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The Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington region is located in central Ontario, along the shoreline of Lake Ontario, and includes Amherst and Wolfe Island. Frontenac County has a variety of rivers flowing throughout, with the Cataraqui and St. Lawrence rivers crossing through the urban centre of Kingston. This county spans an area of 3,787 km2, with the majority of the land considered rural. The Lennox & Addington region is located directly east, spanning across 2,841 km2 that is known for the beautiful landscape on Lake Ontario.
Both regions have a strong history of agriculture, primarily dairy, while presently welcoming newer forms of agriculture and businesses to thrive. The temperature is quite mild throughout the region, with a growing season of nearly 6 months allowing for a variety of crops to grow here. Sustainable agriculture and fostering economic diversity continue to remain a large priority for the area, with ample opportunities to connect to consumers as well as proximity to larger markets and demand from nearby processing facilities. Additionally, with the relatively low cost of real estate and plenty of land for grazing and crop growth, there are many ways to create economic growth through a variety of means within the region.
The Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington region has made great efforts to support local agri-businesses for both economic and sustainability goals. In addition to farmers’ markets throughout the area, there are many directories to find local food producers, retailers, and restaurants like Modern Locavore with many opportunities to connect directly with consumers. Check out the farmers’ markets in the region for some examples of year-round and seasonal farmers’ markets below:
- Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market, Kingston
- The Kingston Public Market, Kingston
- Gananoque Farmers’ Market, Gananoque
There are many options for veterinary care, including clinics and hospitals with emergency care throughout the Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington region. Whether you have big or small animals and concerns, you and your farm will be well taken care of with years of expertise in your area! See below for a list of the larger veterinary clinics and hospitals in the area:
- Frontenac Animal Hospital, Kingston
- Lane Veterinary Services, Yarker
- Lennox & Addington Animal Hospital, Napanee
- Millcreek Veterinary Clinic, Odessa
There are primarily local small businesses to service the Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington region’s agricultural supply need. Between local support and proximity to larger city amenities with larger chains, you’ll be able to maintain and set your farm up for success! Whether you’re looking for feed suppliers, tools, heavy-duty farm equipment, or service, you’ll find it here. See below for a few great shops to get you started:
- Clow Farm Equipment, Joyceville
- Willows Agriservices, Harrowsmith
- Green Tractors, Kingston
- Hartington Equipment, Hartington
There are some resources available for auction and appraisal services within the Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington region. If you’re looking for more specific supports, there are many resources within an hour radius that can assist you further in your search for a good deal! See the list below to check out a few of the auctions in the region:
- Van’s Auction Service, Elginburg
- Limestone City Auction House, Kingston
- Dave A Snider Auction Service, Odessa
- Located on Lake Ontario, Kingston has a population of over 135,000 and is named the “Limestone City” as a tribute to the city’s architecture. It is the largest city within Frontenac County.
- Greater Napanee is located 45 km west of Kingston on the Bay of Quinte. It has a population of nearly 16,000.
o Public transit throughout Kingston
- Kingston to Toronto – 264 km
- Greater Napanee to Toronto – 227 km
The Frontenac, Lennox & Addington regions have a strong history of dairy farming, and growing crop to support their livestock, with cheese factories previously located near Odessa, Denbigh, and Vennachar. There was a transition from cheese to butter, which caused a loss of sales from overseas markets. Presently, there are 537 farms in the Lennox & Addington region, with predominantly beef cattle and dairy farming. Additionally, with new legislation, there are presently 3 cannabis growing facilities located in the Greater Napanee area. The majority of the farms within the region are still operated as a family business or sole proprietorship.
With 538 farms in the Frontenac region, there have been steady growth opportunities with young farmers taking on new ventures focusing on organic and sustainable operations, as well as traditional farming options. Located in a temperate region with a favourable climate, this area bodes well for dairy and livestock production, with continued new markets thanks to newly established processing facilities as well as demand for poultry, as the region is looking to add a poultry abattoir. Additional new markets include goat dairy production, as well as crop and blueberry production. Agriculture continues to be a steadily increasing industry with regard to economic growth.
The Lennox & Addington Federation of Agriculture represents local farmers throughout the Lennox & Addington region, presenting local concerns and opinions to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture in efforts to build, strengthen, and improve the agricultural industry on a local and provincial level. Similarly, the Frontenac Federation of Agriculture supports the same initiatives for Frontenac County, while also awarding bursaries for students pursuing post-secondary education in the agri-food sector.
There are several conservation areas throughout the Frontenac, Lennox & Addington region, including Bon Echo Provincial Park that spans 6,644 hectares, and Cataraqui Conservation, which manages various individual conservation areas spanning an area of 4,725 hectares. These areas and organizations take priority in preserving watersheds and natural habitats to provide a home to a large variety of species.
With regard to agricultural sustainability, the Food Policy Council for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington have established a food charter on a mission to create more sustainable and accessible food systems for residents throughout the region. This includes improving education through public awareness and school programs, initiatives to preserve and protect farmland and access to watersheds, and promoting healthy living and environment awareness by highlighting local food producers to satisfy the needs of residents. In shifting to purchasing food locally, over time, residents mitigate the environmental impact of transporting goods from outside of the region, while also supporting economic growth within the region. The City of Kingston is a partner in the food charter, as well as taking action to protect agricultural resources and promote sustainable farming throughout the area.
The soil composition of the Frontenac, Lennox & Addington region includes limestone, till, clay, silt, lacustrine, shale, sands, and gravels. While there are some challenges with the soil in certain regions, nonetheless the main crops grown are to support livestock and dairy farming, including hay, oats, corn, etc. Since there haven’t been many other industries throughout this area, the risk of contamination is mitigated. Nonetheless, maintaining good soil health to avoid soil erosion and loss of nutrients is important, with resources available to landowners to mitigate and preserve their farmland.
The weather in the Frontenac, Lennox & Addington region is comfortable, with winter temperatures averaging around -11°C, rarely getting colder than -22°C. Summer temperatures average around 25°C, rarely surpassing 28°C. The average rainfall for the area ranges between 17 mm to 70 mm month over month, with an average snowfall of 170 mm in February. The longest days have roughly 15 hours 31 minutes of sunshine, with the shortest days welcoming 8 hours and 52 minutes of daylight in the winter.
There are an estimated 5.8 months of the growing season from April 22 to October 15 annually.
The Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington region is a primarily rural area, with larger municipalities managing and testing water systems before distributing to residents. There are many water sources and watersheds, with various lakes close by including Lake Ontario. The rural areas of the counties are managed primarily through private wells. Regular well water testing is recommended.
The Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington Region is home to a large variety of wildlife. Some of the animals found in this area include black bears, fishers, river otters, wolves, turtles, and white-tailed deer. There are many bird watching opportunities, especially through the nature preserves and conservation authorities, including sparrows and blackbirds. Additionally, pollinators like butterflies and moths, most notably the gypsy moths, are found here. Fish found in the area include walleye, smallmouth bass, pike, perch, and muskie.
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