By: Dallington Pollinators, Toronto
In late September, the Dallington Pollinators arranged a farm trip for 20 new Canadians with funding from Into the Greenbelt. Guy Farintosh, owner of Farintosh Farms, gave our group a tour of his farm and shared lots of useful information, including tips and tricks about vegetable growing.
The fields we visited were divided into four major quadrants. The crops are rotated each season. One field was full of clover to help the soil recover and rebuild its strength. Another section was dedicated for picking. Guy uses sustainable techniques for growing the crops. After the tour, we were led to the part of the field where we could pick our choice of vegetables. We had trouble deciding how much to pick and where to start, but Guy walked us though the process patiently, and we walked away with the most fresh and beautiful veggies. Row upon row of colourful bell and banana peppers were a sheer delight to the senses. The only thing we forgot to carry with us was a knife for cutting away the veggie stalks, as the eggplants can be quite prickly when picked by hand.
For those who did not want pick their own vegetables, there was a wonderful onsite farmer's market, packed with freshly picked veggies, honey, maple syrup and other goodies. Guy and his wife, Karen, are doing a wonderful service by inviting visitors to their farm and sharing useful knowledge. Many in our group were able to learn the reason behind tomato blight and how to prevent it from spreading. The group learned about the use of sustainable techniques like crop rotation and cover cropping, and how to maintain healthy, living soil. People from different farming backgrounds could relate to some of the techniques used in Canada. Although the growing season is nearly coming to an end, knowledge gained from the trip into the Greenbelt will hopefully encourage the newcomers to start growing on their own!
Into the Greenbelt is a project of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, in partnership with RBC, The Stop Community Food Centre, and regional Conservation Authorities to bring new Canadians into Ontario’s Greenbelt for fun, educational day trips.