ACORN Conference Program

All Workshops

So You Have An Idea? Steps to Creating a Value-Added Product

Monday, November 26, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM   

This workshop will focus on taking a great product idea to market. Peter will examine proven commercialization processes, explaining the steps in detail, using emerging products as examples.

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Grazing & Pasture Management - Morning Session

Monday, November 26, 8:30 AM - 11:00 AM   

This day-long school opens with a morning session focused on creating a solid understanding of the basic principles of good grazing management systems. Please note this session is the only workshop being held at this time, concurrent with our Study Tours, off-site.

Full Day Grazing School Workshop Description:  The morning portion of this workshop will focus on creating a solid understanding of the basic principles of good grazing management systems.  Starting first from the plants perspective, we will look at the needs of perennial pasture plants and how to meet those needs by following the grazing guidelines.  From there we will do some group exercises and practice to learn how to measure the amount of feed in a pasture, calculate paddock sizes, stocking densities, stocking rates and understand what the ideal number of acres for a flock or herd is.  We will then look at some real on-farm examples to practice and learn more about perennial plant anatomy and physiology. 

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Finding the Sweet Spot on a Small Organic Farm Part 1

Monday, November 26, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM   

Gillian Flies and Brent Preston describe their ten-year journey from beginner farmers to operators of a profitable and sustainable organic farm. Guided by a set of core principles, Gillian and Brent have built a farm business that provides for their family’s financial and emotional needs; a farm that makes money, enhances the local environment and builds community. Learn how they analyzed many variables - scale, crop mix, production methods, markets, location and personal preference - to find a model that works. This workshop will include detailed crop production, marketing, sales and financial information.

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Regenerative, No-till Vegetables at Scale - L’agriculture sans labour, et travail minime du sol

Monday, November 26, 1:00PM - 2:00 PM   With Interpretation

Durant cette session nous verrons comment à la Grelinette nous avons développé un système sans labour au cours des années. Nous parlerons des avantages d’une agriculture au travail minime du sol ainsi que les outils utilisés pour soutenir un sol sain et des jardins propres.

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This session will give you an overview of how we developed a no-till system over the years. Come and learn the advantages of no-till farming and the tools we use to have healthy soil and clean beds.

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The Creative Application of Grazing Science Part 1

Monday, November 26, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM   

Starting from the plants’ perspective, we will look at the needs of perennial pasture plants and how to meet those needs by following the grazing guidelines. From there, we will do some group exercises and practice on measuring the amount of feed in a pasture, calculating paddock sizes, stocking densities, stocking rates, and understanding what the ideal number of acres for a flock or herd is.  We will then look at some real, on-farm examples to practice and learn more about perennial plant anatomy and physiology.

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Finding the Sweet Spot on a Small Organic Farm Part 2

Monday, November 26, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   

This session is a continuation from Part 1. Gillian Flies and Brent Preston describe their ten-year journey from beginner farmers to operators of a profitable and sustainable organic farm. Guided by a set of core principles, Gillian and Brent have built a farm business that provides for their family’s financial and emotional needs; a farm that makes money, enhances the local environment and builds community. Learn how they analyzed many variables - scale, crop mix, production methods, markets, location and personal preference - to find a model that works. This workshop will include detailed crop production, marketing, sales and financial information.

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The Chemistry of Cannabis & Adding Value to Organics

Monday, November 26, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   

Delta 9-THC and its up-and-coming cousin, CBD are currently the most popular molecules in the cannabis plant, despite the fact that the plant has hundreds of potentially beneficial chemicals. Join Av Singh, as he discusses some of the equally interesting compounds within the cannabis plant including other cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids. Av will present their medicinal benefits but also highlight some of the intended uses as ingredients in food and cosmetics.

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Variétés de légumes et calendrier de successions - Vegetable Varieties & Planting Schedules for ...

Monday, November 26, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   With Interpretation

Variétés de légumes et calendrier de successions - Vegetable Varieties & Planting Schedules for Maximum Performance

La planification du calendrier de production est essentielle lorsque l'on produit pour des marchés fermiers, des restaurants ou des paniers bio. Comment planifier pour avoir des récoltes successives? Quelles sont les variétés que nous utilisons à la Grelinette? Une présentation détaillée des dates et variétés.

