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Kula Farm named agri-food innovator

By Celina Ip

COBDEN – Ontario has recognized the work of local innovators whose ideas and passion have helped to grow and strengthen the province's agri-food sector.


Supporting innovation in agriculture is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation. On Dec. 8, the province’s agri-food innovators were celebrated at award ceremonies that took place across the province.

“Year after year, these awards showcase outstanding individuals across the province whose innovative ideas are helping grow Ontario’s agri-food sector for today and tomorrow. I’d like to congratulate this year’s recipients and thank them for their commitment to strengthening Ontario’s world-class agri-food sector and positioning our province for continued economic growth,” said Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal, in a press release.

Grant Crack, MPP for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, hosted a ceremony in Casselman to recognize Eastern Ontario’s recipients of the 2017 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence. The awards were to honour the contributions of hard-working and innovative Ontarians who are creating new agri-food products, adding value to existing products, supporting job creation and building economic growth in Ontario. Among the five Eastern Ontario recipients was Cobden’s Kula Permaculture Farm.

Formerly known as The Rainbow Heritage Garden, Kula Permaculture is a four season farm that is situated on a parcel of the 350 acres stewarded by Zach Loeks and Kylah Dobson. Comprising a diverse landscape of farmland, forest gardens, orchards, meadows, wetlands and woodlands – Loeks and Dobson have been recognized for their permaculture practice which uses conscious design principles to build regenerative agro-ecosystems. It took years of research for Loeks to develop his “permabed” system, which uses specially designed raised beds to grow crops. Now, Loeks’ permaculture practice and philosophy has helped other farmers to leverage ecological processes and landscape design to squeeze the most value from small-plot production.


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