Greening Up Ontario's Salad Bowl

The Holland Marsh is fondly referred to as Ontario's salad bowl as it produces more carrots, celery, onions, lettuce and greens than any other single region across the province, and indeed across Canada. The responsibility of feeding nutritious vegetables to consumers around the world is not lost on the Holland Marsh Growers and this has led them to become stewards of the land they work.

As part of the Lake Simcoe watershed, the Holland Marsh play san important role in this eco-system. It is a delicate balance between feeding the world and saving the environment, one the growers take very seriously.

While the University of Guelph is conducting ongoing research into the effects of farming on the local water table, farmers are pro-actively working to make changes on their farms.

Changes include:

  • Completing Envrionemntal Farm Plans to ensure Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rurals Affairs and Ministry of the Environment standards are met and often exceeded
  • Reducing pesticides sprayed onto crops
  • Actively studying current practices to determine how to reduce all additives applied to the land
  • Creating specialized and safe storage of agricultural products
  • Planting barley and other cover crops to act as a wind break to reduce erosion
  • Triple-rinsing then recycling all agricultural product jugs
  • Purchasing low-emission farm vehicles

The Holland Marsh means more to these farmers than their livelihood - it is their home. Their families live there, play there and eat the food grown there. In fact, the water used in homes in the Marsh comes from ground-source wells, making water safety of critical important to all the growers.

Avia Eek, a Marsh farmer, sums it up nicely, "We are stewards of the land, and if we take care of the land, it will take care of us."

Well said.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 07 May 2013
Last Reviewed: 07 May 2013