Home        About TBFA        Directory        FAQ        TB Agrifacts

Comments From The Editor
Summertime in Thunder Bay and Area

The most preferred season for most of us has arrived and local producers and farmers are well on their way to managing crops, keeping up with daily associated duties and praying for favourable weather. While summer for most of us may be a time of socializing, camping and evening BBQs, our local producers are hard at work. Thunder Bay and area's summer presents only a short time for our producers/farmers to plant, fully mature and harvest produce and crops, and that is their main priority during the summer months. So here's hoping for some great summer weather to make things easier. And in the meantime, take advantage yourself, and use it as an excuse to get out and visit some of the local upcoming fairs and events taking place, (see Events below) or peruse a local farmers' market!(see article below) Summer is here in Northern Ontario!
Miranda Bolt, TBFA website editor

EVENTS: (July 1st - Sept. 7th)

Roots To Harvest Urban Youth Farmers' Market
Date: July 21, 2014, 10am-3pm.
(continues to run each Mon./Thurs. until end of Aug.)
Corner of Cornwall and Algoma Streets
Come meet this years summer crew and garden tenders! Our markets introduce a variety of veggies, honey, granola and more for sale!
For more info: www.rootstoharvest.org

Thunder Bay Soil & Crop Improvement Association Crop Tour
Date: July 30, 2014, beginning at 10am
Starting at the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station
Come join us for a day of crop touring, beginning with TBARS touring plot trials, followed by a BBQ lunch and field tours in the afternoon at various other locations.
Contact: www.tbscia.wordpress.com

123rd Murillo Fair
Date: August 16 & 17, 2014
Murillo Fairgrounds, 4559 Oliver Road, Murillo
An annual tradition! Join neighbours and friends for outdoor, country fun! Includes horse gymkhana, vendor booths & displays, chariot racing, rabbit & poultry judging and plenty of food!
For more information: (807) 767-2365, www.oliveragriculturalsociety.com

2014 Hymers Fair
Date: Labour Day weekend, August 31 & Sept. 1, 2014
Hymers Fairgrounds, the village of Hymers (see website for directions) A true classic country fair, this is the place to see the biggest pumpkins grown locally, horse and cattle shows, and to chat with the friendly people that come out each year to enjoy the real atmosphere of country living!
For more information: Debbie Hoover (807) 475 8586, info@hymersfair.com

82nd Annual Slate River Plowing Match
Date: September 5 & 6, 2014
Thunder Bay Agriplex, corner of Piper Drive & Highway 130
Enjoy a classic annual event, the annual plowing competition! Fresh-plowed plots for judging, watch or take part yourself!
Music, local booths, food and much more! We are also looking for advertisers and sponsors for our 2014 Plowing Match Booklet.
For more information: Tom Loghrin (807) 475-4022 or email tomlo@tbaytel.net www.slateriverplowingmatch.ca

Belluz Farms
Information submitted by Jodi Belluz, edited by Miranda Bolt


Each season, the TBFA website will be featuring a local producer. This season, Jodi Belluz from Belluz Farms tells us a little on their daily and seasonal responsibilities in managing the farm and fields!

What led you to pursue this business?
We loved the idea of being our own bosses, and of keeping the family tradition alive of growing food for our community. Kevin has a degree in Plant Biology from the University of Guelph so buying the family farm fit perfectly into his interest in the science of growing. I was trained as a teacher, but quickly fell in love with "living off the land" and helping people understand the importance of supporting local agriculture - of knowing where their food comes from.

What are some daily/seasonal tasks associated with your business?
We spend the months of December and January planning and finding ways of "doing things better" for the upcoming growing season. We spend the remainder of the winter seeding and getting things growing in our greenhouse in preparation for the upcoming greenhouse garden season. Spring is full of getting things planted - strawberries and all of our other annual vegetable crops. And of course, summer means we open to the public and have our full staff on site. We open for pick your own strawberries during the first week or so of July and then we move into our other PYO crops: peas, saskatoons, beans, raspberries and cucumbers. We fill in the gaps with various kinds of Fresh Picked produce in our Farm Store. Fall is pumpkin time and root veggie time and we enjoy having our farm open to the public until the end of October. There's some more field work to be done in November and then it's time for some rest in December!


