• Kearney Planters

    Feb 21 | 1370 Views | No Comments

    Kearney Planters established in 1979 by Barry Kearney’s own quest to modify his corn planter Kearney Planters is a name that farmers have grown to trust planting through harvest. Growing and adapting through the past 36 years the business has now expanded into two working shops and a new...

  • DeGoeys Nursery And Flowers

    Jul 9 | 1769 Views | No Comments

    In 1976, the DeGoey family were fresh market field growers. John and Jane DeGoey believed that growing flowers was a niche they could build, and in 1980 they built their first greenhouse for flowers. Today the whole family is involved in the thriving business. Building slowly through the years, the...

  • Geo Produce

    Jul 9 | 1772 Views | No Comments

    Starting as a 1-acre greenhouse back in 1990, the Knoteck family has grown Geo Produce to a 12+ acre, high-tech greenhouse operation. Operated by skilled professionals, Geo Produce grows 7 acres of red, yellow and orange bell peppers as well as 4.5 acres of TOV greenhouse product, such as...

  • Buis Beef

    Jul 9 | 1882 Views | No Comments

    Buis Beef is a third generation family farm with a mixed farming operation with vegetable crops (sweet-corn, green beans) and field crops (corn and beans & wheat) as well as a herd of 350 beef cows. They are known as an innovative farm because they are not afraid to try new operational...

  • Jennen Family Farm Market

    Jul 9 | 1676 Views | No Comments

    The Jennen’s have been in Wabash for over 20 years. Their family farm has grown every year, with recent expansion to 12 acres of High Tunnels and into long-season berry production. The High Tunnels allow for a longer and more sustainable growing season by moderating temperature, wind and...

  • River Bell Market Garden

    Jul 9 | 1377 Views | No Comments

    River Bell Market Garden has been farming organically since 19990 and has been certified organic for fruits and vegetables since 2003. Their unique “organic vegetable box” program delivers a crate of fresh organic vegetables to your house or a local drop-off area throughout the year. River Bell...

  • Giffin’s Maple Syrup Products

    May 7 | 2927 Views | No Comments

    Giffin’s Maple Syrup Products is a family operation owned Don and Jean Giffin.  They began their maple syrup operation in 1980 and have 2800 taps in their 50-acre maple bush. Always open to innovation, in 2015 Giffins started utilizing reverse osmosis for production, which removes 75% of water...

  • The Pickle Station

    May 7 | 1490 Views | No Comments

    In 1964, Norm VanRoboys sold a load of cucumbers to Walter Bick, founder of Bick’s Pickles. That same year, VanRoboys contracted 2 million pounds of cucumbers to Chatham-Kent farmers, which was the beginning of VanRoboys “Pickle Station”. Today, the third generation of VanRoboys manages the...

  • McGrail Farm Equipment

    May 7 | 1958 Views | No Comments

    McGrail Farm Equipment has been a successful Southwestern Ontario John Deere dealer for 50 years. John Deere is continually developing new products to improve agriculture production. McGrail Farm Equipment is committed to enhancing the capabilities of the products they sell by keeping all employees...

  • Devolder Farms

    Mar 27 | 1665 Views | No Comments

    Recognizing the needs of other farmers in the area, Bob and Diane Devolder established Devolder Farms Seeds in 1988. Today, Devolder Farms is a family-owned and operated business with an active presence within the farming Chatham-Kent community. In 1974, Bob Devolder acquired and has maintained his...

  • Early Acres Estate Winery

    Mar 27 | 1578 Views | No Comments

    Wine production is truly a family experience for Mike and Sue Korpan. Their Early Acres Estate Winery is set on 7.5 acres of sandy loam soil, which is perfectly suited to the success of their grapes. The warm summers and cool falls of Chatham-Kent provide the perfect combination of flavour and body...

  • Sunshine Farms

    Dec 15 | 1432 Views | No Comments

    Sunshine Farms, founded by John and Claudia Jaques,  began growing  and pickling asparagus in 1982. Once their friends and family tasted the fresh, crisp product, the demand grew. Today, Sunshine Farms, also run by sons Josh, Ben and Adrian, offer fresh asparagus as well as 23 types of pickles,...

  • The Ag Mag

    Nov 7 | 2241 Views | No Comments

    Here is the latest copy of the AgMag.  Enjoy! AgMag_WEB  ...

