When COVID-19 hit North America last spring, Jon Cleveland lost his work as a lighting designer in the theatre and dance industries. To keep busy, he decided to grow his own food, including sunflower, speckled pea, Oregon giant pea, red radish, and more.
Noticing a shortage in the supply of locally-grown greens, and after taking a consulting course from a fellow Canadian microgreens grower, Cleveland started BunkerGreens. The name suits him perfectly, considering he grows his produce under lights in a corner store’s basement, and his family’s farm in New Brunswick is called Bunker Hill Farm. Cleveland takes care of it all; he builds the growing racks himself and hauls the soil down the stairs. After soaking the seeds, planting and nurturing them, he harvests fresh salad mixes daily and delivers them directly to subscribed customers and markets in the Montreal area.
Having worked as a chef for several years, his website also features recipes for delicious dishes such as microgreen BLTs, a micro salad with pan-fried chicken legs, and breakfast burritos with, you guessed it, plenty of greens. While Cleveland certainly is a go-getter, he admits BunkerGreens wouldn’t be possible without the support of his friends, family, and local Montreal businesses.
An example of what local food production should be.