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Events (September 15 - December 31st):

The District 15 Annual Meeting of the Ontario Assn. of Agricultural Societies
Saturday, October 4, 2014, 9am - 4pm
Kenora, Ontario (inquire below for more details on where it's held)
For more info: Sylvia Goodheart - District Homecraft Director: (807) 767-2363 OR Howard Sanderson - District Director of District 15: (807) 937-5060

Woodstar Farm Open Barn
Saturday, October 11, 2014, 11am-3pm.
Come check out Woodstar Farm's new milking barn!
For more info: See the October NorthWest Link or Oliver Paipoonge News, or contact them directly at woodstarfarm@hotmail.com.

Thunder Bay Federation of Agriculture Annual General Meeting
Thursday, October 30, 7:00 pm
Kakabeka Legion, 4556 Highway 11-17
For more info: Linda Turk, 577-4787

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
November 7 - 16, 2014, 9am-9pm, except Sundays (9-8pm, 9-6pm)
Exhibition Place, Toronto - 210 Princes' Blvd
Tonnes to do! Plan you visit to this year's event, full of events, activities and exhibitors, including horse shows, petting zoo and the latest in agricultural technology! For more info: www.royalfair.org

OFA Annual General Meeting 2014 - Growing Ontario (2014)
Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 – Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014
Monday 8:30am– 5pm and Tuesday 8:30am - Noon
Sheraton on the Falls Hotel, 5875 Falls Avenue, Niagara Falls, ON
Convention Theme is Growing Ontario. Registration opens on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 5:30 p.m. and continues Monday, Nov. 24 at 7:30 a.m. To register/more information: Kelly Alves at kelly.alves@ofa.on.ca or 519-821-8883 ext. 204

DeBruin's Greenhouses
Information submitted by Henriet DeBruin, edited by Miranda Bolt

Each season, the TBFA website will be featuring a local producer. This season, Arjen & Henriet DeBruin from DeBruin's Greenhouses tell us a little on their successes and challenges in taking on a northern horticultural business.

What led you to pursue this business?
Arjen has his horticulture degree from The Netherlands, where he immigrated from to Thunder Bay. It was a dream of his to start a greenhouse business.

What are some daily/seasonal tasks associated with your business?
We start the greenhouses in late February with planting and stringing up the tomato/cucumber plants. Once the veggie greenhouse is completed, the annuals and baskets get planted.
By Mothers Day we are into selling mode. Flowers start finding new homes and the tomatoes are starting to ripen. In mid May we start going to the Thunder Bay Country Market and delivering goods to local restaurants and stores, and by the end of May we are busy selling our bedding out plants.
By the time the end of June rolls around, most flowers have been sold and more vegetable are planted in the greenhouses to replace the flowers.
July and August mean we are busy harvesting the vegetables and doing deliveries to stores and restaurants, which we take care of every Monday and Thursday. Tuesdays are reserved for plant care. ie lowering the tomato and cucumber vines. Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings are market days. Which leaves the bulk of Friday for picking for Saturday's market. Sunday is always reserved for our day of rest and relaxation.
We continue harvesting until the end of October/beginning of November.

What are some challenges you face running this business "in a northern setting?" The weather is always a challenge with the spring flower sales. Cold weather in the spring also means higher heating costs. Sometimes finding staff can be a problem as well, however, we had really good staff this year! 

What does 'produced locally' mean to you?
Produced locally means it is grown in the Thunder Bay area or Northwest Ontario

Why encourage people to support local agriculture?
When people buy local, they keep the money they spend in our local economy. Local agriculture is growing very quickly because of the local support we have seen over the last couple of years!

