News/Events - June 2016

Flint Corn Project - Beans and Squash Are In!

Farms at Work and TRACKS had a successful second work day at the Flint Corn Project. Last Friday, June 24th, we welcomed community partners and volunteers to assist in the planting of cranberry beans and heritage squash seeds around the corn in our 37 mounds. Hopi and Cherokee beans, sunflowers and ceremonial tobacco have also been planted this season. 

We invite interested individuals and organizations to contact Dawn Martin at flintcornproject@gmail.com for more information on participation in biweekly work days, and educational program opportunities for community groups of all ages. The project aims to educate on growing and preparation of traditional indigenous foods, grown for thousands of years in our region. Both traditional knowledge and science are acknowledged in the project.

This initiative has been made possible by generous support from Sustainable Trent, Trent Oxfam, the Center for Gender and Social Justice, Trent Pan-Colleges Programming Fund, CRRC, GREAT Six Nations, the Ontario Indigenous Youth Partnership Project, the TD Friends of the Environment Fund and the Community Fund for Canada's 150th, a collaboration between the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough, Community Foundations of Canada, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast. 

Farms at Work creates buzz over pollinators with on-farm plantings

planting shrubs on a farm
Pollinators are all the buzz this week as Canada celebrates Pollinator Week, bringing awareness to the importance of pollinators for ecosystems, food security, and the economy. Farmers in east central Ontario took strides this year in protecting native pollinators on their farms, but the pollinators aren’t the only ones that will benefit.

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.  

pollinator planting on farmland

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

The Corn Is In The Ground

The Flint Corn project got off to a great season late last week, building and planting 37 traditional mounds with flint corn and ceremonial tobacco. Squash, beans and sunflowers still to come! At the end of the season there will be a traditional feast of indigenous foods.

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 flintcornproject@gmail.com as soon as possible. Another workday is scheduled for later in June, when we will be planting the squash, beans, and sunflowers.