What's in your box?
November 9th, 2011 Every Friday morning, we at Fresh City sit down and plan what’s going to be in your box. We work with the seasons, our farmers and our suppliers to arrive at a well-rounded box that is value for your money. And yet, your box contains much more than the box contents you see listed every week. Your box represents opportunity. There are already a dozen or so prospective member farmers signed up for next growing season. The box program ensures that these intrepid farmers have a market for their produce as they make the transition from avid gardeners or serious foodies to commercial urban farming. Our dream is to see Fresh City alumni replenish Ontario’s rapidly aging farmer population, which have a median age of 54. Your box supports our youth outreach efforts. Over the last few months, hundreds of Toronto children have visited our farm and greenhouse to learn about where food is grown. There are even a couple of plots tended by young students. Your box helps non-profits. Whenever possible, we buy produce from our non-profit partners to help them forge sustainable revenue streams, which are especially important in this era of reduced government funding. We have also recently partnered with About Face Collective to transform our greenhouse into a gallery as part of their fundraising efforts for a green rooftop at Bathurst and Bloor. Your box supports sustainable farmers and artisans. Not only does your box support our own member farmers, but also other organic farmers and artisans who are pursuing ecologically-sound paths of production and processing. The Ontario organic sector needs all the support it can get -- only 1% of Ontario farmland is certified organic and 80% of organic produce is imported. For small producers and processors, even small purchases can make a difference. Your box supports public awareness about good food. We have had the pleasure of attending and speaking at dozens of events, running farmers markets and, in so doing, meeting tens of thousands of people throughout the Toronto area. Wherever we go, our message comes with us: a more delicious, fair and sustainable food system is possible. Thanks for your support and know that we are continually working to add value – and values – to your box. Any suggestions about how we can improve would be very welcomed. Ran Goel, Co-Founder, Fresh City Farms