Senneville, Organic Veggies from BioCyclette Montreal
Weekly, organic vegetable baskets are delivered throughout the spring and summer. This year, the warm weather allowed for winter baskets as well. BioCyclette Montreal takes pride in the organic vegetables they send to their families, and the same beautiful veggies they sell at weekend markets around the city. Annie McLaughlin and Konstantinos Hirtle-Kattou are the independent owners of this organic initiative, although they do get by with a little help from their friends.
“We started three years ago with urban agriculture because we didn’t have the space, or the vehicles,” said Annie. “It’s just me and my boyfriend, so we made a business for ourselves. We used our bikes to get around to do gardening. We put vegetable gardens in people’s backyards.” As demand grew, Annie and Konstantinos acquired certified organic farmland in Senneville, which supplies the majority of their produce.
Their urban gardens have transitioned into more educational spaces than the mass production gardens they originally existed for. BioCyclette Montreal installs and maintains vegetable and ornamental gardens for families interested in their services. They also cover lawn care, and cater to individual preferences and budgets. Families hoping to receive a basket full of organic veggies can choose between weekly and biweekly options. Annie and Konstantinos plan to offer two different sized baskets next spring as well.
This year offered an extended season with the extra warm weather in both the spring and fall. “We were able to do a 20-week basket,” Annie said. The last of the summer’s weekly baskets were delivered on October 16. This year has been extra lucky, so the locally grown organic veggies are still making their rounds.
“We were also able to grow a lot of storage crops,” said Annie. “This is where you will find the carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, squash; kale and spinach too were grown late into the season. We have a ton of food, and what better way to get it to the people than to have prepared baskets!” The winter baskets will be delivered from November 2 through to December 21.
“It takes a lot of patience to have the quality product that everyone looks for,” said Annie. Konstantinos studied farm technology at McGill; Annie gained hands-on farming experience while travelling through Europe and Asia. Together, they’ve created a healthy initiative that makes organic produce more affordable, and more accessible. “We had a lot of knowledge,” Annie said. “It was just the right time for us to create something for ourselves, and be able to experiment with all different kinds of food. We both love eating, and value organic.”
Each basket is approximately large enough for a young family of four, or a vegetarian couple that would rely primarily on the baskets. If your family is interested in receiving weekly baskets this winter or next spring, contact BioCyclette Montreal through their website www.biocyclette.com.
If you don’t want to commit to a basket, find Annie and Konstantinos at a couple local markets from May through to October: Coop de Maison Verte on Rue Sherbrooke from 2-7pm on Thursdays; Aliments Naturels Fleur Sauvage on Av de Monkland from 10am-6pm on Saturdays.
By: Jillian Clark – mtltimes.ca