What are some challenges you face running this business "in a northern setting?"
Weather is our main challenge. You just never know what "Mother Nature" will send your way regardless of how much planning and preparation you do to get ready for the upcoming harvest. Our second challenge is letting people know what's in season when and how to get it! We're a bit different than most farms in that we spend a significant amount of our time marketing and branding ourselves, and with customer service right here on the farm.

What does 'produced locally' mean to you? / Why encourage people to support local agriculture?
Produced locally to us means any food that is produced here in Northwestern Ontario and hasn't spent a lot of time on the road before it reaches people's plates. Supporting local agriculture means supporting the people who live in your community and provide jobs for your community members. It also means that food is recognized for the importance that it holds in our lives: it keeps us alive! It's always amazing how little people think about their food, and little they'd last without it. The adage, "Keep your friends close and your farmers closer" says it all! There's a real sense of safety and security knowing that you have a vibrant agricultural community around you.

BelluzA little bit about Belluz Farms:
Belluz Farms has been growing since 1946…and there is something to see nearly every season! Visit the farm during the spring for a variety vegetables ready-to-plant in your own garden. Hanging baskets, and all sorts of blooms also available! Summertime brings the popular strawberry, as well as peas, saskatoons, peas and corn, depending on the time. There is also a wonderful little gift store and cafe with locally made products and produce available. Grab yourself some lunch or strawberry lemonade! Fall brings on their pumpkins and corn maze, also a family favourite. Remember to check out their website for opening dates/seasonal produce available! It is well worth the drive into Slate River Valley to spend a morning or afternoon with your family at Belluz Farms!

Keep up with Belluz Farms and their seasonal happenings! Visit their site: www.belluzfarms.on.ca OR their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BelluzFarms.

Thunder Bay 4H Association - "Learn To Do By Doing"
Submitted by Stacey Freemantle

4H is an organization of leaders building leaders and is based on a “Learn To Do By Doing” philosophy. Members aged 9-21 and volunteer leaders come together to create a 4H club, where members learn about selected topics through hands-on activities and mentorship.

4H activities are structured to develop leadership skills including public speaking, communication, decision making, parliamentary procedure, meeting management and networking, while also educating members about the project subject matter. The 4H approach to learning, development of life skills and leadership, and a focus on community involvement makes the 4H program unique.

Camps, conferences and exchanges are also available in which 4H members may participate.

The Thunder Bay 4H Association has offered a variety of projects for its members, covering topics from sports and healthy living to cooking and crafting, from engineering to putting your best foot forward, from horses to small animals. And there are still so many projects we look forward to offering in the coming years. We have been to the RCMP Musical Ride, toured a pet store, tapped maple trees and boiled down sap, toured a dairy farm, and built “rocket launchers”. We have made blankets for Project Linus, volunteered at the Humane Society, and entered our creations in the Murillo Fall Fair. We have participated in the Farmer’s Market and will be volunteering at the Strawberry Social this month and the Plowing Match in the fall.

4HAlthough Thunder Bay 4H does not run projects over the summer, members will be busy preparing samplings from this years projects for the 4H class at Murillo Fall Fair, and leaders will be busy planning more great projects and activities.

If you are interested in joining 4H, as a member or a volunteer, or if you have a suggestion for a 4H opportunity please contact Stacey Freemantle (474-3979) or Jean Wilson (935-2587) or email thunderbay4h@hotmail.com.

Northern Farmers Markets: Summer Satisfaction
By Miranda Bolt, sourced from various publications/sites

Lately, there's been a lot of talk on supporting local, buying local, eating local. Restaurants are boasting local ingredients on their menus and dishes. Local grocers advertise their "from local farm" beef and cuts. And local farmers' markets seem to be popping up everywhere (expanding, for that matter!)
I thought to include some links and information at hand for your list of must-see local and area markets this summer…a great alternative to a day spent shopping or at home. Plus, take the kids along for some educational reference to where their food CAN come from!

