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Celebrate Earth Day with #YourFarmers

Earth Day is coming up on April 22! Earth Day is the perfect day to celebrate our natural Earth and of course all of our efforts to reduce our environmental impacts. Ontario farmers work hard to ensure they are keeping our natural environment healthy in order to grow healthy grains. Soon, they will be planting Ontario grains so let’s celebrate everything Earth-related with #YourFarmers!

Watch how #YourFarmers plant Ontario’s barley, corn, oats, soybeans and wheat!

Looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day and Ontario grain farmers?

Try to plant a seed! With spring planting on the way, many farmers will soon be busy in the fields planting grains using their tractors and planters. But, you and your family can join them in the work at home. You’ll need a cup, potting soil and garden seeds. Fill the cup with potting soil, and create a small hole in the middle of the soil. Place 1 or two seeds into this hole, and cover over with soil. Add some water and place it in a window in the sunlight. Keep an eye on your cups to see the seeds grow into plants!

Celebrate with fun activity sheets! Our Soil Activity Sheet is a great way to learn more about Ontario grain farmer’s most important resource- our soils. Did you know that 95% of all of our food is produced via soil? Healthy soils are very important to #YourFarmers- without healthy soil, we couldn’t grow healthy grains.

Try creating a cover crop display! This next activity is a bit more involved but is a great way to see first hand how Ontario grain farmers are reducing their environmental impacts. A cover crop is grown to protect and enrich the soil and can help reduce water and nutrient runoff from the fields. We wrote a great post all about cover crops and why farmers grow them, and now you can make your own experiment at home!

You will need three pop bottles (cleaned out with labels removed), potting soil, leaves, sticks and dried grasses, whole oats, some string, and three small clear containers or jars. To start, take the three pop bottles and cut them in half. Fill all three with potting soil. Choose one to be the cover crop, and plant whole oat seeds into the soil. Choose another container and add the leaves, sticks and dried grass on top of the soil. Lastly, the third pop bottle will be filled with potting soil but left bare with nothing on top or planted in it.

Cover crop and water/soil movement by Good in Every Grain
Cover crop and water/soil movement by Good in Every Grain

Water the container with the oats, and place in a window to allow the oats to grow – this may take up to a week! Once you have your cover crop growing, to test out the experiment lay each container on a table with the pop bottlenecks hanging over the edge. Tie three clear containers onto the necks, remove the lids and pour water into the cut open half. What happens? Did water come out? Was there a difference in how clean the water was between the three containers?

Cover Crop display: this display shows the difference of water flow over a fields of bare soil, residue, and a cover crop of oats and barley.

“Ontario consumers should be proud that the crops grown here are grown with thought and care for the environment”.

Tennille Robinson, Ontario grain farmer