Category Archives: Organic

Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention presentations now available online

Ontario Fruit & Vegetable ConventionPresentation slides from the 2017 Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention (OFVC) are now posted online. Field vegetable content at this year’s OFVC included: Continue reading Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention presentations now available online

Organic Research Needs and Priorities – Opportunity for Input

The Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC) is looking for grower input into the Canadian organic research needs and priorities assessment process. The OACC are coordinating this national process on behalf of the Research Needs Task Force of the Organic Value Chain Roundtable. The information collected through this process will be used to guide organic research priorities to direct organic funding, and so it is important that organic stakeholders in Ontario have their say.

To provide your input, please take this short (3 question) survey. The responses will be aggregated anonymously and submitted to the OACC. To learn more or to organize a priority assessment meeting with a group of growers, visit the OACC website. Continue reading Organic Research Needs and Priorities – Opportunity for Input

Changes to The Canadian Organic Standards – An Essential Update


certificationf10The Canadian Organic Growers (COG) will be hosting a second round of webinars in February to bring people up to speed on the changes to the Canadian Organic Standards:

“The revised Canadian Organic Standards were released Wednesday, November 25, 2015. To prepare Canadians for the changes, COG is offering a series of webinars on the changes called Changes to The Canadian Organic Standards – An Essential Update. These webinars were [originally] presented in the fall and highlighted important changes in the standards and allowed producers, certifiers and verification officers, among others, to ask questions and fully understand the revisions before they come into effect later this month.

The next round of webinars will be presented in February:

  • Crop Production: Tuesday, February 2, 7 PM Eastern Register here;
  • Livestock Production: Thursday, February 4, 7 PM Eastern Register here;
  • Preparation including Processing: Tuesday, February 9, 7 PM Eastern Register here

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Revision of the Canadian Organic Standards


certificationf10The revised Canadian Organic Standards are now available as a free download on the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) website.  Standards revision took place from 2013-2015 and included updates to:

NSC CAN/CGSB 32.310, Organic Production Systems – General principles and management standards;  and, NSC CAN/CGSB 32.311, Organic Production Systems – Permitted substances lists.

The updated Canadian Organic Standards are available at the following links on the Public Works and Government Services Canada website:

The update of the Canadian Organic Standards was made possible by the Organic Federation of Canada (OFC), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and through sponsorship from over 35 different industry organizations.

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Understanding Changes to the Canadian Organic Standards – COG Webinar Series


The Canadian Organic Growers (COG) will be hosting a series of webinars beginning on the 16th of October, 2015 entitled “Changes to the Canadian Organic Standards – an Essential Update”.

“The Canadian Organic Standards have been revised and updated and the new standards are being launched November 9, 2015. To ensure operators, producers, processors, certifying bodies, and verification officers are up to date on the revisions, COG is pleased to offer informative webinars – Changes to the Canadian Organic Standards – an Essential Update.

The webinars are recommended for operators whose products are currently certified to the Canadian Organic Standard, independent organic inspectors, and the personnel of certification bodies and conformity verification bodies who require a knowledge of the Canadian Organic Standard to carry out their work. The cost of each webinar is $25 (tax included).”

Webinar dates and times:

  • Friday, October 16 5:00PM EST –

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Mark your calendars! University of Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming Open House.

This week! This could be of interest to those interested in high tunnel vegetable production and organic production methods.


You’re invited to attend the University of Guelph’s Centre for Urban Organic Farming open house on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, from 1-4 pm.

Learn about ongoing high tunnel and field research projects with horticultural crops and specialty crops including cherry tomato, pea shoots and pods, bitter melon and edible chrysanthemum.


The day will include discussions on high tunnel construction, project set-up, initial experiences of organic vegetable crops grown in high tunnels and field production, understanding environmental variables when growing organic crops in high tunnels versus field production, site tours, and more!

Date: 30 September, 2015
Time: 1-4 pm
Site Tours:University of Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming, College Ave. East & Dundas Lane, Guelph, Ontario.
Presentations: Cutten Fields, 190 College Ave East, Gueph, Ontario.

12:30:             Registration
1:00 – 1:45:    Site Tours (every 15 mins, 3 tours available starting at 1pm)

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Snake Oils – Waste of Money or Cure-All?

Sean Westerveld, Ginseng & Medicinal Herb Specialist, OMAF and MRA

Growers are always looking for new products and practices to improve yield and quality and combat pests. Growers face numerous companies advertising a multitude of products ranging from fertilizers to pest control products to water treatment tools. There are also many blogs and websites promoting different practices and home-made products. How do you know what is safe to apply and will be effective on your crop? Do your research!

The term snake oil dates back to the 19th century when Chinese railroad workers brought snake oil, a traditional Chinese medicine, to North America. Eventually, shady salesmen sold imitation snake oils as a cure-all for human illnesses. The term “snake oil” is now used to refer to any product with exaggerated marketing but questionable quality or benefit. Once a product is proven effective, it is no longer a snake oil.

Before purchasing a product or implementing a new practices make sure it is legal to do so and (if applicable) is permitted by your buyer, processor, or certifying body. Any product with pest control claims (including organic products) must be registered for use on each crop and pest by Continue reading Snake Oils – Waste of Money or Cure-All?