A little about DeBruin's Greenhouses:
DeBruin’s Greenhouses has been up and growing since 1990 when their first 800 sq foot greenhouse was put up, starting out with bedding plants. Since then, they have grown to over 17,000 sq feet of greenhouses! Crops include a large variety of bedding plants (annuals and perennials), hanging baskets, shrubs, trees, as well as vegetables and herbs. Perhaps their best know feature has become their tomatoes, grown to superb ripeness and sweet taste! Fresh lettuce and cucumbers are also favourites.
DeBruin's Greenhouses is located just 10 minutes past the airport on Highway 61 and welcomes shoppers and visitors during our growing season, May through October. They are also at the Thunder Bay Country Market on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. Come early if you'd like to purchase your tomatoes, they sell out quick!
For more information on DeBruin's Greenhouses and what they offer, visit their website: www.debruinsgreenhouses.com or find them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/debruinsgreenhouses

Check out the below recipe using locally grown tomatoes!

Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

- 9 Ontario tomatoes (about 3 lb/1.5 kg) (available at DeBruins!)
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) good-quality olive oil
- 3 large cloves Ontario Garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped, canned OR pickled hot Jalapeño Pepper
- 1 small Ontario Sweet Green Pepper
- 4 Ontario Green Onions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup (50 mL) finely chopped fresh basil (available at DeBruins!)
- 1-½ tsp (7 mL) leaf oregano
- ½ tsp (2 mL) each salt, coarsely ground black pepper and granulated sugar
- ¾ to 1 cup (175 to 250 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 package (450 g) fettucine or spaghetti

Slice unpeeled tomatoes in half; squeeze out all juice and seeds. Chop and place in large bowl. Add oil, garlic and Jalapeño pepper. Finely chop green pepper; add to the bowl along with the onions, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and sugar.
Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until "al dente." Drain and turn into large pasta bowl. Immediately add tomato mixture and Parmesan. Toss until evenly distributed. Serve right away.
Source: www.ontario.ca/foodland/recipes

Building for a Future in Dairy Farming
Submitted by Peggy Brekveld  

BarnIt was twenty years ago this summer that Gert and Peggy Brekveld purchased a tie-stall dairy that they would call Woodstar Farm. This summer they completed construction of a new milking cow barn and moved their herd into the new facility.
Throughout the years, the Brekvelds have always considered cow comfort a priority when they made changes to the farm. The new milking barn is no different. The cows are housed on a compost bedding pack. (This means that the bedding is tilled twice a day, adding air to the pack and starting the composting process.) There are no stalls, so the cows can lay down wherever they wish and walk freely inside. Fresh air is also very evident. Energy use was a consideration, and the barn is lit by LED lights, the large overhead fans are energy efficient and the natural ventilation from thermostat-controlled curtain walls takes advantage of the prevailing winds and the top of the hill location.
The milking area is a used double 7 parallel walk-in parlour, meaning that the farmer no longer has to bend down between the cows or carry the milking units to each cow. This is easier on the farmer’s knees and backs. There is also less physical labour required for chore time than the old tie-stall barn.
Currently, the Brekvelds are milking 64 cows, but the barn is built with the future in mind, with the potential to house up to 90 cows. The farm has grown slowly but surely over the years, and they hope that that trend continues as they look ahead.
With a spirit of thankfulness, Gert and Peggy and their children Andrew, Judy, Derek, Susan and Faith would like to invite the community to come and see their new milking barn at their Open Barn event, Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 11am-3pm.  For more details, please check out the October NorthWest Link or Oliver Paipoonge News, or contact them directly at woodstarfarm@hotmail.com.
Hope to see you and your family there!

TBARS Thunder Bay Annual Summer Tour (July 30, 2014)
Submitted by Dr. Tarlok Singh Sahota, CCA

