News/Events - January 2011

Soil test workshop a success!

Farms at Work hosted a successful EFO soils workshop in Warkworth on Saturday January 15, 2011. The workshop was led by long-time farmer Ken Laing. Twenty-four people attended, representing farms in Peterborough, Northumberland, City of Kawartha Lakes, Frontenac, and Prince Edward Counties. Interestingly, when soil tests were compared among farms over this wide geographical area, a combination of extremely high calcium levels, mediocre potassium and phosphorus levels and neutral pH gave an unreliable cation exchange capacity (CEC) value for all farms. This reflects the limestone origins of the soils in the region. To correct low phosphorus and potassium levels, Ken recommended the application of compost to most of these soils, but warned against over-application because the resulting high nitrogen levels would cause weed problems. Work needs to be done to develop a regional strategy to maximize the health and capabilities of the soils in the region using sustainable inputs.


Soil Workshop

24 participants attended the EFO Soil workshop from across the region

Soil Workshop
Ken Laing discussing soil components

Farmer Potluck Kitchen Table Meeting – Woodville

January 19th (Wednesday) – 12 – 3 pm at Mark Trealout & Laura Boyd, Kawartha Ecological Growers
475 Farms Road, Woodville
 ALL interested sustainable and organic farmers, new farmers and members of Ecological Farmers of Ontario or Kawartha Ecological Growers are invited to the first 2011 kitchen table potluck meeting. Discussion topics will include the plans for a local community egg grading station, and sharing successes and challenges of what you produced this past season (individual cultivars, meats, grains, marketing/distribution, etc.) We look forward to meeting you!
Child Care available $5.
For directions and information contact

Workshop on Soil Tests

Call now and register for this January 15 workshop in the Kawarthas region.

Have you wondered how to really understand your soil tests? How to address deficiencies or other imbalances? Here is your chance to bring along your own soil test results and get some great practical advice.

If you have soil test results bring them to the workshop, as there will be an opportunity for individual interpretation.

Finding the Balance: Soil Testing and Amendments

A one-day course that helps farmers interested in using naturally occurring (non-synthetic) amendments to meet the nutrient requirements of their crops. Soil test results will be analyzed with an eye to how to balance each nutrient with others, what nutrients levels are optimal in that balance and if and when amendments are needed. There will be class time to look at your individual soil test results. Information will be provided on sourcing amended. Sponsored locally by Farms at Work. Bring a lunch.

Date:  Saturday, January 15, 2011, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Location:  Warkworth (Northumberland County)

Cost:  $50 for Ecological Farmers of Ontario (EFO) members, $70 for non-members

For more information and to register, contact Karen Maitland at 519-822-8606 or

Exploring Your New Farm Dream

We are looking for about 15 enthusiastic individuals – of any age and background – for this five-session program. Offered in the Kawarthas for the first time, the program has been enthusiastically received in other parts of the province. It was developed by the New England Small Farm Institute (NESFI). Please pass this on to anyone you think might be interested.

Exploring Your New Farm Dream is a course for people who are thinking about starting a commercial farm business.  Over 12 hours (four three-hour sessions) and one day of farm tours, the Explorer course guides participants through an in-depth self-assessment process to identify the specific aptitudes, interests, skills and resources needed in a new farm business. Sponsored locally by Farms at Work.

Dates: February 12, 19, March 5, 12, 19.

Location:  Peterborough

Cost: $300/person or $400 for two people from the same farm

For more information about the course, go to or contact Monika Korzun at or (519) 836-7046 x 110.


Farms at Work on CHEX news

Farms at Work will be featured on CHEX news at 6pm either today or tomorrow, January 7. The story covers the support and training opportunities we are providing for new farmers in the region, including the Exploring your New Farm Dream course starting on February 12.

If you miss it, we’ll try and post it here when it becomes available.