|The Collins family has been Market Gardeners for many, many years. We began farming in Toronto and have had to relocate farms a number of times, with the growth of the city. In 2004, we left the family business and Ken together with Caroll and their 4 kids, Sara, Julie, Lisa and Brian started Collins Farm Produce. Brian has completed year 2 of a 4 year degree in Horticulture at the University of Guelph and will be the third generation Guelph graduate and the 5th generation vegetable grower in the family. The girls still help out but each has pursued other full time careers.
In 2004 we purchased a 100 acre farm, with about 80 acres workable. The farm is located west of Toronto, off of Highway #6, South of Guelph and North of Hamilton, in the new city of Hamilton, former Town of Flamborough. The farm had never been in vegetable production. 2006 was our first growing year. We grew limited acres of bunched vegetables for the wholesale industry. In 2007 we expanded the number of acres grown and grew additional crops for wholesale and began growing more ‘unusual’ vegetables and greens to take to farmers markets and to sell at our roadside market. In 2008 we
increased the numbers of acres grown and added a few more ‘unusual’ crops.
We closed our roadside market and will not reopen it in 2009.
2009, we will be including East Lynn Park as a new location. We have added new equipment which should improve our consistency in
salad mix production. We have added romaine mix, mini-head romaine
and more herbs. We have dropped a few less popular
items and we have changed parts of our production schedule. We are also working with
new row covers to improve quality of some products.
With Ken’s growing experience and the enthusiasm of our family and dedicated staff, we offer you quality, fresh vegetables. We are not organic growers – however, we do respect the land. We use ground covers, row crop covers, trap crops and manual and mechanical cultivators to minimize pesticide use. We do use commercial fertilizers and do not use manure on our vegetables during the growing season. We use clean, potable water for washing and irrigating vegetables. We provide proper handwashing facilities and training for our staff and are implementing a traceability program for this season.
We encourage you to support local growers in buying local produce and thank you for your business.
To view the Farmer's Market interview of us, http://www.farmersmarketsontario.com/Videos.cfm
is the website and our segment is part 3 of Town and Country.