Basalt for Heritage Grain 2019 Research Protocol Soil Health
Description
Basalt rock dust is a 100% natural mineralizer that is certified organic and is used as a mineralizer and a liming product with a high level of paramagnetism. Scientist have been researching the benefits of this Canadian mined product since mid 1980 and documenting the benefits for organic farmers (Rocks for Crops by Peter van Straaten). Some studies are suggesting an 35% increase in fruit production and yield in potatoes but no trials have been done on cereal grains as of yet. With interest in this organic fertilizer, Shelley and Tony asked the question: Does a rock mineralizer increase yield in heritage grains?
Publish Date
May 14, 2019
Farmer(s)
Shelley Spruit
Cut Flower Isolation Distance 2019 Research Protocol Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
With local cut flower production blooming in Ontario, there’s a need for more information on how to grow cut flower seed to meet the demands from growers. However, isolation distance for cut flower seed production is notoriously undocumented and, often, proprietary. Currently, Kim uses an isolation distance of 800 ft for her cut flower seed production but she’d like reduce this distance in order to free up space for greater flexibility in production.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Kim Delaney
Sweet Potato Breeding 2019 Research Protocol Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
Most sweet potatoes are grown from slips, which are clones of the tuber. This means that no new genetic diversity is created each year, with no progress towards regional adaptation. As a hexaploid (six homologous sets of chromosomes), however, sweet potatoes are very genetically diverse. To get new genetic diversity, plants need to be grown out, produce flowers and also produce viable seeds. This is difficult because most varieties of sweet potato show self- and cross-incompatibility, low natural flowering ability, and low seed fertility. Starting in 2019, Kate will evaluate and select tubers for southern Ontario’s growing conditions.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Kate Garvie
Reduced Protein for Heritage Chickens 2019 Research Protocol Alternative Livestock Feed
Description
Heather raises Chantecler chickens, a dual purpose bird that is also Canada’s only heritage breed of chickens. Until now, she’s raised them on the standard commercial rations, but she suspects they have different feed requirements compared to commercial hybrids. Heather is curious to see if the Chantecler can grow well on a reduced protein feed during the grow-out period. This, in turn, would reduce her feed costs. Even more, it would demonstrate that raising Chanteclers can be an economic enterprise for meat and layers, which better maintains genetic diversity over breeding the birds just for show.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Heather Newman
Southern Ontario Pepper Breeding Project Update 2019 Research Protocol Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
This project started in 2016 using seed obtained from Dr. Michael Mazourek’s breeding program at Cornell University of a cross made between commercial varieties Ace and Aristotle. The 2019 season will be the fourth year of growing out the cross Ace F1 x Aristotle F1 at three different locations in the province (Ottawa, Wolfe Island/Kingston, Acton/Hillsburgh/Guelph). The farmers are growing a Mass Selected Population and two different projects of Progeny Lines. The mass selected population will always hold more genetic diversity and, therefore, be more variable. The yellow and red progeny lines offers a more stable line of each colour, for growers who require that.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Annie Richard, Rebecca Ivanoff, Greta Kryger and Kathy Rothermel
Pea Variety Trial 2019 Research Protocol Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
A strong interest by organic and conventional farmers including larger market and CSA gardeners, in winter cover crops, particularly nitrogen-fixing cover crops, has stimulated Duane to investigate the possibility of using winter peas in that role.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Duane Falk
Early Yield Pea Breeding Update 2019 Research Protocol Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
Duane is developing a truly winter hardy garden pea. Specifically, he is trying to combine the winter hardiness of Austrian Winter Field Peas with the qualities of a garden pea (Lincoln, etc). This type of pea could be planted in the autumn and would yield early peas in the garden before the heat and drought set in, producing much better quality and ahead of the main season for farmers markets, etc. He started this project in 2018 and it should take 3-5 years to get uniform lines with the combined traits of hardiness and quality.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Duane Falk
Cucumber Breeding 2019 2019 Research Protocol Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
The goal of this project is to produce an open pollinated seedless English cucumber with excellent flavour well adapted to growing in soil under organic greenhouse conditions.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Nathan Klassen
Broccoli Breeding Year 1 2019 Research Protocol Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
The goal is to breed a heat tolerant heading broccoli that has broad genetics to be adaptable to climate variability and is bred for organic systems.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Greta Kryger
Fall Field Lettuce Variety Trial – Growing Season Evaluation Forms 2019 Research Protocol Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
Growing season evaluation forms for the fall field lettuce variety trial.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Angie Koch, Ann Slater, Hilary Moore, Leslie Moskovits, David Mazur-Goulet and Lise-Anne Léveillé, Joanna Kowalczyk, Harold Saunders, Erik Landry and Andrew Meehan
No-till Tarp Trial – Data Sheets 2019 Data Sheet Soil Health
Description
Data collection sheets for the no-till tarp trials.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Brent Preston, Matt Jones and Chris Bocz
Tomato Grafting Trial – Harvest Forms 2019 Data Sheet Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
Harvest forms for the tomato grafting trial.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Eric Barnhorst, Jenny Cook, Sarah Judd and Nathan Klassen
Tomato Grafting 2019 Research Protocol Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
Specialized tomato rootstock seems to have a lot of potential, but it is unclear if they are well-developed for unheated hoophouses. Given the cost of the rootstock, extra labour, equipment and greenhouse space required to graft, these growers want to know: Are grafted tomatoes economically worthwhile in unheated hoophouses in Ontario?