  • Uher’s Performance Feeds

    Sep 30 | 1905 Views | No Comments

    Uher’s Performance Feeds not only provides feed for livestock and pet food for small animals, they provide solutions to your feed challenges.  From wine, cattle and equine feed to sheep, poultry, game bird, pet feed and wild birdseed, customers can find all of this and more in-store at Uher’s...

  • Lloyd Bag Company

    Sep 19 | 1899 Views | No Comments

    Since 1939, the Lloyd Bag Company has been manufacturing and distributing bags throughout North America.  Today they manufacture and import woven fabric bags including jute, burlap, leno mesh, woven polypropylene, cotton, canvas, paper, bulk bags, BOPP bags and tote bags. With a variety of...

  • Crazy Eight Barn

    Sep 2 | 1781 Views | No Comments

    Expanding Chatham-Kent’s agri-tourism market is the popular Crazy Eight Barn. The 8-sided barn was originally built for stabling animals, but was left empty for years until Susanne Spence-Wilkins saw it and made plans of her own. She carefully disassembled the building and moved it to Palmyra, on...

  • Dover Corn Products

    Aug 19 | 1819 Views | No Comments

    Dover Corn Products Ltd., a 100% Canadian, family owned and operated facility, is quickly becoming an industry leader in the dry corn milling market. They are proud to bring one of Canada’s oldest and most stable industries back to Ontario. Dover Corn Products is the only dry corn mill in...

  • Thompsons Limited

    Aug 5 | 1560 Views | No Comments

    Since 1924, Thompsons principal business has involved the distribution of corn, soybeans, wheat, and dry beans as well as providing farmers with the necessary inputs to produce and grow successful crops. Thompsons Limited provides high quality agricultural supplies and services, including seed,...

  • London Agricultural Commodities

    Feb 14 | 2050 Views | No Comments

    London Agricultural Commodities (LAC) is privately held enterprise that operates two facilities in Chatham-Kent, has several marketing arrangements with independently owned elevators throughout Ontario.  Through our London office, LAC markets a variety of grains around the world. In Tupperville,...

  • Roesch Meats And More

    Feb 7 | 1921 Views | No Comments

    Roesch Meats and more has been serving the highest quality, freshest meats available since 1995. Their pork is fed and raised on-site, with no medication in the feed or water. They also offer Ontario beef and chicken, and all is sold through their on-site retail operation.  Lamb is available...

  • Harvest-Pac Products Inc.

    Jan 17 | 1933 Views | No Comments

    With the belief that if you begin with a superior raw product, you will produce a superior finished product, Harvest-Pac Products has been processing locally-grown vegetables and fruit since the early 1990s. Prior to entering into the processing side of the business, three generations of the...

  • Delhaven Orchards

    Jan 7 | 1605 Views | No Comments

    Delhaven Orchards Ltd. is a family farm owned and operated by Marilyn and Hector Delanghe. Over 400 acres are farmed and crops grown include apples (16 varieties), peaches (12 varieties), sweet cherries (6 varieties), pears (3 varieties), apricots (4 varieties), nectarines (3 varieties),...

  • Truly Green Farms

    Dec 23 | 1638 Views | No Comments

    Recognized as the first of its kind in North America, Truly Green Farms, operated by the Devries family, is 22.5 acres of greenhouse that produces up to 21 million kilograms of tomatoes annually. In partnership with GreenField Ethanol, the green house utilizes the ethanol plant’s waste heat and...

  • Pride Seeds

    Dec 17 | 1120 Views | No Comments

    The goal of Pride Seeds is to create a unique product experience that results in higher profits for corn, soybean and forage crop growers. Pride strives to increase profitability for growers by delivering superior seed. Pride Seeds is part of AgReliant Genetics, which has one of the largest...

  • Nutty Caesar Salad

    on March 21 | in Healthy Recipes | by | with No Comments

    Since its invention in 1924, the caesar salad has known many variations. We’ve thrown our hat into the ring with this delicious version, with nuts taking the place of some of the croutons.
    Ingredients

    1-1/2 cups (375 mL) cubed egg bread or Italian bread
    1 cup (250 mL) sliced almonds
    1 cup (250 mL) pecan halves
    1/2 cup (125 mL) walnut halves
    2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
    2 tbsp (30 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    10 cup (2.5 L) torn romaine lettuce
    Vinaigrette:
    3 tbsp (45 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
    4 tsp (20 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) Dijon mustard
    1 small clove garlic, minced
    3/4 tsp (4 mL) Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 tsp (2 mL) anchovy paste (or 1 anchovy fillet, mashed) (optional)
    1/3 cup (75 mL) olive oil
    Preparation

    1. For Vinaigrette, mix together lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, mustard, garlic, Worcestershire, anchovy paste (if using) and oil. Store in jar in the refrigerator. (Tip: No time? Substitute the Vinaigrette with 1/2 cup/125 mL Newman’s Own Light Caesar Dressing.)

