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Agriculture

Located within the Township of King is The Holland Marsh - Ontario's Salad Bowl.  The Holland Marsh is a community of approximately 125 farms within 7,000 acres of low-lying land containing some of the richest farmland in Ontario.  An additional 2,500 surrounding acres outside of the Marsh is also recognized, and this land is situated within the northern part of King Township with the remainder  in Bradford West Gwillimbury and a small portion in East Gwillimbury.

Running astride the Holland River, a little more than 40 km north of downtown Toronto, the Holland Marsh has been used to grow vegetables, utilizing canals for irrigational purposes created by King's first Dutch settlers.  Declining from the approximate total of 350 farms in the late 1970s, many small original farms in the area have now amalgamated into larger operations as farmers today require 40 to 100 acres to be profitable. Growing enough carrots alone to provide every Canadian with four pounds each year, the Marsh plays a large role in Canada's food export market and serves a substantial local market in the neighboring GTA.

  • The annual value of carrots grown in the Holland Marsh today is estimated at $130 million.
  • The annual value with onions is estimated at $160 million.
  • Greens such as celery and lettuce make an estimated Provincial impact of $160 million.
  • About 90 percent of all Asian vegetables consumed in Ontario are grown in the Holland Marsh.
  • Tomatoes, cucumbers and ornamental flowers are also grown inside 18 acres of year-round greenhouses.
  • Marsh farmers also generate millions of dollars in local revenue and create employment for local agricultural processors and packagers.
  • Growers estimate the Marsh has a total economic impact of more than $1 billion annually, including farm-gate value, packaging, processing and transportation.