Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ontario research leads to more sustainable lawns

By Tiffany Mayer

Michael Brownbridge has great respect for the lowly lawn.

For starters, grass has remarkable survival skills. During droughts, those brown blades that look dead have simply gone dormant until the next generous rainfall returns them to resplendent green.

Lawns kick out moisture on hot days which cools urban environments. They also act like sponges that hold moisture after heavy rains and release it slowly to benefit trees and other plants growing nearby.

Then there are all the pollutants grass traps.

“It’s one of the most phenomenal plants on the planet,” Brownbridge said. Continue reading

Research institute helps make Ontario wines world class

By Tiffany Mayer

St. Catherines, Ontario – The glass is half full when it comes to grape and wine research in Ontario. And it’s only getting fuller thanks to the efforts of Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI).

The research institute, established in 1996 in partnership with the Grape Growers of Ontario, the Wine Council of Ontario, and the Winery and Grower Alliance of Ontario, has tackled significant vineyard and winemaking issues, elevating local tipple to world-class status in the process.

It’s done so by taking on the multi-coloured Asian lady beetle, which can taint an entire vintage, and kept many bottles of wine tasting their finest in the process. It has 20 years of research dedicated to icewine production and authentication to ensure integrity for Canadian versions of the sweet nectar.

The effects of climate change on grape growing, sparkling wine production, and resveratrol and the Ontario wine industry also get serious research attention at CCOVI to the benefit of Ontario vintners and grape growers. Continue reading

In pursuit of perfect peppers

Ontario farm uses crop selection, branding to gain big markets

By Lisa McLean

Leamington – How does a first-generation family-run greenhouse land its branded products in grocery stores across Canada and much of the U.S.? By perfecting its growing process, and adding a little Zing!.

Jordan Kniaziew, vice-president of sales and marketing at Leamington-based Orangeline Farms says since his family entered farming in 2000, they’ve focused on finding the best varieties and seed selections for peppers and other crops.

Since 2013, the family has been growing, packing and shipping its own products — including award-winning peppers and greenhouse strawberries – under the Zing! Healthy Foods brand.

“We’re always looking at growing products that fit the taste profiles we’re after,” says Kniaziew. “In peppers, our core product, we’ve seen there’s room for growth in the category overall by growing peppers for every meal – in fajitas or stir-fry, scrambled eggs and as snacks.” Continue reading

The 10 most popular innovation stories of 2016

By Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Guelph – As we prepare to welcome a new year, here’s a quick look back at our most popular news stories of 2016, based on you, our readers.AgInnovation Ontario logo

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

  1. Ontario company launches made-for-farming drone technology – https://www.aginnovationontario.ca/en/ontario-company-launches-made-for-farming-drone-technology/
  2. Haskap berry new crop opportunity for northern farmers, communities – https://www.aginnovationontario.ca/en/haskap-berry-new-crop-opportunity-for-northern-farmers-communities/
  3. Ontario’s locally grown citrus – https://www.aginnovationontario.ca/en/ontarios-locally-grown-citrus/

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Growing Forward 2 brings new life to Ontario pear-growing

This story comes to us from the Agricultural Adaptation Council.

pear-on-the-tree-webBy Lilian Schaer

Jordan, Ontario – It’s the new variety that has brought pear growing in Ontario back from the brink of extinction. And it’s funding from Growing Forward 2 (GF2) that the president of the Vineland Growers’ Co-operative credits with helping make that happen.

Cold Snap™ pear was launched in Ontario last fall – a hardy, disease-resistant new variety that stays crisp and juicy even when the fruit changes colour from green to yellow, unlike standard pears that become soft and mushy as they ripen.

Michael Ecker says Ontario’s oldest farm co-operative – it marked its 100th anniversary in 2013 – accessed funding under two different streams of GF2 to help make Cold Snap™ a reality in Ontario.

“Our first project gave us support to determine what market is out there and what is needed to grow new pears in Canada,” he explains. “The second project gave us the funding to get the new pear into consumers’ hands. We can grow something new, but getting it onto the store shelf and educating consumers takes money and hard work.”

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