Ontario Popping Corn in the News
April 19, 2023
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Ontario popcorn grower shares optimism
Transcript for: Ontario popcorn grower shares optimism
0:00you tell anyone that you're a popcorn 0:01farmer and they kind of look at you and 0:03they go well when you think of foods 0:05grown in Ontario what comes to mind 0:07maybe Tomatoes potatoes soy I'm sure 0:10corn but what about popcorn popcorn is a 0:15specialty crop Tanner Townsend helps run 0:17the Ontario popping corn company known 0:19on shelves as Uncle Bob's with his 0:22family in Norfolk County south of the 0:24Golden Horseshoe he says if you tried to 0:27pop regular corn it wouldn't work and 0:29that what sets popcorn apart is a very 0:31tough 14-layer outer shell the little 0:33bit of moisture that's left in the 0:35interior of the kernel builds up a lot 0:38of pressure and then once it kind of 0:40gets enough pressure to blow those 140:42layers up that's when it explodes in 0:44those internal starches expand how long 0:46is this operation been going I0:48my dad grew up on this Farm it was his 0:51family's Farm as well and it's continued 0:54as a family business with Tanner's0:56mother father and brother 0:59how are you 1:01mom David 1:02our kids have been involved 1:05since they were born basically all 1:07through the different steps Olivia 1:09Townsend says the farm used to grow a 1:11number of other crops including regular 1:13corn and tobacco but in 1985 the family 1:16decided to diversify turning towards 1:18popcorn a less common crop in the 1:20province with Growers mostly located in 1:22Lambton County but popcorn farming over 1:25the past three decades in Canada has 1:26been tough with American suppliers 1:28dealing in volumes that make it hard for 1:30local Growers to compete with only a 1:33handful of popcorn Growers Remain the 1:35Ontario popping corn company being one 1:37of them now the largest operation of its 1:40kind in the country shipping as nearby 1:42as GTA grocery stores and to overseas 1:44markets like the USA and New Zealand so 1:47there have been a lot of pluses to to 1:50watching this business grow throughout 1:52the years this is all just storage once 1:55we Harvest all of our corn it comes to 1:57these bins so these are our storage and 2:00drying bins when it comes time to take 2:02it from the bins to the barn there is 2:05that pipe that runs all the way 2:07underground to the cleaning facility is 2:09it your your dad's working in the barn 2:11right now yeah so my dad has our 2:13cleaning system fired up right now he 2:15can kind of take you through and we 2:16bring it in we blow it into this machine 2:18this machine is a grader Tanner's father 2:21Blair says the dried kernels will go 2:23into this machine where they will be 2:25sorted separated from debris and 2:27inspected he's optimistic the business 2:29of growing popcorn will Rebound in 2:31Ontario adding well many Canadian buyers 2:34have gotten used to dealing with the 2:35American suppliers three decades o f 2:37building relationships is finally paying 2:39off we have now just barely come of age 2:43now where they're they're putting our 2:45trust on us in the meantime the Townsend 2:47family says they'll continue to lay the 2:49groundwork for Ontario's own popcorn 2:51industry with the launch of farm tours 2:53and the first microwavable bag product 2:55made in the province in Norfolk County 2:57David zura City news
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