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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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