About

What We Do

Hello Farm is a small, organically-grown market garden run by Zenryu Owatari and Ava Richardson in Havelock, Ontario, Canada. We recently moved to Ontario from Japan where we ran our market garden for over a decade in the hills of Keihoku, Kyoto. The farm started in March, 2012 in Kyoto and moved to Ontario in 2021. We offer over 100 varieties of organically grown vegetables such as heirloom Japanese vegetables, Asian greens, heirloom tomatoes, fresh edamame and dry soy beans, Asian radishes and root crops, Western veggies, fruits and herbs. Currently, as a new farm startup here in Ontario, we will be selling at the Havelock Farmer and Artisan Market every Friday from 1-7pm starting June 17th, 2022.

http://www.havelockmarket.ca/gallery.html#

We very much welcome direct sales as well and are just starting to build our customer base. We have a long history of selling beautiful, flavorful veggies directly to chefs, local restaurants, and distributors. We also plan to sell at a farm gate stand soon.

About The Growers

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Ava has been growing organic vegetables for over 20 years, starting as an apprentice in Ontario Canada, co-owning a small CSA (Community Shared Agriculture), farming in Kyoto, and now in Havelock, Ontario.

Zenryu grew organic vegetables as a hobby for over 20 years in California, where he was also the head vegan chef at his Zen Buddhist monastery. He decided to farm full time in 2011 and worked on a large-scale organic farm in Ibaraki Prefecture, specializing in baby salad mix. After the 2011 Fukushima earthquake and nuclear disaster however, we evacuated south to Kyoto and started our own farm business. Over the decade we spent in Kyoto we were able to hone our skills for building healthy soil and growing delicious Japanese heirloom veggies. We recently moved to Ontario in 2021 to be near family.

Philosophy and Practices

We believe strongly in growing and eating wholesome, healthy, local, and safe organic food. Although our farm is not certified organic, we follow Ontario’s Organic Crop Producers and Processors regulations http://www.pro-cert.org/ . We predominantly use preventative pest control methods such as floating row covers, crop rotation, crop biodiversity, some permaculture techniques, and composting for whole-farm soil fertility. Under absolutely no circumstances would we use chemical fertilizers, GMO’s, or chemical pesticides, even when the cutworms decide to eat our entire lettuce crop! Our current projects include saving as much of our own seeds as possible (60 varieties and counting), building soil microbial biodiversity, and growing predominantly Asian heirloom varieties of veggies.

We are not opposed to leaving a bit of dirt on our potatoes or giving our customers delicious, but fun-shaped carrots. Taste and nutrition trump all, and we trust that our customers will understand that a few holes in their kale leaves is testimony to how delicious the wildlife find the crops, as well as proof of our organic practices. Come see for yourself! We welcome visitors and volunteers to the farm! By appointment only, please!

2 Responses to “About”

  1. haleakala October 25, 2016 at 10:38 am #

    Hello! My daughter and I will be staying in Kyoto for three months (Jan. 15- Apr. 15). Will you be offering veggie boxes during these months, and if so, do you deliver to the Heian Shrine area?
    Thanks so much!
    Tammy Staats

    Like

    • hellofarmorganics October 25, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

      Hello. Thank you so much for your interest in our veggie box progam, but unfortunately we close the farm for the snowy winter and our box program starts in June.
      You could try http://www.on-the-slope.com. They have a year-round box program and source organic veggies from all over Kansai, including us.
      Hope that helps.
      Ava

      Like

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