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

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?

ON Organic newsletter — A resource for organic growers


ON Organic newsletter
ON Organic newsletter

ON Organic is a newsletter to keep you up to date on numerous issues, sources of information, programs, and events to assist you with your organic production and marketing needs.

There are numerous contributors to the newsletters including OMAF and MRA staff and University of Guelph researchers. Some articles are also referenced from other sources.

Find it at  To subscribe to this newsletter, go to the webpage:

Send your comments to Evan Elford (email: or phone 519-826-3288).

OMAFRA Food Safety Webinar: Getting Started in Food Safety for Organic Fruit and Vegetable Growers

For organic growers new to food safety, this webinar will help you learn about the areas of risk that might occur on your farm and what good agricultural practices can be implemented to reduce those risks. We will also talk briefly on labelling requirements for Ontario produce under regulation 119/11 and provide a list of food safety resources available for Ontario fruit and vegetable growers.

Date: Friday, January 11, 2013

Time: 11 am to 12 pm

Pre-registration is required. To register

Check out the new cover crop decision tool for Ontario!

By Anne Verhallen, Soil Management Specialist (Horticulture)

As early and mid-season vegetable crops are harvested take the opportunity to build your soil through planting cover crops.  You may be wondering about trying a new cover crop.  Now there is a new on-line tool available to help you decide.

Ontario has worked with the Midwest Cover Crop Council (MCCC) to develop a Cover Crop Decision Tool.  The tool allows you to select a cover crop based on what’s important to you (county, soil type, objective –building soil organic matter, alleviating compaction, minimizing wind or water erosion, forage, etc.) and provides your top cover crop species.  Each cover crop has a profile, specific to Ontario, that outlines how to grow the cover crop and its’ potential benefits and limitations, so you can make informed decisions.

The tool was developed by an Ontario team of cover crop experts including farmers, university researchers, OMAFRA staff, crop advisors, and seed suppliers to provide options for your growing region.  The tool is available at It’s quick and easy to use, so next time you are surfing the net, check it out. And if you have any suggestions or for more information, please email either Anne Verhallen ( ) or Laura Van Eerd ( ).