Mark Your Calendars!
Several Informative Events That We're Working on For This Season
We know that the growing season is a busy time for all farmers, so we thought we'd give you some advance notice of a few exciting events we're working on to help you plan ahead.
OMAF On-Farm Food Safety Workshop
When: Monday April 14, 2014 9:00am – 4:00pm
Where: Centreville Presbyterian Church | 1679 Zion Line, Millbrook, ON
Cost: $50 (includes lunch and workshop materials)
If you are growing and selling food, minimizing your on-farm food safety risks is a high priority. If you have on-farm workers or are scaling up, it becomes even more important to have routines in place. Come to this workshop to learn practical approaches from OMAF staff to address your top three on-farm food safety risks: worker practices, water use, and cleaning and sanitation, as well as information on funding to help you implement your food safety plans.
In addition, you will receive the following on-farm food safety resources:
- On-farm Food Safety Good Agricultural Practices manual ($25 value)
- 9 different Food Safety posters
- USB with useful Factsheets and food safety resources
- Certificate for the workshop attended
- Self-assessments and action plans to help strengthen your Growing Forward 2 application
Pre-registration is required, and seating is limited.
To buy tickets: www.onfarmfoodsafety.eventbrite.ca
Sheep Farming Mentorship Program
We're thrilled to announce our new Sheep Farming Mentorship Program. This hands-on, introductory program will take place in Lakefield over five field days from late-June to early-September. It will emphasize practical skills and knowledge in a variety of areas including how to get started in sheep, flock nutrition, health and reproduction, and routine management under the skilled mentorship of Bob and Gail Irvine of Rocky Lane Farm. The Irvines are well-respected sheep farmers, teachers, and farming mentors, as well as active members of the Ontario Sheep Marketing Agency. They produce high quality pure-bred Polled Dorsets for sale as breeding stock, and have been involved with various provincial programs for performance testing, health, and breeding. If this program interests you, contact Jay Adam for more information. Because of the practical, on-farm nature of mentorship, a maximum of 6 mentees will be accepted for the 2014 program.
Native Pollinator Field Day
Led by Pollination Biologist, Susan Chan, this guided field tour will take place at McLean Berry Farm (Lakefield, ON) in early-August, from 8:00am-11:00am. Susan has been conducting research into the nesting habits of Peoponapis pruinosa (squash bees) at the McLean's farm over the last year. Participants will have the opportunity to observe these native bees on the McLean's pumpkin crop first hand, and will learn about this amazing bee's habits, their value to squash and pumpkin growers, their habitat requirements, and how to manage the farm to ensure good pollination by this bee. For more information, contact Jay Adam.
Low Bush Blueberry Workshop
Led by long-time low bush blueberry grower and excellent communicator, Roger Kelly, this full-day workshop will take place in Maynooth, ON (Hastings County), sometime in mid-August. The workshop will be split into two components: a half day at the Maynooth Community Centre for a lecture-style introduction to low bush blueberry production, and a half day at Kelly's Berry Farm for a guided farm tour and the opportunity to learn about the practical applications of producing blueberries. Contact Jay Adam to receive more details as they become available.
Maple Syrup Mentorship Program
We're still working away on all the details, but this introductory mentorship program is designed to assist beginners as they integrate into the maple syrup production sector, and provide them with an understanding of best management practices, as well as a direct connection to experienced local producers. As with our other mentorships, this program will take place over five field days where a small group of mentees (5-6) will work closely with the maple syrup mentor. General topics will include: sugarhouse location, design and equipment; setting up your sugar bush for production; forestry best management practices; syrup production; food safety handling and marketing. Contact Jay Adam to receive more details as they become available.
Northumberland Niche Food Processing Facility Tour
Join us as we tour the brand new Northumberland Niche Food Processing Facility in Colborne, ON. Designed to extend the seasonality of fruit and vegetable products from across the region with packaging and freezing processes, this new facility will allow farmers to explore secondary sources of income through cost-effective value-added production. Contact Jay Adam to receive updated details on this exciting tour as they become available.