Local grocers are stocking up on some local produce with a number of stores in the area now carrying beefsteak tomatoes from Graham’s Farm Market in Minden.
Shannon Blanchard and Andrew Graham are in their second year of production with a greenhouse on the farm property just off Bobcaygeon Road.
The 5200-square-foot greenhouse is home to 1200 tomato plants.
“HCDC [the Haliburton County Development Corporation] has been a huge help in this” Graham notes explaining grants from HCDC were used to help pay for aspects such as ventilation and irrigation systems.
Last year the couple struck up a relationship with Steve Todd at Todd’s Independent Grocer in Haliburton Village.
“We said ‘Are you interested in some local beefsteaks?’” Blanchard says noting the benefits of local grocery stores carrying local produce.
“It’s definitely more sustainable ecological that’s what we’re wanting to do” she says.
The list of area grocery stores carrying beefsteak tomatoes from Graham’s has blossomed to half a dozen this season with tomatoes available at Dollo’s Foodland the grocery section at Robinson’s General Store in Dorset the West Guilford Shopping Centre McFadden’s Meat Market in Haliburton Village and the Foodland in Coboconk.
They can also be found as part of the menu at Heather Lodge and at the sustainable food hub at Abbey Gardens in West Guilford.
“They are doing a lot of byproducts too which is nice” Blanchard said explaining that leftover produce is used to produce items such as sauces and jams.
The couple now have three employees and also take on interns – one from France studying agricultural engineering is in the county right now.
Graham’s Farm Market also has a stand at each of the three Haliburton County farmers’ markets in Haliburton Minden and Stanhope each week.
“We’re supporting the community and the community supports us” Graham says.
There is also a stand with produce garlic eggs and firewood at the farm property along Bobcaygeon Road in Minden.
You can follow Graham’s Farm Market on Instagram and Facebook.