Rural Roots Nursery and Market Garden
Spring Sales Update
Online Ordering and Curbside Pickup
First and foremost, we want to thank you all for your support, and for your excitement! The days have been long, often challenging, and usually overwhelming, but the messages and comments have kept us going. We know that this way of shopping for plants is not how you’d like to do it – trust us, it’s not how we’d like to either. This website is the result of hundreds of early morning and late nights (well, late for me – 9:30pm), and I have tried to make it as enjoyable an experience as I can. (Look at it this way – how amazing is it that you can support a local business while shopping from your couch, in your pyjamas, with a beverage of your choice? It’s like the best of both worlds!)
We love our big, chaotic weekend sales during the spring, and making these changes wasn’t easy. But this is the right thing for now, for our employees, their families, our families, and our customers.
A few things:
-We don’t have everything loaded on the store yet. Not by a long shot. As of this writing, less than ¼ of the hanging baskets are up, none of the patio pots or window boxes, 8-10 different herbs, and at least half of our veggies. Also, no seeds up yet. They’re coming! We’ll do our best to add things daily, especially once the greenhouses empty a bit and we can actually safely get to them (You think I’m kidding….). Examples of things still to come: Borage, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Zucchini plants, Castor Beans, 4 pack tomatoes and peppers, Purslane, Potato Vine, New Guinea Impatiens, Tithonia, Cosmos, Strawflowers, Zinnias (so many zinnias), Mouse Melons, Salad Burnet….. etc etc etc.
-On a related note, we will be restocking a few things if we run out. Although we take pride in how much we grow here on the farm, the fact is that we simply don’t have the room to grow everything, and we’re lucky to work with a fabulous, family owned greenhouse to fill in the gaps. That being said, if there’s something you absolutely must have, or your summer is ruined, I’d recommend getting it when you first see it. If you want to custom order a planter or have shrub orders, we can still accommodate these. Please email us at
-As I first tried to write this update yesterday (on May 12th), at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, I looked up and saw snowflakes drifting by my windows and I had to get up and go check the greenhouses. This helps explain why some things just aren’t ready (cucumbers and 4-pack tomatoes). I know it’s tempting to want to get your garden in ASAP, but remember that the plants actually know the schedule better than we do, and a decade of worrying, cajoling, and flat out shamelessly begging them to grow has taught me that everything will come in their own time -- Especially tomato plants. Remember that once the plants leave this property, they are your responsibility, and that means that you might be watering and moving plants like basil and cucumber in and out for a few weeks until it is safe to plant. (Trust me, that can get old fast). Also on that note, there are some things that are still small at this point. For many (like melons and cucumbers), this is because we time them so that they’re ready to leave their pots at the perfect time for planting (after June 1st) and they don’t get rootbound in the meantime. For others, it is because they were either late getting to us (due to backorders) or later than my perfectly timed planting schedule dictated (due to not having enough hours in the day). If something is listed but still small, we have made every effort to let you know in the description. But if we picked it out for you, it’s because it’s something that we would plant ourselves, so it will grow!
-Pickup: Our pickup will be “Non Contact Curbside”. For this Victoria Day Weekend, we have two hour windows for both the morning and afternoon for Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Our “regular” greenhouse sales here on the farm (Pre-Covid) were always designed to be 3-day weekends, because that leaves us 4 days where we are “closed” to do the rest of the necessary things that we need to do (plant a couple of acres of veggies and cut flowers, custom plant more patio pots, deliver our Four Season Urn Inserts, prepare veggies for the Farmers’ Market, etc). We are going to try to stick to that schedule. However, we still do our best to get as many orders done for the pickup times as possible.
When you have your cart filled, you’ll be prompted to either choose a pickup window or be assigned the next available one. It might take a few days. WE WILL BE ADDING MORE TIMES AS WE ARE ABLE TO. Check back often, as I’ve got a banner on the homepage of the shop that I will endeavour to keep updated as to pickup times.
