According to The Food Price Report 2016 released by the University of Guelph, last year we saw food prices in stores raised by 4.1%, which was significantly above inflation. This had households paying up to $325, on average, more for food than previous years.
Why has there been this increase?
In the simplest way put: 81% of vegetables and fruits consumed in Canada are imported. In fact, much of our produce is shipped from California. Due to lower oil prices and lower interest rates our Canadian currency has dropped to low levels, making the cost of imports high. Weather greatly affects the supply of produce, and El Nino seems to be playing a part for the 2016 season as well. Unfortunately, inflation rates don’t seem to be coming down anytime soon.
“For 2016, the Food Institute is forecasting food inflation rates across the country to be anywhere between 2.0% to 4.0%. In dollar terms, we can anticipate based on historical data, the average Canadian household will spend $8,631 on food, of which $2,416 will be outside the household (restaurants). This means our forecast predicts the average household could spend up to $345 more on food in 2016.”- The Food Institute of the University of Guelph, Food Price Report 2016
How can we eat healthy produce, without spending more?
There are a few great options you can choose to help keep costs down, while still enjoying fresh produce.
- Support local farmers markets
- Purchase produce in season
- Grow your own!
Growing your own is easier than you think
Whether you have a large garden plot, or a small patio, vegetable and herb gardens are easily within your grasp. Along with keeping food costs down for your family, there are other benefits to growing your own.
- TASTE: If you ever have had a garden-fresh tomato you will understand when I say that tomatoes from the grocery store do not compare. Produce for grocery stores are often picked from the plant while still green. The produce ripens on its way to the store but suffers in taste and texture. By growing your own you can also find the best variety to suit your needs. Maybe you want a good slicing tomato, or maybe a bean great for freezing.
- CONVENIENCE: By choosing veggies and herbs that you find yourself using frequently during summer months, making meals tasty and healthy is a snap.Walk outside into your garden for a little inspiration and tailor your meals to what is growing.
- KNOW WHAT YOU GROW: With the recalls on produce due to bacteria, and the use of pesticides and fungicides, it can be hard to know what to purchase. Wax and other products are often used once harvested to keep produce glossy so they look nice and tasty. By growing at home you can control what goes into your veggie garden. You can be confident knowing that with just a quick rinse your vegetables are 100% ready to go and safe to eat!
We make growing vegetables and melons easy for you by offering a greenhouse full of vegetables ready to go into the garden. From broccoli to watermelon our selection is unbeatable! You will find vegetables here not grown anywhere else, like Trinidad Scorpion peppers or specialty heirloom tomatoes like Mr. Stripey. We also blend on-site, a wonderful soil we have specifically tailored for growing vegetables, right in our bulk yard. As long as you have a location with sun, you can successfully grow produce!
CLICK HERE for a list of vegetables we grow here in our greenhouse.
CLICK HERE for a list of herbs we grow and have available in our greenhouse.
Even urban settings can have a wonderful selection of home-grown vegetables and herbs by growing them in containers. Here is our top list of produce to try in containers this season;
- Sweet Million Tomato
- Balls Bush Zucchini
- Curled Kale
- Marketmore Cucumber
- Brussel Sprouts
- Mesclun Mix Lettuce
- Chocolate Bell Pepper
- Everbearing Strawberries
You can even make great mixes of herbs in containers. Here are some of our favorite herbs we have available in spring/summer;
- Thai Basil
- Garlic Chives
- Mojiti Mint
- Greek Oregano
- Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
- Barbecue Rosemary
Come down to speak with our knowledgeable staff about growing your own produce this year. We can help you choose the right produce for your gardens, and the best fertilizers to grow amazing veggies and herbs this season.