Ontario Agriculture

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AALP Class 14 North American Study Tour - July 10, 2012

We welcome a lost sheep back to the fold

Michel Dignard, who could not be with us for the first three days of the tour met us in Newark and we are all very happy he did make it for the balance of the program.  Our bus left Newark this morning with a full schedule of visits to a number of organic and sustainable agricultural operations in Pennsylvania.

Our first stop was at Peace Tree Farm operated by Lloyd and Candy Traven.  The family business has been in operation for 31 years.  The large greenhouse operation is specializes in unique and hard to find plants which include cuttings and organic herbs. Peace Tree is very innovative using modern technology.  Lloyd’s expertise is demanded at various conferences around North America each year.  Technology here includes a computerized and automated watering system. The AALP group had a fascinating tour with a man who has the green thumb to complement his technology.

Our second stop this morning was to a sustainable cattle ranch operation, Tussock Sedge Farm.  Our hosts Henry and Charlotte Rosenberger explained their operation including their connection with PASA Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.  The name of their farm is taken from the sedge (a type of grass) that is used to prevent soil erosion at the nearby creeks. They see their operation as preserving the farm land. The beef operation is a rotational grazed 90 cow and calf Angus & Devon cross cattle which are grass fed. 

Our final stop was Lundale Farm Foundation and Turning Roots Farm, a project linking farmland and new farmers.   These new farmers were looking to developing a CSA model with an educational component.  The operation has been set up as a sustainable, biodynamic and organic operation.  They are building relationships with local restaurants for their products as well as selling at farmers markets’ while also looking into roadside sales as a face to face marketing goal.

Community Share Agriculture provides consumers with direct access to local and organic foods grown by an organic farm.  The CSA model in most cases provides a family with fresh produce on a weekly basis of typical seasonal produce.  The box can have a variety of produce and varying quantities depending on weather, seasonality and other variables known in farming.  The CSA box program usually runs from May-November and is pre-paid in advance or on a weekly basis depending on the farm.

Todd Austin, Andrew Miller, Paul Vickers - Class 14

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Comment by Melanie Williams on July 12, 2012 at 11:05am

Sounds great! It would be interesting to see how Turning Roots Farm compares to Ontario programs such as FarmLINK and what ideas could be shared.

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