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Planning ahead of the season is essential when farming for farmers markets, CSA or restaurants. How do we plan for tight successions? Which varieties do well? We’ll explore creating a detailed plan of relevant dates and varieties.

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The Creative Application of Grazing Science Part 2

Monday, November 26, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM   

This session is a continuation from Part 1. Starting from the plants’ perspective, we will look at the needs of perennial pasture plants and how to meet those needs by following the grazing guidelines. From there, we will do some group exercises and practice on measuring the amount of feed in a pasture, calculating paddock sizes, stocking densities, stocking rates, and understanding what the ideal number of acres for a flock or herd is.  We will then look at some real, on-farm examples to practice and learn more about perennial plant anatomy and physiology.   

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The Transition Timeline (and Knowing the Rules)

Monday, November 26, 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM   

This workshop intends to initiate farmers to the expectation of an Organic Certification. The following subject will be presented and offer support to farmer newly involve in Organics;

  • Overview of the Canada Organic Regime (COR) and an Introduction to Canada Organic Standard (COS)
  • CGSB 32.310 General Principles and Management Standards
  • CGSB 32.311 Permitted Substances Lists
  • Organic Principles
  • Prohibited Substances
  • Organic Plan and Records
  • Handling; Organic Integrity
  • Transition Requirements
  • Land; Crop
  • Livestock
  • Special Crops - Apiculture & Maple
  • Application Process to Certification

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On-Farm Events: Strengthening Organics and Building Profits

Monday, November 26, 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM   

Gillian Flies, co-owner of The New Farm, near Creemore, Ontario, has capitalized on an explosion in interest in on-farm events to create an important new revenue stream for her farm business. Gillian has built a commercial kitchen and event space on the farm, and now hosts over 2000 visitors per year. Learn how fundraisers, tours, corporate events and restaurant pop-ups can generate marketing buzz, build profits and educate the public about organic agriculture.

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Manipulation des récoltes et vente directe de légumes frais- Post-Harvest Crop Handling & Storage

Monday, November 26, 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM   With Interpretation

Un exposé sur l'économie de nos choix pour vendre des légumes frais plutôt que des légumes d’entreposage. Comment manipuler les récoltes de façon efficace tout en gardant la fraîcheur des produits de la récolte à la vente.

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A talk about the economics of selling fresh vegetables compared to long term storage, followed by how to handle crops for maximum freshness and efficiency, from harvest to selling.

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The Grazier’s Tool Box Part 1

Monday, November 26, 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM   

This afternoon we will look at pasture from the livestock perspective, learning techniques to meet their nutritional needs, maximize pasture dry matter intake, provide low stress handling, provide the correct supplemental feeds and minerals, and when shade or shelter should be planned into the grazing.  We will also spend time discussing techniques to monitor and assess the health of the pasture ecosystem, and the performance and well-being of the livestock.

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The Grazier’s Tool Box part 2

Monday, November 26, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM   

This session is a continuation from Part 1. In the afternoon we will look at pasture from the livestock perspective, learning techniques to meet their nutritional needs, maximize pasture dry matter intake, provide low-stress handling, provide the correct supplemental feeds and minerals, and when shade or shelter should be planned into the grazing.  We will also spend time discussing techniques to monitor and assess the health of the pasture ecosystem, and the performance and well-being of the livestock.

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What Works for Maritime Winter Green Production - Infrastructure

Monday, November 26, 4:30 PM - 5:30PM   

This session will be focused on winter production in a Maritime climate, where participants will share their own experiences, learn from others, and collectively arrive at solutions to some of the universal challenges that come with trying to grow crops in a cold climate. Come ready to talk about equipment, varieties, harvest, and post-harvest handling and storage, and share your honest experiences.

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But what do I do About the Weeds? ... and Other Burning Questions

Monday, November 26, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM   

Using her own experience as a farmer and inspector, Allison will guide this session, helping beginner farmers to get answers to some of their most burning questions from experienced farmers in the room.

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Program at a Glance