Simply awesome produce, fresh picked daily,
all grown at our farm in North Burlington:
this is what it truly means to be local!
Hutchinson Farm is a family owned and
operated farm, in Burlington, Ontario.
Nestled between Mount Nemo and Rattlesnake
Point, the farm is just a short scenic
drive north of the city.
We grow everything that we sell, and our
philosophy is a simple one: flavour comes
first! Each year we plant the best tasting
varieties in our fields, and pick them at
their flavour peak. From our fields and
greenhouses, to your table and garden,
please join us for a season of delicious
produce and beautiful flowers.
John Hutchinson planted his first
strawberry patch in 1942, on his family farm
along Lakeshore Rd in Oakville, Ontario. He
was 14 years old, and many men were overseas
fighting in World War Two, so it was up to
John and his mother to run the farm.
Memorable crops included tomatoes, which he
sold to the now closed Canada Canners plant
in Burlington. One year he was the second
largest grower for Canada Canners; he would
have been the largest, but he forgot to pick
an entire field!
In the 1960's the Oakville farm was bought
by developers, and he moved to the
north-east corner of Walkers Line and
Britannia Road, where he grew greenhouse
tomatoes and cucumbers. At the time it was
one of the largest greenhouses in Ontario.
In the 1970's, he bought the Readhead Farm
just across the road, where Hutchinson Farm
is today. He still grew strawberries and
tomatoes, but also a bit of everything else,
from acorn squash to zucchini. The
strawberries were pick-your-own, but
everything else was sold wholesale.
In the early 80's two events happened that
would change the farm forever. Firstly, Joe
Uyenaka, our OMAFRA crops consultant, said
"John, you're a great plant grower, why
don't you use your greenhouse space to grow
flowers like geraniums?"
Secondly, John met his second wife, Barbara
MacTavish. Barbara set up a table of fresh
picked produce along the driveway. There
weren't many customers at first, but it
quickly became apparent you didn't have to
sell many zucchini directly to the customer
to exceed what the farm earned selling
Barbara's son, David MacTavish began selling
the farm's goodies at the Burlington
Farmer's Market during his summer vacations
from university. It didn't take many years
for Hutchinson Farm to leave the wholesale
business behind, and now everything is now
sold directly to the consumer. Geraniums and
other annuals are now the most important
crop grown on the farm.
David MacTavish began working full time at
the farm in 1992, gradually taking over from
the "old folks". He lives on the farm with
Photo: George Readhead, 1988
David MacTavish - Aside from being the
author of the words you are reading, he does
all the IT stuff (Facebook, farm newsletter,
Twitter, email), and other less important
things like planning and growing the crops,
and paying the staff!
Rafael Gonzalez - Rafael does most of
the work on the farm, and he has done so
since 1988. Along with his son, Marco, there
are a total of four Mexican workers who live
on the farm in the summer, and spend the
winter in Mexico with their families. We
couldn't farm without them!
Deborah Coulson - for 30 years John's
daughter could be found each Saturday
morning at the Milton Farmer's market, at
our stall, and for many years at the Coulson
Farm stall. Deb is a master of both our
greenhouse and field crops, with a fine eye
for flower arrangements.
Summer Staff - Each year we hire a
few university students, primarily on the
retail side, but eager to help out with the
John Hutchinson (1928 - 2015) - The
founder of Hutchinson Farm farmed
practically his whole life, and died one
August morning doing what he loved, checking
out the crops on his bicycle. John lived a
full life and his hard work, sense of
humour, and infectious laugh were and will
continue to be an inspiration to us all.
Barbara MacTavish - after
establishing and running the farm retail
store for many years, Barbara has "retired"
which means she "only" works in the
greenhouses now. And picks raspberries.
Wendy Malloch - Why would a
teacher marry a farmer? At first it was for
the strawberries, now it's for the heirloom
tomatoes. Wendy is the go-to person when
things start to fall apart.
Alexander MacTavish - Does the lawn
need cutting? Ask Alex! If you can drag him
away from his piano, it might get cut!
Rebecca MacTavish - The youngest
member of our team, Rebecca knows more than
most about our crops. If she's not selling
you some strawberries, she's probably
creating something delicious in the kitchen.
Photo: John Hutchinson and Rafael Gonzalez,