Four summer events on organic farms in Manitoba

DeRuyck Dan and Fran DeRuyck. (Manitoba Co-operator photo by Alexis Stockford)

There’s no better way to learn about organic production than to check out organic farms for yourself. There are a number of events this summer that provide the opportunity to meet successful organic producers and to get your questions answered by the people who know what they’re talking about.

Monday, July 17, Winkler.

Organic On Farm Demonstration Plot: Camera Guided Cultivation in Solid Seeded Organic Hemp

Fresh Hemp Foods is partnering with PGF Organics (part of Kroeker Farms) and the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative to conduct an on-farm demonstration plot. The partners are developing a staging guide for in-crop cultivation in organic and transitional hemp production under solid-seeded conditions.

The field tour will profile general hemp agronomy, row-cropped hemp (22-inch vs. narrow rows), new innovations in mechanical weed control and considerations for mid-summer planting of green manures.

Transportation to the field is included; please call or email Jennifer McCombe (204-229-2018) at Fresh Hemp Foods to reserve your spot. Once you register, you’ll receive the tour details.

Friday, July 21, 2017.

OPAM Farm Tour, followed by evening potluck

First stop, 1 p.m.: Sunflo Dairy, Morley and Kathleen Sundell. On this recently transitioned organic grain farm, which is also has a conventional dairy, you’ll see grazed cover crops, an intercrop of wheat/red clover and silage corn/hairy vetch and an in-vessel composting facility. Directions: 1-1/4 miles west of Holland, junction of Hwys. 2 and 34 on south side of Hwy. 2.

Second stop: DeRuyck Organic Farms, Gerry and Marie DeRuyck’s. You will tour Fran and Dan DeRuyck’s milling shed where Fran makes flour and flakes. Directions: From Holland at Hwy. 2 and 34, go south on Hwy. 34 for about five miles. At the curves by the Monastery, go east for about four miles on PR 245. The farm is on the north side with a blue machine shed (Lot 57051).

Third stop: Top of the Hill Farm, Fran and Dan DeRuyck. You will tour Fran and Dan’s recently expanded grain processing facility at their home farm. Directions: Go one mile east to Hwy. 449, two miles north to a cemetery and then 1.5 miles west on Hwy. 449 to Lot 57067.

Potluck meal: Top of the Hill Farm, Fran and Dan DeRuyck. Bring something for the barbecue and a chair and sit back network with Manitoba’s organic farm community. This is where you will get all of your questions answered!

Pre-registration is not required.

Friday, July 28, 1-4 p.m.

Rourke Farms, Donnie Rourke

Rourke Farms is a large farm in the first year of transition. If you are thinking about purchasing specialized equipment, this the place to check it out and talk to producers and equipment sellers about what will work for your own seeding, cultivating and harvesting needs.

Equipment on hand includes a 60-foot Einbock harrow, 30-foot Einbock rotation, 40-foot Yetter rotary hoe, 20-foot Buffalo rolling stalk chopper, Comb-cut, 40-foot three-point hitch seed broadcaster, numerous row crop cultivators, 30- and and 7.5-inch spacing, disks (high speed Landoll, 30 feet; Krause 40-foot, Ezee-on 26-foot, breaking disk), Case Precision disk drill (40-foot set up on 7.5-inch spacing) and 9M Pottinger seeder.

Directions: 1/2 mile north of Minto. From Hwy. 10 go east on gravel road 28N for 2-1/4 miles. The farm yard is on the north side of the road.

Pre-registration is not required. This event is brought to you by the Manitoba Organic Alliance and the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative

Friday, Aug. 4, 1-3 p.m.

Carnegie Farms, Don and Al Krueger

This is a large organic grain farm near Brandon on Newdale clay. You’ll see two different blends of green manures followed by a discussion of the challenges and opportunities for green manure production. Directions: Head west on Hwy. 1 from Brandon. Go north at 250. Turn west on Elton. The entrance to the yard immediately follows the first home on the south side of the road.

Pre-registration is not required. This event is brought to you by the Manitoba Organic Alliance and the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative.