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Farm fresh canÂ’t get closer or better than this

Sep 11, 2014


For Immediate Release


(Brampton, September 11, 2014)

WHAT:  Annual McVean Farm Picnic.

A day of great fun, food and activities within a vibrant & unique urban farm ½ hour from downtown Toronto, in the heart of Brampton. 

WHEN:  Sunday, September 14th, 2014 from 11 am until 4 pm

WHERE:  9376 McVean Drive at Dunegrass Way, Brampton ON (north of Queen St. East). 

For details and maps

DETAILS:  We expect over 400 guests to join us -  bringing picnic blankets, sun hats, kites, and their appetites - to enjoy & explore the farm, feast on a delicious picnic lunch, meet our diverse, new organic farmers (from 11 different countries), join farm tours running throughout the day, shop at the organic farm market, listen to live music and & its wouldn't be a farm picnic without activities & pony rides for the kids!

The delicious picnic lunch, cooked up by a variety of guest chefs, will feature fresh salads made from McVean farm produce and other local organic farms, fresh Rowe Farm chicken sandwiches by Chef Yasser Qahawish, fresh hot veggie pakoras, and many other sweet and savory treats offered by friends of FarmStart who include Landman Gardens, Elora Bread, Natural Blend Drinks and Gujarati Foods. Local, biodynamic Southbrook wine and organic Beau's beer, farm-fresh warm Spirit Tree cider, organic lemonade, and juices will also be available.

COST:  Adult $40 (incl HST),  Children 12 & under $14 (incl HST).  Family/group rates available. Free for babes in arms.

ABOUT MCVEAN FARM: The first of its kind in Canada, the McVean Start-Up Farm is a vibrant experience of what productive, near-urban agriculture can be. FarmStart, a charitable organization that supports a new generation of ecological farmers, has brought new life to a historical farm property owned by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) called the McVean Farm. TRCA has leased its lands to FarmStart under a long-term lease and together they are making it possible to grow food closer to city regions, and creating more sustainable communities. The farm, a patchwork quilt of intensive market gardens, is located in the fast developing north end of urban Brampton on 45 rich and beautiful acres, bordered on two sides by conservation lands and on the other, housing developments.

The McVean Start-Up farm provides new farmers with access to land, equipment, training and mentorship.  This year 11 new farm enterprises operate on-site and the farmers are growing a diverse range of crops including; honey and over a hundred varieties of vegetables. Their beautiful produce is freshly picked, and sold directly to consumers through farmers markets, restaurants, and at our farm market -  a "you-pick" operation.

 WHO: FarmStart, founded in 2005 and registered as a Canadian charity in 2011, works to create the conditions for a new generation of entrepreneurial, ecological farmers to grow. They focus on providing practical support, effective training, and access to resources for new farmers.

FarmStart believes we need more resilient, diverse and healthy farmers starting today, if we wish to have a resilient diverse and healthy food system in the future. 

FarmStart provides flexible programs and services that help passionate new farmers to get their businesses off the ground, and, more importantly, to thrive. Their goal is to increase the number of confident, capable farmers who go on to establish viable and sustainable farm enterprises of their own.

On their Start-Up Farms, we work 'on the ground' with new farmers during the first five years of their enterprise start-up. They provide critical support including access to land, infrastructure, equipment, and inputs, skills building opportunities, business development support, technical resources and a community of peers.

They also offer training and resources to a wider range of prospective and new farmers. New farmers learn best from other farmers, so we work with farmer trainers.


Through their programs, farmers learn to use ecological practices and entrepreneurial approaches that lead to more resilient farm businesses and, ultimately, to a more resilient, environmentally sound food system.

The numbers

56 new farmers started on our farms since 2007;

75% are still farming today

28 New Canadian Farmers supported with Seed Capital

As of 2013 over 4,000 people have attended their skills-building farm tours, workshops, and courses since 2009.




FarmStart and McVean Farm Picnic organizers would like to extend an invitation to those in the press and media to learn more about our farms and FarmStart initiative.

See this set for more images from last year:  (please contact us for access & credit)


Visit or for more information. 

Contact:                                                                                         Julie Denneny



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Media contact:

Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856

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