The latest research from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation focuses on 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.
“Ten years after the creation of Ontario’s Greenbelt, the region’s agriculture sector continues to be an economic powerhouse,” says Burkhard Mausberg, CEO, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. “These successful farmers are evidence that continuing to protect the Greenbelt and its productive farmland is critical for the future of Ontario’s agri-food sector.”
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).
Successful Greenbelt farmer case studies include:
- Beverly Greenhouses, Waterdown - The VanderHouts are reducing their environmental impact while growing their cucumber operations.
- 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.
- Carron Farms Limited, Holland Marsh - A fourth generation family farm drives innovation through re-branding and new product offerings to meet customer interest.
- 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.
- Greenwood 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, Niagara Region - To stay profitable, family fruit farm evolves and diversifies with the changing times.
- Tigchelaar Berry Farms Inc., Niagara Region - Two brothers succeed by embracing innovation and responding to consumer demand.
- Vineland Estates Winery, Niagara Region - Winery getting better with age: Decades old operation thrives because of its leadership and provides 75 local jobs.