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Eric Barnhorst, Jenny Cook, Sarah Judd and Nathan Klassen
Reduced Tillage for Fall Brassicas 2019 Research Protocol Cover Crops
Description
Ryan wants to see if they can reduce soil tillage/weed cultivation and irrigation requirements for fall brassicas. To do this, he will trial a mix of fall rye and hairy vetch cover crop, which will be crimped and used as mulch the following season for late-season broccoli in northern Ontario. He expects that they can build enough biomass by early July to establish a suitable mulch when crimped for late season brassicas in the northern Ontario. This will reduce the need for weed cultivation (tillage) and irrigation.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Ryan Spence and Isabelle Spence-Legault
No-till Tarp Trial – 2019 2019 Research Protocol Soil Health
Description
This is a continuation and expansion for 2019.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Brent Preston, Matt Jones, Chris Bocz
No-till Spring Cereals – Update 2019 Research Protocol Soil Health
Description
This is a update for 2019.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Ken Laing
Fall Field Lettuce Variety Trial 2019 Research Protocol Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
The fall slot for lettuce is challenging, as the lettuce has to handle both the heat of the summer and the cold of the fall with all the moisture and temperature variability that is characteristic this time of year. To compare different varieties and their performance in this seasonal niche, a group of nine growers from across the province selected lettuce varieties of interest. Each grower then chose a subset of these varieties, each committing to plant two replicates of each variety in their last two plantings of lettuce.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Angie Koch, Ann Slater, Hilary Moore, Leslie Moskovits, David Mazur-Goulet and Lise-Anne Léveillé, Joanna Kowalczyk, Harold Saunders, Erik Landry and Andrew Meehan
Comfrey as a Companion for Saskatoon and Currant 2019 Research Protocol Soil Health
Description
This is a continuation of Pat, Arthur and Ivan’s 2017 and 2018 projects.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Pat Kozowyk, Ivan Chan and Arthur Churchyard
Biochar for Apple Orchards – Update 2019 Research Protocol Soil Health
Description
This is continuation of Val and Brent’s 2018 study.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Val Steinmann and Brent Klassen
Is it possible to breed a delicious winter hardy garden pea for most of Ontario and eastern Canada? 2018 Research Report Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
Duane would like to breed a pea that can be planted in the fall and yield early peas, before the heat and drought set in. He’d like to see early production of high quality peas to supply market gardeners and backyard gardeners without the struggles of early spring planting. Progress to Date: This breeding project should take 3-5 years to get uniform lines with the combined traits of winter hardiness and quality, which are both complex traits. Varieties derived from this project will be released publicly as per the Breeders Pledge (below). If deemed commercially viable, the resulting varieties will also be licensed to small seed companies.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Duane Falk
Does ultra high density grazing as part of adaptive multi-paddock grazing have merit in Ontario? 2018 Research Report Pasture Regeneration
Description
Adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing uses short grazing intervals followed by long rest periods. By doing so, this system allows for plant recovery, promotes optimal plant communities, protects against erosion and leads to net carbon storage in the soil (Stanley et al 2018). To optimize his grazing, Tony assessed the benefits of ultra high density grazing as part of his AMP approach. Specifically, he tested whether a single pass of mob grazing would provide a “hit and boost” to his pastures. Key Findings The amount of forage consumed was the same, irrespective of standard or ultra high density grazing. Tony found no difference in pasture recovery between standard and ultra high density grazing. Tony will graze these areas in a similar way next year to see if a second year of a “hit and boost” has benefits.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Tony McQuail
What is the best variety of Sweet Pea to grow in southern Ontario? 2018 Research Report Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
Much of the flower seed being produced and used by cut flower growers across Canada is grown internationally in the Netherlands, Israel, and various South American and African countries. This means that varieties are not adapted to the Canadian climate and flower growers can’t support local seed houses. Jessica wanted to assess different varieties from local seed houses to find the best one for her farm, and she enlisted the help of other flower growers. Key Findings There was not a detectable difference in plant quality among blush or white varieties. While there was not enough data to analyze statistically, Jessica recorded differences in bloom period and vase life. In doing so, she gained insight into the importance of these factors – especially in hot southern Ontario – for future variety trials of Sweet Peas.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Jessica Gale
Is it possible to breed an early, blocky pepper with good flavour that is adapted to organic systems in southern Ontario? 2018 Research Report Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
Four growers continued to select and stabilize peppers for their breeding project. Progress was made towards stabilizing the developing variety. Progress to Date: Growers made progress towards stabilizing the lines of red and yellow peppers A red pepper from this developing line won a blind taste test and was generally rated with great flavour Measurements confirmed blocky-ness Growers will formalize the stabilization and aim to send the variety to market in 2020
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Annie Richard, Rebecca Ivanoff, Greta Kryger and Kathy Rothermel
Does tarping between succession plantings reduce the amount of tillage and labour required for organic salad production? 2018 Research Report Soil Health
Description
