News & Events

Local Food In the News!

Recently, FAW Director, Pat Learmonth, visited Queen Mary Public School to talk local food with our friends from the Peterborough County-City Health Unit, and CHEX TV. 

Pollinator Day in Peterborough County

Come Celebrate the Wonderful World of Native Bees! 

When: Saturday November 1, 2014  |  9:00am - 4:00pm 

Where: Douro Dummer Community Centre  |  2893 Highway 28 Peterborough, ON

Cost: $30/person (includes lunch and a copy of A Landowner's Guide to Conserving Native Pollinators in Ontario)

Peponapis pruinosaOn Saturday November 1, 2014, pollination biologist Susan Chan, will present a full day workshop designed for farmers, landowners and concerned citizens. Susan will outline the fundamentals of pollination, as well as habitat requirements for pollinators and beneficial insects. Case studies will be presented, and strategies for mitigating threats to pollinators will be proposed. 

Susan has been invited to give presentations to thousands of people across Ontario, and her extensive research is inspiring farmers and landowners to implement pollinator conservation plans on their own properties. 

Rusty-patched bumble bee

Participants will each receive a copy of Farms at Work's A Landowner's Guide to Conserving Native Pollinators in Ontario, and will participate by building a nest for cavity-dwelling bees to take home for use on their own properties. 

There will also be ample time to interact with exhibitors, stewardship organizations and businesses that provide pollinator-friendly plant material and services to landowners. If you are interested in becoming an exhibitor, please let us know! 
Spots will fill up quickly for this exciting workshop, so make sure to get your tickets early! To reserve your seat online, go to: For more information, contact:  |  (705) 743-7671

We'd like to formally thank and recognize the generous support of the Peterborough Foundation, without whom this event would not be possible. 

Peterborough Foundation


New Farmers Let Off Steam @ The Spill

Farms at Work - New Farmer Mixer
Late summer is always a crazy time of year for farmers, rife with long harvest days and countless hours standing in parking lot farmers’ markets. So we were more than a little surprised when literally dozens of new farmers from around Peterborough County and beyond flocked to the Spill on Saturday night to unwind, catch up with friends, and enjoy some live music.

Complete with several delicious Night Kitchen pizzas, some delectable Dan LeDandan drinking chocolate, and the doo woppy/jazz stylings of farm band, The Sandy Pockets, the stage was set perfectly for an evening of mixing and mingling. 

Based on feedback we’ve received already, these events have become valued opportunities for new farmers to meet and interact with our growing agricultural communities. They’re also pretty great ways to maintain some semblance of a social life during the grind of a long farming season. While networking and community engagement are vitally important to the success of any farmer-entrepreneur, so too are those opportune moments to have some fun!

We’d like to thank everyone who came from far and wide to celebrate farming, food and community with us this weekend. Stay tuned for details on our next mixer soon!

Improving Production Efficiency in the Seedhouse

DIY Seed Winnower

On Wednesday August 27, fourteen seed savers from across southern Ontario made their way to the Cottage Gardener Heirloom Seedhouse and Nursery to learn some tricks of the trade from expert seed savers, Dan and Mary Brittain. The topic on everyone’s mind: how to clean small seed crops (think onions, brassicas and flowers) faster and for less money than by hand. 

Armed with a few feet of PVC pipe and some lumber, a simple hair dryer and a bit of ingenuity, the Brittains showed everyone just how quickly and easily it can be to get small seed crops clean enough for sale. 

Taking cues from an open source design he found online, Dan has been tweaking his DIY small seed winnower for the last few years. By adding a baffle to control air flow, and a variable speed hair dryer, Dan has increased his cleaning efficiency and significantly lowered his costs of production with this simple (and versatile) piece of equipment. With materials coming in at roughly $60, Dan is confident that seed savers around the province will easily recoup the cost of building this device the first time they put it to use. 

After a thorough demonstration of just how effective the winnower is, the fourteen budding seed savers set to work on assembling units of their very own. With a bit of teamwork, and some guidance from Dan, fourteen winnowers were constructed in about thirty minutes, minutes sure to save the participants hours of painstaking chaff removal down the road. 

And since it was such a gorgeous day, once assembly was complete, the group opted for a guided walking tour of the Brittain’s impressive 12 acre seed saving garden. Lined with established windrows and pollinator havens, the fourteen seed savers were swept away by the possibility that their own gardens might someday be as beautiful, productive and efficient as the Brittain’s. 

We would like to thank the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, without whose generous financial support this informative, hands-on workshop would not have been possible. We would also like to thank Aabir Dey from Everdale/BFICSS, and each of the enthusiastic participants for making the trip to join us for a great day. 

For more photos, please visit our Facebook page.

Hey Farmers, C'mon Out and Mingle!

Farms at Work - New Farmer Mixer

We're Throwing Another Farmer Party!

When: Saturday September 6, 2014  |  Doors @ 8:00pm

Where: The Spill  |  414 George Street N. Peterborough

Cost: $5 / Pay What You Can (to help pay the band)

We had such a great time at the first mixer back in February that we just had to throw another one! Join us for round two as we gather to celebrate community, food, farming and music.

Are you an intern on a farm in the region? Maybe you're studying agriculture at Trent, Fleming or Durham. Or perhaps you've been farming for a number of years and want to help welcome all the fresh-faced new farmers to the area!

Whatever the case may be, put down the garden forks, hop off the tractor, and come on out for an evening of well-deserved music, drinks and dancing!

Farm band, The Sandy Pockets will be on hand to get your hips shakin', and we'll have some delicious local eats from the amazing Night Kitchen. Bring your friends, everyone is welcome!

Feel free to RSVP at the Facebook event page if you're planning on attending. 

For more info, contact  |  (705) 743-7671.