-I’ve struggled over the writing of this next point and agonized over it for a long time. Normally, I love talking plants, and vegetables, and growing and all. the. things., but the fact is that we simply do not have enough time to answer every individual query about every individual plant, flower, vegetable, etc. I have been struggling to keep up with the volume of calls, emails, messages, and comments already. (Overshare time: If you’ve gotten a message from me in the past few days and it was between the hours of 7am and 9pm, you don’t want to know where it was composed). I’m truly sorry if I’ve missed yours, and sorry in advance for the other ones I will miss. If you have a question about something, try our Pinterest board at: https://www.pinterest.ca/ruralrootsnurseryandmarketgard/ . I’ve spent many happy winter hours pinning articles to different boards, so there is a lot of info on their about planting containers, vegetable gardening, individual plants, etc. There’s also a board about keeping kids busy, but that one was an accident – it was supposed to be on my personal Pinterest. Also, trust me on this, you can Google almost anything. If I can Google “Pictures of tomato hornworm poop” and find my answer, I know Google won’t let you down.
-Gift Certificates: If you have one, please use the online store to browse and make your selections, then email me at ruralrootsnursery.ca or text/call 705-305-3514 (text me with screenshots and I will love you forever) your selections for me to put aside. There’s just no way to incorporate my “Old School” gift certificates with this new “fancy schmancy” system.
-Using the Online Ordering: We encourage everyone who can to use the online ordering. This is, quite frankly, for my sanity. It will help us with inventory (so we don’t oversell) and with pulling orders (because everything is in one place). It will also help us not have to collect payments from people at pickup time, which necessitates closer contact, and also a lot more paperwork keeping track of who has paid and who hasn’t. Trust me, if we didn’t think this way was the only way we could manage, we wouldn’t do it. (It costs a mint, in a year that has already quickly switched from a “Achieve some business goals” year to a “Make it Through” business year.) That being said, if online shopping and ordering absolutely isn’t your thing, please call or email us and we will do our level best to help you out. We know it’s a learning curve, and we know that many of our favourite flower loving people aren’t comfortable with it. We absolutely will cry with happiness when we can go back to our normal old school ways, so don’t worry – this is temporary.
Note: Yesterday was our first day and we had a number of people who put in an order, then realized they forgot something and needed a second order. As someone who consistently comes home from the grocery store with beef broth when she wanted chicken, let me assure you that THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM! Just put in your second order (even for one plant - totally ok) and in the Notes Section, just let us know that you have another order placed for pickup, and we'll combine the two orders for the first date.
-One last note: I’ve struggled over the wording of this last point (I have a list jotted down by the computer) almost as much as the one on answering questions. We don’t want to alienate anyone, and we want to respect all of the feelings out there, but the fact is that opening up this way leaves me (Heidi) feeling extremely exposed and vulnerable. Not only is this my business, but this farm is our home. It’s where our daughter lives, and where our employees come to work before going home to their families. AND it’s where a whole bunch of living things (plant and animal) depend on us to keep them healthy. We need to feel safe here. Our pickups are non-contact. It’s a “pick up your beautiful plants and go” kind of deal. The greenhouses will be closed, to avoid temptation (also, because it’s a hazard for anyone who doesn’t know the exact footfalls you can make to go in their right now). We’ve actually taken pains to make our usual “Rustic Farm Charm” area less inviting (there might even be snow fence to cordon things off, if we have time). If you don’t feel you can respect this, this might not be the sale for you. We thank you in advance for understanding.
-Ok, THIS is the REAL LAST NOTE: And as with everything having to do with these turbulent times, THIS MIGHT ALL CHANGE QUICKLY! We reserve the right to change things, because this is all new to us, and no matter how many scenarios we run, we have no idea how it will go until we start operating this way. We will reevaluate next week, and see what changes we can make to serve you better while still doing our part. It is a privilege to be able to open, and we don’t take that lightly.
Thank you for reading this long winded explanation. We truly appreciate your support.
-Heidi and team.
Welcome and thanks for visiting Rural Roots!
