The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario’s Farmer-led Research Program started in 2016. Modeled after Practical Farmers of Iowa’s highly successful Cooperators’ Program, the program is about tapping into the inherent curiosity and innovative spirit of farmers to support advances in ecological agriculture!
EFAO’s farmer-led research program is open for applications by any farmer interested in testing the effects of adopting more ecological practices on their farm, be it in the realm of horticulture, field crops, livestock, or perennials.
What are you curious about? Have an idea for a trial? Need help designing an experiment? Want to know more about how to conduct research on your farm? Learn more about how to access the support and training for research on your farm.
Apply for 2018 funding here! Or contact Sarah anytime to get started working through a question or design.
Explore all things research- related, like protocols and research reports, in the Research Library.
2018 Research Protocols are now online!
- Sweet Pea Variety Trial, Jessica Gale, Jennifer Feddema, Joanne Feddes, Janis Harris and Sas Long
- Southern Ontario Participatory Pepper Breeding Project, Annie Richard, Rebecca Ivanoff, Greta Kryger and Kathy Rothermel
- Organic disease management for Black Walnut, Joseph Imre and Jazmin Bansagi
- Lettuce Seed Production in Northern Ontario, Peggy Baillie
- Garlic Mulch 2018, Eric Barnhorst
- Ecology in action for Dahlia production: Luring cucumber beetles and their predators, Jessica Gale
- Early Yielding Pea Breeding, Duane Falk
- Comfrey as a Companion Plant for Saskatoon and Black currant, Pat Kozowyk, Ivan Chan and Arthur Churchyard
- No-till Spring Cereals with Different Cover Crops, Ken Laing
- More to come!
2017 Research Reports:
- Summary of Projects 2017
- Interplanting Onions and Brassicas
- Cabbage Seed Production
- Spring planted white clover for garlic mulch
- Southern Ontario Pepper Breeding Project
- A “Comfrey” Companion for Saskatoon?
- Amendments for Pasture Regeneration
- Living and Dry Spring Mulches in Garlic
- Probiotics for Pasture-Raised Chickens
- Foliar Sprays for Cucurbits
- Foliar Sprays for Cut Flowers
In the News
- April 2018: Local Pepper Varieties Taking Shape in Ontario, The Canadian Organic Grower
- March 2018: How to reduce poverty and re-connect people to nature, The Conversation
July 13, 2017: County farm part of Grow Grant, County Weekly News
July 12, 2017: Ecological Farming: Young farmer coordinates research studies, Wellington Times
- July 11, 2017: Eight farmers receive funding for doing their own research, Ontario Farmer (correction: make that 13!)
- Summer 2017: Cultivating a Culture of Curiosity: Farmer-led Research in Ontario, Union Farmer Quarterly
June 26, 2017: EFAO Recognizes Grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation for Farmer-led Research, Media Release
March 20, 2017: Farmers share crop research on informal networks, Ontario Morning with Wei Chen, CBC Radio. Link to full podcast here or listen to clip of the EFAO below
- March 7, 2017: New farmer-led research program harvests new knowledge in Ontario, New Hamburg Independent
- August 25, 2016: Grant furthers ecological farming researcher, ObserverXtra
- May 12, 2016: EFAO Launches New Farm Trial Program, Better Farming
- March 21, 2018: Webinar: What’s in a Number? Statistics for Farmers 101. View recorded version here.
- November 15, 2017: Webinar: Becoming a Farmer-Researcher. View recorded version here.
- March 15, 2017: Webinar: Introduction to farmer-led research: Turning questions into practical trials. View recorded version here.
- March 30, 2016: Webinar: On-Farm Research Design & Analysis. View a recorded version here. (Poor quality recording).
Other Past Events
- January 26, 2018: Fertility Management for Organic Production System: How Farmer-led Research Fits, Guelph Organic Conference, Guelph
- January 8, 2018: On-farm Solutions for Soil Carbon Storage and How Farmer-led Research Fits, Grey Bruce Ecological Day, Grey County
- November 28-29, 2017: Farmer-led Research Workshop, Blue Mountains
- August 16, 2017: Farmer-led Research Field Day, On-Farm Plant Breeding: Developing New Varieties in your Market Garden, Whole Circle Farm, Acton
- July 16, 2017: Farmer-led Research Field Day, Ecological Cut Flower Production and Experiments, Sweet Gale Gardens, Millgrove
- June 26, 2017: Farmer-led Research Field Day, Green Mulch Experiments in Garlic, Fiddlehead Farm, Prince Edward County
- June 15, 2017: Farmer-led Research Field Day, Green Mulch Experiments in Garlic, Orchard Hill Farm, St. Thomas
- March 23, 2017: Ontario Soil Network Leadership Training Workshop, London
- November 29-30, 2016: Farmer-led Research Workshop, Ecological Farmers of Ontario’s Annual Conference, Kingston
- October 13-17, 2016: Food Secure Canada Assembly, Farmer-led Research in Ontario: A grassroots mechanism for positive change in agriculture, Toronto
- August 17, 2016: Farmer-led Research Field Tour and Ontario Trillium Foundation Recognition Event at Fertile Ground CSA, St. Agatha
- August 15, 2016: Agroecology Knowledge Exchange Workshop: Building a South-North Partnership, Waterloo
- June 22, 2016: No-till/Low-till Field Day, Orchard Hill Farm, St. Thomas
- February 15, 2016: Advisory Panel meeting, Guelph, ON. View meeting outcomes here.
- January 31, 2016: Farmer-led Research Program Information Session, Guelph Organic Conference, Guelph
Sarah Hargreaves, Director of Research, email@example.com
Heather Coffey, Eastern Ontario Research Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org
This program is made possible by funding from: