Muskoka, Ontario: Let’s Mix It Up!

Posted by Sara Dent on October 15, 2014 1 Comment

To REGISTER, please go to:

Click here to join this event on Facebook. Please help us get the word out by sharing it with your friends and networks.

Wrap the growing season with a young farmer social at Grenville Farms! We’re bringing together as many beginning and young(ish) farmers, as well as friends and foodies for a Saturday mixer and Sunday day-long workshop with Quebec Farmer and Author of The Market Gardener Jean-Martin Fortier.

The Young Agrarians has been growing a network of new and young farmers in British Columbia since January 2012. In Partnership with the National Farmers Union Ontario, we’re excited to announce our first Ontario events this October in the Kingston and Muskoka areas. Thank you to rockstar young farmer Dan Kretschmar for working so hard to make this event happen on his family farm!


*** Please bring rubber boots for the farm and warm clothes (we’ll be in a big tent on farm)!


10-11:15am – Sara Dent, Young Agrarians BC Coordinator,  Introduction & Networking

11:15am-12:00pm- Terran Giacomini – “Struggles for Seed Sovereignty: A Global Gendered Class Perspective”

12:00-1:30pm Lunch Catered by Muskoka Natural Foods, at Severn Bridge Community Hall, 1035 Southwood Road

1:30-2:30pm Mohawk Gardening with Ryan Decaire, PhD Mohawk Language. Ryan will discuss traditional methods used by Mohawk farmers passed down orally. Grenville Farms has designed some traditional three sisters (corn, beans and squash) mound gardens that will be looked at as part of this talk.

1:30-2:30pm Open Space for People to Skillshare in Greenhouse

2:30-3:30pm Caileigh McKnight Migrant Worker / Farm Labour Struggles

2:30-3:30pm Grenville Farm Tour with Dan Kretschmar

3:45-4:45pm NFU Panel, Dan Kretschmar, Ayla Fenton

5:00-6:30:pm Presentations: Mayan Forest Farming with Michael Sacco (ChocoSol), Dr. Wayne Roberts and Dr. Deborah Barndt on Food Sovereignty related topics (30 minutes each)

6:30 – 8pm Dinner Potluck on Farm

8pm-10pm Farm Party, Live Music by Mike Phillips and George Axxon


10-1pm Jean-Martin Fortier Workshop

1-2pm Lunch Pizza by Ron Karson of All Fired Up

2-5pm Jean Martin Fortier Workshop Continued

We’ll be gathering at Grenville Farms, 1142 Graham Road, Severn Bridge, Ontario, P0E 1N0. If the weather ain’t great we will be moving our Saturday events to the Community Hall at 1035 Southwood Road.

Folk are welcome to camp at Grenville Farms.

Suggested accommodation in the area: Bayview Wildwood Resort, $199/night sleeps 4 people.

We will be providing lunch on the Saturday and Sunday as part of your ticket price. Saturday dinner will be a community potluck. Please bring a dish to share and tools to eat with for the weekend (plate, utensils, water bottle, cup). Ideally we will have enough gluten free and vegan options left over from Saturday to serve folks who can’t eat pizza, however it would be wise to bring some foods for yourself just in case.

Use the Facebook event page to find rides and plan your travels.

If you are NOT on Facebook, please send a note to SUBJECT: need to find a ride to Muskoka Mixer, OR have a ride to offer to Muskoka Mixer. Let us know where you are travelling from.

The ticket cost is sliding scale and covers expenses to make this event possible. We are asking for $45-$65 for Saturday and $75-$100 for the Sunday workshop with Jean-Martin Fortier.

Huge thanks to the National Farmers Union of Ontario for helping to make this event possible! *If you would like to contribute, please contact

Saturday Workshop Bios

Sara Dent – Young Agrarians BC Coordinator – Sara is a project manager and community facilitator with a background in farming and permaculture education. She has worked for over a dozen years in the non–profit sector for arts, youth and social change organizations. Her foray into farming began as a wwoofer in 2006, and in 2008 she studied organic small-scale farming and permaculture design at Linnaea Farm on Cortes Island. Since she has worked on a number of different farms from BC to Mexico. She is currently on farm rest in Vancouver and satisfying her farm itch by coordinating/producing Young Agrarians, inspired by The Greenhorns movement in the U.S. She enjoys her community garden plot and is looking forward to growing much more food, and supporting food growers- long into the future. Visit her farm adventures at:

Wayne Roberts is a Canadian food policy analyst and writer, widely respected for his role as the manager of the Toronto Food Policy Council from 2000-2010. The TFPC is a citizen body of 30 food activists and experts that enjoys an international reputation for its innovative approach to food security. As a leading member of the City of Toronto’s Environmental Task Force, he helped develop a number of official plans for the city, including the Environmental Plan and Food Charter, adopted by Toronto City Council in 2000 and 2001 respectively. Many ideas and projects of the TFPC are featured in Roberts’ book The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food. In April 2009, under Roberts’ leadership, the TFPC received the Bob Hunter Environmental Achievement Award, given to a City of Toronto agency with a record of outstanding leadership, for its efforts to make food an action item on the environmental agenda.

Deborah Barndt is Associate Professor in Environmental Studies and Coordinator of the Community Arts Practice Certificate Program. At the graduate level, she teaches Popular Education for Social Change and Cultural Production Workshop: Image-Based. Deborah has advised students on such topics as popular education, global and local food systems, participatory communication, art and activism, and women’s narratives. Deborah recently completed a five-year research project, “Tracing the Tomato from Mexican Field to Canadian Table: Women Workers in Globalized Food Production,” funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She is currently an advisor to a CURA-supported project, Sustainable Toronto, as well as to a participatory resource management project in Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua. Deborah is a member of the North American Alliance for Popular Education, the Latin American Studies Association, the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society and the Association for the Study of Food and Society.

Jean-Martin Fortier:

Jean Martin Fortier’s micro-farm in Eastern Quebec feeds more than 200 families through his thriving CSA, market stands, and supplying local establishments. For more than a decade the market garden has provided their only household income, generating close to $140,000 in annual sales with a profit margin of around 45%. We like to think of him as Canada’s own Eliot Coleman 2.0.

Jean-Martin marries smart, intensive farming with solid business sense—all while finding time to enjoy life. In this workshop, and in his new book, The Market Gardener, Jean-Martin Fortier demonstrates how adopting intensive methods of production can lead to optimal cropping systems. He will discuss how to:

—Set up a micro-farm & design biologically intensive cropping systems with negligible capital outlay

—Farm without a tractor & minimize fossil fuel inputs through the best hand tools appropriate machinery, & minimum tillage

—Grow mixed vegetables systematically with attention to best practices for weed and pest management, crop yields, harvest periods and pricing

Check out our recent interview with Jean Martin Fortier on the Young Agrarians blog!


YA-hand-texturedfarmhard YA-land-textured

YA-6figMuskokaPoster YA-MuskokaMixerPoster.pdf