Meet the Farmer — Phil Collins of Fresh City Farms

Jul 16, 2015

Phil Collins is the co-founder and farm manager of Fresh City Farms, an innovative operation that empowers people to make conscious food choices by reconnecting them to the daily rhythm of agriculture. Fresh City collectively farms over four acres in sites throughout Toronto.

GreenbeltFresh: Why did you start growing cauliflower?

Phil: Originally it was meant to be a fall crop for this season, but we ended up seeding extra as a back-up to our brussel sprouts, which unfortunately did not make it after a hard frost.

GreenbeltFresh: What varieties do you use and why?

Phil: We are growing Snowball, from High Mowing Organics, it produces a small 6” head, which is ideal for the Fresh City bag and has a quick growth period, which helps with intercropping and crop rotations significantly.

GreenbeltFresh: What is the growing process like?

Phil: We started ours indoors in cells, around mid-March and transplanted them outdoors in late May, they were around 3-4” tall at that time.

GreenbeltFresh: How do you suggest cooking cauliflower?

Phil: BBQ the whole head!

GreenbeltFresh: Do you have any suggestions for people who want to grow it at home?

Phil: Grow them in good loose soil, and keep them hydrated. Experiment with different varieties, there are lots to choose from.

GreenbeltFresh: As someone working in farming, what do you want the average consumer to know about cauliflower?

Phil: I’m fairly certain Fractal Cauliflowers have super powers, but I don’t quite understand them yet.

Additional thoughts from Kim Keitner (Marketing Manager at Fresh City Farms): For cooking cauliflower, I would also recommend steaming it, and then pureeing. Add some garlic and chives for delicious Mashed Cauliflower!

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