Sunday, December 29, 2013

One maybe and one why

Garlic and tomato bought recently in London, Ontario.

When I was a boy growing up in Southwestern Ontario, this was farm country. We grew so much. Summers were a time of abundance with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables available in the stores and the farmers' stands that lined what were then known as the King's highways.

The King's highways have, for the most part, been handed off to the counties and townships. And much of the fruit and vegetable business is either gone, going or threatened.

In December I can understand tomatoes from Guatemala but garlic from China? Garlic producers in the province have been just about driven out of business by the cheap imported garlic from China.

Essex County, to the southwest of London, was once the home of the biggest ketchup making plant in possibly North America -- certainly Canada. A few weeks ago it was announced that that plant, owned by Heinz, was closing in the new year. Many tomato growers in the county are threatened.

In the fifties, folk in Ontario were far better at eating locally produced food. It can be done -- even in a country as far north as Canada. Sadly, we are paving over our farmland and if the time should come that we will want to return to growing our own food, it may be difficult.

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