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Term 2: Ignatius Farm New Farmer Training Program

Monday April 22 @ 7:00 pm - Wednesday July 31 @ 8:00 pm

Venue: Online

Online via Zoom - link will be sent to registrants

Member: Free Register
Standard: Free Register

Register for the whole term here or register for individual events by visiting efao.ca/events.  

**All events are recorded to allow participants to watch on their own time. Recordings will be made available on the course platform (Moodle) within 48 hours of the event.


In person field trip: Small plot agriculture at Ignatius Farm

April 24, 9:30-11:30am

Location: Ignatius Farm, 5420 Hwy 6N, Guelph, ON

Join us for a tour of Ignatius Farm’s small plot agriculture program. We will walk through the 3 acres of community gardens, our community orchard, and our rented small plot tenants.  Please dress for the weather.  The ground may be wet/muddy and the wind can be very chilly in the open areas.


Online Meet-up: Full Term Participants Meet-up

April 22nd, 7:00pm-8:00pm


Webinar: Field and Bed preparation

April 29, 2:30-4:30pm

Before you can plant, you need to prepare the soil. This webinar will discuss methods of field and bed preparation, the dangers of over cultivation, and innovative no-till options. Primary and secondary tillage equipment will be shown as well as smaller-scale and hand-tool options. A recording of this webinar will be available.

Facilitator: Lisa Conroy, Farm Educator at Ignatius Farm


Webinar: Vegetable crop disease management

May 1, 2:30-4:30pm

Identifying and managing plant diseases can be tricky. Join us for this introduction into what plant diseases are, how to identify them, and what you can do to prevent and control them. A recording of this webinar will be available.

Facilitator: Katie Goldehar, Pathologist – Horticulture Crops, OMAFRA


Webinar: Weed Management

May 6, 2:30-4:30pm

What are some common weeds and how do we manage them on a farm? This webinar will introduce the importance of managing weeds, the basics of weed identification, and various preventative and reactive control measures.  A recording of this webinar will be available.

Facilitator: Lisa Conroy, Farm Educator at Ignatius Farm.


Webinar: Cover crops and green manures

May 8, 2:30-4:30pm

What is cover cropping and green manure? This webinar will answer these questions and discuss why they’re used in crop rotations. Learn how this practice can help increase soil health, crop health, and soil water retention. A recording of this webinar will be available.

Facilitator: Stephanie Vickers, Horticulture Sustainability Specialist, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.


Webinar: Yoga for Farmers; warming up for the season

May 13, 2:30-4:30pm

Join us for a hands on webinar where you will be led into a practice on how to do simple and effective exercises and movements to strengthen, stretch, and warm up your body to prep & thrive in the ascending season. It will start with body awareness, then posture and finally targeted exercises. There will be a PDF that you can print and use as a tool to practice “off the mat and into the field” what you have learned. A recording of this webinar will be available.

Facilitator: Julie Bradley-Low from Stonegrove Wellness Studio


Webinar: Irrigation basics

May 15, 2:30-4:30pm

An introduction to the importance of irrigation on farms, water stress on plants, when to irrigate and how much. Participants can expect to learn about different irrigation options, discuss troubleshooting and where to source parts. A recording of this webinar will be available.

Facilitator: David Alexander, Program coordinator at Everdale.


Webinar: Principles of harvest and post harvest

May 27, 2:30-4:30pm

Harvest and post-harvest handling are critical steps to ensure good quality produce with optimal shelf life. Learn important tips on things like harvest hygiene, timing, and techniques as well as post-harvest handling, cooling, and storage. A recording of this webinar will be available.

Facilitator: Della Campbell, Everdale Co-founder


In person workshop: Hands on weeding

May 29, 2:30-4:30pm

Location: Ignatius farm, 5420 Hwy 6N, Guelph, ON

Join Lisa for a hands on look at weddings tools, techniques, and weed ID. We will get a chance to try out different tools and try our hand at some weed ID! Please dress for the weather and for walking in muddy fields.

Facilitator: Lisa Conroy, Farm Educator, Ignatius Farm


In person field trip at Rumar Farm & Manorun Farm

June 5, 9:30am – 3:30pm

Join us for one or both of these field trips.

9:30-11:30am at Rumar Farm, Ridgeville: In the morning we will meet at Rumar Farm – a certified organic farm that uses biodynamic farming principles and practices. They grow tender fruit, berries, heirloom vegetables and melons.

1:30-3:30pm at Manorun Farm, Ancaster: In the afternoon, we will tour Manorun Farm. Chris Krucker and Denise Trigatti, alongside their four children, have been farming organically here for 25 years, offering organic vegetables through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Working to mitigate climate change is a large priority at their farm. They have moved the farm away from a monocrop and pesticide reliant system towards a more natural one called an Oak Savannah. The advantage of growing food using the savannah is that natural eco systems thrive. Soil fertility is built up through deep rooted plants, swales lined with trees act as a water source and a home for pollinators and wildlife, and food is produced on multiple layers. They believe that through the Oak Savannah and other regenerative agricultural practices we can rebuild our organic matter, increase biodiversity, which in turn provides us with more nutrient-dense crops.