    2. Toss together bread, almonds, pecans, walnuts, oil and Parmesan cheese. Arrange in single layer on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake in centre of 350F/180C oven for about 12 minutes or until toasted and golden. Let cool.

    3. Gently toss bread-and-nut mixture with lettuce, then gently toss in Vinaigrette until coated.

    TIP: Try substituting a small bunch of super-healthy kale for the romaine.

    Read More »
  • Fighting For Their Farming Livelihood: a Continuing Challenge

    on March 21 | in Ag News | by | with No Comments

    Mid-February I found myself sitting in a plane destined for Prince Edward Island. I had been asked to come to Prince Edward Island to speak to the Agri-Insight and Prince Edward Island conference, sponsored by the Prince Edward Island Agri-Alliance. This group had been put together a few years ago to try to foster agricultural economic growth in the province after some particularly hard times.

    I was asked to speak on the volatility of grains and oilseeds with particular emphasis on Prince Edward Island.

    Other speakers talked about bringing innovation in agriculture and food to Prince Edward Island. It was a great conference, one in which your loyal scribe learned quite a bit.

    It was obvious to me after I received the invitation to go to Prince Edward Island that I needed to know how cash grains basis behaved on the island. Basis is always somewhat of a measurement of supply and demand for localized grain, but this being Atlantic Canada I knew I was a bit out of my element.

    So I contacted the General Manager of Prince Edward Island Grain Elevators Corporation, Neil Campbell. Neil filled me in on the nuances and challenges of pricing grain in Canada’s smallest province.

    80% of the agricultural commodities produced in Prince Edward Island are exported because of the relatively small population and the relatively good propensity to produce. For instance one of the things I was very interested in was the transportation cost of grain to end-users, wherever they may be. For instance, in Ontario there are many end-users, especially when you consider the export market on our doorstep. However, that is not the case in Prince Edward Island because it is a long ways away from everything, end-users included. If you farm on Prince Edward Island, you have to be willing to innovate to survive.

    It costs $60 per tonne to move corn and soybeans to and from Prince Edward Island from various end-users and originators in Ontario and Québec. That is a very high cost, but there is really no other way. With regard to production agriculture in Prince Edward Island, everything surrounds the potato rotation. So after the potatoes get their acres, then it is time for grains and oil seeds to get their place in the sun.

    In 2001 there was 5000 acres of soybeans and in 2012 there were 60,000 acres of soybeans. Despite the high transportation costs, islanders are producing soybeans at a continual record pace.

    Much of the grain in Prince Edward Island gets shipped for those high fees into Ontario or Québec end-users or ends up in Halifax and other points in Atlantic Canada. For instance it costs about $25 a tonne to ship grains and oil seeds from Prince Edward Island to Halifax elevators. These various transportation cost parameters define the success of farmers on the island. It is a tall order to make it all work. Innovation and flexibility is key. Eking out a living in this small island province is a continual challenge, masked with a passion for what it is to be a Prince Edward Islander.

    The continual challenge of farming was very evident at the conference. It was all about innovation, achieving food excellence in finding ways to sustain farming on Prince Edward Island. It was very evident to me that sustainability was not taken for granted here and that the conference organizers were extremely dedicated to finding ways to make agriculture thrive on Prince Edward Island. The alternative was the very real specter of failure, which in this maritime outpost is always around the corner.

    The passion to stay and fight is always strong, but the economic pull from other regions of Canada is too. That made it so different from Ontario agriculture, which I am very used to. These people are fighting for their farming future.

    Ditto the same for much of Atlantic Canadian agriculture. The question is, how much should the rest of Canada care and should the federal government be worried about that? Of course the answer is yes, this is Canada and whether you are from Ontario, southern Saskatchewan or rural PEI it doesn’t matter. We are all Canadians and we have a responsibility to each other.

