Holland Marsh Resources
Holland Marsh – Simcoe County
The area now known as the Holland Marsh was originally simply a regular marsh. William Day, a professor at the Ontario Agricultural College, led the project to drain the area beginning in 1925. The process began with soil analyses and successful growing tests to prove the viability of the idea. The 28 kilometers of canals were dug to divert the Holland River around the area and the water flows are controlled through a series of pumps. The soil that remains is some of the most fertile in the country, able to support a wide variety of crops. Both the marsh and river are named after the first Surveyor General of Upper Canada Major Samuel Holland. There exists another 2,500 acres around the Marsh that are recognized as prime agricultural land.
The number of farms grew from the original 18 families in the 1930’s to almost 350 farms in the late 1970’s. Amalgamation of operations due to changing farming practices has increased the farm size while decreasing the number of farms to 125 today.
Produce is not only grown within the Marsh, but stored, processed and packaged as well, shortening the entire distribution chain and strengthening the local economy. There are several farmers’ markets located both in the Marsh and the surrounding areas that stock local produce, but it can also be found in grocery stores across the province and the nation.
Holland Marsh – Profile of Horticulture.pdf