September 17th, 2014 - Today fifty Toronto chefs will be surprised with a goodie bag of fresh, local produce from Ontario producers. The goodie bags, filled with fresh nuts, pea shoots, chocolate mint, purple beans and a tomato medley, will be delivered in person by the startup’s Toronto “Farmteam”, courtesy of local Ontario producers Grimo Nut Nursery, Kind Organics, Twin Creeks Organic Farm, Grassroot Organics andVankleek Hill Organics.
Provender is an on-line marketplace driven by a technology team rooted in the local food movement that creates opportunities for Toronto food buyers, farmers and food entrepreneurs to connect, transact, and collaborate on-line. Provender allows chefs and other food buyers to discover and source a diversity of high quality, fresh, locally grown agricultural products. By connecting stakeholders through their on-line marketplace, Provender is creating greater access and opportunities within the regional food system. Local food buyers benefit from greater access to a diversity of locally grown products, while farmers, fisherman, food entrepreneurs, artisans, and foragers gain greater market access through the platform. Provender is helping them to manage and grow their businesses.
The Provender team hopes that these goodie bags not only help to promote their recently launched Ontario marketplace, but also introduces Toronto chefs to a greater variety of locally sourced, Ontario products known for their quality, diversity and freshness. There is an active interest to know more about local farmers, their methods of production and their role in bringing delicious, quality, fresh food to the table. Provender, with the help of Toronto’s culinary and agricultural community, is helping to bring this information to the marketplace and the table.
Twin Creeks Organic Farm- OWEN SOUND, ON
We are a small, diverse family farm located in the rolling hills of the Niagara Escarpment, nestled in the northern headwaters of the Big Head River. We began farming there in 1998 and are proud to offer Certified Naturally Grown vegetables and grass fed meat. We consider our farm produce to be ‘Beyond Organic’. Our animals have 100% access to fresh green grass throughout our 'green’ growing season. We use organic and sustainable growing methods. Livestock, hay, grains and vegetables grown at Twin Creeks are primarily heritage breeds and varieties with absolutely NO pesticides, chemical fertilizers, hormones, or GMO technology.
Grimo nut nursery - NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE,On
Our aim is to provide you with the best, most hardy nut trees, tree products and nut products. Ernie Grimo, the owner of Grimo Nut Nursery, is the past President and current Committee Chair for the Northern Nut Growers Association, Founding President and recently re-elected President of The Society of Ontario Nut Growers.Why nut trees? Nut trees are among the best of our multi-purpose trees. Not only do they make fine shade and ornamental trees, but they also provide timber and a crop of valuable, delicious nuts.
Kind Organics - HOLLAND MARSH, ON
Kind Organics is located 40 minutes north of Toronto in the Holland Marsh area of Southern Ontario. We grow many type of greens, herbs and vegetables. We produce Salad Blends, Sprouts, Wheat Grass, Micro Greens, Fine Culinary Herbs, Edible Flowers and various kinds of Baby Greens. We use organic farming techniques and are moving towards bio-dynamic farming. The farm is located on a small rural property that, prior to our move here in 2009, had not been farmed for almost 20 years. We try to till as little as possible to preserve the rich nutrient & microbial content of the soil.
Vankleek Hill Organics - Vankleek Hill, ON
Vankleek Hill Organics is a small, family run farm that began in 2007 with an old man’s dream of bringing his sense of childhood fun back to life. The owner, Andrew Ronald, moved from Toronto to Vankleek Hill with high hopes of growing some of the best organic produce available, at an affordable price. The idea was to make organic food accessible to everyone. We grow a wide variety of heirloom and imported produce, including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, squash, cauliflower, okra and potatoes. We also specialize in leafy greens - mixed kale, spinach and chard - and salads. Our mixed greens, popular among some of Montreal’s best restaurants, have been described as original and tasty, including many mustard greens, mesclun, baby greens and sprouts.
Grassroot Organics - Kawartha Lakes, ON
We live and work on our family farm in the beautiful Kawartha Lakes. Aside from growing produce, harvesting wild edibles, and tending to livestock we are also busy raising our children.
We broke ground in 2001 and have sinced ditched our jobs in the food service industry, founded a regional CSA program, are key players in food distribution from many other sustainable farms in the Kawartha Lakes. From early spring to early winter we tend to our market garden, hatch / raise heritage poultry, harvest wild edibles, market our goods to some of Toronto’s finest restaurants, and attend The Brickwork’s Farmers Market.
Provender is effectively using technology to meet the needs of, and address the challenges in, what can be, a complex food system.