Monday, October 19, 2009

Vegetable deliveries to the GTA

The past weeks have been super busy for me with deliveries of vegetable packages into the GTA. I wasn't sure how well things would work out at first...would I be ok with driving into Toronto once a week...would drop offs work out well...essentially, would it be worth it to sell my vegetables into Toronto? Now that I've mostly finished my deliveries for the season, I know that the answer to all of those questions are resounding 'Yes'es!

The response from my friends, family and all their friends, family and co-workers was incredibly supportive. My first delivery, I only had enough produce for about 17 packages, but by the end of the season, I had enough to deliver to 35+ households! I would take people's orders via email and arrange drop off points and times in Mississauga and Toronto. And since I had such a positive response to my initial email about deliveries, I couldn't even repeat deliveries to people until my 3rd week of deliveries. Having all the packages pre-ordered each week also made harvest super efficient, as I could make sure not to over harvest those crops that could stay in the field, and I had an outlet for those crops that absolutely had to come off the field for that given week. I'll need to tweak the process a bit for next year, but this was a really great way for me to test out the waters of delivering into the GTA.

One of the best benefits of making all these deliveries was reconnecting with lots of people and having a chance to meet more people who are interested in supporting local farmers and eating organic vegetables. I really look forward to maintaining and strengthening that connection next season, as it's one of the reasons why I wanted to get into sustainable agriculture in the first place...to be a part of connecting people to the source of their food and helping to bridge the urban/rural divide.

Now, I'm just waiting for my pumpkins to turn orange, so I can make one last vegetable delivery into Toronto before the winter. I will be taking all my root vegetables off the field this week in preparation for that. I've also been preserving a lot of food over the last few weeks, freezing beans and summer squash, pickling beans, turnips and beets, and canning tomatoes and winter squashes. Hopefully, I won't need to buy much produce over the winter!

Once the field is clear, I will spread 1-2 tonnes of compost on the vegetable field to increase its fertility for next year. Hopefully I can get that done before the ground freezes!















Bins of Milan turnips...purple, white, crisp and crunchy!















A selection of the tomatoes from the farm...Black Krim is the best for colour, texture and taste, and Sun Sugar cherry tomatoes are a sweet explosion of tomato flavour!















Tasty summer squashes, Early Yellow Crookneck, Black Beauty and Flying Saucer, a great favourite for its shape!















My summer kitchen full of winter squash, tomatoes, hot peppers, peppers, turnips and summer squash before it all got packed up for deliveries.

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