Know your Farmer, Know your Food.
Matchbox Garden & Seed Co. was founded in 2006 by Hanna Jacobs. Over the years, we have provided our customers from the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas with bedding plants, seeds, and fresh produce. As the years have gone on, we have expanded our seed production and we now supply seeds for gardeners nation wide.
With our beginnings in the heart of the busy West Queen West, Toronto neighbourhood, Matchbox spring boarded from a 1000sqft mini urban farm, to the Mcvean Incubator Farm run by Farm Start in 2008. Relationships built through our participation in the Farm Start program led to opportunities to work with many different people and organizations.
We have been fortunate enough to produce our seedlings at the Fresh City Farms Greenhouses, in Downsview Park, spend 3 years farming on Mcvean Farm in Brampton, as well as 1 year at The Living City Campus on Kortright in Vaughan, Ontario.
We currently operate the gardens on 3/4's of an acre just outside Caledonia, Ontario. All the gardens are managed through no/low till and minimum 4 year crop rotation. I use ally and companion planting as a key part of my Integrated Pest Management System. From the very beginning of my gardening journey, I have applied organic methods to all my growing. One of the great motivations for the founding of Matchbox was, and still is, the desire to contribute to a more environmentally sustainable future.
Matchbox is a certified organic farm and seed company, 2023 marks our 8th year of organic certification with Ecocert Canada. I believe that this step helps to add my voice to the growing number of citizens that see the impact conventional farming has on our ecosystems, communities, and health.
In addition to producing food, seed, and plants, Matchbox has been a participant in the Bauta Family Initiative for Canadian Seed Security, and I currently produce plants for The Bowery Project, and The Children's Learning Garden Project in Hamilton. These are wonderful initiatives aimed at both preserving seed diversity, and increasing food gardens and food access within our communities. I am very privileged to work with these groups, and look forward to more partnerships like these.
As I look towards the future, I am eager to continue learning of new varieties, new growing techniques, and new business models for small farms.
Who is Matchbox Garden & Seed Co?
Matchbox is owned by Hanna Jacobs, I am a seed producer, farmer, bird watcher, insect lover, mother, yoga practitioner and teacher, food and garden geek. I grew up on a horse farm just north of Toronto and spent much of my 20's travelling throughout Europe and North America. During that time I visited various sustainable farms and alternative communities whose focus included renewable energy resources, co-operative living and local food delivery systems.
In 2000 I attended Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Ottawa, Ontario, where I received certificates in both culinary and patisserie arts. With that education I began working in restaurants and catering companies while continuing to travel. In 2002 I moved back to Toronto, working in the hospitality industry until the birth of my son in 2005.
In 2006 I began Matchbox Garden & Seed Co. as a way to provide reliable and safe food for my family and others in the community. A passion for feeding people quickly transformed from cooking meals to farming vegetables and herbs. Inspired by my first chef, my mantra in the kitchen and on the farm is always, "your meal is only as good as your raw ingredients."
Now that Matchbox Garden has a permanent home, I focus on seed production, soil health, and garden education. With 20 years of producing organic seeds, plants and food, my current focus is to bring knowledge and experience to those who want to grow their own food. This skill not only helps us to become more self sufficient, but it also provides the gardener with a space that cultivates better physical, mental, and emotional health.