News & Events
Granite Forest Farm in Campbellford worked with Farms at Work to create a “bee pasture” of plants that would support both native pollinators and their 200 hives of honeybees. The planting will increase the amount of forage available to their bees and augment their honey production. Bob Horvat of Peterborough also welcomed pollinators to his farm property with a planting of shrubs and trees that support native bees. The plants not only create habitat for hundreds of insects and wildlife, but they attract pollinators which are critical for producing fruit from his orchards.
Farms at Work worked alongside staff from Otonabee Region Conservation Authority on several planting days, and Peterborough County landowners had help from the Peterborough County Stewardship Council with the cost of plants. All three organizations are members of the Kawartha Farm Stewardship Collaborative (KFSC), working together with farmers to make environmental improvements on their farms. Farms at Work also had the support of The Schad Foundation for its role in making site visits and preparing planting plans.
Farmers in east central Ontario are employing practical solutions that support the goal of pollinator health and benefit their farm operations as well as local food systems. Farms at Work and the rest of the members of KFSC are proud to be able to help farmers achieve these goals. To learn more about Farms at Work’s Native Pollinator Program, visit farmsatwork.ca/pollinators. To learn more about the Kawartha Farm Stewardship Collaborative, visit kawarthafarmstewardship.org
Our thanks go out to community volunteers, including students at St. Peter Secondary School (rock-picking and watering experts!) and Six-Nations based farmer and knowledge-holder Cameron Martin, who made it all possible with his van and roto-tilling expertise!
This year the Flint Corn project is located at the Mount Community Centre. If your group would like a tour, or if you'd like to volunteer at any time during the season, please contact email@example.com as soon as possible. Another workday is scheduled for later in June, when we will be planting the squash, beans, and sunflowers.
The Federated Women's Institutes of Canada began over 100 years ago after Adelaide Hoodless of Stoney Creek, Ontario lost her son due to contaminated raw milk. At the time, the Farmers’ Institute gave farmers opportunities to build their agricultural skills. Hoodless’ story inspired Erland and Janet Lee of Stoney Creek to form the first Women's Institute so rural women could receive similar education in domestic skills and family health. Over time, the Women’s Institute evolved and became involved in advocacy and charity, such as knitting socks for soldiers during wartime.
JoEllen Brydon, President of Mount Pleasant Women’s Institute, nominated Farms at Work as the recipient of the donation. She felt supporting Farms at Work was a tribute to the farming origins of the Women’s Institute. Brydon says she has seen the significance of farming over the many years that she has lived in this area. “I believe that the work of Farms at Work will help carry farming in this region into the future,” Brydon said.
The funds donated will support Farms at Work’s mentorship programs which allow beginning and diversifying farmers to gain hands-on experience in their area of interest. Programs are currently offered in sheep farming, beekeeping and maple syrup production, and have provided valuable skills to close to 60 producers in east central Ontario over the past four years.
The fundraising initiative was a collaborative effort of six Women’s Institute branches: Bailieboro, Belmont, North Shore, Mount Pleasant, Selwyn, and Westwood. The branches collected donations and raised about $960, which they presented to Farms at Work at their annual meeting on Wednesday, May 11th.
Over the course of the season, the participants learned practical skills in maple bush management, syrup production, and business planning. Mark, one of the inaugural participants in the program, said: "I have gained invaluable experience and highly recommend this program to all novices".
Many thanks to Marc and Diane Curle for doing an outstanding job of engaging participants and sharing their knowledge. Farms at Work has begun planning the second year of the program and we're looking forward to another great season!
If your farm would like to participate in the project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, May 13th.
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