Whats Up With Greenhouses Canada?
22/01/18: EIGHT REASONS WHY HYDROPONICS IS THE Future of farming
With the pressure to consume healthy locally grown food on an extreme rise, people are looking to grow their own produce both commercially and small scale now more than ever. Fortunately, hydroponics is a solution that can work on all scales and has many benefits.
Hydroponics comes from the Latin word ‘hydro’ meaning water and ‘ponos’ meaning work. Hydroponics is just that, a type of farming that involves growing plants in water rather than soil. Often times, hydroponic systems will be seen in indoor grow rooms using artificial lights, however there are other options available.
Less Water: Hydroponic systems require up to 90% less water than traditional field farming methods, making these systems a fantastic solution for those who have limited water resources.
Less Space: In hydroponic systems plants can grow at a density 4 times (or more) greater than traditional soil methods allowing you to grow more plants in less space.
Better Results: Most crops grow twice as fast in hydroponic systems, yielding a better tasting and hearty crop.
No Soil: Although soil has been used for generations to grow crops, there are many risks associated with traditional growing practices. Did you know that up to 1/3 of the world’s top layer of soil is at risk for contamination? As a result of erosion, livestock mismanagement and removal, the soil, putting our food at risk.
Less Chemicals: When plants are grown indoors, it is possible to create a perfect environment and exclude pests, which eliminates the need for herbicides and insecticides.
Better Jobs: Hydroponic farms are creating agriculture jobs in areas with climates do not traditionally lend themselves to farming. Hydroponic farms are also more ergonomic and do not require the laborious tasks associated with ‘working the soil’. This all adds up to more jobs, which are less physically demanding for farm workers.
Safer Food: Unlike many large farms, hydroponic farms do not run the risk of runoff from livestock contaminating field crops. This small difference nearly eliminates the dangers of a food borne illness outbreak.
Less Dependence on Fossil Fuels: Most hydroponic farms do not require the use of heavy farming machinery, which reduces fossil fuel consumption. Traditional large-scale farms rely heavily on applying fossil fuel based fertilizers to soil, whereas hydroponic systems can run completely on organic and naturally derived nutrients.
19/09/17: catch us at the Canadian greenhouse conference October 4&5!
06/07/17: Cassandra's Food Incubator Tour Experience!
On Monday, May 29th, 2017, some of Sudbury’s organizations, Greenhouses Canada, FEDNOR, OMAFRA, The City of Greater Sudbury and College Boreal embarked on a two-day adventure to Southern Ontario to learn more about food processing and production facilities.
After a four-hour drive, filled with discussions about food culture and how to better Sudbury’s food tourism, we finally made it to our first destination; Speducci Mercato for a little taste of Italy. We ate some delicious artisanal food, and then we had the opportunity to tour the restaurant to meet the award-winning chef behind Speducci Mercatto; Chef Gabriale Paganelli. If you’re ever in Toronto’s west end Design District, make sure to stop in and support local!
After a belly full of premium quality food, we stopped in at the Food Starter facility just down the road. Food Starter is a shared production and packaging facility that offers advisory services and a structured training program to assist entrepreneurs. Thank you Carlos Correia, the Facility Manager for the wonderful tour!
With the day slowly coming to end, we got back into our van and drove to our next destination – Cobourg, Ontario. Before bed, we stopped in at The Mill Restaurant and Pub for dinner.
After a lovely complimentary breakfast from our hotel, we hit the open road bright an early to head to our next destination – The Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre. Similar to the Food Starter facility, the OAFVC supports fresh fruits and vegetable value-adding opportunities to increase farm revenue. The facility also helps start-up companies to turn their ideas into reality by offering business services and training opportunities. A big thank you to Operations Manager, Joe Mullin for the fascinating tour! Your facility is very cool!
Our last destination included a tour of Durham College’ Centre for Food and a lovely lunch at the College’s Bistro 67 pub. If you’re interested in a post-secondary opportunity that involves food, this is the place to be! The CFF is focused on the field-to-fork concept, which is based on the harvesting, storage, processing, packaging, sale and consumption of local food for local consumers. They have baking, culinary, hospitality, tourism, agriculture and horticulture programs and facilities, including a greenhouse (which includes multi-laboratory classes), a 200 tree apple orchard, a pollinator garden, a demonstrator garden, kitchen garden, herb garden and agricultural planning zones, a two-story living wall, and farm fields. Also of interest is Pantry, a retail food store that offers an assortment of value-added foods prepared by students in the CFF classrooms and labs.
After the tour, we stopped in for lunch at Bistro '67 before heading back to Sudbury. The pub offers a field-to-fork dining experience where meals are prepared and served by staff and students - how cool is that?! They create dishes inspired by fresh ingredients from the Centre for Food's own gardens and other local suppliers across Durham Region. Thank you to the lovely students who prepared one of the tastiest burgers I have ever had!
Two fun-filled days of food tours and local dining later, it was time to head back home to Sudbury, Ontario. After witnessing some very interesting initiatives taking place down south, our Foodie Family is excited to bring some fresh ideas (no pun intended) to our community!
Stay tuned to find out what this Sudbury Foodie’s has in store!
05/24/17: Ever Wonder How We Grow Our Wheatgrass? Take a look below!
05/17/17- We had the opportunity to support The Flour Mill Community Farm team at their Launch Celebration!
Proud to support Sudbury's first urban farm, keep up the great work Social Planning Council!