Why Local Needs to Go Mass Market

I bought asparagus at the supermarket today.

I know. Step aside so the vigilante hordes of locavores can get past in order to more easily place my head on a pike.

It *was* local if that makes any difference.

I know. I should still be supporting the farmers at farmers’ markets. More of the money goes directly to the farmers than if I buy local produce at Price Chopper.

But you know what? This maybe needs to stop. See, when the produce manager pulled that bunch of asparagus out of the box, he had a little gleam in his eye. He knew it was good stuff. Perfectly-sized, tight heads, bright green… We looked down at the asparagus, then back up at each other. “Heh?” he said, smiling. “Gimme it,” was my reply.

Here’s my theory on this… yes, more money goes directly to the farmer if we buy our produce directly from the farmer. But despite the fact that Toronto’s got farmers’ markets every day of the week, and piles of CSAs,they’re not always convenient to get to. Those of us “in the bubble” make the effort to get there. But we’re the minority. Everyone else is all about the one-stop-shopping. So if we want more people to eat locally-grown food, we have to accept that some of them are going to do it at the supermarket.

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The Charms of the Farm – Why a CSA is the Best Way to Enjoy the Harvest


It’s almost April, and everywhere you turn people are planning their gardens – mapping out plots, ordering seeds. It’s enough to make a yardless city gal a little bit jealous, and I know I’m not the only one experiencing garden envy.

For those of us who can’t grow our own food (or who have ambitious plans in April that never seem to include weeding in the 30°C temperatures of August), the next best thing is to find our very own farmer who will do it for us – weeding included.

Spring is also when farmers start planning their upcoming growing season and is the perfect time for customers looking to get involved with a Community Shared Agriculture(CSA) programme to find a farmer to work with.

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Farm to Home


After the long hard winter we’re just now starting to see the back of, there were times when I almost believed that it wouldn’t end – that it would be perpetual winter forever. Fortunately Mother Nature takes care of things, and just like it has for every other year since the beginning of time, spring has arrived. Which turns the heads of farmers and gardeners to one thought – planting.


Since many of us city-dwellers don’t have access to a yard in which to grow our own vegetables, we rely on area farmers to keep us well-stocked with nature’s bounty. And as we become more in tune with the philosophy of eating locally and supporting local growers and producers, we city-dwellers need a quick and easy way to do that. While farmer’s markets are always a delight to visit, many people just don’t have the time, or else don’t have any way to haul their swag home.

Recently more and more smaller local farms have been setting up Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) programs in which customers can buy a share of the farm’s output for the year. Depending on the farm, customers can either pick up their weekly box of goodies at the farm, or else the farmer will make deliveries to a pre-set drop-off point a couple of times a week. But how are we city-folk who want to join a CSA supposed to find one? Drive around in the country, stopping at every farm we see?

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