    In fact, in Canadian agriculture, we could use a little bit of that Prince Edward Island attitude wherever we are. They are fighting for their agricultural industry in a hostile unforgiving environment. Compared to them, the rest of us are on cruise control. I still don’t get that Anne of Green Gables thing. However, don’t underestimate her, she is who she is. PEI agriculture is too. They know what they need to do, and no stone will be left unturned getting there.

    Read More »
  • Fine-Tuning Nitrogen Applications

    on March 21 | in Ag News | by | with No Comments

    An Ontario crop business is the first in Canada to adopt a unique system for late-season applications of nitrogen for corn and soybeans.

    By using the GreenSeeker technology and the Y-Drop system, which is attached to a high-clearance sprayer, Good Crop Services Ltd. of New Hamburg is finding a way to apply fertilizer at the right time and in the right place.

    “It’s the placement of the product that makes it far superior to what’s on the market,” says company owner Don Good of the Y-Drop system.

    Developed in Iowa, the Y-Drop is a tool that can place any liquid product within two or three inches of a crop row. Good adopted the Y-Drop to complement the GreenSeeker for variable rate applications.

    Dan Muff, CEO of Y-Drop LLC in Iowa, says the system can fertilize any row crop at various stages of the plant’s development. In corn, it can fertilize from knee-high to tassel. For soybeans, it can be used at V2, V3 or higher, up to R2 ½.

    The system originated from research in sweet corn production when Muff and other researchers were seeking ways to increase sweet corn yields and studying fertilizer placement.

    “We did some fertilization along the row and from that we’ve seen the results were huge, and we spent a lot of years studying agronomy knowledge and taking this agronomic knowledge to the field,” says Muff.

    “The story is fertilizing a plant in its late production stages – before it sets its fruit – has a huge benefit, and that’s how Y-Drop developed.”

    For more, see the article in the October 2012 edition of Top Crop Manager.

    Read More »
  • Farm Safety A Hot Topic At Ridgetown

    on March 21 | in Uncategorized | by | with No Comments

    About 120 young people turned out for the Annual Farm Safety Day Camp for Kids, held July 20 at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus.

    The event, held by the Chatham-Kent Farm Safety Association and Progressive Agriculture, is geared to children aged, six to 12.

    Janet Richards, co-ordinator of the event, says it was also a day of celebration as this was the 20th annual edition of the farm safety day.

    The children are divided into groups that rotate between several stations where they learn about potentially dangerous activities.

    They also receive key tips and reminders for staying safe on the farm and around the equipment.

    As the event has evolved over the last two decades, Richards says more people have become aware of the need for farm safety education.

    “None of us are born with common sense. It has to be told and repetition is one of the best learning tools,” notes Richards. “Because we see the same people back, I know it’s working, and the (injury) stats are coming down.”

    Richards also says some people who attended as children in previous years have come back to participate as volunteers and presenters.

    This year’s event included eight safety stations, covering diverse topics such as bike safety, sun safety, lawn mower safety, staying safe around creeks and bike safety.

    One of the highlights was the fire safety station, where firefighters from the Orford-Highgate fire station showed the kids how to use a fire extinguisher.

    They also gave the kids some homework, asking them to check to see if there are working smoke alarms on each floor of their homes and to ask their parents if they have an emergency plan in case of a fire.

    At another station, Ken Campbell and Earle Woolaver of the Lambton Farm Safety Association discussed the dangers around grain bins and hopper wagons.

    “We’re showing how they can be safe by not getting into grain bins,” says Woolaver.

    “In a very short time, you could be under the grain and then you’re trapped. There’s no way you can get out on your own.”

    As part of their interactive display, groups of three or four children were asked to pull on a rope that was tied to a 55-pound mannequin that was caught in a grain bin.

    The exercise showed the children how difficult it is to get someone out of that situation.

    Parents of participating children appreciated the chance to learn about the potential hazards.

    “It’s a good opportunity for the kids to see and know what the dangers are around the farm,” says Heather Heyboer. “They pick up a lot of common sense things. At the end of the day, when they go home they mention things that they should be aware of so that they’re staying safe on the farm.”

    Heyboer brought her two sons, aged nine and five, to the farm safety day.

    The family lives on a farm south of Ridgetown.

