Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence

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Connaught Nursery - Renfrew County

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Phil McNeely, MPP Ottawa-Orleans and Dorothy and Grant Dobson

Phil McNeely, MPP Ottawa-Orleans and Dorothy and Grant Dobson

Who would have thought the harsh winter snows of eastern Ontario would be helping peaches grow? The Dobson family lets the snow build up as high as eight feet around the walls of their greenhouse, allowing it to serve as an insulating blanket. And inside their greenhouse north of Ottawa, tender fruit thrive. Supplementary heat for the 4,500-square foot greenhouse is only needed two or three days per winter, when outdoor temperatures drop below minus 30 degrees Celsius. After seven years, the peach trees are in full production. That means the farm can offer fresh, local organic peaches a month before Ontario's outdoor peach season begins. The taste of fresh peaches grown close to home has attracted customers to the farm and driven up sales of other products at the family's on-farm market. It's a sweet deal for peach lovers and for this innovative grower.


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