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Our Philosophy

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.

Exotic Pumpkins
Our History

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 wholesale.
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 his family.

Photo: George Readhead, 1988
George Readhead on
                              tractor
The Players

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 harvest too.
 
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. And...

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, 2014
John Hutchinson and
                              Rafael Gonzalez

Know Your Grower!