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  • Norfolk Farms

Letter to the editor

Our Norfolk Sand Plain … stretching into Brant, Oxford and Elgin … is home to some of the most productive, well-managed specialty crop land to be found anywhere in North America.

Of course we locally have always known this.

We, and our ancestors, have worked to protect it … whether it be from wind erosion or the encroachment of a railway or power towers or, more recently, urban sprawl.

Our reputation as Canada’s banana belt … the Golden Garden … is built not only on our inheritance of rich and varied soil types, a Carolinian microclimate, and bountiful groundwater, but also on the hard work of our forefathers, sophisticated management of farm labour and the most up-to-date application of on-farm production, processing, packaging, shipping and marketing.

Beyond 100 years of growing tobacco, we are positioned to continue to compete with anyone to put the most diverse selection of fruit and vegetables and other specialty farm product on the market … a happy circumstance well worth defending and fighting for!!

But there is a threat to our Norfolk Sand Plain … to Ontario’s Garden!

Canada’s population skyrocketed by 1.24 million people last year with 98 percent of this explosive growth attributed to permanent and temporary immigration.

These people have to live somewhere, however ill-advised government policy is being influenced by organized special interest groups who have no knowledge of or appreciation for agriculture and our natural world.

Land speculators and property developers know how to make a lot of money by manipulating the rules on the use of land, and then pave it over with urban sprawl.

Those of us who live and work in farm country must continue to guard what we have … speak up and advocate for responsible development. 

Toby Barrett M.Sc.

Toby is a life-long resident of Norfolk and the former MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant. 


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