Welcome to Four Season Greens - Sprouts and Micro-Greens in Muskoka

About Us: Steve & Sharon Bacon

Living in Muskoka, Ontario, where the leaves are off the trees for 7 months of the year, winter is severe, and many year-round residents are seasonally under-employed. We are aware that it is difficult to get local produce year-round, especially organic produce. We are also concerned with the high number of diet-related diseases in our community, as well as in the rest of North America; diseases not of poverty but of affluence. With increasingly stressful lives, where quality family time is difficult to find and processed food is more affordable than fresh, we often opt for quick and easy meals. Or perhaps that is all we've ever known.

Image Ignorance may be bliss, but when it comes to food, it is killing us.

With these issues in mind, several years ago we began researching nutrition and sustainable agriculture, and discovered that there are real food options which work in a northern climate. Chief among them is sprouting, as it does not require specialized equipment, is economical, and can be done on a kitchen counter.

Sprouts and micro-greens are superfoods, as the nutrition of plants is maximized within a few days of germinating the seed. They are highly nutritious and effective in dealing with all sorts of health issues, from cancer and digestive problems to obesity and high blood pressure. However, sprouts and micro-greens aren't just good for you, they taste delicious, and can be incorporated into all sorts of delicious foods like sprout bread, crackers and hummus.

Another northern climate growing idea we researched is aquaponics, which integrates fish culture with hydroponic gardening. With our family of five children, we built an aquaponics system in our backyard greenhouse, and successfully grew a variety of greens and even carrots in gravel grow beds.

Image Reaction to our adventures was mixed; many didn't understand why we were so passionately experimenting and developing these alternate agriculture practices. Others enthusiastically watched from the sidelines, began their own food projects, and urged us on.

Spurred on by this encouragement, we developed a seminar on sprouting and nutrition and began to give workshops in our community. The fundamental building block for this seminar is the rhetorical question, "If you owned a $5 Million race horse, would you feed it junk food?" It goes without saying that our children, and even ourselves, are worth so much more; in fact we are all priceless.

*Photo Credit: 1st Picture: Corey Wilkinson, 2nd Picture: Heather Douglas