We always dreamed about producing vegetables.
Over the last three years, we have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in setting up a vegetable production site including 5 greenhouses. The MAPAQ has generously supported us with hundreds of thousands more, through various subsidies.
It turns out that managing the production of organic vegetables is not very difficult, but many hands are needed for seeding, transplanting, weeding, harvesting, washing, packing and so on. Seasonal labor certainly poses some challenges, even though the federal government has several programs.
The biggest problem is that vegetables are perishable, low cost items, so we need to sell them in bundles (baskets) to make the logistics work. Unfortunately, we have not been able to reach our target of 400-600 vegetable basket subscriptions by a long shot. It just seems that consumers are not really interested in organic vegetable subscriptions and competition for clients is rather fierce. We found that resellers are notoriously unreliable. We really hate to throw out perfectly good veggies!
Right now, the vegetables represent less than 7% of our total business and take up 70% of our time. We love growing veggies, but selling them is a drag. We are currently not planning to grow veggies during the 2022 season. But things may change quickly!