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EASTERN ONTARIO FARM TOURS

By Rita Stoller

Bruce and Janet Duncan, Almonte June 18th, 1994

Almonte is a wonderful farming area with rolling land. However, it was one of those very hot June days when Hubert and I drove up to Duncans. So, we chose to hide in the cool kitchen eating Janice's delicious fruit salad and talk. We talked about how the spring work went, how the haying was coming along, even about vacations. What a big difference location made at that point in the season - we were almost done with the hay, while Duncans were just filling their silos with haylage.

Norm and Kathy Porter joined us later. The day before they were putting in square bales and round bales a lot.

This was the first year the Duncans had pastured their 50 cows, and 35 heifers and dry cows on 30 acres. Throughout the summer, the milking cows were moved daily to another one acre pasture. The heifers and dry cows followed in the rotation, one day behind the others. On every pasture there was a water supply. As the Duncans explained to me recently, this summer was an excellent start for their pasturing program, given the grass had grown so well.

Pinehedge Farms

Anton, Edith, & Joseph Heinzle July 9th, 1994

Yogourt and Kefir from organic milk

This enterprising family farm is an excellent example of good team work - father and son! All work on the farm (barn, cows, crops, vegetable, herb garden, and yogourt )is done with pride.

Anton took us through the fields on a wagon. Oats, wheat, soybeans were viewed. The spring was so wet that cultivating the soybeans was almost impossible. The weeds were there! Some grain fields were seeded too late and hardly grew at all. We also saw flax (eventually combined on Sept 10). Their son-in-law presses the oil out and sells it on the market. The leftover flax is fed to the cows.

In August the Heinzles finally got their licence to produce and sell their own organic yogourt. During their first week they produced 275 litres of yogourt. The demand doubled very quickly, mostly from Montreal health food stores and Ottawa markets. Those who attended the tour were served fresh bread, sour cream with herbs and the Heinzles' own yogourt at a picnic table under shady trees. It was nice to see some EFAO members from western Ontario.

All of us wish the Heinzles great success!

Hubert and Helen Earl, Addison August 6th, 1994

An excellent lamb barbecue was the focal point of this farm tour. Hubert had invited other sheep farmers, so attendance was better than usual. Looking over Helen and Hubert's vegetable garden was wonderful.

There are many separate pastures in Hubert's pasturing system. Water is supplied by a stream running through it. A field frost seeded with trefoil seemed to be successful. One of the hayfields had a big yellow bird resting in it! It was Joseph Heinzle's little airplane. We watched him take off from there. I was glad to see him fly safely over the woods!

Every farm tour requires some organization and effort - thanks to all of you for your work.

Copyright 1994 Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.


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