Elora, Ont. It is home to the county’s only lentil farm.
Lau-Tea-Da Lentils, owned by Laura Ferrier, began growing the legume crop in 2016.
Ferrer described being the county’s only lentil grower as “very cool”.
“It was great to be able to talk to people and explain why we do what we do and the challenges we faced growing up. [lentils] In Ontario,” Ferrer said. “Overall, it’s great.”
Ferrer said her friends in Saskatchewan challenged her to grow lentils on their farm. It was a challenge Ferrier said she couldn’t miss.
“We thought, why not? My husband and I have backgrounds in agriculture.
Ontario’s growth challenges
According to Lentils.Org, Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of lentils, with 95 percent of the country’s crop being produced in Saskatchewan due to its dry conditions.
“Our climate in Ontario is very humid,” Ferrier explained. “Lentils don’t really like that moisture, so we really had to put it along.”
Since she began cultivating the pulse, Ferrer said it produces roughly a ton per acre, which is similar to yields in the West.
“We’re so glad we’re able to meet those returns that they take out there, when they’re more experienced in what they’re doing than us,” she said.
Ferrer also supplies its lentils to retailers throughout the county, selling them to restaurants, stores, and spas.
The Flour Barrel, a bulk food store in Guelph, has been carrying Lau-Tea-Da Lentils for the past five years.
Store manager Heather Elliott said lentils have been a huge hit in the store.
“I think it’s really important that we support our local farmers,” Elliott said. “If we can support a local like that, we help everyone.”
Ferrer said lentils can be used in a number of different dishes, not just soups.
“I use it as a topping for my salad, I’ve made chickpeas with lentils before. Butter chicken, I’ve completely reduced the amount of chicken or replaced entirely with lentils, and it’s delicious. We also use it to mix it into ground meat, especially now with food prices soaring,” Ferrier said. This is a really great source of family-friendly protein.”
This year, Lau-Tea-Da Lentils was awarded the Excellence in Agriculture Award by the Wellington Center Chamber of Commerce.