Local Farmers Recognized for their Innovations
The following are regional recipients of the Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence:
Carleton Growers Limited - Carp
Carleton Growers Limited know how to create the sweet smell of success. They developed a new hybrid red rose that has all the good characteristics of a premium rose variety. Partners Fred and Darlene Hogg and Ronald Bazinet conducted the initial propagation of the rose and then sent it for grafting to experts in California, reducing development time from three years to six months. The new 'Kajusaro' rose offers a steady supply of premium hearty plants to wholesale and florist customers. Bushes, patio planters and cut roses are available in this new variety. Consumer response has been overwhelming - and with 30,000 bushes currently in production, everything's coming up roses for these innovative growers.
Hugli's Blueberry Ranch - Pembroke
Brian Hugli's Blueberry Ranch works to ensure everyone can enjoy the farm when they visit. This agri-tainment operation offers a high-bush blueberry picking area and giant pumpkin boat races among its activities. The ranch is fully accessible for people with mobility issues from the parking lot to blueberry picking areas, washroom facilities, space on wagons, gift store, ice cream parlour and covered deck.
McMaze - Cedar Fox Farm - St. Andrews
Stephen and Valerie McDonald of McMaze - Cedar Fox Farm in St. Andrews are literally reaping the benefits of their innovation. Stephen McDonald modified his International 400 Cyclo series air corn planter so that he can also use it to plant sunflowers, gourds and pumpkins, among other crops. He spends less time and money planting, even though he now plants more acres to meet the growing local wholesale demand. And yield is up on those acres. All in all, it's an improved farm practice that boosts the bottom line.