Despite up and down weather, crops look great

06/14/2013 11:13:00 AM
Cynthia David

It’s a relief after last year’s bone-dry summer, Welsh said, which required constant irrigation to get the corn to maturity.

He expects to start harvesting his hand-picked corn July 10, weather permitting, for high-end customers across Ontario and east to Newfoundland.

Bicolor corn remains the most popular color, Welsh said, but he’s doubled his acreage of yellow this year to meet the steady growth in demand.

“I think people are looking for something different,” he said.

While onions, carrots and celery continue to rule the marsh, Jamie Reaume, executive director of the 115-member Holland Marsh Growers’ Association, Newmarket, Ontario, said there’s a push for more diversification.

Reaume said buyers this year are looking for more colored carrots, different varieties of beets and trendy kale.

At the same time, marsh growers are being swept up in the global market.

“A few years ago, what happened in other countries didn’t really impact us,” said carrot and onion grower Jason Verkaik, president of Bradford-based Carron Farms Ltd., “but now we have carrots from Israel, China and Mexico, where labor is much cheaper, and that’s changed the deal.”


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