Crop tourThunder Bay Agricultural Research Station (TBARS), Thunder Bay, ON, has been conducting its Annual Summer Tour Day jointly with Thunder Bay Soil and Crop Improvement Association (TBSCIA) every summer. Apart from providing audience, TBSCIA members have been generously contributing to the free BBQ lunch to the participants. The TBARS summer tours have been an opportunity for its staff (Limin Luan and Blaine Tomeck) and the Director of Research and Business (me) to show case the innovative research work being done at TBARS to farmers/farm families, farm organizations, including the Regional and the Provincial ones, such as NOFIA and Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, faculty members from the Lakehead University and the Confederation College Thunder Bay, OMAF & MRA specialists (local and outside), Industry Canada, etc. NOFIA was represented by Executive Director Stephanie Vanthof, OSCIA by President Allan Mol and Executive Director Harold Rudy and, OMAF & MRA by our good friends Horst Bohner, Soybean Specialist, and Rudy Buitenhuis, Agriculture Development Advisor, Lakehead University by Roopa and Sandip Rakshit and Dr. Gautam Das (who briefed the participants on an innovative device he was working on which would involve testing at TBARS and will have application on farms for estimating Nitrous Peroxide a GHG). Confederation College was represented by Collin Kelly, Food Strategy Thunder Bay and Area by Co-ordinator Kendal Donahue, and Industry Canada by Paul Tulonen (IRAP). John Rafferty was the only local politician at the tour. Apart from local farmers, all those who came from outside were impressed by the ongoing work at TBARS. Our plots looked very impressive! We were ahead of our farmers to seed canola and cereals this year. Among others, Harold Rudy expressed special interest in our wheat flax intercropping plots. Peter Aalbers was impressed by Galega a perennial forage legume from the Scandinavian countries. Aalbers is keen to seed 20-50 acres under Galega next spring and is looking for its seed already. Horst Bohner was looking for nodules on soybeans and he was disappointed not to see any. However, after Bohner left, we had some warm days and soybeans at TBARS showed immense growth. So much so that the soybeans completely covered the 50 cm unseeded inter-plot spaces.

An interesting feature of the 55-60 participants (gathering) was the eminent presence of quite a few lovely farm children. It was a delight to see future farmers participating in our tour. It is encouraging to note that their number is on the increase every year.

I was, as usual, interviewed by the Thunder Bay Television, which covered the event very well. Read “Diversity of flavours” at: www.tbnewswatch.com/artsandlife/351200/Diversity-of-flavours if you missed that somehow. Chronicle Journal Thunder Bay couldn’t make it to our tour this year, but they more than made up by writing an editorial “Research farm has great value”, in support of TBARS, on August 3, 2014. This is the first time ever that TBARS was covered/and supported by a Chronicle Journal editorial. The beauty is that the media questioned Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, who happened to be in town on July 30, 2014, our Annual Tour Day, on funding TBARS for its continuity! I don’t think that any other research station in Ontario got such a support. Our heartfelt thanks to Thunder Bay Television and the Chronicle Journal Thunder Bay. Dr. Sahota acknowledged the hard work done at TBARS by Blaine Tomeck and Limin Luan, which brought a big applause from the participants. Most participants were amazed at the quantum and quality of work done at TBARS with only a few staff. Farmers’ comments on our tour were positive. One from Tom Loghrin is reproduced here as an example. Tom wrote on Facebook: "Thank you Tarlok Sahota for a very informative tour - as usual. Congratulations to you and the staff on your accomplishments; you make us proud. Let us hope that we can keep TBARS going into the future." This type of positivity keeps us going and do more and more fruitful work for our enterprising farmers. It seems God was happy with our work too. He made sure that the day was calm and pleasant with the Sun shining and no rain until everything was over and all were out of TBARS! Shouldn’t we thank God? I hope to see you all next summer at TBARS again. Enjoy the summer and coming fall!

Advertising with TBFA
If your business and its customers are associated with the agriculture industry, consider advertising with TBFA! Rates are as follows:
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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.
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Fall in Thunder Bay and Area

As geese fly south to warmer temperatures in flocks overhead, the fields below serve as a resting place as they feed on leftover grains and seeds from already harvested crops. Local farmers and producers are clearing their lands and gardens to rest in the long, cold months ahead. It's all a necessity in the cycle of agriculture.


For our advertisers: As of January 1st, 2015, advertisers in our online Directory will be asked to submit an annual payment of $20 to continue to advertise their business. We will be contacting all of our business Directory advertisers in the next few weeks. If you wish to continue to advertise, please indicate in replying to the email we will be sending out. Thank you for your support!

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 November 30th, with our next update posted in the first week of December. 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.


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