Category Archives: markets

Ontario farmers find sweet success with birch syrup

Laura, Konrad, Adam, Jake, Bert, Kathy and Roxy (the dog) Beilke - web

From left, Laura, Konrad, Adam, Jake, Bert, and Kathy Beilke and Roxy the dog.

By Jeanine Moyer for AgInnovation Ontario

Moorefield, Ontario – What began as Bert and Kathy Beilke’s passion to grow food and connect with nature more than 20 years ago, has since turned into an innovative new food product.

Golden birch syrup is a semi-sweet flavoured syrup made from sap of yellow birch trees on the Beilkes’ Wagram Springs Farm in Wellington County near Moorefield.

“Still a new product in Ontario, birch syrup offers so many unique opportunities,” says Kathy. “It’s often used as a natural sweetener or ingredient and has become very popular with our customers.” Continue reading

Growing local grains, one seed at a time

Bread and grain close up - webBy Kelly Daynard for AgInnovation Ontario

Winchester, Ontario – In recent years, the local food movement has taken Canada by storm. There’s lots of interest by consumers in sourcing local products and in knowing the farmers who grow them. But in Shelley Spruit’s opinion, there has always been a missing ingredient.

Spruit is a farmer who professionally trained as a baker at culinary schools in British Columbia and Vermont. For many years, she and her husband Tony operated the Winchelsea Farms banquet hall.  Her training taught her that all good baking starts with good flour –and she was frustrated that she couldn’t find locally produced flour that met her quality standards.

They added to their original 200 acre property when they purchased an additional 50 acres, calling it Against the Grain Farms. In addition to growing conventional crops, they also began experimenting with alternatives, planting seeds from corn and barley varieties not traditionally grown in Ontario.  Continue reading

Ontario Craft Brewery ramps up production with Growing Forward 2 funding

This story comes to us from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Wellington Brewery - Brent Davies

Wellington Brewery – Brent Davies

Guelph – Time is always in short supply when you run a business. It’s something Brent Davies always seems to run out of. He’s vice president and co-owner of Wellington Brewery, so finding the time to look into funding opportunities just never seems to rise to the top of his priority pile.

“When you are a small company, and trying to do everything, you just don’t have the manpower to investigate funding options,” says Brent. “But after successfully accessing three cost-sharing projects through Growing Forward 2, I would encourage other small business to find the time. It’s a well-run program and worth the effort.” Continue reading

The 10 most popular innovation stories of 2015

2991-AgInnovation-Logo-avatarBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Guelph – As we get ready to bid 2015 good-bye, we thought we would take a look back at the many stories we’ve covered this year. All are focused on food and farming, on Ontario, and on innovation.

We’ve met some fascinating people over the last 12 months and covered some great innovations. Of course we loved them all, but here are the ones that resonated with you the most – our top 10 most popular agricultural innovation stories of 2015.

(By the way, our French-speaking readers have slightly different preferences – click here for our most popular French language stories). Continue reading

The other “big oil”

Soy 20/20 logoThis article is from Soy 20/20, one of the AgInnovation Ontario partner organizations.

By Lisa McLean for Soy 20/20

Montreal – The majority of vegetable oil consumed in Canada comes from the two main oilseed crops grown here: soybeans and canola.

But industry’s grip on the exact dimensions of Canada’s vegetable oil market has been slippery at best – due to a host of complicating factors.

Now, new market research sheds some light on the size – and potential – for Canada’s oilseed sector. Continue reading