Katimavik Intern Erin, spends a day at the University of Guelph…
On Friday, November 18 2011, I went to the University of Guelph for a day to check out the Organic Agriculture program. It was a nice, early morning bike ride, crisp air hinting at snow.
I attended the Gateway to Organic Agriculture class with Prof Roger Nkoa. I spoke to the students and asked them why they chose the class, some said they already lived on organic farms, and some thought it would be an interesting elective. The class was full of all sorts of characters, and it was clear that they enjoyed each other and the class.
They were doing a research project to show the differences between conventionally and organically grown canola plants. The organic crops were grown with turkey compost, and the other used conventional methods. The differences between them were very small. The only evident traits between them, as they both grew strong and to roughly the same height, was that the conventional plants had fuller, healthier looking leaves.
Professor Roger Nkoa was kind enough to let me talk to him after class. When I asked him what he thought of organics versus conventional, he told me that they are “not mutually exclusive,” and that conventional and organic both have to learn from each other.
Overall, it was a fun day, and it looks like the program is blossoming…