Greenhouse Production for Northern Ontario
May 06, 2021
Greenhouse Production Workshop — Thursday, May 6, 2021
About this event
Greenhouse production is a well-established sector in Southern Ontario that is increasingly being adopted across Northern Ontario. Businesses see the potential to service a growing market demand for local food and non-profit organizations are using greenhouses for employment training, promoting healthy eating, and as a step towards addressing food insecurity.
As part of the planning process, municipalities play a key role in determining how and where production activities occur. By attending this webinar, municipal staff, elected officials, businesses and community organizers will gain an understanding of key aspects of greenhouse production, including:
- New technologies
- How to move a project forward
- Lessons learned from people working in this sector
Greenhouses from A to Z: 11:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m. EST
Description: This opening session will provide a general introduction to the greenhouse sector. From general information about what grows in greenhouses, production potential and seasonality, to what technology is widely used and what is most appropriate for northern climates. Attendees will learn where sector growth is occurring, and what advancements are on the horizon.
Presenter: Dr. Fadi Al-Daoud, Greenhouse Vegetable Specialist, OMAFRA
Lunch: 12:00 p.m. — 1:00 p.m. EST
From Concept to Implementation: 1:00 p.m. — 2:45 p.m. EDT
Description: As with any new venture, starting a greenhouse takes a lot of planning. Niki Bennett from Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG) will explain OGVG’s role in supporting the greenhouse sector and what opportunities for growth are unique to Northern Ontario. DSCB Global will speak to feasibility studies and some of the key considerations when developing a project, such as access to utilities, site selection, labour, start-up costs and equipment.
John O’Neill and Vicki Hilborn from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs will look at how greenhouses intersect with key policies and regulations, including the Provincial Policy Statement, local land use planning documents, nutrient management regulations and the Building Code. Attendees will also learn about opportunities for further developing a project, honing their growing skills, and funding supports for getting a project off the ground.
· Niki Bennett, Science Coordinator, Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers
· DSCB Global
· John O’Neill, Rural Planner, OMAFRA
· Vicki Hilborn, Engineer Program Coordinator, OMAFRA
· Dr. Fadi-Al-Daoud, Greenhouse Vegetable Specialist, OMAFRA
· Kendal Donahue, Agriculture Development Advisor, OMAFRA
Practitioners Panel: 3:00 p.m. — 4:30 p.m. EST
Description: Greenhouses are as unique as the people and goals behind them. Join four practitioners in the field to learn about different greenhouse models in northern Ontario. Hear from Manon Cyr of La Maison Verte in Hearst about how they transitioned a tree nursery into a greenhouse that grows vegetables and their focus on providing employment opportunities for women.
Jessica Laidely of the United Way Sault Ste. Marie & Algoma District’s Harvest Algoma Food Resource Centre will speak to the organization’s experience developing a greenhouse project in an urban area as part of the organization’s mission to tackle food insecurity.
Henriet DeBruin of DeBruin’s Greenhouses will share their story and how they evolved from a small greenhouse in 1991 to a 17,000 square foot greenhouse growing vegetables and herbs for the local market today.
Jean and Kathy Génier — owners of JK Gardens — run both a market garden and greenhouse where they grow a variety of fruits and vegetables that are available seasonally. Jean and Kathy will speak to the main challenges, benefits and lessons learned from incorporating a greenhouse into their business model.
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