Food

Growing Good Things in Caledon

Baskets of veggies
Written by Shelly Sargent

Kooner Farms – Growing Good Things Since 1988

On an overcast day this summer, I dropped in to Kooner Farms for a visit and discovered a local agricultural gem tucked away in south Caledon, just north of Brampton. This 50 acre “pick your own” farm located on Healey Road was started in 1988 by Mohinder Kooner to supplement his family income. Over the years, the operation grew and began to provide wholesale produce to local stores. Proudly pesticide and chemical free since the beginning, Kooner Farms also supply fresh produce to local farmers who frequent farmers markets.

Tomatoes

After over a quarter century of running the farm, Mohinder passed away 2 years ago but his legacy lives on. His son Jagtar and grandson Indy worked alongside him for many years and since his passing, continue to operate the farm. Growing up around Kooner Farm and with an inherent love of the land, Indy grew up dreaming of being a farmer. After working at the farm part-time for many years, this year he left a position as a manager with Fresh Start Foods and has made that dream come true.

“My friends thought I was crazy…” he chuckled, as he showed me proudly around the various fields “but I grew up with this dream to farm full-time. It’s what I love to do.”

Veggies

Indy’s wife Joti works part-time on the farm as well and the family has begun to look toward the future. Kooner Farms now lease 20 additional acres of farmland nearby and have invested in farm equipment to grow their operation. As we toured the site, Indy explained that they still offer “pick your own” tomatoes, beans, broccoli, rapini and cauliflower to the public but are branching out. Realizing that today’s farm stand customers often don’t have time to do the picking, they have begun offering a wide variety of pre-picked vegetables, as well as local fruit, free range eggs, flowers and more. They also bring in a number of items not grown locally that customers have requested such as avocado and cantaloupe.

Pepper mix

Plans for the future include adding as many as 6 additional greenhouses next year, offering tours for local groups that help educate children on nature and more.  This fall or early next year, customers to the farm can look forward to fresh local honey produced on site after beehives were introduced to the farm as an aid to pollination.

And towards the end of my visit, I realized that perhaps the long-term future of Kooner Farms is in good hands as well when Joti & Indy’s one year old son Sahib helped his dad show me around the greenhouse nearest to the road.

Vegetables

Proud members of Foodland Ontario, and featured in Grown in Peel and Harvest Ontario, Indy, Joti and the whole Kooner family invite you to drop by for a visit this fall and find out why those who live nearby make Kooner farms a regular stop for farm-fresh produce.

If you want to check things out in advance, visit them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/koonerfarms) or on their website at http://www.koonerfarms.com

About the author

Shelly Sargent

Shelly works for a local non-profit agency dedicated to strengthening families. An artist, she is happiest when being creative.  She strives to live a green life, eat locally & support those who support others in her community.

1 Comment

  • What a gem to have this farm growing…and growing! Thanks for the great article Shelly and Patti!
    Sheilagh