Considering the cool and damp weather we have experienced this spring, we were delighted to have a warm, sunny day on Saturday for the Farmers’ Market. We were quite busy as shoppers came to buy their produce, meat and baked items, as well as heirloom vegetable plants and flowers. Once their shopping is completed, most Market patrons make a decision as to which of our vendors will be making their breakfast or lunch. It can be a difficult decision because the aromas are so enticing. If you haven’t yet tried the new Dutch pancakes, I urge you to wait no longer as they are delicious and very different from Pascal’s fabulous crepes—we are lucky to have so many tasty options!

The next new vendor I’d like to introduce you to is Bryan, of Backyard Groceries, which is a Holistic Landscaping business that facilitates people’s connection to their food, their community and their environment by starting in their own backyard. Through private and community gardens, presentations, organizations and workshops, Backyard Groceries wants to help boost the dialogue which can answer many of the issues society is facing today. Backyard Groceries offers a range of services including installation and coaching that meets you where you are.

Bryan became entranced by nature at a very young age. Even as a toddler, he would emerge from his family’s tomato patch with his cheeks nearly bursting with cherry tomatoes. As he grew up, he was nick-named “Nature Boy”. Even as an adolescent, he was easily calmed and delighted by the simple things in nature. Today, he still feels the same way.

In 2008, he was one of a select few to graduate from the University of Guelph’s Plant Biotechnology programme because it was believed that would be where the jobs would be. It wasn’t until later that Bryan realized the narrowness of his education. He pushed himself to learn about the health concerns, industrial applications and environmental issues regarding genetically modified organisms(GMOs) and remembers how acutely he responded when his Professor mentioned seed terminator technology and how this application of science is an affront to nature.

As someone who is not satisfied with knowledge in one or two fields, he is finding ways to combine his interests, which has led him back to gardening and fulfilling the nickname of “Nature Boy”. As an entrepreneur, he tries to be on the cutting edge of the local organic and nutritious food movement, while learning more about sustainable systems. He views it as a good sign that, since his graduation, the tides have turned and consumers are more aware of the impact of the environment on their diet.

In 2012, Bryan decided that he wanted his dream of positively impacting the world to become reality, and he founded Backyard Groceries. While changing the world is a tall order and worthy of a chuckle, this intelligent movement has the potential to do make a significant difference. Drop by Bryan’s booth in the park next Saturday to discuss his creative ideas as he will be leaving the Market soon.

Our next Special Event, a favourite of many, is Strawberry Fest on June 24th , when the wonderful Aurora Community Band will be playing. I will tell you about additional plans for the day in my next column.

See you at the Market!