Tag Archives: Glencolton Farms

Organic Milk is Front-Page News in the Star | Symphony in the Barn 2018 at Glencolton Farms August 3rd to 5th

On Saturday July 7th, 2018, the Toronto Star published a front page story slamming organic milk, claiming that scientific test show it to be no different from regular milk and implying that those who buy it are fools for paying more money for a nutritionally equivalent product. From that story, by investigative reporter Michele Henry:

“While Canada’s organic dairy farmers do some things differently than their conventional colleagues – like sending their cows to pasture and using only chemicals that are considered natural – it’s not reflected in the end product.

“The milks are the same – they are identical with respect to the testing and quality standards. There’s no added hormones. No antibiotics,” says Graham Lloyd, of the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, the quasi-governmental organization that controls the organic and regular milk supply….”

Yesterday, on July 14th, the Star published a collection of letters to the editor responding to last week’s story on organic milk vs regular milk. Here are excerpts from a couple of them:

Nancy Moysiuk, from Etobicoke writes: “Your comments that organic milk is no different than conventional milk is the same argument the agricultural industry states to deride organic produce. Maybe the tests being used are not the right ones to detect subtle differences…”

Mathilde Andres of Harmony Organic Dairy writes: “Our heifers are older when they calve, our cows do not have a calf every year… and most importantly we do not feed for high milk production. Our objective is healthy, long-living cows. The higher price for organic milk is due to a well-deserved premium to the farmer to help with higher production costs, for example organic feed (which means GMO-free and grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides and is three times more expensive to buy….”

Symphony in the Barn 2018

Meanwhile Glencolton Farms is planning another Symphony in the Barn musical event on August 3 to 5, 2018.

Glencolton Farms is now selling organic meat, bread and baking on Saturday mornings along the rainbow wall, at the (year-round) Village Market, located in the Toronto Waldorf School at 9100 Bathurst St. While bridge construction is underway over the summer, you can access the Market from Bathurst Glen Drive, just a little west of Bathurst.

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Stay of Injunction against raw milk was NOT granted | Financial Post story

It was announced today to OFOF farmshare members and Glencolton Farms supporters, via email, by the group’s lawyers, that: 

“…the stay of the injunctive orders of Sutherland J. was not granted. We did, however, get the requested stay, or adjournment of the appeal. In short, Nordheimer J. agreed that there was a serious issue to be determined with the Charter Application, and we take that as encouraging. However, he disagreed that the harm amounted to being irreparable, as he characterized it being the appellants decision not to re-purpose the cows for producing milk in a legal way. Further, he stated that the harm could be quantified as damages. On the balance of convenience, he favoured obeying the law until such a law is declared unconstitutional, or in our case, until exemptions are granted….”

In other raw milk news, Michael Schmidt’s former lawyer, Karen Selick, has written a story on the now-criminal status of raw milk in Ontario titled “You can now go to prison in Canada for providing raw milk. Seriously!”. Here’s a brief excerpt from that story: 

“As Canada ambles along towards the day when its prisons will empty of people who did nothing more heinous than possess marijuana, the province of Ontario appears eager to fill its empty jail cells with individuals whose so-called crime was distributing raw milk.

On Jan. 5, 2018, Justice P. W. Sutherland of Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice imposed an injunction in a case called Downing v. ARC. Downing is the provincial Milk Act Director, while ARC is an incorporated farm co-op that allegedly was distributing raw milk, but has now closed down its milk operation. In essence, the decision transformed an action that was previously a provincial regulatory offence punishable only by fines — distributing raw milk — into a federal crime punishable by up to two years in prison.”

Read more on the Financial Post.

Meanwhile farmshare members and friends of legal raw milk in Ontario are raising funds for the appeal and constitutional challenge through a crowdfunding campaign at:  https://www.gofundme.com/legal-raw-milk-canada

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Symphony in the Barn Aug. 5th, 6th at Glencolton Farms in Durham, Ontario

From the Glencolton Moos:

“We are but two weeks away [actually now just one week away] from our major fundraising event happening here on the farm: The Gourmet Concertante. Taking place over the weekend of August 5th and 6th, we wil be featuring gourmet chefs Jamie Kennedy and Carey McLellan. In addition, the biodynamic winery, Southbrook Vineyards, and the local brewery, MacLean’s Ales, will be offering wine and beer tasting, and you will have the opportunity to purchase your favourites. And, of course, in addition to food, music is the other half of this event, and there will be much of it.

On Friday evening, Toronto’s Music in the Barns presents a Concert Under the Stars on our outdoor stage. On Saturday, music will be performed on the stage as well as at other locations around the farm. Musicians include members of the Canadian Chamber Orchestra, violinist Emmanuel Vukovich, and Dominic Desautels, principal clarinetist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company.

If you have not already bought tickets, then head over to EventBrite.com/SymphonyInTheBarn to get yours now. This is a family event, with children of all ages welcome. If you are interested in helping out, then get in touch, and if you know someone else who would be interested, send them our way. Please help spread the word! With the outdoor stage now set up, the Gourmet Concertante is feeling more real than ever. We can’t wait to see you there.”

