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Carrots come in many colours. They’re not just orange, but are also grown in purple, yellow and white varieties.
Unripened heirloom tomatoes
Looking to the past for heritage varieties
Sometimes what is old is new again. There are farmers growing vegetable varieties that were common 50 or 100 years ago, but are no longer used in modern food production. These types are called “heirloom” or “heritage” varieties, and are popular with chefs and food lovers alike for their unique  avours. Heirloom tomatoes, for example, have an irregular shape, often a ribbed or striped skin, and come in a variety of colours. They’re so popular that they’re now available in major Canadian supermarkets alongside regular tomato varieties.
A season for everything
We could not always buy strawberries, cherries, and sweet corn at the grocery store year- round. Every crop is ready for harvest – and eating – at a different time of year. Asparagus, for example, is one of the earliest-harvested vegetable crops in the spring. Summer means cherries, peaches, garlic, and potatoes, and fall brings apples, pumpkins, squash, carrots, onions, and much more. Refrigeration, new technology, and faster transport all mean more fresh fruit and vegetable choices for consumers at the grocery store all year long. You can now also get fresh berries outside of the traditional picking season. Berry farms are now growing day-neutral (ever-bearing) strawberries and fall-bearing raspberries, which means we can get locally grown fruit longer.
The Real Dirt on Farming
New Canadians = new crops
Okra and Asian eggplant are among Canada’s newest locally grown vegetable crops. Farmers are now growing crops that are popular with new Canadians, particularly from South East Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Immigrants to Canada also bring with them distinct  oral preferences, though some preferred  owers are not yet available here.
According to Ontario’s Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Toronto-area consumers of South Asian origin alone spend approximately $60 million annually on cut and potted  owers – and Canadian  ower growers are taking notice of these consumers’ preferences. Canadian  ower growers brought the  rst locally grown jasmine, a  ower in high demand for its fragrance, to market in 2017.28

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