On June 8th, 2019, I made my way to Sandy Farms located at 10069 Weston Rd in Vaughan. This was my first time ever visiting this farm and I spent a considerable amount of time here looking around.
At the farm, I met a man named George who was busy tending to some crops but took a couple minutes to speak to me. George is originally from Thunder Bay where he grew up and lived on farms his whole life. He moved to the GTA and started his own small farm where he wanted to provide many fresh locally grown herbs, plants, and produce to the public. He said that his main reasoning to come here was to be able to bring the knowledge and expertise he had with farming to a bigger city, thus hitting a wider population. He also said that living in such a big city, most people resort to grocery store chains to buy their produce so he wanted to provide something local and fresh. George said he grows strictly organic because he believes that the produce should not be full of chemicals and should just be natural. I did ask George for a picture but he wanted to keep his privacy.
Here are all of the pictures I took at Sandy Farms. I spent my time looking at herbs and plants that I could bring home.
I was looking to grown my own herbs at home so I ended up purchasing many plants to bring home and grow in the backyard. I bought basil, parsley, rosemary, jalapeno, and tomato plants. Here’s what it looks like in the backyard.
I know that this farm follows the seasons and grows what is appropriate for that season from what one of the staff told me. The prices I thought were pretty fair and will bring much value in the long run. My purchase came to around $20 and i bought about 12 plants. Buying 1 little carton of basil for example at a grocery store would cost about $2.99 plus tax so I think the plants have much more value.
In accordance to the Pillars of sustainability, these products affect it very positively. Growing crops allows people to learn how to tend to plants and how/where their food comes from. Socially, farming can build communities that are all like-minded in supporting local, fresh producers. The economy will grow because without fresh produce, food producers of all kinds will not be able to sell high quality, fresh food to their customers. They supply the demand. And as for the environment, growing organically allows the environment to produce 100% natural, chemical free produce. This makes it easier on the soil, and for the health of the consumers.
I had a lot of fun visiting this farm and talking to a farmer. I ended up buying a lot of herbs that I usually have trouble buying at any grocery store I visit. I enjoyed doing this so much I ended up going to another local farmers market near Downsview. Here are some pictures!
I learned a lot from this experience. When I was younger, I never really had much interest in fresh produce. Now being in culinary school, I think about it more than ever. When I look for herbs, vegetables, fruits, I’m always smelling and feeling everything to make sure I get the best product. It is so important to get the best ingredients because it will greatly affect the quality of the end product.