The following description is from the EventBrite registration page. Continue reading

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Third day of injunction hearing May 31 — hearing continues Mon. June 5th, with Michael Schmidt and OFOF

Markus, Elisa, and Michael with a stack of documents outside the Newmarket court house after day three. Elisa said she just wanted to go home and sleep, after presenting for most of the day.

Day three of the hearing of the injunction applications from Ontario Milk Director Gavin Downing, and the Region of York was devoted to presentations from the respondents — Elisa van der Hout (on behalf of the Agricultural Renewal Coop), Rev. Jonah Evans (on behalf of the Christian Community church) and Markus Schmidt (representing himself).

Michael Schmidt and Lewis (Skip) Taylor (speaking on behalf of Our Farm Our Food coop) will present their responses to the application on Monday June 5th.

Michael Schmidt will be appearing in another court later this week to answer obstruction charges related to the Oct. 2, 2015 raid on Glencolton Farms.

A more detailed report on what was said will follow later in this space, but for now, here’s a video from Marianne Else, about the day’s proceedings:

Also watch the video and read the report on day three from Roger Klein at CTV Barrie

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First day of injunction application hearing for Glencolton Farms, May 29

Lewis (Skip) Taylor talks to a reporter from CTV during the lunch break.

About two hundred coop shareholders, supporters, and interested members of the public came out today to Newmarket court to hear the start of the application for injunctions regarding the Glencolton Farms raw milk operation.

Although the hearing was scheduled for 9:30 am, it was nearly 11 am by the time things got underway in earnest. Some of that first hour and a half was taken up with a motion from the lawyer for Ontario Milk Director Gavin Downing (subsequently referred to here as “the Crown lawyer”). This motion would have converted Our Farm Our Food Coop’s status at the hearing to that of a respondent (from being an intervener). Council for OFOF, Lewis (Skip) Taylor objected to the motion, saying he would need time to consult with the members, because the motion had been filed so late. The Crown lawyer decided not to pursue it further.

The lawyers for the Crown and for the Region of York agreed that the ARC Coop and the Christian Community church could be represented by non-lawyers. Elisa van der Hout will represent ARC, which is the workers coop at the farm, and Jonah Evans will represent the church.

Most of Monday was taken up by presentations by the lawyer for the Crown. Both he and the lawyer for York Region were to have finished their presentations today — which raises the question as to whether the proceedings will be finished on Tuesday as originally envisioned. Tuesday was to have been devoted to hearing from the respondents, and presumably some counter-arguments after that.

Two reporters were on hand to cover the proceedings. A York Region Media Group reporter was there in the morning, interviewing people outside the courtroom. And a reporter from CTV Barrie was present during the morning court proceedings. He stayed to interview Lewis Taylor, counsel for OFOF, Michael Schmidt and Elisa van der Hout, over lunch hour. Continue reading

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This Affects Us All — Newmarket Court Injunction Application May 29th, 30th

Video interview with Markus Schmidt (Michael Schmidt’s son) by Marianne:

The story below was originally published in the May 2017 edition of the Glencolton Moos (newsletter for Our Farm Our Food Coop members). It was written by Carl, who has been working in the administration at Glencolton Farms:

How far will we go to secure the future of local, healthful food in Canada? On May 28 and 29, Michael Schmidt, Elisa Vander Hout, Markus Schmidt, Agricultural Renewal Co-op (i.e., Glencolton Farms), Skip Taylor (representing Our Farm, Our Food Co-op [OFOF]), the Christian Community Church, many OFOF members, and many members of the wider community will be attending a court hearing that will decide the future of raw-milk drinking in Canada, and that will affect the whole small-scale farming community, as well as those who depend on it to get the food they want.

With this last point in mind, we here at Glencolton Farms want to emphasize that this court case is not just about unpasteurized milk. It is about the future of farming and small-scale agriculture as a way to obtain healthful, wholesome food that we feel proud to share with our families. It is about maintaining a connection with our local farmers so that each and every one of us knows where our food comes from, how it is grown, and what goes into growing it. Continue reading

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Three Farmers Face Trial March 6th on Charges of Obstructing Police During a Farm Raid on October 2nd of 2015

March 3 2017—Ontario, Canada— EIN Presswire — A highly anticipated drama will unfold in the Walkerton Courtroom starting Monday, where Glencolton Farms coop owners will re-live the dramatic stand-off at the farm where they source their food. On Monday, March 6, 2017 at Walkerton (County of Bruce) Courthouse in Ontario, 207 Cayley Street, 3 farmers and a colleague face charges of obstructing police officers during a farm raid. The trial is set to begin at 9:30am.

The four men on trial are Michael Schmidt an outspoken activist on food rights who lives on the farm that was raided; Robert Pinnell, farm hand and mechanic; John Schnurr, business consultant; and George Bothwell.

The four men, along with a fifth whose charges have since been dropped, were charged with obstructing a peace officer during a well-publicized raid on Glencolton Farms on October 2nd 2015.

Glencolton Farms has been the center of the Canadian raw milk battle for over 23 years. Glencolton Farms is owned by 150 families who are members in the Our Farm, Our Foods cooperative.

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