Ontario Field Produce business updates

06/11/2014 10:08:00 AM
Chelsea Mies

Chary Produce market opens for season

Oakland, Ontario-based Chary Produce’s Chary Picker Country Market will offer fresh produce to local customers when it opens for the season on June 19.

The market, which features fresh produce from Chary Produce, has been open during the summer months through Labor Day weekend for the last five years.

The demand for local produce has grown in the area. Miriam Worley, pack barn supervisor, said people had started to come in for produce in May but nothing was ready then.

“We have seen a steady increase each year in both customers and sales,” Worley said. “The interest is there.”

 

Carron Farms CSA program grows

This year, Carron Farms Ltd.’s Harvest Share food box service is expected to have about nine times the customers it had in its first season.

The Harvest Share program, for which people sign up online, either delivers a box of fresh fruits and vegetables that were grown on local farms to people’s homes or allows people to pick up boxes at Carron Farms.

When Carron Farms started the Harvest Share program five years ago, 64 families signed up, according to Jason Verkaik, owner of Bradford-based Carron Farms. This year, although exact numbers can’t be stated because people were still signing up, he said he expects to have up to 600 families signed up.

The program has been growing steadily. Last year more than 400 people signed up.

About 40 items are offered throughout the 20-week period. After the 20-week period is done, Harvest Share also offers a Christmas box for members. The Christmas box includes roots and storage vegetables.

 

Holland Marsh association creates documentary

The Holland Marsh Growers’ Association premiered a first-of-its-kind documentary on June 4, during Ontario’s Local Food Week, which was June 2-8.

The goal of the documentary is to educate people about farming and the growers’ perspectives. The video focuses on issues that all growers face, including loss of land, pesticides and the misunderstanding of what farming is really about.

“We did a documentary, because we believe that education is a key component to what we do,” said Jamie Reaume, executive director.

 

Not only is it airing in Canada on the Documentary Channel, but it will also air in the U.S. Reaume said after the premiere the documentary will be available online.

The association hopes the movie will get more young people involved in the industry, because the average age of growers in Canada is 55 and in the U.S. it is 57.


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