Perhaps one of the largest in the Thunder Bay area in terms of vendors: the Thunder Bay Country Market. Located on the CLE Grounds in the Dorthy Dove Building, visitors are encouraged to come check out what vendors have to offer, every Wednesday 4-7pm (summer months) or Saturdays 8am-1pm (year-round). With over 100 vendors and 6,000 visitors every week, there is sure to be something to catch your eye! Features: local meats, cheese, eggs, produce and chocolate plus baking, meals clothing and crafts!


Thunder Bay Farmers' Market is located in Victoriaville Centre from April to December, Tuesdays and Fridays 9am-4pm. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, you can also find a selection of vendors at the Wilson Street Park, 8am - 12pm. Features: A smaller selection of producers of local northern taste.

A weekend drive to the village of Kakabeka will bring you more to see than just the falls! Join in on Saturdays at the Kakabeka Village Market from 10am-3pm on the corner of Hwy 11/17 and Oliver Rd. The market runs from May 20 to Sept. 27, and includes a chance to eat local & shop with local artisans and unique vendors in the heart of the Kakabeka village. Features: Great produce, baking, crafts and more variety!

Another country classic market takes place in the small village of Nolalu: The Nolalu Market. Small, but sure to have something for everyone! Friday's from 4-7pm on the corner at Hwy 590 on the T intersection with Hwy 588, you'll find smiling faces, friendly vendors, and lots, lots more! Features: garden herbs & plants, yummy home baking, select fruit and veggies, anda selection of crafts and garden decorations.

Heading out towards the border? Why not take a bit of a drive out towards South Gillies for the Gillies Farmers' Market! Stop in on Tuesdays from 5-7 pm for a fresh pick at the fresh grown produce and goodies out in the rural heart of these hills. Features: Locally grown produce and raised meats, plants and other goodies.

The Roots to Harvest Market Garden gives local youth a chance to get their hands right into the local movement. A youth-led market garden is located right in the heart of Thunder Bay, July and August, while produce harvested is sold fresh and local. See our Event listing above for information on this market! Also available through Roots to Harvest: compost workshops and garden tours! Features: Fresh produce, granolas, honey

A non-profit co-operative, the True North Community Co-op is open weekdays 10am-5:30pm as well as Saturdays, 10am-5pm for the convenience of providing our area with local goodness. Their over 100 members are able to reflect true value on their items and control pricing. True North also runs 6 good food box programs in remote communities, providing food subsidies to qualifying First Nations in Ontario. Features: Local meats, produce, flour, baking, crafts and more

Take the scenic drive out to rural Lappe on a Friday afternoon or evening to see what the Willow Springs Creative Centre features on a weekly basis! Fridays from 3-7pm showcase a variety of local items and activities for kids! They are a not-for-profit centre, also providing inclusive art, gardening and food programming/training to local institutions, organizations and the general public. Features: wood-fired pizzas/breads, preserves, honey, baking, cheese, art and more

Superior Seasons Food Market - Online Store is your online farmers' market with sustainably grown and hand-crafted items from verified, local vendors only. Features: visit their site! www.marketstore.locallygrown.net

Travelling out and about Northern Ontario? Check out or stop by any of these other northern farmers markets:

Clover Valley Farmers' Market, Fort Frances - Features: local produce, preserves, baking and meats
Cloverbelt Country Farmers' Market, Dryden - Features: Farm fresh produce and meats, preserves, baked goods and mixes
Matiowski Farmers' Market, Kenora - Features: Local souvenirs, art, breads, cheeses and meats
Algoma Farmers' Market, Sault Ste. Marie - Features: Seasonal produce, baking, preserves and syrups

Get Fresh, Eat Local 2014 Worshop Schedule
By Miranda Bolt, sourced from www.tbdhu.com

