With Thanksgiving drawing near, many people will be sitting down to large traditional Thanksgiving meals with family. During this time, it is easy to get caught up in the process of preparing the meal, but it is important to remember where the food you are preparing comes from.

From the golden roast turkey, to the many side dishes of vegetables, and even dessert, much of the food that we generally eat on Thanksgiving is grown in right here in Ontario!

Ontario is home to over half of Canada’s Class 1 agricultural land, which is some of the most productive soil in Canada! In addition to the fertile soil, Ontario also has several areas that are home to “Micro-climates”. These areas provide unique growing conditions that allow for the production of specialty crops that aren’t able to be produced in other areas of the province.

It is because of Ontario’s fertile farmland and diverse climates that we are able to enjoy such a large variety of fresh, locally grown food and locally processed food items. For instance, did you know that in Canada, Ontario is the largest producer of the Thanksgiving staples Turkey and Carrots? Even the pies for dessert can be sourced from within the province! Norfolk County is considered the pumpkin capital of Canada, and out of all apples consumed in Canada during the year 2019, Ontario produced over 38% of them. Of course, the best way to top any pie is with whipped cream, and luckily, Ontario is the second largest dairy producing province in Canada.  In addition to what we directly put on our tables, Ontario also produces the hay and grain products that feed the turkeys and cattle themselves.

Even though Ontario’s farmland is able to provide us with so much, we still continue to lose it at an alarming rate. Every day, we lose 175 acres of valuable farmland to non-agricultural development like urban sprawl, and once gone, it can never be reclaimed. This rate is unsustainable, and in order for future generations of Ontarians to be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner filled with products grown right here in Ontario, we need to protect our farmland now.

So, while we are being thankful for family, friends, and health, let us not forget to be thankful for Ontario’s farmland as well.

Have a safe and happy long weekend,

Ontario Farmland Trust