Know your Farmer, Know your Food.Matchbox Garden & Seed Co. was founded in 2006 by Hanna Jacobs. Over the years, we have provided our customers from the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas with bedding plants, seeds, and fresh produce. As the years have gone on, we have expanded our seed production and we now send our seed across Ontario and Canada.
With our beginnings in the heart of the busy West Queen West, Toronto neighbourhood, Matchbox springboarded from the 1000sqft mini urban farm, to the Mcvean Incubator Farm run by FarmStart. Building relationships through our participation in the FarmStart program allowed us the privilege to work with many different people and organizations.
We have been fortunate enough to produce our seedlings at the Fresh City Farms Greenhouses, in Downsview Park, spend 3 years farming on Mcvean Farm in Brampton, as well as 1 year at The Living City Campus on Kortright in Vaughan, Ontario.
We currently operate the gardens on 3/4's of an acre just outside Caledonia, Ontario. All our gardens are no till and on a minimum 4 year crop rotation. We use ally and companion planting as a key part of our Integrated Pest Management System. From the very beginning of my gardening journey, I applied organic methods to all my growing. One of the great motivations for the founding of Matchbox was, and still is, the desire to contribute to a more environmentally sustainable future.
Matchbox is a certified organic farm and seed company, 2019 marks our 5th year of organic certification with Ecocert Canada. We believe that this step helps to add our voice to the growing number of citizens that see the impact conventional farming is having on our ecosystems, communities, and our health.
In addition to producing food, seed, and plants, Matchbox has been a participant in the Bauta Family Initiative for Canadian Seed Security, and a plant producer for the Black Creek Community Gardening Network. These are two wonderful initiatives aimed at both preserving seed diversity and increasing food gardens and food access within our communities. We are very privileged to be working with these groups and look forward to more partnerships like these.
As we look towards the future, we are eager to continue learning of new varieties, new growing techniques, and new business models for small farms.
Who is Matchbox Garden & Seed Co.?Matchbox is owned by Hanna Jacobs, a seed producer, farmer, bird watcher, insect lover, mother, food and garden geek.
Hanna Jacobs grew up on a horse farm just north of Toronto and spent much of her 20's travelling throughout Europe and North America. During that time, she visited various sustainable farms and alternative communities whose focus included renewable energy resources, co-operative living and local food delivery systems.
In 2000 she attended Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Ottawa, Ontario, where she received certificates in both culinary and patisserie arts. With that education she began working in restaurants and catering companies while continuing to travel. In 2002 she moved back to Toronto, working in the hospitality industry until the birth of her daughter in 2005.
In 2006 she began Matchbox Garden & Seed Co. to provide reliable and safe food for her family and others in the community. A passion for feeding people quickly transformed from cooking meals to farming vegetables and herbs. Inspired by her first chef, Hanna's mantra in the kitchen and on the farm is always, "your meal is only as good as your raw ingredients".
Now that Matchbox Garden has a permanent home, Hanna focuses on seed production, soil health, and workshops. Permaculture and food forest gardens have been planted, and no till methods have been embraced for all gardens. The farm actively works on soil building, increased biodiversity and energy conservation.
Safe Seed Pledge
"Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners, and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing are necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy people and communities.