Greenbelt Farmers: Sowing the Seeds of Success

A close look at 9 local farm operations that are innovating and adapting their businesses to ensure economic prosperity to their families, communities, and Ontario’s $34 billion agri-food sector.

Oct 07, 2015   •   Economic Development, Livable Communities

This report profiles nine successful farming operations within Ontario’s nearly two million acres of permanently protected Greenbelt. The collection of case studies, Greenbelt Farmers: Sowing the Seeds of Success, recognizes several ways local farm operations are providing economic prosperity to their families, communities, and Ontario’s $34 billion agri-food sector.

Many farmers by their very nature are entrepreneurial and are seeking new opportunities, innovating, and adapting to the changing environment. By highlighting examples of success and best practices, this report provides a better understanding of the approaches, management and tools used by farm operations, and can be helpful to the agriculture and agri-food sectors, as well as planners and policy makers. Home to 5,500 farms, farmland makes up 43 per cent of the Greenbelt. Farmers in the Greenbelt grow higher value crops than most Ontario farms—with gross farm receipts per acre in the Golden Horseshoe nearly doubling the Ontario average ($1,756 compared to $939).

A close look at 9 local farm operations that are innovating and adapting their businesses to ensure economic prosperity to their families, communities, and Ontario’s $34 billion agri-food sector.

 

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Download PDFs of the individual case studies below:

Beverly-Greenhouses-Report-Cover.pngBeverly Greenhouses, Waterdown 

The VanderHouts are reducing their environmental impact while growing their cucumber operations.

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Carncroft Farms, Durham Region

By working collaboratively and sharing both insights and equipment with other producers, the Carnaghans have expanded from its own herd of 150 ewes to an impressive 700 ewe operation collaborating with two other partners.

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Carron Farms Limited, Holland Marsh 

A fourth generation family farm drives innovation through re-branding and new product offerings to meet customer interest.

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Cooper’s Farm & CSA, Durham Region

The Coopers have found their niche in direct marketing, and continue to grow and diversify their products and customer experience.

Greenbwood-Mushrooms-Cover.pngGreenwood Mushroom Farms, Durham Region

Durham producer has mushroomed into one of the largest enterprises of its kind in Canada, providing 360 local jobs.

Meyers-Fruit-Farms.pngMeyers Fruit Farms, Niagara Region

To stay profitable, family fruit farm evolves and diversifies with the changing times.

Tigchelaar_Berry_Farms_Cover.pngTigchelaar Berry Farms Inc., Niagara Region

Two brothers succeed by embracing innovation and responding to consumer demand.

Vineland-Cover.pngVineland Estates Winery, Niagara Region 

Winery getting better with age: Decades old operation thrives because of its leadership and provides 75 local jobs.

 

Wilmot-Orchards-Cover.pngWilmot Orchards, Durham Region

The Stevens continue to grow by embracing early adoption of new varieties, diversification, and other innovations.