My story Untended Legacy is about the former director of the Smithfield Experimental Farm, Harold Blair Heeney, and the decline of Ontario’s agricultural and horticultural industries. Heeney was appointed director of Smithfield from 1960-1979. He was responsible for building laboratories on the property, which is located just west of Trenton. Studies were made on various types of fruits and vegetables during the 19 years Heeney was in charge of the facility.
Historically, the Quinte region has been known for being at the forefront of the fruit and vegetable industry in Ontario. As late as 1940, Prince Edward and Hastings counties were producing high yields of a variety of crops for processing, particularly tomatoes, peas and corn. The farm officially closed its doors in 1996 and staff relocated to the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa. Since then, the derelict buildings that remain on the property offer a glimpse into the region’s agricultural past.