If you are attending both field trips you are welcome to bring a bag lunch and eat as a group at Rumar Farm before we head to Manorun Farm.


Flower Production

June 10, 2:30-4:30pm

Local and ecological flowers are a high valuable crop to grow and are more and more popular over the conscious consumers. Join us for this webinar where we discuss how to efficiently and successfully begin growing or add floral crops to your current production system, using ecological growing practices, and how to market those flowers through existing or new CSAs, farmer’s market and grocery stores. A recording of this webinar will be available.

Facilitator: Chloé Roy Founder of Floramama, ecological flower farm


Setting up an urban farm

June 12, 2:30-4:30pm

Want to farm but stay in the city? Join us for this webinar on setting up an urban farm.  We will discuss what you need to consider before you start and some of the challenges you may face along the way.  A recording of this webinar will be available.

Facilitator: Akosua Asare. Farmer-Florist at re.Planted Farm and Florals.


Introduction to Beekeeping

June 19, 2:30-4:30pm

Interested in beekeeping? Join the Tuckamore Bee Company crew to learn about the basics of keeping bees, what you need to get started and some common challenges for beginners. A recording of this webinar will be available.

*Please note, this event will be available for a limited number of in person participants as well as a live Zoom event.  


Keeping Sheep

June 24, 2:30-4;30pm

Have you been wanting to keep livestock?  How about sheep!  Join Brenda Hsueh as she talks us through starting a sheep farm, the challenges and benefits.  Brenda and her family run Black Sheep Farm; an organic farm, raising sheep on pasture for lamb meat, fibre, and tanned lambskins. A recording of this webinar will be available.

Facilitator: Brenda Hsueh, Black Sheep Farm


In person workshop: Composting in community

June 26, 2:30-4:30pm

Location: The Huron St Community Garden

Learn how to recycle nutrients back into the soil to build your growing space and community! Karen (Kéké), one of the compost Queens of the Royal City will show off the three bin compost system used at this community garden, show us the composting basics, and talk about how you can compost in almost every space.  

Facilitator: Karen (Kéké) Houle


Ecology of pasture raised meat production 

June 17, 2:30-4:30pm

Details to come!


In person field trip: Crosby Gitigaan & County Left Farm

July 10, 9:30am – 3:00pm

Join us for one or both of these field trips.

9:30-11:30am at Crosby Gitigaan: In the morning we will meet at Crosby Gitigaan (Malvern urban Farm) in Scarborough. Aiden Crosby is a Black/Indigenous agricultural expert with a passion for showcasing knowledge of Indigenous food systems Aiden is part of a large family from the Ojibwas of Anderdon, a pre-confederation band of mixed Black/Indigenous people living near Windsor, ON. Aiden co runs the farm with his family It is a small scale farm that showcases indigenous agriculture techniques, companion plantings and other ways of growing! 

1:00-3:00pm at County Left Farm: In the afternoon, we will meet at County Left Farm in Stouffville. County Left is on three acres of land, one of those acres is in mixed vegetable production and the other two are for crop rotations and remain in cover crops during the season. They farm at a small “human” scale – mainly using hand tools and a walk-behind tractor. They take care to figure out by research and observation what the land may need from in order to produce good food for their community.

You are welcome to bring a bag lunch and join us while we eat at one of the farms.


Webinar: Orchard care basics

July 15, 2:30-4:30pm

Join us for a hands-on holistic fruit tree care workshop focused on summer pruning, and how pruning integrates with key aspects of fruit tree botany and physiology, pest management strategies, and other best practices for maintaining a healthy and productive home orchard. 

Please note, this event will be available for in person attendance as well as a live Zoom event.  After registration please e-mail farmeducation@ignatiusguelph.ca if you would like to attend in person. A recording of this webinar will be available.

Facilitator:  Matt Soltys, runs The Urban Orchardist


Webinar: Farmer Mental Health

July 17, 2:30-4:30pm

Farming can be a stressful job. Many aspects of farming often come with significant

challenges such as high financial risk, heavy physical labour, extreme weather and unpredictable supply chains. Unfortunately, farmers are less likely to seek the help of professionals. Join us for this webinar to find out about programs geared towards helping farmers address their mental health challenges and learn some tips to help you cope with day to day stress. A recording of this webinar will be available.

Facilitator:  CMHA, Agriculture Wellness Ontario, Rav Singh from Shades of Miti


Webinar: Intercropping in market gardens

July 29, 2:30-4:30pm

Intercropping is a way to increase on-farm biodiversity and can provide a range of benefits. At the same time, it increases complexity and can create challenges, which necessitates pro-active management.  Wondering how you can intercrop? Join Kristine Hammel from Persephone Market Garden to learn how intercropping is essential to her growing and  some principles that can help you increase agro-biodiversity in your farming. And yes, there will be a chart of companion plants to get you started. A recording of this webinar will be available.

Facilitator: Kristine Hammel, Persephone Market Garden


Online Meet-up: Full Term Participants Debrief

July 31, 7:00pm-8:00pm


Full program details available here  >