Harmony Gardens is offering a ‘pick-your-own’ experience this summer for anyone who would like to select their own fresh organic produce while enjoying the outdoors and safe social distancing.

The Dalkeith business, which produces fresh organic vegetables available in several locations throughout the region has seen steady growth in sales over the past four years, but hopes for increased distribution in 2020 were dashed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“That’s changed everything because we had different plans before COVID-19,” commented Richard Kerr, who owns Harmony Gardens along with his wife Pat.

So for 2020 Harmony Gardens has turned to a new plan for expansion by instituting a modified ‘pick-your-own’ experience for those seeking an opportunity to visit the garden and harvest their own fresh vegetables. There is a water system set up with hoses to clean the produce and a supply of bags available for packing. The site at 22035 Brodie Road in Dalkeith also has plenty of space in which to practice social distancing and a sink on site for hand-washing.

The name Harmony Gardens comes from Richard and Pat Kerr’s mutual love of music. Richard says that as with different instruments in music, crops, sunlight and soil must work in harmony together for the best results. For example, the large greenhouse on the company’s Brodie Road property was constructed 40 years ago at a noticeable angle to the roadway. It may look off-kilter, but the design allows the building’s large windows to face directly south in order to provide maximum availability of sunlight throughout the year.

“When they built the roads they were not east-west,” Kerr points out. “Man built the roads this way, but for the sun the greenhouse has to face over this way.”

The many plots of different types of produce throughout the property are also laid out in different proportions – some triangular, some square and each designed for the plants growing in that section. Kerr says everyone at Harmony Gardens is always thinking about what is best for the crops.

“What do the plants need? That’s the first thing a gardener thinks about in the morning,” he comments. “Everything here is laid out to work together in harmony like music.”

The organic vegetables produced at Harmony Gardens are sold in stores throughout the region and the Kerrs can also be found regularly at the Vankleek Hill Farmers’ Market. Produce can also be obtained directly by contacting the business at 613-874-2293 or by email at [email protected].

Everything for a reason

Harmony Gardens owner Richard Kerr explains how each section at the company’s Brodie Road growing site is arranged to provide the optimum conditions for each type of produce.