAFRA new crop development specialist Evan Elford says working with these crops presents both opportunities and challenges. At last week’s Ontario Certified… Read more »

Wage hike costs Ontario hort growers $297 million over two years

The Liberal government’s minimum wage hike will cost Ontario fruit and vegetable growers $297 million over the next two years. The impact on the industry was calculated by professional consultants and presented to all levels of the provincial government, but Premier Kathleen Wynne, Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) and senior bureaucrats chose not to listen, says… Read more »

Vegetable Processor Enters Receivership; Owes Money to Federal Program

Thirty-five vegetable growers in Manitoba are facing uncertainty after Canadian Prairie Garden Puree Products (CPGPP) entered receivership in late March. Court documents show the company owes over $9 million in debts, including over $1.5 million to the federal Agriculture Innovation Program and nearly $150,000 to the Food Development Centre at Portage la Prairie, Man. Earlier… Read more »

What’s next for Ontario’s processing-vegetable growers?

What happens when a supplier and a processor can’t agree to a contract? In some cases, the parties walk away from the deal. In others, such as is usually the case between Ontario’s processing-vegetable growers and processors, there’s a set out and agreed upon mediation process. If that doesn’t result in a deal, the parties… Read more »

Government Wipes Out Ontario Processing Vegetable Grower Board; Appoints Trustee

In a rare, but completely legal move, Ontario’s provincial government has removed an elected board of directors and named a trustee to oversee the organization. Late last week, Jeff Leal, minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) fired the entire Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers (OPVG) board, and appointed Elmer Buchanan, a farmer and former OMAFRA minister… Read more »

Carbon Tax Hits Greenhouse Industry Hard

How easily could your farm business absorb an added $120,000 bill? That’s approximately what Jan Vanderhout, co-owner of Beverly Greenhouses, says the new Ontario carbon tax will cost him this year, or just over $6,000 per acre of greenhouse space. Vanderhout, a third-generation greenhouse grower and the chair of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’… Read more »

Ring in the New Year with Made-In-Ontario Ice Wine

If you’ve ever been out in early winter and seen grapes on the vine, you likely were looking at future ice wine — a sweet made-in-Ontario dessert beverage (and more!). In this festive-themed interview, Lyndsey Smith asks Bill George, past-president of the Ontario Grape Growers, what makes ice wine special, when the ideal time to… Read more »

Trump vs. Smart Tomatoes: It’s a Pick’em

A prediction earlier this week from a Canadian academic suggested Donald Trump’s presidency would cause food prices in Canada to rise in 2017. Here’s why. To make America great again, Trump has said he’s going to deport illegal immigrant workers. If he succeeds, that effort will include getting rid of the ballooning number of illegal… Read more »

Ontario Farmers Gravitate to GLASI

Ontario Farmers are turning out in force to participate in the Great Lakes Agricultural Stewardship Initiative (GLASI). “We’ve had incredible response to GLASI in the targeted areas,” says Margaret May, regional program lead with Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, which administers the program. Interest and attendance at program meetings has been strong, she adds…. Read more »

Ontario Fruit and Veg Growers Reports Success of Young Farmers’ Program

The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association (OFVGA) has been working to “actively engage the audience of young farmers in Ontario,” starting with the OFVGA Young Farmers’ Program, launched at its annual general meeting held this past January. As part of the program, a group of young farmers attended the OFVGA annual meeting, with full… Read more »

These Cucumbers Glow Pink — A Tour of SunTech Greenhouse

Did you know that cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and green beans can grow more than eight feet in the air? And that, for a greenhouse, a power outage is much more dangerous in the summer than the winter? That’s because a missed automatic watering in the summer is far more detrimental to greenhouse plants than a… Read more »

Trimble Buys Food Traceability Software Company

Trimble has bought HarvestMark, a food traceability and quality inspection company. HarvestMark collects information on food movement and sales, with an eye to food safety tracking and supply chain management. The acquisition of HarvestMark “further enhances” Trimble’s position in agriculture and transportation and logistics within the food supply chain, the company says. The addition of… Read more »

Non-Browning Apples: Because Cinnamon Isn’t Good Enough

The room was abuzz with the energy of high cattle prices, an informative day of sessions, and the opportunity to dress up for a night of entertainment. There was a white tablecloth, food heaped onto my plate, the offer of an array of drinks a short stroll away, and a group of quasi-strangers set to… Read more »