2006 Regional Award Winners
Disappointed with corn prices, the Henrard family began investigating the potential of an on-farm digester two and a half years ago. While this innovation is still in the design stage, Phillipe Henrard expects to begin construction of the digester in 2007-2008. Following harvest, the corn will be converted into ethanol and fed into the digester with pig slurry and recycled restaurant oils.The bio-gas produced by the digester will be used to fuel a generator to produce heat and electricity.
When the discovery of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in the Canadian cattle herd closed export markets for Ontario's producers, a group of Ottawa area farmers banded together to sell quality government-inspected frozen beef to consumers in the local marketplace.The cattle raised by the Fitzroy Beef Farmers' Co-operative are primarily grass-fed during the summer months, and receive wheat supplements in the winter. By marketing their beef as a group, all members of the co-op realize savings.
Fritz and Paul Klaesi reaped the benefits of putting a lid on things.The farmers covered their manure pit, allowing them to capture the gases that are created and feed those gases into a generator.The electricity generated by this small-scale anaerobic biodigester powers two homesteads and the farm buildings. Plans for the future include securing a contract with Hydro One for the purchase of power in excess of the farm's requirements.
Fulton's Pancake House and Sugar Bush dramatically improved their business with the help of a consultant who showed them how the business could flourish with a new organizational approach and professional management. A redesign of the agri-forestry based business integrated all areas of the multi-faceted operation, including maple production, a restaurant and banquet facilities, and a maple shoppe. The facility is now a year-round business that offers entertainment, tours, team-building, corporate retreats and more.
Andrew Kenny realized there was no sense crying over spilt water - instead, he built a better water bowl.The dairy farmer developed a water bowl that is deeper than regular bowls, preventing cows from spilling water and getting their feed wet.The cows at Kendu Holsteins are unlikely to go thirsty either - their water bowls have the highest capacity and the highest flow rate.The end result - less wastage due to wet feed and easier-to-clean feed mangers. Kenny sought feedback from other dairy producers to develop the zero-spill water bowls, and demonstrates his product at farm shows.
New Terra Farm is a small pesticide and herbicide-free mixed farm, raising vegetables and meats, which they market directly to consumers in the area. Scott Kelland and his family piloted this project, modeled after the Community Supported Agriculture approach. In 2006, 10 families subscribed to New Terra Farm's market garden. For a family of two to four, $850 secures a basket of farm-fresh produce for the 23- or 24- week growing season, from May 24 to October.The Kellands anticipate subscriptions from as many as 30 families in 2007. In addition, free-range organic eggs, pork, beef, chicken, lamb and goat are available throughout the year.New Terra Farm helps keep consumers' food dollars in their own communities.
The Saunders Farm is one of Ottawa's leading agri-tourism destinations.This 100-acre farm, located in the City of Ottawa,was one of the region's first pick-your-own strawberry operations. In 1991, the owners of the farm developed a new vision for a fall celebration. Following extensive renovations, including the addition of 11 hedge mazes, a fall festival was held and has been every year since. Attendance has increased significantly - in the fifth year, Saunders Farm attracted 15,000 visitors and this past year, almost 50,000 visited the farm in the month of October.The Saunders have expanded their operation to include hosting corporate functions, school tours and summer tourism.
Dairy farms produce more than milk; they also produce manure.Terryland Farms is turning this by-product into energy, using a methane digester in combination with a small scale biodiesel system.Next, George Heinzle plans to implement a new conceptual design to move fully into cold-crushing of oil seed crops on-farm.This will generate energy and provide a new use for fuel grade canola oil. As well, George is working to be the first to sell electricity under the Standard Offer Program which will offer higher prices for power from renewable sources.