Who Can Grow and Store my Veggies

(Question)

I have found some land to grow my food, but it is in Shelburn area and I am in Toronto. It would be expensive in gas and time to travel to the garden. I would also not have a large enough space to store food.

The best option would be to find an organic market gardener who could grow food and store it for me. Even better would be if they could process the harvest. This would mean freezing green beans, peas, corn etc.

Any ideas?

 

(Answer)

Growing our own food and putting it by is something more and more of us find attractive, however, as you’ve noted, there are considerations such as travel time and expense that may make a distant plot impractical. In addition, growing and harvesting mixed crops that mature at different times requires daily vigilance, as does attention to pests and diseases.

It may be possible for you to locate a local farmer who is part of a CSA (community supported agriculture) group to farm your land but because of the distance between Shelburne and Toronto, the logistics of getting your crop to you remain: for these same reasons local farmers will most often choose to sell in farmers’ markets or to CSA participants in closer towns, such as Orangeville.  The logistical difficulties involved in growing vegetables at a distance from your home are what make CSA or farm share programs attractive to city dwellers: a farmer grows organic vegetables for you, and they are delivered, if not to your door, to a location in your neighbourhood.  Typically, a CSA program will require a financial commitment to shares of a farmer’s crops, delivered regularly in season, and although many organic food purveyors and CSA farmers offer frozen meats, vegetables are always offered in their fresh state.

It could be worthwhile to do some online searching of local farmers in the Shelburne area, and ask locally whether there is interest in your project.

Here are a couple of websites that may be useful.  The first is a Toronto group that may have some connections to other programs outside the city; the second is a directory of CSA farmers in Ontario: