Students will conduct field experiments over two years on Northern Ontario farms
By Diego Flammini
A college in Northern Ontario is working with area farmers to help students conduct field experiments.
Collège Boréal is enlisting the help of multiple farmers from Thunder Bay to Hearst to West Nipissing to help students in the college’s agriculture program conduct research on how to protect and optimize ag practices and diversify crops in the region.
Adagio Farms, a 90-acre produce, chicken and egg farm in Powassan, Ont., about two hours away from Collège Boréal’s campus in Sudbury, is one of the farms working with the school.
Katrina Violette, who co-owns the farm with her husband, Ed, will be involved with a crop diversification project.
They’ll be allowing students to produce ethnically diverse crops on their farm.
“Some of the crops involved include okra, bitter melon, amaranth and hibiscus,” she told Farms.com.
Accepting the invitation from Collège Boréal to be part of the research projects was an easy decision to make.
It’s a mutually beneficial opportunity, Violette said.
“I’m welcoming the opportunity to have students on our land because I’m sure we’ll learn from them as they learn from us,” she said. “And I love that there’s organizations prepared to experiment with what can be grown in the north.”
This kind of work helps the local ag industry improve.
The demographics in Northern Ontario are changing, and accommodating those foods into the local offerings is good for farmers and for the local economy, Violette said.
“We have a lot of immigrants coming up north, and what better way to welcome them then by showing them we have food items that they’re used to having back home?” she said. “
Funding for the project, totaling $300,000 over two years, comes from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada through the Applied Research and Technology Partnership program.