    “I think it’s great because we don’t have a farm ourselves but there are lots of farms around us,” says Angie Smith, who lives in the Thamesville area. “This safety is really important. We don’t have combines but they’re on our roads, so we need to know how to be safe to still live in the environment.”

    Read More »
  • Upcoming Event – Downtown Chatham Farmers Market

    on March 21 | in Events | by | with No Comments

    Read More »
  • Wanted: Students For Greenhouse Management Training

    on March 21 | in Ag News | by | with No Comments

    The rapid expansion of Ontario’s greenhouse vegetable industry, more than 2000 acres under glass or vinyl on 220 operations, has created a problem. There is a shortage of employees with management skills.

    To solve the problem, the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers marketing board (OGVG) engaged the University of Guelph -Ridgetown campus to develop a course of study that would deliver graduates with the management skills needed in the greenhouse industry. That program is now ready to take off with student applications being received this spring and the first classes scheduled to begin in September.

    “This is a program our industry has needed for some time,” says Don Taylor, chair of OGVG. “The growth of the industry and the size of many greenhouse operations have increased the demand for strong management skills,” Taylor adds. He explained that the course to be taught at Ridgetown is based on similar programs taught in the Netherlands.

    Not for recent high school grads, the Greenhouse Vegetable Management program is an advanced course for diploma or degree graduates in horticulture, or qualifying mature students with significant industry experience.

    The 16 month four-semester program includes semesters 1 & 3 at the Ridgetown campus and semesters 2 & 4 in paid work placements at commercial greenhouse vegetable operations. The program is set up as a full cost recovery program with tuition, books and fees totalling about $10,000 but there is the opportunity to off-set some of that expense with the paid work semesters.

    Krista Gladstone, project co-ordinator at the Ridgetown campus says the post-diploma certificate program is designed to both meet the needs of the greenhouse industry and provide a course of study with employment opportunities at the end. “The course will be of particular interest to recent grads in horticulture, entomology and plant science,” Gladstone suggests.

    A wide range of topics are included in the study semesters -from greenhouse control systems to integrated pest management, from human resources to greenhouse economics, and from greenhouse health and safety to diagnosing plant nutrient disorders.

    Interested students should apply to Ontario Colleges and the deadline for receipt of applications is March 28. Enrollment is limited to 18 for the initial course. For more details contact Krista Gladstone 519-674-1500 ext 63597.

    Read More »
  • Rural Issues Go Beyond Agriculture

    on March 21 | in Ag News | by | with No Comments

    Would it be Premier-Agriculture Minister Kathleen Wynne? Or does Agriculture Minister-Premier Kathleen Wynne sound better?

    No matter how you slice them, it is difficult to make the two titles work together. But how you say them is but a tiny problem in comparison to how you combine the two jobs and do them both well.

    Wynne mentioned after she won the Liberal leadership she would serve a term as agriculture minister. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Under Premier Dalton McGuinty, agriculture was no more than an afterthought.

    Time and again the policies of the ag ministry worked against, instead of for, farmers.

    On one hand, the ministry hit small abattoirs in the province with such burdensome and often ridiculous regulations that many closed.

    At the same time, the government was promoting local food — you know, eat food produced within 100 kilometres of home to help local farmers.

    With no abattoir within 300 km, that becomes pretty difficult.

    But those are only part of the concerns.

    The full name of the ministry is the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs or OMAFRA.

    As much as agriculture and food production are in serious need of attention, there are major issues under the broader “rural” heading.

    Main among these is the placement of wind turbines, an issue that has torn communities, rural churches and even families apart.

    In addition, the government has trampled the democratic rights of rural residents in its attempts to kiss up to overseas corporations that bring us the giant wind turbines.

    Much of Queen’s Park sees the opposition to giant turbine developments as simply the “not in my backyard” kind of thing.

    As much as there is some of that involved in fighting turbines, it is a relatively minor sector of the opposition.

    Setbacks of turbines from rural homes are a major part of the issue for all kinds of reasons, including noise and the danger of ice flying off the turbine blades in the winter months.

    And yet the province allowed a turbine to be built by the United Auto Workers at the union’s retreat at Saugeen Shores on Lake Huron.

    By anyone’s estimation it is far too close to residential areas for safety— plus it is an eyesore to end all eyesores for an area that depends on tourism for much of its economic activity.

    In addition, there is mounting evidence that people living close to turbines suffer from all kinds of health problems — some so serious they have been driven from their homes.