As they say, the best way to eat local is with the seasons! So pencil in and check out any of these upcoming free workshops! (*Register in advance by calling 625-8343)

Baking with Local Flours
What: Bake up a storm from pancakes to pizza! Learn about a variety of local flours and how to use them.
When: Wednesday July 9th, 5:30pm
Where: RFDA

Wild About Herbal Teas
What: Nothing beats a comforting cup of tea. Come learn how to blend delicious teas with wild, edible plants and herbs grown in the Boreal Forest and how you can grow them in your own garden!
When: Wednesday July 16th, 5:30pm
Where: Thunder Bay Country Market, CLE Dove Building

How Sweet Is it - Local Honey Bees
What: Come learn (and taste!) about the practice of local apiaries from keeping bees to harvesting delicious honey.
When: Wednesday, July 23rd, 5:30pm
Where: Thunder Bay Country Market, CLE Dove Building

Food Drying 101
What: How can you preserve taste and make your garden last longer? Dry your harvest! Learn the different techniques.
When: Tuesday, July 29th 6:30pm
Where: Mary J. L. Black Library

Far Out Fermenting
What: Harness the power of microbes! Fermenting your own foods can be a healthy, fun, and nutritious way to add variety to your diet!
When: Tuesday, August 5th, 6:30pm
Where: Waverley Resource Library

Canning 101
What: Sterilizing? Pickling salts? Pectin? Not sure what it all means? Find out from an award winning jam, jelly and pickling expert!
When: Tuesday, August 12th, 6:30pm
Where: RFDA

Forest Foods - Go Wild
What: Join us in learning all about foods that grow wild right here in the area! When: Tuesday, August 19th, 6:30pm
Where: Mary J. L. Black Library

Using the Whole Hog - Pastry Edition
What: Ever wonder what to do with all that lovely white fat from your side of pork? Learn how to render lard for long-term storage and easy use; create old-fashioned, delicious pastry using just 6 ingredients!
When: Tuesday, August 26th, 6:30pm
Where: RFDA

Following Up
Thunder Bay Farm Scene 2014
Submitted by Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota, CCA

Constant (favourable) change, crop/variety diversification and beautiful farm landscape are the key words at Thunder Bay. This year, the farm landscape is going to be even more beautiful with yellow blooms of canola at quite a few places in the vicinity of the Thunder Bay Agricultural Research Station (TBARS); with one field next to the research station. Two new/enterprising farmers (Fritz Jaspers and Gerald Janssens) have taken up canola (Liberty 130) cultivation in 120 acres (spread over 3 locations) for the first time. One grower increased are under conventional canola almost 4 fold. John Hanna cut down his canola acreage by one third on account of rotational reasons, but he too grows Liberty Canola (5440) for the first time. Growing Round Up ready crop after a Liberty Link canola crop would help controlling volunteer canola. If another Round Up ready crop is grown after Round Up ready canola, controlling volunteer canola could be a real headache. Rotation of herbicides could eliminate the risk of herbicide resistant weeds. While Jaspers used a 15 inch row planter to direct seed canola, without tillage, by using only 2.5 lb seed/acre (half of the recommended seed rate with a good crop stand), Hanna seeded canola @ 6 lb/acre in a conventional manner. Hanna’s farm seems to be the best example of crop diversification. He has put 10 acres under chickpea, 4 acres under berseem clover (for seed production), 45 acres intercropped with oats and berseem clover for hay production, 60 acres under canola and 20 acres under yellow field peas. In addition he has his usual acreage under wheat (40 acres), barley (22 acres) and soybean (40 acres). Hanna becomes the first berseem clover seed grower in Thunder Bay. He is also experimenting agroforestry by intercropping Christmas trees with field peas and edible beans (one set for green pods and another for grains) in collaboration with TBARS and Lakehead University.

