September 10, 2021 3 min read
Go behind the scenes with our organic growers and get a sneak peek into the farms behind the food!
As the importance of being connected to your food and where it comes from continues to grow, we begin to dig a bit deeper into how the food in front of us came to be. Learning about the sustainable practices of our organic growers is a vital step in growing gratitude for our food, and the hands that grew it.
A Binbrook, ON farm with the lofty mission to grow the world’s most nutrient-dense, certified organic produce. It all began in 2015 when Mario Roque, owner of Landmart Homes and Liv Communities, first learned about nutrient-dense produce while on vacation in Florida. Seeds were planted which could not be uprooted.
Returning home, he saw his 64 acre cornfield with new eyes. An idea was born: to recreate the original taste, nutrition, and beauty of the Garden of Eden. He decided to call it Paradise Fields.
Nested in the Green Belt corridor of Hamilton, Paradise Fields has a bold vision to grow “the world’s most nutritious organic food” by placing a heavy emphasis on soil health and using regenerative agricultural practices. This local farm is unique in that it fully mineralizes its soil with all known minerals and trace minerals, brews its own compost teas to increase the microbial and fungal soil activity, and is fully irrigated with filtered potable water for the best possible results. No stones are left unturned when it comes to food quality!
Paradise Fields currently cultivates 9,000 apple trees bearing 50 plus varieties of apples, with a few available this Fall.
Five acres are dedicated to vegetable production and three acres for various berries, including haskaps, sea buckthorn and hardy kiwi berries - all chosen for their high nutrient value. A state-of-the-art greenhouse, recently completed, provides the perfect environment to grow high-quality microgreen and salad mixes that Goodness Me! currently carries.
The crown jewel of Paradise Fields will be an agri-tourism facility where people will learn best farming practices and experience the healing power of plant-based nutrition and lifestyle medicine.
Mario, a philanthropist whose support extends to Third World countries, credits a higher power for guiding him on his current mission to bring health to his local community.
In his words, he said: “I felt I was divinely inspired to do this.”
Piccioni Bros Mushroom Farm is a family run farm that is focused on producing the safest, highest quality mushrooms possible and providing excellent service. The brothers, Antonio and Battista Piccioni, started the company in 1964 and grew the farm over the next two decades. The company is now run by the second generation, Anna Maria and Lorenzo Battista, who took over the day-to-day operations in the early 1990’s.
The farm has achieved steady growth over the last 30 years and initially grew about 40,000lbs of white mushrooms per week. The last 10 years has seen a significant growth and demand for cremini and portobello mushrooms, and so the farm was expanded and is now producing close to 200,000lbs of white, cremini and portobello mushrooms weekly.
Piccioni is very vigilant in regards to food safety and was one of the first mushroom farms to achieve HACCP and then SQF certification (Safe Quality Food) that is constantly monitored with 3rd party audits. Several years ago, they also improved and adjusted their growing techniques, which allowed them to achieve organic certification. Today all mushrooms grown on the farm are organic certified through the Centre for Systems Integration who perform annual audits.
Piccioni is the only farm in North America that has adopted a new in-bed watering system. This allows them to supply the mushrooms with optimal water levels during growing which allows for better quality and longer shelf life.
From their founders that started the company in 1964 to today, they continue to pursue new technologies and growing techniques that help to achieve their goals and to supply the safest and best possible products to their partners.
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