Agriculture isn’t usually something that comes to mind when you think of the city of Toronto, but it’s a lot closer than you might think.
Local farmer Dale Reesor owns Sweet Ridge Farms, the last working farm in the City of Toronto, located in Rouge National Urban Park. He explains that although there are other farmers who have fields within the city limits, he and his family “actually live here and farm in Scarborough”.
The Reesor family has lived and farmed in the Rouge for generations. “The Reesors came to Canada from Pennsylvania in 1804,” says Reesor, “then this farm was purchased in 1812… I believe I am the sixth generation. Dale himself has been a farmer in Scarborough for 32 years.
Today, Reesor owns six farms in Scarborough and one in Stouffville. He explains that he has nearly 100 acres to grow sweet corn, as well as other crops like soybeans and wheat.
“To grow sweet corn, you need good soil,” says Reesor. The Rouge is home to first class soil, the rarest, richest and most fertile soil in Canada.
Reesor says he is happy to work with Parks Canada. “It’s nice that this area here can be protected in the Rouge (National Urban) Park and I’m glad the Rouge (Parks Canada) is willing to work with the farmers and maintain some of that.”
If you’d like to sample the delicious corn from Sweet Ridge Farms, free samples will be available at Rouge National Urban Park’s upcoming Taste of the Trail event on Saturday, August 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bob Hunter. Memorial area of the park.
The event celebrates the Rouge’s rich agricultural and cultural heritage by sharing the tastes and tales of the Rouge and includes a tasting of local maple syrup, honey, pancakes and, of course, delicious sweet corn.
Help celebrate the Rouge’s rich natural, cultural and agricultural heritage at Taste of the Trail on August 18.
Bob Hunter Memorial Park is located in Markham, 7277 14th Ave.
To visit www.parkscanada.ca/red.