Up close with Ontario Farmers

After studying Food & Farming at Durham College for 2 years and then working under a well-known farming family, I decided to get up close with some of our farmers and shine a little light on who grows food in Ontario.  When we eat local, who is the actual person behind the shovel?  Who is watering, feeding, sowing, harvesting our food?

I recently interviewed 2 farmers: Soyoung Lee from Samsara Fields Organics and Joe G Thomas from Black Vegan Farmers of Toronto.  Here’s what you need to know 😊

Samsara Fields Organics  located in Norfolk County, serves the Greater Toronto Area and Ontario and has been farming since 2009.  They specialize in heirloom varieties of vegetable, fruit, and grains. That means they have fresh:

  • Beans
  • Tomatoes (e.g. cherry, beefsteak)
  • Watermelon (yellow and red)
  • Garlic (e.g. smoked and garlic oil)
  • Lettuce
  • Fresh Greens, Radishes, Beets, Kohlrabi
  • Squashes

Personally my goal is to ‘Restore the love of Farm Fresh Foods” – to help us restore our connection to the land and our various cultures through food and drink.  After seeing the outlook Soyoung has at Samsara Field Organics I knew we had a great connection through similar views on food…

Do you guys agree? Do you think returning to a sustainable healthy lifestyle is now a fad or a true shift in mindset for our society?

Soyoung, believes that people are missing more about the nostalgic old times of human beings – the organic lifestyle.  “I realised that no matter what gender, age, or race we are, we are all equally, dignifying nature to live in long term happiness and that is the true value of our life, I would like to say.” says So Young.

I love that outlook as she farms here in Ontario with global food views.  The desire to build up our community with more like-minded people to make a healthier and happier culture in general.

What’s next? Samsara Fields Organics would like to find more restaurants/chefs who are creative and passionate to cook with local dynamic ingredients that deliver not only food but also culture and is sustainable in the long run.  They offer workshops like kimchi, pickling, fermentation and other farming programs.

Where can you find them?  Farmers markets in Toronto:

market - samsara

  • Tue: Cabbage town farmers’ market
  • Wed: Montgomery’s inn farmer’s market
  • Thurs: Edward’s garden (Toronto botanical garden) farmers marķet

Stores:

  • The Sweet Potato in Toronto
  • Mama Earth Organics
  • 100km food

Website:  www.tenthousandpaths.com

Black Vegans of Toronto – Joe G Thomas

Black Vegans of Toronto shares space with Afri-Can Foodbasket at Black Creek Community Farm – 4929 Jane St., Toronto and is run by Joe G Thomas. This group is experiencing 1 year of operation this August 2018 and they have a membership program that services Toronto and the surrounding area.

What do they grow?

  • Kale
  • Bok Choy
  • Basil
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Cilantro
  • Moringa
  • Chive and more….

Our purpose is to “Share what we know and what we grow” within our group.  Currently they have a CSA ( Or Harvest Share Box) set up within the group but plan to expand to the community in the future.  August 12 the group had a successful ‘Family Day at the Farm’ event and they are launching a monthly Caribbean vegan Brunch in October of 2018 so stay tuned!

Website: www.blackvegansoftoronto.com

Farmers feed Cities – So thanks to Soyoung and Joe for their hard work and for sharing a little more about what they do. Summer’s not over just yet, so if you have a chance to go see them, please do!

~Dionne

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