We were really excited when we realized it has been 20 weeks of local-only produce in the Fresh City Box. That’s five months of 60-75% Toronto-grown and 25-40% Ontario-grown fruits and vegetables! We’re especially proud of this because in Ontario, approximately 80% of organic produce is imported. At Fresh City, the produce you’ve enjoyed is both 100% organically grown and 100% local. We have had it pretty good so far – that’s nearly half a year of local, organic produce – but winter is coming and there are some realities we have to face here in Ontario. Luckily, these realities aren’t all bad. These days, "imported" is often construed in a negative way; with so much emphasis (and rightly so!) on eating locally grown and produced food, it is easy to be thrown off balance in our perceptions. Imported produce is not as evil it’s made out to be. Imported produce provides variety of taste and nutrition, maintains or creates jobs in developing countries, and can be more energy efficient in some cases (e.g. using natural heat and sunlight vs. a heated and artificially lit greenhouse). We try to buy only fair trade certified and non-air transported imported produce. Just as Fresh City’s mission is to link farmers with eaters while improving the local economy, fair trade certified produce ensures social and environmental standards are met. These standards help farmers earn a living, set health and safety measures, ban child labour, increase community investment, and reduce environmental damage from production. Buy picking fair trade produce, you’re really extending all the beliefs you hold about farming in Canada to other countries that need your support. At Fresh City, we think it’s important to think about eating locally not just during the growing season, but throughout the fall and winter as well. That’s why our goal is to keep our box at least 50% local over the winter. There are still a lot of winter storage crops such as apples, beets, carrots, onions, pears, potatoes, squash, and many more, that we’ll be bringing in from rural Ontario farms. Even better, we’ll be growing our own salad mix in our greenhouse this winter, so you’ll even be getting some Toronto-grown produce throughout the winter! On that note, this week you’ll see that your box contains fair trade avocados, fair trade bananas, and California-grown (truck transport) oranges. This week’s Veggie Only box contains 38% Toronto-grown, 53% Ontario grown, and 9% imported produce while the Veggie and Fruit Box is 34% Toronto, 43% Ontario, and 23% imported. We hope you enjoy the variety in this week’s box!  And don’t forget to stop by the Greenhouse Gallery this weekend, 11am to 6pm at our greenhouse in Downsview Park.  There will be local art, wine, beer, musicians and kids’ workshops. Thank you, Ran Goel and Abra Snider Fresh City Farms