COVID-19 Update - April 12, 2020
I've been trying for several days to find the words for a coherent post on what will be going on with our season here at Rural Roots. The words aren't coming easily and I don't need to tell you guys that things are changing quickly. Planting flowers for our greenhouse and getting ready to plant our vegetable and flower fields is requiring massive amounts of faith right now, (but it's also keeping me sane).
Here's what we know AT THIS POINT:
Based on what we know, our CSA (vegetable box program) will be an essential service and we're accepting signups for our July-October program. The look and feel of it may have to change, but I am committed to bringing you healthy food in whatever way keeps you and us safest. You can find more information, and the Sign Up Form here (Spaces are limited).
We are currently busy planting hanging baskets, flats of bedding plants and TONS of vegetable transplants (and much more) with the assumption that we will be able to get them to you for the end of May/first part of June through an Online Store and Contactless Pickup here at the farm. Greenhouses and horticulture do fall under the banner of essential services (right now). We have had orders into suppliers since last fall, and many of our seedlings and shrubs are prepaid and will arrive regardless of COVID-19. We understand how badly many of you want to start gardening and growing flowers and food (We feel it too!) so we have put together a non-exhaustive of our Vegetable Seedling varieties on our Greenhouse Page for your planning and dreaming pleasure. Of note, our selection of flowers may be more limited than in previous years, as we are handling planting solo and as our suppliers are also struggling with skeleton staffs, but we're working as hard as we can to bring you as many of our usual offerings as possible. As you can also imagine, running an online store represents a huge learning curve for a Farmer on rural internet, but like everyone, we're adapting. Watch the website, our social media channels or sign up for our newsletter to find out when online sales will be available.
The Farmers' Market, our Self Serve on the Farm (for vegetables and flower bouquets), and Pick Your Own Flower Field are unknowns right now, but I am thinking always about ways to safely get our fresh vegetables and flower bouquets to you in the safest possible way, including possible online ordering and porch dropoff.
DIY Flower Buckets and wedding customers: We'll figure it out! Whatever happens with your weddings or other special events, we'll be here for you and we can be extremely flexible! I am sorry that I haven't been in touch individually. My email time is very limited. But please take "worrying about flowers from Rural Roots" off your mental or written list and know that it will work out and we are happy to help.
I think that's everything.
We are sorry we can't tell you more at this point, or if your query has been lost in the flood of questions we're trying to answer, but we ask for patience as we navigate this new reality and try to juggle our extremely busy spring season while operating two full time on-farm business with a little person at home. (You'll note used the Royal "we" at lot through this post, but at this point, "we" is just me, Heidi, with as much physical, mental and caffeine related support from the Handsome Goat Farmer as he can manage between goat care, and moral support from the Future Farmer, who gives lovely back rubs and will sing "Soft Kitty" to you, but sadly isn't great at administration, e-commerce or delivery logistics).
We hope you like our new website. (It's still very much a work in progress!) Thank you for a wonderful 2019. We are hard at work over the winter with crop planning, seed ordering, goal setting and dreaming. We look forward to seeing you in the spring, but as always, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram for all of the latest news from the farm! You can also sign up at the bottom of the page to receive our (new) newsletter.
PS. Yes, those really are my dirty hands.
What We Offer
May and June (Spring Sales)
September (Fall Sales)
Winter (Winter Urns)
We are proud to offer a wide selection of lovingly grown and carefully selected annuals, perennials, shrubs, vegetable transplants, hanging baskets, planters and much more for your gardens. Come and join us for Sale Days on the Farm!
May - August (Farmers' Market)
July - October (CSA)
July - October (Self Serve on the Farm)
From Arugula to Zucchini, we grow over 40 types of vegetables, which we offer through a variety of outlets. Eating seasonally is a passion of ours, and we are happy to talk about how we grow fresh, delicious, healthy food.
July - October (DIY Flower Buckets)
July - October (NEW U-Cut Flower Patch)
Our cut flower patch is one of our favourite places on the farm. We are proud to offer local flowers for your wedding or special event, as well as bouquets at our markets and self-serve AND a new U-Cut section.