Farmers’ market lines up activities

Press Release

The Clover Valley Farmers’ Market here has a number of activities lined up to chase away the winter blues—and help you dream and plan the upcoming garden season.
Feb. 12 will be “Seedy Saturday” at the farmers’ market, which is located on McIrvine Road just north of Canadian Tire in west Fort Frances.
From 9 a.m.-2 p.m., there will be a $1 seed sale with the help of the Fort Frances Horticultural Society and local growers.
There also is an opportunity for local gardeners to donate extra, interesting, or unique seeds to the $1 sale.
Proceeds will go to the Fort Frances Horticultural Society’s community projects. So the more the seeds, the more fun, and the more money that can be donated.
All you have to do is place seeds in small envelopes (or disposable cups for large seeds) with names and descriptions of the plant. Be creative!
Add instructions for sowing, plant size, days to maturity, etc. Seed packets should be valued at $1.
As an incentive to get involved, for every two packets of seeds you bring, you can exchange them for one of your choice!
If you are not into gardening, you also can join us as a vendor. Just contact Deb Cornell (486-3409) to book space to sell your products—food, crafts, or perhaps something for Valentines?
In other news, the Clover Valley Farmers’ Market food box program has been a resounding success introducing local fruits and vegetables to consumers in Fort Frances, Atikokan, Emo, Rainy River, Nestor Falls, Sioux Lookout, and Kenora.
The annual “Growers Gathering” is planned for Tuesday, Feb. 15th at the market building. It is a chance to review last season–number of growers, items purchased, volume of items, and economic contribution to the local economy—as well as plan for 2011.
The meeting will begin with a meet-and-greet at 6 p.m.
Guest speaker for the evening will be Kevin Belluz of Belluz Farms, a third-generation farm near Thunder Bay established in 1946. They grow a variety of crops, including u-pick strawberries and raspberries, corn, squash, and beans.
In recent years, they have added a greenhouse, a retail area, and a Harvest Cafe.
Belluz trained as a President’s Scholar at the University of Guelph before working in the greenhouse industry for five years in Alberta and one year in England.
In high demand as a speaker throughout Ontario, Belluz will talk about what grows best for his business, using the Internet in your business (including Twitter and Facebook), and the Slow Food International Conference he attended in Italy.
This biennual event draws more than 150,000 visitors to participate in taste workshops and conferences.
Slow Food is an organization linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to their community and environment.
Anyone who’s interested in the local foods movement should plan to attend this meeting and hear what Belluz has to say.
The final event growers should mark on their calendars is the 2011 Crop Planning Workshop for Vegetable Growers on Feb. 18-19 at the Legion Hall in Kakabeka Falls.
This conference is sponsored by the Food Security Research Network, which is affiliated with Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.
Frédéric Thériault will be the key presenter for the Friday evening and full-day Saturday workshop.
As well as being a published author, Thériault, who operates a community-supported agriculture farm in Les Cedres, Que., has been recognized nationally for his crop-planning method.
Using this step-by-step method, he and his four partners earn what Thériault describes as “a respectable and sustainable living” on just seven acres.
According to Brendan and Marcelle, owners of Sleepy G Farm in Thunder Bay, “Frédéric’s philosophy on how to plan your garden to meet your financial requirements is an important concept for anyone who is seriously interested in a career as a market farmer.”
For more information or to register, call 1-807-343-8810 or visit www.foodsecurityresearch.ca

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