    And no, Queen’s Park doubters, not all these folks are hypochondriacs or attention-seekers as you think.

    Many suffer real ailments that are destroying their enjoyment of life.

    These serious rural issues, and many others, must be addressed immediately and not just because the Liberals need to win back some of the rural seats they’ve sacrificed in their single-minded focus on big cities.

    They must be fixed because it’s the right thing to do.

    It will be a miracle if any individual can give these issues the attention they deserve, while serving as premier of a province that is out of money and credibility after the Dalton McGuinty years.

    Throughout the Liberal term the only relationship between the province and rural Ontario was the blinders.

    At Queen’s Park, officials wore them whereas out in the boonies, we put them on our mules and horses.

    Read More »
  • Food For Thought – Maple Syrup

    on March 8 | in Kim Cooper | by | with No Comments

    Before we know it, the maple syrup season will be here. The weather to date has been favourable, and hopefully our maple syrup producers will have a decent season.

    This week, let’s look at this important sector of agriculture.

    Maple syrup is a truly Canadian product, as we produce 70% of the total world’s supply. Quebec produces nearly 90% of this, Ontario 10%, while Nova Scotia and New Brunswick produce the remainder.

    • It takes 30-50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup.
    • Maple syrup is boiled even further to produce maple cream, maple sugar, and maple candy.
    • It takes one gallon of maple syrup to produce eight pounds of maple candy or sugar.
    • A gallon of maple syrup weighs 11 pounds.
    • The sugar content of sap averages 2.5 percent; sugar content of maple syrup is at least 66 percent or more.
    • Usually a maple tree is at least 30 years old and 12 inches in diameter before it is tapped.
    • As the tree increases in diameter, more taps can be added, up to a maximum of four taps.
    • Tapping does no permanent damage to the trees, and only about 10 percent of the sap is collected each year. Many maple trees have been tapped for 150 years or more.
    • Each tap will yield an average of 10 gallons of sap per season, producing about one quart of syrup.
    • The maple season may last eight to 10 weeks, but sap flow is heaviest for about 10-20 days in the early spring. In fact, warm sunny days (above 4º C) and frosty nights are ideal for sap flow.

    The harvest season ends with the arrival of warm spring nights and early bud development in the trees.

    Maple syrup is just not about sugar even though it has about the same number of calories (50) per tablespoon as white sugar. However, the big plus with maple syrup is that it also contains significant amounts of potassium (35 mg/tbsp), calcium (21 mg/tbsp), small amounts of iron and phosphorus, and trace amounts of B-vitamins. And maple syrup is low in sodium.

    So, when the product is available, buy some Canadian maple syrup to use on your pancakes, milkshakes, tea, coffee, and on fresh fruit. Maple syrup can add flavour to baked beans or apple sauce, can be mixed with butter and poured over squash, sweet potatoes, or carrots, on baking powder biscuits, fresh donuts, over ice cream, hot cereal, baked apples, and whatever else you want.

    Unfortunately, we don’t have any sugar bushes we can tour here in Chatham-Kent due to insurance and liability issues. However, if you head out to Giffin’s Maple Syrup Products (676-3448) near Blenheim or Earl and Bill Elgie (519-683-4659) in Dresden, you can buy maple syrup and syrup products that they make right there. It will be worth the drive.

    Think about this – No matter where we are, Jesus is only a prayer away.

    Just some food for thought.

    Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘WE GROW FOR THE WORLD’.

    Read More »
  • Food For Thought – Mushrooms!

    on March 1 | in Kim Cooper | by | with No Comments

    Mushrooms. What comes to mind when mushrooms are mentioned? Mushroom soup? Mushroom caps? Steak and mushrooms? Today, let’s have a closer look at this fascinating food crop.

    Mushrooms are good for you. Not only do they contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals, they also contain antioxidants, and taste great. 100 grams of mushrooms contains only 25 calories? Did you also know mushrooms have virtually no fat, low sodium, and no cholesterol?

    What mushrooms do have is a powerhouse of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. Here is an example of what you can find in mushrooms. Riboflavin, copper, selenium, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, iron, potassium, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc.

    Fresh mushrooms contain a powerful antioxidant called l-ergothioneine. They also offer nutrients such as beta-glucans and conjugated linoleic acid, compounds that are currently being studied for their chemo-preventative potential. Recent research also suggests that mushrooms (and mushroom extracts) may have powerful anticancer activity, for both breast and prostrate cancers.

