Jim Callaghan was just 8 to 10 years old when the family loaded up the cream they expected to sell to Silverwood’s in Lindsay, a now defunct dairy company. But on that day the company officials shook their heads and sent the Callaghan’s on their way. There would be no dairy sales for the family on that attempt, since Silverwood’s had a glut of supply that day. These were the days before ‘supply management,’ the admittedly boring name for the system that has brought financial stability to Canadian farmers for decades.
Roderick Benns recently interviewed Brett Goodwin, the dean at Fleming College’s Frost Campus in Lindsay, about the huge rise in popularity of its sustainable agriculture program.
Benns: The rise in the number of international students at Fleming is considerable. In the sustainable agriculture program, for instance, I believe 75-80 out of 87 students were international last year. We’ve heard some concerns that the infrastructure at the college is not keeping up with what is needed in the program (such as the calibre of the greenhouse facilities or specially customized classroom spaces). Are you challenged by this influx and what has (or what can) the college do to help with this?
Sometime in the middle of July, about 50 to 100 Russian farmers will be driving around Kawartha Lakes.
They won’t be driving aimlessly – they’re actually on a tight timeline and it’s a fully guided tour. They’ve only got six days and a massive area of Ontario and Quebec to explore – including two days here in Kawartha Lakes.
Most of the attendees on this journey are farmers or processors from Russia, along with some government officials, regional authorities, companies offering solutions for milk producers and processors, and federal and regional media. It has all been organized by the Russian DairyNews.
Ask Keith Taylor about his ideas on farming and food production and you will no doubt receive a passionate and detailed response. The former traditional farmer is a practitioner of permaculture, a method of food production that aims to be completely sustainable and attempts this by trying to mimic the way things grow in the wild.
If you drop in to Hill’s Florist & Greenhouses, a family business with deep local roots and extensive community connections, you might meet up with a comparatively recent transplant from India. His name is Randeep Kush.
Randeep is acting as Roger Hill’s greenhouse supervisor, so it’s somewhere in that 25,000 square foot space you’d be most likely to find him.