Skills Building Farm Tours


  • Learn first hand from farmers who have been there, and have years of experience.
  • Meet other new farmers – you will learn from each other.
  • Get lots of great ideas for how to design your farm.
  • Learn what makes a farm successful, and what costly mistakes you should avoid.
  • Informal atmosphere creates plenty of opportunity to ask questions.
  • The focus topic allows you to concentrate on one important aspect of farming.

New this year – FarmStart announces new training partnership!

FarmStart and the Ecological Farmers of Ontario are exited to be partnering for the 2015 season of new farmer training workshops.   We are pleased to be offering our Skills Building Farm Tours, as well as many of our core learning experiences with the EFAO, which has a rich history of farmer to farmer training in this province.

You will find registration for FarmStart programs on the EFAO website.  As the EFAO is a member based organization, we do encourage you to consider joining!  Not only will you receive a discount on all training, but also a subscription to the bi-monthly Ecological Farming in Ontario newsletter and opportunities to connect with peers & mentors in this growing community of ecological farmers.

We are looking forward to another season of showcasing some of Ontario’s brightest farmers, and providing you an opportunity to develop your farming skills!  New tours and workshops to be announced soon!


2015 Tours

Greenhouse Management for Starting Seedlings May 2

Weed Management Tools and Techniques May 23

Details coming soon for the following tours….

Four Season Cover Crops for the Small Scale Intensive Market Garden, Bernway Farm, Acton – July 25

Establishing an On-Farm Goat Dairy, River’s Edge Goat Dairy, Arthur – August 23

Starting up in Beekeeping, Tuckamore Bee Company, Guelph – August

Crop Rotation on the Market Garden, Ann Slater, St. Marys – September

Growing Vegetables for Wholesale Markets, The New Farm, Creemore – October

Getting into Grass Fed Beef, Echo Valley Ranch, Moorefield – October 

On-Farm Value Added: From Fermentation to Festivals, Shared Harvest, Dunnville – November


Greenhouse Management for Starting Seedlings 

We feel that Reroot Organic Farm is definitely a must see for new farmers. Throughout the afternoon farmer Caitlin Hall will discuss her experience purchasing and setting up her farm, with a focus on how she manages the greenhouse. Topics will include; potting trays, soil mixtures, watering, heating, record keeping and more!

Reroot is a small, diversified farm producing local, organic and handcrafted foods. Established in 2007 on borrowed land, Caitlin is now farming on her own 70 acre farm in Harriston, Ontario.  She grows certified organic produce, raises pastured poultry, eggs, pork, beef, and keeps honeybees.  All the farm products are sold through a Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) program, from the farm gate, and at the Elora Farmers’ Market.

When:  Saturday May 2, 2015
Time:  1:00 am – 4:00 pm
Where:  Reroot Organic Farm, 5642 11th Line RR#4, Harriston
Cost:  $40 member / $68 member family, $50 non-member / $85 non-member family


Weed Management Tools and Techniques

Knowing how to control weeds is one of the most important skills needed for successful organic vegetable production. Organic vegetable farming requires a diverse and very proactive approach to weed control. You can avoid the constant scramble to save crops from weeds by understanding important concepts and techniques in weed control and by having a plan in place before you put the crop in the ground. Join co-owner and manager of Cedar Down Farm CSA Jeff Boesch for a tour of the farm looking at their weed control strategies, including stale seed bed preparation, cover cropping, tools, weeding schedules and more! Jeff will also talk about the farm in general and the infrastructure decisions they have made in developing their farm operation.

When:   Saturday May 23, 2015
Time:  1:00 am – 4:00 pm
Where:  Cedar Down Farm, 222145 Concession 14 RR# 1, Neustadt
Cost:  $40 member / $68 member family, $50 non-member / $85 non-member family


What to expect?

  • You are encouraged to participate by introducing yourself, asking questions, and sharing your experiences.
  • Come prepared to take lots of pictures, and notes. Tours are not workshops, and do not usually include handouts or other take home materials.
  • Expect that you will be outside for the duration of tour. Wear appropriate clothing, sunscreen, hats, and water etc.
  • Expect to be on your feet, and walking around for most of the tour.
  • No food or drink will be provided. There will be a bathroom, usually in the host’s home.
  • Check and double-check your directions. Rural addresses can be trickier to find than urban ones.
  • Every farm tour, like every farm is unique. Every tour group is at a different level. Ask for clarification if you need it!
  • A family rate is for up to two adults and two children under 13 years of age.

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