“All of the local shiitake mushrooms you find in restaurants in Ontario will be grown here, because (Norfolk farmers) are the only ones growing them,” Hoskin said. “And if you buy McCain sweet potatoes in a bag, those are probably Norfolk sweet potatoes, because we grow more than anybody.”
You won’t yet see sweet potatoes or shiitake mushrooms reflected in the agriculture census, Hoskin said. “We have these niche growers doing really cool things, but Statistics Canada hasn’t caught up yet.”
Hoskin is encouraged that the emergence of niche markets has driven down the average age of farmers as more young people see agriculture as a viable career choice.