Our Visit from the Chinese Consulate General

Last week, on Thursday, August 15th, the Economic Development Department, in Partnership with the Mayor & CAO, enjoyed the company of the Chinese Consul General in a tour around the King Township, showcasing its assets to our visitors. Our visitors included Fang Li, Consul General; Yang Shaojun, Consul and Head of the Department of Science and Technology Affairs, Chinese Consulate General in Toronto; Mu Jianfeng, Consul in charge of Inter-Governmental Relations and Press.

The tour began with a drive from the Township offices, located at 2075 King Road, to Bradford & District Produce Limited. The tour went North on Dufferin St., showcasing the Fairfields Subdivision development, the University of Toronto Koffler Scientific Reserve, and many of the equine operations that house Olympic-Quality athletes. Upon crossing HWY 9, the Consul General was impressed by the productivity of the Holland Marsh, watching tractors, combines, and trailers pull in and out of the fields as we passed by perfectly linear rows of vegetables on our way to Bradford. At Bradford and District Produce, we showed the Consul General the processing facilities in which the majority of the carrots and onions from the Marsh are processed.

Holland Marsh Wineries

After visiting the Production facility, we returned to the Holland Marsh to give the Consul General a tour of the University of Guelph Muck Crops Research Station, a facility whose existence contributes heavily to the protection of the crops in the Holland Marsh, ensuring environmental sustainability and a promising future for the Marsh.

The facilities at this station include a plant pathology lab, greenhouses and computer monitored environment, cold storage facilities to provide the specific requirements for long-term storage of onions and carrots and several sites for field research. There are four hectares of organic soil research plots on site, a further hectare of organic soil, rented from a local grower and located in another area of the Marsh. Recently two hectares of mineral soil nearby are being used to conduct field trials. Field trials are also conducted in commercial vegetable fields in cooperation with local growers.

Shawn Janse, station manager, pointed out research at the station focuses on the vegetable crops grown in the area, particularly onions, carrots, lettuce, celery and Asian vegetables. The emphasis is on discovery research in crop protection and production, to contribute to improved integrated pest management and integrated crop management of the target vegetable crops.
In operation for 60 years, the station may be small, but it serves many purposes.

Councillor Avia Eek, a Holland Marsh farmer herself, pointed out the station assists Marsh growers on a regular basis. Local farmers can also bring in their crops for analysis, if they discover something wrong.

Collaborative work with seed companies, the crop protection industry, plant breeders and other scientists continues every year. Cost recovery trials to evaluate new cultivars and crop protection materials are conducted on a regular basis. The facility is GLP certified to conduct residue trials for registration of materials. Source

Holland Marsh Wineries


Holland Marsh Wineries

The group then toured the Holland Marsh Wineries near Asnorveldt, operated by the Nersisyan family.

Holland Marsh Wineries

The group then toured the Holland Marsh Wineries near Asnorveldt, operated by the Nersisyan family.

Roland Nersisyan, president and owner of Holland Marsh Wineries, was born and raised in eastern European tradition, where wine is a cultural symbol and appreciated as such. Starting with his grandfather, the process of making and enjoying fine wine has been passed down for three generations, and the passion seemed to follow. Being a business graduate has allowed Roland to elevate his family tradition of making wine through an acute business perspective and a natural passion for wine culture. Naturally, the establishment of Holland Marsh Wineries followed in 2008, and was the absolute perfect decision in sharing the winemaking experience with fellow wine enthusiasts.

As a result, the team at Holland Marsh Wineries is hand-picked by Roland himself, consisting of professionals from different parts of Europe, in a collaborative effort to bring the highest quality of wines and service to every person who walks through our doors.  Holland Marsh Wineries

Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized. – Andre Simon

The group was treated to an outdoor lunch at Pathways to Perennials in Pottageville, joined by Councillor Linda Pabst. The group received a warm welcome from the Red hat ladies in attendance. We enjoyed a wonderful menu, prepared by Seasoned Chef Ron Cherry with Tongan wife Peti, who recently moved to their new Garden Kitchen at Pathways after selling their restaurant business in Tonga. The lunch featured a sample of Thornbury Cider, a new locally made product from King Brewery.


All members in attendance were also given a copy of Garden Great Rooms: Extending your Living Space Outdoors by Pathways owner Lorraine Mennen. Garden Great Rooms is a perfect combination of inspiring photographs and informative stories. This book details the best of landscaped rooms for various styles of outdoor living based on real life personalities and budgets.

The group then toured Schomberg and Nobleton, outlining the commercial corridors and giving a stop by the World’s Largest Innukshuk.


We wrapped up our tour at the the busy Kingbridge Centre, who happily gave us a tour of their facility, leaving the Consul General very impressed as they headed home to Toronto. Consul General Fang Li was appointed Consul General in Toronto in 2012. Prior to that, he served as Ambassador, Embassy of People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Moldova (2010-2012); Consul General, Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Johannesburg (2007-2010) and Deputy Consul-General, Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Houston


– Written by Daniel the Intern

Originally appeared on EconomicKing.ca on Aug 22, 2013

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