2018 marks the first full season for The City Harvest— the one man urban farming operation run by Bernie, in #HAMONT. We meet Bernie at his lovely home in Westdale. Attached to the side of his home is a solar-powered greenhouse. Upon entering the greenhouse you can’t help but feel amazed at the walls lined with trays of various beautiful microgreens and seedlings. It is obvious Bernie has put a lot of thought and intention into his set up and that the produce is treated with love.
The City Harvest focuses on microgreens, edible flowers, culinary specialty items and a variety of garden vegetables. From the greenhouse, Bernie transfers the seedlings to urban plots in his neighbourhood made possible by his neighbours and the City of Hamilton. One of the reasons why Bernie focuses on microgreens is their incredible nutrient density. The young and vibrant microgreen shoots can hold up to 40 times the nutrients than a mature plant. They have higher concentrations of vitamins (A, C, E & K), antioxidants and come out bursting with flavour and texture that is easy to add to any savoury dish.
Bernie is passionate about providing the community with high-quality nutrition, freshness and flavour that you won’t find anywhere else. He left his old job in G.E. Healthcare to pursue his passion for farming. He says the work is physically hard but incredibly rewarding. So far, he’s made his start selling his micro greens and crops to restaurants around Hamilton (such as Mezcal).
Bernie believes selling locally is the most sustainable way of farming as it means less processing, packaging and transportation while supporting the local economy. He utilizes only organic and non-GMO seeds and will save the seeds from his best growers. When it comes to his edible flowers, Bernie focuses on species such as the Oopsy Daisy, which will help to feed pollinators.