Number of Synasolis barley growers, which made high yield success stories last year, has increased from 3 to at least 12 this year with proportional increase in the acreage under Synasolis (mostly over 100 acres with each grower). Other barley varieties, which found expansion in acreage (100 acres or more with a single producer), are CDC Austenson (2 row), CDC Coalition (2 row) and Cyane (6 row). In addition, Encore (6 row), Oceanic (6 row) and New Dale (2 row) barley varieties could be seen in the area. Martin Schep, with 300 acres under barley, probably became the biggest barley grower this year; 100 acres no till and 200 acres under conventional tillage. Forty acres each under Encore and Synasolis and the rest (220 acres) under Cyane. CDC varieties are from western Canada tested and found good at TBARS especially for forage production. Forage dry matter yield from two row barley varieties was found to be 1 MT/ha higher than that from six row barley varieties.

Number of hard red spring wheat growers has not increased, but the acreage under spring wheat has gone up. For example Mark Bolt increased area under wheat from 70 acres last year to 130 acres this year. Another producer increase wheat acreage by ~70 %. Helios wheat has the largest acres (200) with a single grower. Two of our producers have grown Helios first time in Thunder Bay with advance contract which is likely to fetch them a farm gate price of $255-260/MT. Helios has high grain yield and resistance to prevalent races of stem rust and loose smut, and intermediate resistance to common bunt and Fusarium head blight.  Sable and Kane are the two other spring wheat varieties to be found in the area.

Area under corn and soybean has gone down, because of late and cold spring; these reduced acres have gone mostly to barley. Three of our member farmers, including John Hanna, have used ESN for spring crops for the first time! Two of our producers (Fritz Jaspers and Mark Bolt) used VRT was used for nutrients application for the first time. Our farmers continue to apply S, Zn and B in addition to NPK fertilizers. We wish a bountiful harvest for our hard working and enterprising producers!

Advertising with TBFA
If your business and its customers are associated with the agriculture industry, consider advertising with TBFA! Rates are as follows:
Directory Ad- Farms which are members of TBFA pay only a single one-time fee to have their products and information listed on Directory page. Easy reference for our site viewers! ($20)
Business Ad- Send on your business card & information for posting on the Home page, direct & accessible to our site viewers! ($100/year)
Please request our web page ad form to advertise with us, or contact Brenda at burkedairyfarms@xplornet.com

Our Supporters
TD Bank

Carrel and Partners Law Firm
Funding for this project was provided in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Adaptation Council’s CanAdvance Program, Farm Credit Canada, Food Security Research Network and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.
Agricultural Adaptation Council
Can AdvanceCanada

Agriculture and agri-Food Canada

Passport to Safety: Is a national safety test, certification and transcript program for workers. The Passport verifies a basic level of workplace health and safety knowledge to help workers become smarter and safer around the places they work.
Passport to Safety is currently offering a Passport to Farm Safety Course. Click here for more info!

Agriculture Economic Impact Study
Click here to read more

Canadians Unite Through Agriculture
Proud of agriculture? This Canadian website sheds light on the great stories across the country that Canadians choose to share on their experiences in this great industry! Visit www.agriculturemorethanever.ca

Website Updates
Thunder Bay Federation of Agriculture updates this website four times per year. Information for our next update should be in by September 8th, with our next update posted in the second week of September. If you would like to advertise in our business directory or our events calendar, contact miranda@tbfarminfo.org

farm in the fall

Teaching Resources

Have questions about agriculture? want to get the real facts about farming? Check out the resources available through Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc. website. www.oafe.org

The Thunder Bay Dairy Educator is available to teachers for presentations on dairy farming and dairy goodness. Contact your Thunder Bay Dairy Educator today for your FREE visit! Trudy Reid-935-3224 or reidridgefarm@rogers.com

Local Farm Weather

Job Opportunities
Co-operative learning students and farm hands
Co-operative learning students and farm hands are always needed in the area. If you are interested in such an opportunity, please call Peter Aalbers at 939-1644 or e-mail him at peter@tbfarminfo.org.


   Website designed by Blue Snow Imaging