Leeds Grenville
Economic Development eNews | January 17, 2017
Business Profile
Top feature photo: Co-owners Christine and Charlie Forman flank greenhouse manager Natasha Abrams, centre, surrounded by plenty of fresh greens despite the bitter January cold.

Forman Farms is famous for its hydroponic tomatoes and an Artisan Collection of cherry varieties. Beefsteak tomatoes are a big seller in the summer.

Above photos: Charlie in the SwitchGreen pellet mill. Photo at right: Natasha in one of the greenhouses.
Forman Farms a 21st-century business 
building on food trends and sustainability
SEELEY'S BAY - Forman Farms co-owners Charlie and Christine Forman know how to keep pace with evolving food trends while notching up sustainable farming practices.

This diversified family farming operation south of Seeley's Bay spans a large area in both Leeds and the Thousand Islands Township and the Greater Kingston area. Their array of products range from their sister company SwitchGreen pellet mill items for fuel, bedding and mulch to cash crops, year-round greenhouse produce and a garden centre.

"We have a lot of product pride," says Christine. "If you eat our food you have a hand in what we create. We're very motivated by that and always working hard to provide high quality, fresh and flavourful food for our customers."

From the fields come 9 different cash crops, including alfalfa, grain, corn and soybeans, as well as sweet corn, garlic, squash, onions, peas, beans and broccoli. In their ever-expanding greenhouses you'll find everything from winter greens to tomatoes. Sale of all greenhouse vegetables has really taken off the past 3 years. They grow mini cucumbers and eggplants, crisp lettuces and flavourful herbs, to name a few.

Natasha Abrams is the greenhouse manager. It's all about top-notch foods and interesting varieties such as the trendy kalette. Product diversity is celebrated and so is environmental friendliness. "We're environmentally conscious and use sustainable agriculture practices in all aspects of the farm, from biological bug controls, crop rotation, companion planting and cover crops," says Natasha. 

Forman Farms provides food to 15 Kingston and Gananoque restaurants and has a growing list of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) clients. They sell wholesale to Freshmarts in Elgin, Lansdowne and Seeley's Bay, Baldree's No Frills in Gananoque and Brownlee's Metro in Perth. 

"We have a good reputation," says Charlie, whose family started with a dairy operation in the 1980s. Today he is proud of how the farm has expanded into new products while being almost entirely fueled by biomass for heating buildings. 

The pellet mill production currently supplies softwood pellets for the greenhouse boilers, farm residences, a school in Cloyne, a number of outdoor boilers and residential customers. The wood used to produce pellets is all clean wood directed away from landfills." 

Forman Farms also provides land improvement services as well as trucking and delivery services. Charlie is interested in starting a co-generation project in the future that will supply electricity and heating needs using woody biomass.

To learn more about Forman Farms or place an order give the office a call at 613-382-7914, email them or check out their website .
Workshops and Seminars

Social Media Marketing Seminar
WHEN : Wednesday, January 25th, 6-8 p.m.
(networking 6-6:30 p.m.)
WHERE: Grenville Mutual Insurance Community Room,
380 Colonnade Drive, Kemptville.
COST: Free

Keynote speakers are Launch Lab's Stephen Beamish, Entrepreneur in Residence, and Chelsea Davidson, Advisory Support Services.

Learn more or register on our Workshops and Seminars page.
Getting started in Aquaculture and Aquaponics
A one-day workshop is being hosted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. It will include lunch, presentations from government and industry as well as all documentation. This is a 4-part series.

WHEN: Monday, March 6, 2017
WHERE: North Grenville Community Centre
COST: $75 

For more details or to register go to  our Workshops and Seminars page.

Workforce Survey
Action: Employers

The EmployerOne survey will help plan your future workforce and identify skills shortages. 

Please take 10-15 minutes to  complete the survey now.

Be entered to win a $500 gift certificate of your choice for goods and services from a Leeds Grenville business.

FINAL DRAW: January 27th, at 4 p.m.

Congratulations to Mapleview Homes for completing the survey and winning a $100 gift certificate.

Counties Economic Development has partnered with the 1000 Islands Region Workforce Development Board and needs your assistance in assessing and building a strong workforce. Thank you for your help!

Workshops and Seminars