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Elgin County Berry Hill Fruit Farm Aylmer
Growing fruits and vegetables that are in demand, selling locally and building brand recognition have meant increased profits for Dick and Renee Saarloos of Elgin County. By selling directly to local retail outlets and increasing the volume of sales, the farm saw a 30 per cent increase in gross farm revenues in 2009. Since 2006, 19 acres of apples have been removed and replaced with sweet corn and tender fruits, and the on farm fruit stand sells from mid June strawberry season, to well into the fall. A caricature of ‘Farmer Dick’ is the recognizable brand that local shoppers look and ask for at local retail food outlets.
Farmgate Markets is responding to consumer demand for quality, fresh Ontario meats. The owners are a farmer and a butcher who shared a vision and teamed up to develop and run a full service meat retail shop that offers a full range of fresh meats, sausage and deli meats. The complete meat product line appeals to health conscious customers too.
Nature’s Perfection Shiitake Mushrooms Aylmer
The Lindsays are certainly not in the dark when it comes to bright ideas for growing shiitake mushrooms. They started by cleverly converting a tobacco kiln and customizing carts, shelving and tracks to make cleaning easier, thereby reducing the threat of disease and increasing yields. The growers manufacture their own sawdust blocks as media in which their own mushrooms grow, and sell the blocks to other growers. The indoor nature of the operation means continuous production, as opposed to the traditional two month production cycle. And they’re generous with their innovation hosting educational farm tours and donating product for fundraising charities in the community.
Lambton County Buurma Farms Watford
Harry Buurma’s innovation could revolutionize the way biosolid pellets are spread on farmland. The pellets he began receiving from the City of Windsor did the job in terms of economically putting nutrients in the soil of his 3,000 acres of cash crops, but the machinery available to get it on those crops was antiquated and inefficient. Using his innovative streak, Buurma landed on the idea of altering the spreader to make it more efficient and environmentally responsible. He took a 26 foot lime and litter spreader and made extensive modifications to it.
Cedarview Farms Courtright
Ken and Lauren Van Ewyk have built a ‘cushy’ business out of their sheep farm by gathering wool from their own and neighbours’ animals to make quilt batts, duvets, mattress pads and wheelchair pads. The eco friendly products are made and sold locally and the market continues to grow. The Van Ewyks raise Suffolk Dorset ewes, plus beef and lambs for the freezer trade.
Enniskillen Pepper Company Ltd. Petrolia
Picking a peck of bigger, better yellow peppers is more possible as a result of an innovation implemented at Adrian Roelands’ greenhouse operation in Lambton County. An ingenious system of fixed and moving wires that are high up in the greenhouse ceiling opens the canopies of individual plants, allowing better sun exposure on the peppers. Seven of the grower’s 13 acres of greenhouse are now operating with the new system in place. An added bonus is that workers don’t have to reach as far Nike KD 7 to pick the peppers due to denser, closer rows.
Forest Glen Herb Farm Forest
The extensive collection of heritage plants at Cynthia Cook’s farm are helping new generations learn about centuries old agricultural techniques. Customers can find out about growing various herbs for culinary, fragrant and medicinal purposes, making teas and other value added processes. More than 1,500 varieties of herbs grow on this historic property in a setting that includes a house, barn, retail and education centre that are more than 140 years old. Cook is an environmentally conscious farmer and educator who also brings Air Jordan 11s her skill and knowledge to local colleges. The collection of herbs on the farm is unique because many of the herbs were sourced from heritage sites.
Konzelmann Farms Inc. Wyoming
Good manure mixing is an important component of organic farming, but it’s not easy when you have to mix as much as 4,000 tonnes of manure to help grow a variety of organic crops on more than Air Jordan 18s a thousand acres. When Dan Konzelmann found that the compost turners he was renting were too small for his needs, he designed and built his own machine. His large capacity compost turner saves time, energy and expense for the farm. The innovation is creating excellent compost and has generated interest in the local farming community.
Lambton County 4 H Farm Safety Club Wallaceburg
The young people of North Lambton County were devastated when a local teen lost her life by suffocating in a grain bin. Local fire department volunteers were unable to save the girl. The Lambton 4 H Farm Safety Club resolved to help prevent such a tragedy from happening again in their community. The group set about devising and building a grain extrication tool. The new, easy to use rescue tool works so well that it has been provided to five local fire departments and grain facilities, who were impressed with its demonstration. The 4 H club is being recognized for its innovative idea, as the tool holds the potential to save lives if it is processed through the Canadian Safety Association approvals for broader use.
Tony Noorloos Sarnia
Building a better mousetrap is one thing, but building a better cattle chute that can efficiently handle 1,100 head of cattle in one day is no small invention. The Noorloos family has been in the cattle business for three generations. They have seen almost every method that exists for moving cattle, and all have come up short in different ways. So, as a winter project, they designed and built a chute that reduces stress, reads individual electronic tags and weighs the cattle to improve livestock management and their profit margins. The invention has caught on, and is currently working in six different feedlots.
Middlesex County Cream Hill Whole Grains Ltd. and Doug Hill Farms Ltd. Thorndale
This food innovation goes down easily. Pure oats are being grown, milled and cooked on farm into gluten free oatmeal product for people with food sensitivities. What’s even more exciting is that the mill can be adapted to produce oat flour, oat bran and other exclusively non gluten products in the future. This could make a big difference to about three million people in North America alone who have Celiac disease or wheat sensitivity. They typically have to avoid oats since they are commonly cross contaminated with wheat and other grains during processing. The mill is one of only two plants in Canada that processes pure oats, which are being sold across Canada, the United States and Jordan 13 Retro internationally.
Stanton Farms Ilderton
When Stanton Farms had to relocate the family farm as a result of encroaching urban growth, Air Jordan DMP they saw an opportunity to build a state of the art, environmentally sustainable operation. The dairy farm uses a combination of technologies in new and unique ways to maximize energy efficiencies and minimize their environmental footprint. Examples include an instant milk chilling system using well water, and co generation of heat and electricity from an on farm anaerobic digester. The digester produces 300 kilowatts of green energy and is expanding capacity to 1.3 megawatts enough to power 800 homes. By products from the digester are used for animal bedding and research is underway into their potential use as a replacement for peat, artificial soil and bioplastics. In the past two and a half years, more than 14,000 people from around the world have visited this super green, 2,000 head, elite genetics farm.
Oxford County Aarden Farms Ltd. Lakeside
Tilling can be time consuming, but a couple of innovative farmers from Oxford County have modified their equipment so they can reduce the number of passes they need to make on the land by as much as 50 percent. Their modified tiller can perform several operations when they plant their sweet corn under plastic mulch. The new system enables them to plant more corn in a shorter period of time, and will help them reach their goal of moving from 35 to 50 acres within the next two years.
Budhaven Farms Limited/Leaping Deere Legends Ingersoll
When the Budd family was looking at expanding their agri tourism business, they wanted to make sure it would be available to everyone, including people with diverse mobility needs. Budhaven Farms now features a corn maze, farm animals, nature trails and more all made accessible in various ways, such as tie downs on the wagons for wheelchairs or scooters, and wide, well groomed paths through the maze. The Budds host various charity events at their facility, helping to raise significant funds for organzations such as 4 H and area hospitals. This all accessible attraction now receives visitors from around the world.