Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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Ontario farm family builds premium local food brand

pristine-gourmet-twitter-englishBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Waterford – When the going gets tough, the tough get going, or so the saying goes.

And that’s precisely the situation Ontario grain farmer Jason Persall found himself in more than a decade ago – crop prices were low, leading him to look for a way to add value to his family’s Norfolk County farming business.

Today, the Pristine Gourmet brand is popular with chefs and consumers alike across North America and is known for its premium cold-pressed virgin soybean, canola and sunflower oils that rival olive oil in quality. Continue reading

Craft processor – farmer partnership to develop value-added local food

product-webBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Guelph – A small southern Ontario craft food processor is offering fruit and vegetable farmers the chance to add value to their crops.

Rootham Gourmet from Guelph is well known for its award-winning brand of jams, jellies, chutneys, sauces and dressings made with local ingredients that they’ve been marketing for over 30 years.

Now, with Growing Forward 2 support for a new state-of-the-art packaging line, they’re expanding to add co-packing services for Ontario farmers who have surplus produce, or are looking for a value-added product to sell in on-farm stores or at farmers’ markets. Continue reading