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Durham Agricultural Advisory Committee (DAAC)

2010 Farm Tour

On September 17, 2010, DAAC hosted its eighth annual farm tour. Over 130 participants representing government, public agencies, education system, media and the public attended the event.

The tour was organized around the theme "Keeping Pace with Changing Times", centred on the Municipality of Clarington, showcasing the following three farms:

  • Algoma Orchards Limited, Newcastle – Founded in 1964, and operated an apple growing and packing business on Thickson Road North in Whitby until 2009. The storage, grading, packing, juice production, shipping, retail store and company offices moved to Newcastle following construction of the new 110,000 square foot processing facility. The operation now has 500 acres of high density orchards, a 2.5 million bushel storage facility, state of the art grading, packing and juice processing facilities and a retail store. The company produces 50% of the product marketed. The market is predominantly Ontario grocery chains such as Loblaws and Sobey's. They currently employ 100 full-time and 90 seasonal offshore employees. Algoma Orchards recently received the 2010 Durham Environmental Advisory Committee's Eric Krause Innovation Award for installing an on-site, state-of-the-art water recycling treatment facility, the first of its kind in North America.

  • Terwidlen Farms, Bowmanville - Established in the early 1900's, this third generation farming operation is now operated by the three Barrie brothers, with their mother as a partner. The family owns 365 acres in 3 parcels, including a 50 cow dairy operation. 1,000 acres of crops are grown for livestock feed and cash crops, including oats, canola, corn, soybeans and red clover. As members of the Ontario Soil and Crop Association, the Barrie family established a plot of switchgrass to assess its growing capability in Southern Ontario for biomass production. Terwidlen Farms is also a Pioneer Seed dealer and do custom forage harvesting, combining and planting. A new 65 free stall dairy barn was built in 2007 following a fire that destroyed the existing structure.

  • Watson Farms Limited, Bowmanville. - Established in 1954 in Bowmanville after several generations of fruit production in Mississauga. Ted and Georgie Watson are now semi-retired and assist son Paul Watson and his wife Tami, who manage the operation. Watson Farms currently operates 250 acres in two parcels along Highway 2 on the west side of Bowmanville. Principal crops grown are strawberries, apples, sweet corn and raspberries. Other crops include peas, beans, pumpkins and squash. Crops are markets through the seasonal roadside market along Highway 2. The farm also offers "pick your own" for apples, berries, beans and peas. Satellite market locations are operated seasonally at three locations in Oshawa. Some product is sold wholesale to chain stores such as Metro. The operation currently employs 2 full-time, 15-18 local part-time and 26 offshore labourers.