The Toronto Star farm series looks at how migrant and immigrant labour gets local produce to market and includes information about FarmStart.
“Farms near Andrews are selling for $50,000 an acre – the down payment on one of the new homes replacing it in the area. You can rent land for as cheap as $30 an acre, but then there’s still the infrastructure costs for irrigation pipes, seeds, fertilizer, tractors.
FarmStart, a Guelph-area non-profit organization, is launching a program to bridge the gap. It’s already rented 38 acres of land from the Toronto Region Conservation Authority. Starting next year, it will bring aspiring immigrant farmers there for a subsidized, five-year program. They’ll learn about local farm conditions and till small plots with specialty crops from their home countries. They’ll also be linked to established farmers in a mentorship program.
“We have to rethink how we do agriculture in Canada – from a production perspective and an economic perspective,” says Christie Young, FarmStart’s director. “We can learn a lot from farmers from other parts of the world.”
[tag] FarmStart, New Canadians New Farmers, farming[/tag]