ABOUT TROUT LILY
Organic Plant Nursery
We're excited to offer our wide range of seedlings grown on a farm just north of Guelph. Trout Lily produces over 100 varieties of certified organic vegetable, herb, fruit and flower seedlings. Our enthusiastic customers keep coming back year after year, reporting the success and enjoyment they've had with our transplants in their gardens.
Trout Lily began with the focused work of the first owner, Vera Top, in 2006. The business was a strategic labour of love that came to be known as a quality source of organic vegetable and herb seedlings (we do grow a few flowers too) in the Guelph area. Our seedlings are now available through several businesses in the Toronto region, as well as a few more locally. We also sell retail on our own site during select hours each spring. What began with one small greenhouse and one owner/employee grew to fill three larger greenhouses and require 4 employees by the time the next (and current) owner took things over. And of course, we've always had a dog-in-residence to support the staff and entertain our customers.
Sophie Clark, the current owner, applied to be the assistant manager at Trout Lily in early 2015. She moved to Guelph for the job and loved it enough to go back to school, and to come back again and again for the plant nursery season. When Vera was ready to move on to other new adventures in 2018, Sophie was a new graduate and interested in keeping the business flourishing. Vera agreed to mentor her, they signed a few documents, and now Trout Lily continues to grow! We continue to value quality product and service, as well as sustainability and community.
We remain committed (and eager) to support our customers in growing their own food at home. Growing food can facilitate meaningful connections to the land, the seasons, your body, your culture and more. Every season, we connect with local groups (2020 included the Guelph Black Heritage Society, the Black Women's Agricultural Freedom Fund, FoodShare Toronto, White Owl Native Ancestry Association, The Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition, and the Green Party of Canada) to support their gardening projects and communities through donations of plants and/or financial donations. In 2020, Sophie was thrilled to create and co-facilitate a workshop at the Guelph Organic Conference about mental health and farming, as well as to co-host a webinar with the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario about seedling production. In 2021 she taught a 2-day webinar for JustFood Ottawa on greenhouse growing. Please reach out if you think we could be of help to your organization or community.
Scroll down to see a short video about how we grow our beautiful seedlings every year. We make the soil, we plant the seeds, we tend carefully to each plant until it heads home with you.
Hi! I bought Trout Lily at the end of 2018 after working on the team for 4 years prior. When I'm not busy running Trout Lily, you might find me paddling a canoe, facilitating workshops, or writing music. Thanks so much for supporting our small business, and hope to see you soon!
A few people can get a lot done!
The Trout Lily Team changes year to year! We usually have 3 staff hired every growing season and a delivery driver. 2021 staff photo soon to come.
We were lucky to work with Michaela (of Healing Hands Farm) from 2018-2020 in the greenhouses.