Our relationship with Hillside Gardens is a special one – they were one of the very first farms we worked with when Paul and Grace started 100km Foods back in 2008.
In fact, at first, Paul jokingly pointed out that perhaps it was more of a hassle to work with us, because we were so small! Yet Ron Gleason and the team at Hillside believed in what we were doing.
To this day they remain one of our most reliable and steadfast producers.
Hillside Gardens is a fourth generation farm located in the lush and fertile Holland Marsh, an integral part of Ontario’s Greenbelt. This region is known for its delicious, high-quality produce.
Hillside Gardens focuses primarily on root vegetables including onions, carrots, beets, and parsnips.
One of the reasons why our relationship with Hillside Gardens is so important is that we have been able to negotiate whole-season prices. This means we can offer you their produce at a steady price, insulated to a degree from the short-term volatility of the market.
We encourage you to use their products to incorporate in-season root vegetables into your menus. They’re not only excellent in quality but honing in on the areas where you can buy local and feature in-season products will save you money!
Hillside Gardens is proof that it’s possible to be a large scale operation with a commitment to quality and sustainability, as evidenced by their early adoption of and accreditation by the Local Food Plus program.
This means that they work hard to use fewer pesticides on their crops, ensure water conservation and respect soil fertility, and treat their employees fairly.
Additionally, Hillside has a robust traceability program in place, which allows them to track and monitor their produce from seed to plate.
They have also worked with other farms in Ontario to implement similar traceability programs, so that more farms can improve their operations, safety standards, and quality of food, as they have.
Downey Potato Farm
What’s YOUR favourite way to cook potatoes?
Because let’s be real, there are seemingly endless ways to prepare and enjoy potatoes and I bet the majority of you reading this right now have potatoes on your menus!
They’re so ubiquitous that I think we’re all guilty of occasionally forgetting how versatile and satisfying potatoes can be. In any case, potatoes are awesome and I think we can all agree on that.
Downey Potato Farms in Shelburne, Ontario does potatoes right! This region is known for having incredibly fertile soil known as Honeywood Silt Loam, and is a longstanding farming community.
Downey’s has been in operation since 1924 and is quite a large operation. In fact, they can store up to 25 million pounds of potatoes. Yes, you read that right: 25 million pounds!
Sometimes seeing is believing, though, so here’s some visual evidence:
Trevor Downey, whose family has operated Downey farms for four generations, came on board as the president of Downey Potato Farms a few years ago following a trip to Peru.
There, Trevor spent time with growers and researched some of the tastiest heirloom potato varieties to bring back and grow in Shelburne. These varieties include Heirloom Masquerades, Heirloom Strawberry Blondes and Heirloom Sweet Cerises.
The team at Downey are passionate about growing potatoes that are both beautiful and nicely sized, but also tasty! Trevor and Josh, head of Sales & Marketing, met with some chefs at a chip event at the Drake last year and were blown away by the enthusiasm of chefs about their potatoes.
They’re really looking forward to having more restaurants in Toronto and the GTA carry their varieties, and love that we are now their primary distributor to restaurants!
Most of their potato varieties are available locally year-round, and their operation employs a permanent staff of twenty-five.
The storage rooms at Downey can house 5 million pounds of potatoes each. Their washing, grading, sorting, and packing process, is also a sight to behold!
Downey Potatos at 100km Foods
Some of their most sought after potatoes are the Chef’s Russet and the Bistro’s Mini. The Chef’s Russet is the ultimate baking or frying potato with a light buttery flavour.
The Bistro Mini is an excellent mini spud perfect for roasting, grilling, or adding to salads.
All of their potatoes are GMO free and their facility is GAP certified, and they also have a line of certified organic potatoes!
Try some now at 100km Foods!