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Family farmers, guardians of biodiversity

Actu - Les fermiers de famille, gardiens de la biodiversité

Josée Gauthier, advisor for Equiterre's family farmer network, explains that her family farmer helped her discover a greater variety of vegetables.

"Maybe you're like how I used to be. You tend to buy the same things from the grocery store. You tend to always cook using the same recipes. I've changed my ways since signing up for organic baskets from a family farmer. Thanks to my family farmer, I have discovered fruits and vegetables that I might not otherwise have heard of, vegetables such as:

  • kohlrabi
  • chard
  • Chinese cabbage
  • tomatillo
  • arugula
  • ground cherry

My organic basket has taken me out of my culinary comfort zone – in a good way. My family now enjoys a greater variety of vegetables, and I have enjoyed discovering many new recipes.

I haven't just discovered new vegetables. I've also discovered new varieties of old favourites:

  • different colours of beets
  • Sugar Baby watermelon
  • Savignac tomatoes
  • Oregon Giant peas
  • Flying Saucer zucchini
  • Freckles romaine lettuce

You aren't going to find these varieties in your supermarket produce section. There are several reasons why:

  • It isn't economically viable to mass produce them.
  • They aren't the variety that the market wants.
  • They are difficult to grow for those who do not have the ideal climate. 

For these reasons, some of these varieties are in danger of being forgotten. Thanks to our family farmers, many of whom are passionate about vegetables and biodiversity, you have a chance to discover these varieties that industrial farming has neglected. They may not be well suited to mass production, but that does not mean that they are not delicious!"

Interested in discovering new vegetables this summer? There is still time to sign up for an organic basket.

Photo: Fanny Lasselin