I was recently passing the Holland Marsh, south of Barrie. This -- for those of you who live on foreign soil or alien planets -- is some of the most productive farmland in Canada. In the early 1900's Professor Day demonstrated that there was fertile muck soil on the unoccupied swampgrounds of the Marsh. A system of canals and dykes were constructed to expose the fertile soil, and our hard-working farmers have been producing quality vegetable crops on it ever since. It is often known as the Vegetable Patch of Ontario. Nobody is working the fields yet this Spring, since Spring is still on hold, but the black rich earth stretches away to the horizon, ready for the planting. The farmers are getting ready, too. This is a tiny fraction of the crates stacked and waiting to be filled with harvest as the season moves ahead.
My little car will give some scale. We were there to pick up some carrots for the horses. It is a fabulous place to get carrots that didn't quite make the cut for the grocery store -- too big, too knobbly, broken, too small... for whatever aesthetic reason, they didn't make it into neat plastic bags on grocery shelves for consumers. But carrots they remain, and just as delicious. The horses love them.
The day I was there, Onions were being processed, coming out of storage and through the works to make their way to the stores. All those crates are full of onions. It is a tiny fraction of the number of onions waiting in the work area. The tractor would take a crate, tip it into the blue sorting machine and off the onions went on their voyage to the table.
Here is a better look at the papery layers of onion that flake away to leave a cleaner, more streamlined onion.
I love onions. I scooped one up from the floor and was smelling it with appreciation while I waited for the carrots to be brought to the car. One of the workers, bless his heart, saw me and came over to give me a whole bag of onions. Delicious! Thank you sooo much!
It is wonderful to know where your food comes from, and produce grown in Ontario simply cannot be improved upon.
Those onions have been on the table every day. Thanks to all the hard workers at the Holland Marsh.
It is good to remember that while we will occasionally need the very valuable services of Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers and the like, every day, three times a day, we need the services of Farmers.