A Thunder Bay farmer welcomes a boost from the province for locally-produced food

Legislation proposed by the government this week is aimed at putting more home-grown food into markets, schools and grocery stores.

Ontario's tabled Local Food Act could open up new opportunities, said Kevin Belluz, who runs Belluz Farms.

"[It could] jump start some new markets for local farms, potentially bigger markets institutions, in some of the institutions, schools, hospitals etc. that are run provincially. So that could be [a] significant opportunity," he said.

"It's one more step, I think, in the right direction. Each little thing adds up, so we're hoping it's going to increase obviously the awareness of what's produced locally and also maybe jump-start some new markets."

Belluz added he would like to see more education to teach consumers about the kind of produce that's available locally.

"I think a lot of people still aren't sure of when things are ready because we're so used to seeing things 365-days-a-year in the grocery store," he said.

"So that's one of the biggest things we need to keep working on and it's really a win-win for everyone. When people buy seasonally, they get the freshest, tastiest food, which is always nice.  And, of course, that's when the local farmers need the most support."

Belluz Farms has being in business since 2001. The operation grows produce such as lettuce and salad greens, strawberries, raspberries, corn, pumpkin and squash as well as bedding plants. People can come and pick fruits and vegetables from the farm or buy the produce at the local farmers market.