Organic Climate Solutions Organic Council of Ontario
Welcome to the Organic Climate Solutions resource library! This knowledge hub features insights from farmers, researchers, nonprofits, academics, activists and more. Find answers to your questions about regenerative and organic agriculture. 
Though it may seem laborious to grow plants that will never be harvested, cover crops can bring many benefits to Canadian farmers. At the EFAO conference’s webinar: Greenlander! Expanding the use of cover crops in organic vegetable farming, cover crop farmers and experts Jeff Boesch from Cedar Down Farm and Reid Allaway from Tourne-Sol Co-operative Farm shared insights drawn from years of experience with cover cropping.
How can organic farmers reduce tillage on their farms? In this webinar, Brett Israel from 3Gen Organic, Aaron Bowman from Bowmanview Farms, Jake Munroe from OMAFRA and Mel Luymes discussed this struggle.
Climate change and agriculture are closely connected. Agriculture makes up 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, excluding on-farm fossil fuel usage and fertilizer production processes. Canada has pledged to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the economy by 40 percent and reduce agricultural emissions by 30 percent from 2020 levels by 2030. In order to meet these targets, changes across the agricultural industry are necessary.
With so many external stressors threatening our natural ecosystems, some farmers have turned to rebuilding or preserving natural spaces on their farmland. If done correctly, this practice can prove enormously beneficial to the farm and its surrounding environment. So what kinds of natural landscapes can farmers rebuild, and what kind of care will these new spaces require?
Grains are extremely valuable to organic farmers—they can serve as a main crop, as feed or as a cover crop to reduce weeds and build soil health. At the EFAO conference’s Grain Buyers Meet and Greet, sponsored by the Organic Council of Ontario, organic small grain growers from across Ontario’s organic sector had the opportunity to network and address some of the most common questions and concerns regarding small grain production and marketing.
There is a wealth of research that explores the diverse environmental benefits of organic agriculture. Many farmers may want to experiment with practices that carry environmental benefits, but are concerned about potential profit losses or unforeseen consequences. Read on to learn how organic agriculture can be just as profitable as, or even more profitable than, conventional agriculture.
Each organic or regenerative farm is as unique as the farmers who keep it running, especially when it comes to dealing with organic agriculture’s most infamous challenge: weeds. Read on to learn how five organic Ontario-based farmers and researchers use different approaches to achieve this goal in weed management.
All around the world, you’ll find farmers who are passionate about restoring their environment through organic and regenerative farming practices. There is a lot of variety in regional approaches to sustainable agriculture, and each of them has something to teach us about Canada’s organic sector.
In 2021, nitrogen fertilizer saw a huge price spike due to a string of severe weather events like Hurricane Ida and the February Texas cold snap. Alongside other supply-chain disruptions, these events have led to global shortages and decade-high consumer prices. Is there a way we can limit our dependance on nitrogen fertilizer?
Regardless of size or location, farms are closely connected to their surrounding environment—through the soil, water systems, insects and wildlife. All organisms within an ecosystem depend on each other, and the healthiest ecosystems contain a wide range of species that interact in diverse and mutually beneficial ways. Agro-biodiversity tries to mimic natural species diversity by increasing the variety of crops and other organisms in a single farming system. It offers farmers many useful tools to improve soil health and reduce reliance on inputs without sacrificing profits. Having more species working together creates more stable farming systems that are resilient against harsh conditions like severe weather, pests and disease.
Although policies and politicians will often attempt to tackle issues like climate change and biodiversity separately, the two problems are deeply intertwined. Climate change and biodiversity loss are two sides of the same crisis and it would be impossible to address one without the other. Agriculture has not traditionally been a champion of biodiversity and has instead been a source of biodiversity loss. However, biodiversity is extremely important, both to agriculture and to humans in general. So is there a balance we can strike between the natural world and agriculture that can allow biodiversity to flourish without getting in the way of our food production?
statement that, while true, is vastly oversimplified. While there is a general consensus that healthy soil is central to sustainable farming, less is known about the practice of using soil organic matter to store carbon as a climate solution. Conversations about the “soil solution” do not always dive into the details of how soil sequesters carbon, leaving room for skepticism about its effectiveness when compared to flashier technological carbon-capture solutions. In this article, we’ll break down how soil absorbs carbon and why it is an amazing natural phenomenon worth getting excited about.