With the goal of regenerative farming, Brent and Gillian want to minimize tillage for their organic salad greens production. To do this, they trialed tarps to kill residue between succession plantings and recorded the management needed to direct seed. They also tracked labour, including time moving and placing tarps and hand weeding. Key Findings Tarping soil, without tilling before tarping, reduced tillage by 82% and resulted in faster growing crops. It also reduced total labour 60% for lettuce and spinach crops because of fewer weeds. It increased total labour by 65% for mustard greens, which do not require weeding.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Brent Preston and Gillian Flies
Is lettuce seed production in northern Ontario improved using a hoop house? 2018 Research Report Seed Production, Selection & Breeding
Description
Northern Ontario faces specific challenges compared to other parts of the province when it comes to seed production, including late springs and early frosts (as early as end of August), followed with a wet fall. The demand for lettuce and greens seed is high, but these growing conditions make producing lettuce seed outdoors very difficult. This means that northern seed producers cannot produce regionally adapted varieties. As a potential solution to lettuce seed production in northern Ontario, Peggy compared seed production in a hoop house and uncovered. Key Findings In the hoop house, Peggy grew sellable lettuce seed from 4 of 5 varieties, and sales of the seeds would recoup hoop house material costs in 2.21 years. When grown uncovered, none of the 5 varieties produced viable seed.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Peggy Baillie
Does planting timing of green mulches affect yield of garlic and labour? 2018 Research Report Cover Crops
Description
This project compared yield and labour for garlic planted into established oats, garlic and oats planted together, and garlic without a cover crop. Key Findings Garlic survival and proportion of medium garlic was highest when garlic was planted with oats or into bare soil (control); and lowest when garlic was planted into an established oat cover crop. • Garlic planted into an established cover crop required more planting labour and delayed emergence. Delayed emergence, in turn, delayed weeding and allowed perennial species to establish. Eric won’t use the oat treatments as tested again; but seeing the biomass of the early oat planting has motivated him to tweak the system to make it work.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Eric Barnhorst
Is Fusarium infection in garlic reduced with a copper spray or biostimulant? 2018 Research Report Disease & Pest Control
Description
Felicia grows nematode-free garlic, which she sells as clean seed. She’d like to prevent loss to Fusarium and tested a copper spray and biostimulant spray as potential ways to control the fungus. Key Findings The dry conditions and good seed garlic led to low Fusarium pressure this year. Felicia found no difference in the proportion of garlic with visual signs of infection by weight of good garlic when she compared plots treated with copper spray, RhizoVital® spray and no spray.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Felicia Syer Nicol
Do organic sprays differ in their efficacy against disease in black walnut? 2018 Research Report Disease & Pest Control
Description
Joseph and Jazmin compared organic sprays for managing disease in their young orchard, with the goal of discovering the best organic approach to care for their black walnuts. Key Findings Disease and insect pressure was low on the young trees measured this year. While there was no statistical difference between the two treatments (neem oil vs copper and biological insecticide). They will continue measurements for a second year. The most significant indicator of fungal infection is early defoliation in the fall. Therefore, observations next year at the end of the season could strengthen their overall conclusions.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Joseph Imre and Jazmin Bansagi
Does comfrey promote growth and fruit production of saskatoon berry and black currant? 2018 Research Report Cover Crops
Description
Perennial cover crops have many ecological benefits. However, they may compete with the crop or not provide sufficient weed control. Progress to Date: In their second year with comfrey, Pat found no difference in saskatoon growth or production compared to shrubs without comfrey. In their first year, Arthur and Ivan collected baseline data, and they will continue to measure growth and production for another 2 years.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Pat Kozowyk, Ivan Chan and Arthur Churchyard
Does biochar improve tree growth in a newly established apple orchard? 2018 Research Report Soil Health
Description
Val and Brent were curious to know if biochar will help regenerate soil in their young apple orchard and “help to set in motion biological activity and nutrient retention. Researchers have documented benefits from biochar in arid and tropical soils, which vary by soil fertility status and biochar quality. Much less is known about biochar’s effect in temperate regions, but there is anecdotal support for biochar use from some farmers in Ontario. Key Findings In the first year of application, Val and Brent detected no effect of the biochar amendment on soil microbial activity, as a proxy for soil health. They also detected no changes in tree health in the first year of application. Val and Brent will continue to monitor soil and tree health in future years.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)
Val Steinmann and Brent Klassen
Towards Farmer-led Research: A Guidebook 2018 Other Publications
Description
This guidebook aims to provide insights for working collaboratively with farmers in research. We identified and synthesized the literature on farmer-led research and farmer participatory research activities from around the world, with a focus on the North American context. Further, we shared our experiences and lessons learned from the first three years of Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario’s Farmer-led Research Program. This resource is meant to be used as a practical tool for researchers and practitioners looking to develop, implement, and evaluate farmer-led research programs.
Publish Date
February 6, 2018
Farmer(s)