At Small Spade Farm we raise heritage livestock to preserve our agricultural traditions, and continue the bloodlines of these rare breeds.
These old varieties often have interesting stories behind them, but for us, it’s really all about the flavour.
In 1892 there were around 735 apple varieties that were available from commercial nurseries. Today there are fewer than 50 – and many varieties are believed to be extinct. We grow heirloom fruit to prevent these ancient varieties from being lost forever
Heirloom or open-pollinated seeds are genetically diverse jewels that have been passed on from generation to generation. We consider it our duty to grow out our own seed for our crops, selecting for resistance to disease and stress. Super-seeds!
Small Spade’s CSA program is based upon the french intensive market garden system – a sustainable model for agriculture followed throughout the the 19th century, “la culture maraîchère” was an extremely successful (and environmentally sustainable) way for Parisian farmers to produce enough food to feed the city on only one or two acres of land. Using only organic methods and natural inputs, we aim to follow to same model of farming on one acre of land – a “maraîchère microfarm”, if you like.
Located in Stirling, Ontario, we are about two and a half hours from Toronto. We only grow heirloom variety vegetables – no GMO or hybrid veg allowed! As sustainable food producers, we are concerned that control over seeds, and therefore our food, will become limited to a handful of corporations that breed varieties for appearance and suitability to industrial production, not taste or nutrition. To prevent this from happening, we grow only heirloom varieties, and save seed year after year, to preserve the genetic lines and the history of these ancient foods that have sustained us for sometimes hundreds of years.
What is the cost of a season’s worth of delicious Heirloom vegetables?
450$ for the season – 17 weeks in total. This amount is due by May 1, payable by cash, cheque (made out to Small Spade Inc. please) or email money transfer. You can also pay through Paypal on this site, if you like. Just check out the store here.
Heeeey, why do I have to pay up front?
By giving us a set fee prior to the start of the season, you help to cover the costs of the farm operation – in return, you receive shares in the farm’s bounty (yiss!) and you also share the risks due to weather and other factors beyond the control of the farmer.
So if there’s a hurricane and all the lettuce blows away, no butterheads for you in the basket that week. Supporting a CSA means that you support a local farmer. The farmer supports you (by giving you good eats), and the local economy, causing a lovely cascade effect for the local community. This also helps the environment; the more people eat locally, the less we need to ship food, and the less we pollute with evil fossil fuels.
So when do I get my first basket?
The first basket share will (tentatively) be the week of June 18th. This start date is variable depending on how the season begins and weather conditions (hopefully no hurricanes). We will be starting our work in the fields as of April. The season is 17 weeks long, and you receive a food basket every week throughout the season. Please note that this could be extended to 18-19 weeks depending on crop dynamics. Bonus!
Where do I get the basket?
Ideally, on Saturday afternoons, in high park, in the west end of the city. But we’ll confer closer to the start date, and figure out what’s best for everybody.
How much food do I get in my basket?
The shares are suitable for a family of 2-4 people who like to cook with fresh ingredients. Some items can be frozen or preserved. And if you simply have too much, you can share the harvest with others.