Transcript: People of Ontario: Ed Ziemba & Farming - Holland Marsh | Jan 03, 1990

(music plays)

A clip shows people working in a farm.
A title reads “People of Ontario.”
A clip shows a man in his sixties standing in the farm. He is clean-shaven, has short gray hair, and is wearing a plaid gray and white shirt, and a white and green cap.
A caption reads “Ed Ziemba. Holland Marsh.”

Ed says ALL SUMMER LONG
WE SPRAY OUR FIELDS,
WE SPRAY, YEAH, AND WE TRY
AND PRODUCE A GOOD CROP.
AND INCIDENTALLY, WE HAVE A
BEAUTIFUL CROP THIS YEAR.
VERY HAPPY, QUITE CONTENT.
IT'S A FULL-TIME JOB;
WE'RE HERE ALL THE TIME,
SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.
I'M MARRIED TO MY
FARMS ACTUALLY,
THAT'S THE ONLY
WAY FOR SURVIVAL.
AND WE THINK NOTHING
WORKING 16 HOURS A DAY.
IN THE SUMMER
MONTHS AND THAT,
WE HAVE IT A
LITTLE EASIER.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN
THE WINTERTIME,
WE COULD TAKE IT EASY AND
GO TRAVELLING AND THAT,
BUT I DON'T KNOW.
OUR JOBS NOW, WE HAVE SIX
STORAGES THAT WE FILL
RIGHT TO CAPACITY, RIGHT
FULL WITH CARROTS
AND ONIONS, OUR
MAIN CROP.
AND ALL WINTER LONG WE
SHIP ALL THESE HERE
TO THE DIFFERENT PACKERS.
SO OUR JOB NOW HAS BECOME
12 MONTHS OF THE YEAR
THAT WE'RE WORKING
CONTINUOUSLY.

(music plays)

A clip shows a man running towards a moving tractor in a field.

Ed continues IT SEEMS THAT EVERY YEAR
THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG
WITH THE WEATHER.
IT'S EITHER THE FALLS
ARE WET OR THE SPRING
THIS PAST YEAR WAS
WET AND WE HAD
A LOT OF TROUBLE.
AND THIS PARTICULAR FIELD
GETTING THE ONIONS IN.
THIS IS WHY WE HAVE ONIONS
ON EACH SIDE AND THEN
I HAD TO PUT A PATCH OF
CARROTS IN BECAUSE WHAT
HAPPENED AROUND MAY 10TH
WE HAD A HEAVY RAINFALL
AND I COULDN'T GET THE
REST OF MY ONIONS PLANTED.
IT WAS TOO LATE.
THE 10TH IS ABOUT THE
LIMIT WE TRY TO GET
THE ONIONS IN; AFTER
THAT IT'S A LITTLE LATE.
SO THIS IS WHY WE HAD
TO PUT SOME CARROTS IN.
SO WE HAVE THAT.
NOW WE'RE WORRIED ABOUT
GETTING THE CROP OFF HERE.
BECAUSE THIS FIELD,
IF WE HAVE TOO MUCH RAIN
WE HAVE A LOT OF PROBLEMS
WITH GETTING IT OFF
TO GET IT HARVESTED.
SO WEATHER IS
VERY IMPORTANT.
1954 WHEN HURRICANE
HAZEL WENT THROUGH,
WE WERE REALLY
DEVASTATED.
WE WERE REALLY IN
A LOT OF TROUBLE.
WHAT HAPPENED?
WELL OUR FIELDS RIGHT HERE
WHERE WE ARE STANDING NOW,
WERE ABOUT 10, 15
FEET OF WATER
AT THIS
PARTICULAR PLACE.
SO WE LOST ALL OUR
CROPS IS WHAT HAPPENED.
ALL THE CARROTS ROTTED
AWAY AND ALL THE ONIONS
FLOATED AWAY AND SO WE
DON'T NEED A REPEAT
OF THAT AGAIN.

Several clips show a swamp, and a quiet river.

Ed continues WHY IS THE SOIL
THIS DARK?
IT USED TO BE,
FIRST OF ALL,
IT WAS ALL UNDERWATER, IT
WAS PART OF LAKE SIMCOE.
THIS WAS ALL THE SWAMP IN
THE RIVER AND I GUESS
OVER THE YEARS THE GRASS AND
TREES AND EVERYTHING ELSE
ROTTED AWAY AND FELL AND
THEY JUST KEPT BUILDING UP
AND BUILDING UP AND
THE WATER HAS CAUSED
THIS HERE DIRT
TYPE OF THING.
IT'S VERY SPONGEY
AND VERY FERTILE.
THE HOLLAND MARSH,
IT GROWS FOOD THERE.
IT'S KNOWN ALL OVER THE
WORLD, INCIDENTALLY.
I TOOK A TRIP TO ONTARIO,
OREGON, AND WALLA WALLA,
WASHINGTON, AND
BOISE, IDAHO.
LAST MONTH I
WAS AWAY.
AND WE'RE KNOWN
ALL OVER THE U.S.
I'VE TALKED TO A LOT
OF PEOPLE THAT ARE
IN THE INDUSTRY THE SAME AS
WE ARE, ONION PRODUCTION
AND ALL THAT, AND WE'RE
KNOWN NATIONWIDE.
EVERYBODY KNOWS WHAT THE
HOLLAND MARSH IS WHEN YOU
TALK TO THEM, BUT THEY DON'T
KNOW WHERE HOLLOW LANDING IS
IF THAT'S ANY CONSOLATION.
[chuckling]

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End credits roll
Editor, Neill McWilliams
Producer/Director, Inge Johnson

A Production of TVOntario

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