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All-female economic development department moves Kawartha Lakes forward

in Business/Municipal by
All-female economic development department moves Kawartha Lakes forward
Rebecca Mustard, Carlie Arbour, Kelly Maloney, Lindsey Schoenmakers, Laurie McCarthy.

Just inside the doors of the city’s economic development department is a cluster of framed photos depicting the nine people who work there.

It’s conspicuous not just because the photos are an unexpected touch for a department that some might assume would be a little rigid and dry (just how exciting could “economic development” really be?) but rather because since 2018 there hasn’t been a single man to be seen on that wall.

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The elusive waters of spring are essential for our farm land

in Community/Environment by

Every spring, as I walk through the woods on my farm, I see the pools of water that appear between and around the trees. They remind me of the wood between the worlds, made famous in C.S. Lewis’s stories about Narnia. By jumping into a shallow pool in the woods, one is able to enter whole other worlds, some old, some new. All linked by the woods where the pools live.

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Remember your rural neighbours

in Opinion by

When summer brings day after day of rain, do you think of your fields, your construction contract, your weekend plans or your lawn? The answer to that question probably depends to a large extent on whether you live in town or in the country.

While we tend to think of all of Kawartha Lakes as rural, if you live in Lindsay, Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls, or even some of the smaller villages, you might be surprised to know that many things you can take for granted just aren’t the same for those of us who live in the country. And if you came here from the GTA, no doubt you’re in for an even bigger surprise.

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Local farmers struggling from wet spring, overall effects of changing climate

in Community by
Local farmers struggling from wet spring, overall effects of changing climate
The Skrabek family. Photo: Sienna Frost.

After examining her soil-stained hands for a moment, Jessica Foote looks out at the fields of her farm, on which several acres of crops have already been lost this year. “We’re at the beck and call of mother nature,” she says, before wiping some of the soil from her hands. Foote, one of many area farmers struggling this year, is the owner of Lunar Rhythm Gardens has been working in agriculture since she was nine-years-old, under the guidance of her father.

Despite the high elevation of her Janetville property, flooding has already destroyed six acres of alfalfa, along with several of Foote’s lettuce crops.

“It’s the extremes that do it,” she says.

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Water: How farmers meet the challenge of too little, too much

in Community/Environment by
Leslie Dyment, at Crow Hill Farm in Cameron.

Farmers have been concerned about water issues for as long as human beings have been growing crops. From the irrigation ditches of the ancient near east, to the flooding of ancient Egypt, the lack of water, or too much of it, has shaped the rhythms of farming life.

As a result, farmers throughout history have developed various strategies related to water. Some of these—like the worship of ancient fertility gods and goddesses—seem a little odd to us now. Some, like tile drainage, are still practiced but are somewhat controversial. Others, such as the use of terrace farming and dams, continue to be used today.

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Lindsay lands International Plowing Match 2020 with expected 80,000 visitors

in Community by
Lindsay lands International Plowing Match 2020 with expected 80,000 visitors

The Ontario Plowmen’s Association (OPA) has announced the location of the 2020 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo will be Kawartha Lakes, at the Lindsay Exhibition Fairgrounds.

“We looked at several potential locations for IPM 2020 and this one ticked all the boxes,” says newly minted OPA President Sheila Marshall. “It’s a great spot, in a fantastic, agriculturally rich community. “We’re excited to bring the IPM and its 80,000-plus visitors to Kawartha Lakes.”

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Learning from the first ‘farmers’ how to save the earth

in Environment/Opinion by

There is something about a drive through the country that is deeply satisfying. Green fields divided by tree lines or split rail fences. The occasional dry stone wall. Cattle or sheep dotted in the fields and cozy farmhouses flanked by wooden barns. An idyllic picture of a pastoral farming way of life.

When the first settlers came to Canada and encountered the Indigenous people of these lands, they did not realize that the land they were looking at also reflected a pastoral, farming way of life. There was so much lush greenery. The woods seems so thick and the animals so abundant. This was nothing like the farms they had left behind in England and France and Spain. This land didn’t appear to be managed. It didn’t look controlled. And it certainly didn’t look as though anyone was trying to raise crops or breed animals.

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Canada’s supply management system ensures stability for Kawartha Lakes’ farmers

in Business/Community by
Keith Thurston, left, and son, Jeff Thurston, right of Thursthill Farms in Kawartha Lakes. Photo: Erin Smith.

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.

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Growing food alternatives here in Kawartha Lakes

in Community/Environment by
Keith Taylor and his son, Josh, at Nature Cures.

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.

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