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Updates to the City of Peterborough's Procurement Bylaw include Social Procurement

Last fall City of Peterborough Council passed an update to the Procurement Bylaw to include Social Procurement.  The City has established a social procurement vendor registry in order to support and promote local economic development and businesses, prioritize diversity and inclusion, sustainability, sustainable community development, etc. The process is underway to have  businesses  register.  The community is encouraged to circulate the registry link through your networks to improve awareness and promote this important initiative to potential vendors in the local business community.


Locally Grown Peony named Canadian Peony Society Peony of the Year

The peony John’s Dream was named the Canadian Peony Society's peony of the year.  The peony ‘John’s Dream’ was grown by Joe and Hazel Cook at Blossom Hill Nursery and registered through the American Peony Society which is the International Cultivar Registration Authority for Peonies. Blossom Hill Nursery is located in Selwyn Township. To read more about John's Dream, read this write-up from Hazel Cook at Blossom Hill: 

"If you were fortunate enough to attend a presentation by John Simkins in the 1990s to early 2000s, you had an opportunity to purchase some of his small potted peony seedlings ($1 or $2 mystery plants). We purchased a tree peony seedling at a local horticultural meeting and some of our friends also bought seedlings at a show at the Royal Botanical Garden in Hamilton. As Joe and I began giving presentations, we often saw flower shows with impressive peonies, results of John’s hybridizing. Some gardeners shared roots of their plants so we could evaluate them in our growing conditions.

In June 2008, a friend invited us to see her peony seedling, now a mature plant with many blooms. Pat de Villiers’s peony was about 12 years old. She had dug it once at three years when she changed houses. It had always grown vigorously but took several years to bloom after the move. The seedling was the first yellow or single peony in her garden. She was afraid to divide a mature peony but wanted to share it with her family. Thus in autumn, we returned to dig the peony and help her divide it. We were pleased to receive two pieces of root.

Our divisions, recorded as JS08-01 grew well and we were excited to take two blooms to the American Peony Society convention in 2010. Seedlings can only be officially judged if there are three stems but it was worth the effort to experience the reaction of several top breeders/growers crowding around the blooms discussing its uniquely wonderful characteristics. One even had his fingers in the centre which is definitely against all rules. JS08-01 is actually a unique Japanese form rather than a single and it produces pollen as well as seed, thus fertile both ways. The pollen from the show blooms was shared with the breeders for hybridizing that year. Serious discussion surrounded its merit suggesting it should be included in the Court of Honor. Thus JS08-01 had started to advance the world of peonies with its first showing. In subsequent years, the best seedling entry advances to the Court of Honor although not qualifying for the ‘APS Best in Show’. At the 2016 APS convention, JS08-01 received Award of Merit and was subsequently registered. It has been offered for sale and distributed to many commercial and private gardens ever since. The registration information is available on this:’sdream "

Peterborough County Cattlemen - 2023 Barbecue

At the recent meeting of the Peterborough County Cattlemen, it was decided that we would return to our traditional on-farm barbecue.  We are now in search of a host farm.  If you or someone you know, who would be in hosting this popular event, or if you would like to find out more information about hosting the barbecue, please email the or contact Mike Fallis, President - 705-740-4878

Congratulations to Indian River Acres!

The first annual Peterborough Agricultural Innovation Award was presented Monday to Indian River Acres, owned by Kevin Cornish and Janet Dawson. The Award was created by the Peterborough Agricultural Roundtable, and co-sponsored by Sunderland Co-op. The farm was presented with a $500 cheque and a presentation plaque.

Indian River Acres’ primary products are sweet corn, garlic, pumpkins and squash. Their innovation goal was to find a way to grow pumpkins in a manner that used minimal sprays and chemicals, but also built soil health, minimized disease transmission, and protected the earth from wind and water erosion. Over an 8-year period, they performed research and experimentation to come up with a new and more sustainable process, including cover cropping and the use of a crimper roller to terminate the cover crop at the beginning of the season. They no-till seed their pumpkins at the same time.

The full text of the application submitted by the farm for this Award can be found here: 

“I know the immense efforts, blood, sweat, and tears that go into making a family farm successful. On behalf of all of Peterborough County, I want to congratulate you and thank you for your hard work and dedication to innovation in the agricultural sector.” – Peterborough County Warden Bonnie Clark

Applications are now open for the 2023 Award. The form can be filled out online at any time or can be downloaded on paper and mailed if necessary. To access the application form, click here:

Award Winners and Roundtable Representatives