    Mushrooms offer both soluble and insoluble fibre, which helps to maintain good bowel health.

    Recent studies show that fresh mushrooms can help with: blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, heart health, gout, healthy aging, childhood obesity, and diverticulosis.

    Here are some tips on storing mushrooms. They should always be kept in the refrigerator. Store them in brown paper bags as they will breathe better and stay firm longer. Mushrooms are best when they are used within a few days of purchase, but can be kept up to one week. Prior to use, rinse fresh mushrooms in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Do not wash mushrooms until you are ready to use them, as they may discolour.

    One of the ongoing issues we have with trying to buy local food is actually finding local food in our grocery stores. Many of the buying decisions are made in the head offices, leaving our local stores with not much choice. Some of our locally grown agricultural products are found on local grocery stores – you just have to search for it. But if you don’t find them, ask the grocery store manager to stock more local food products.

    If you want more information on mushrooms, including some great recipes, you can visit the Mushrooms Canada website at www.mushrooms.ca

    As far as local mushrooms go, we actually have two mushroom farms located in Chatham-Kent and both have been around for quite a few years, and both are operated by some amazing family members. Peeters Mushroom Farm is located at 8267 Middle Line, just west of Charing Cross. Rol-land Farms is located at 19002 Communication Road, just south of Blenheim. Both of these mushroom operations are family owned and have mushrooms for sale to the public during weekday office hours.

    Thoughts for the week – You cannot arrive at your life’s purpose by starting with yourself. Look to God.

    Just some food for thought.

    Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘WE GROW FOR THE WORLD’.

    Read More »
  • The Business Of Farming

    on January 18 | in Kim Cooper | by | with No Comments

    In all the articles we have been sharing about agriculture, just how much have you learned? I know I continue to learn more about this sector every day. The world of agriculture is massive, complex, and always changing. Just how much has agriculture changed over the years? What are producers doing today to keep competitive and innovative? Let’s look at bit closer at farming as a business and try to understand some of the issues facing farmers these days. The information in this article is from the publication entitled “The Real Dirt on Farming II” which is published through OFAC (Ontario Farm Animal Council).

    • Just one hundred years ago, over 50% of Canada’s population was farmers. Today, it’s just two percent. One hundred years ago, a farmer could produce enough food for 10 people. Today, one farmer can feed over 120 people.
    • One hundred years ago, Canadians spent 50 cents of every dollar earned on food. Today, Canadians spend only 10.6 cents of every dollar earned on food. We have among the lowest food prices in the world.
    • The overall number of farms has been falling steadily for years. In 2006, Canada had 229,373 farms compared to 728,623 farms in 1931.
    • In 1931, one in three Canadians lived on a farm. Today, one in 46 Canadians lives on a farm.
    • 98% of Canadian farms are still family-owned and operated, which is good.
    • The average age of a Canadian farmer is 54.
    • The number of young people in farming is falling. Just over 9% of farmers are under the age of 35.
    • Continual innovation, specialization, and persistence have brought the business of farming light years ahead in the production of top quality, abundant, safe, and well-priced food products.
    • For every dollar a Canadian farmer earns, he pays out approximately 92 cents in operating expenses.
    • As the price of fuel and other essential inputs outpace earned income, farmers must become even more productive and efficient to stay in business.
    • Although consumer food prices continue to increase, the amount of money going back to the farmer stays the same or sometimes even goes down.
    • Last year, the average cost of two loaves of bread was $4.94, but the farmer received only $0.22.
    • In Ontario and other provinces, farmers must take a course and pass an exam in order to become certified to purchase and use pesticides.
    • In 1983, Ontario farmers and the provincial government set a goal to decrease agricultural pesticide use in half within 20 years. By 2003, farmers had reduced their use of pesticides by 52% – and it continues to decrease by about 3% every year.
    • Farmers are continually taking courses and attending workshops to make sure they’re up to date with the latest technologies and farming practices. In fact, the 20th Annual Southwest Agricultural Conference recently took place at the Ridgetown Campus of the University of Guelph. Eighty speakers during these two days gave informative and innovative talks to over 1,500 producers from across Southwestern Ontario and beyond. Now that’s a progressive sector!

    Think about this – God gave us a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have we used one of them to say thank you?

    Just some food for thought.

    Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘We Grow for the World’.

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