Here at the pea project, our main goal is sharing with you my pea growing experience. But I am also here to tell you about what others are doing. Other gardeners, farms, business, anyone involved in growing and raising up food. I am excited this morning to bring you a new interview with an Ontario farm from the Holland River Valley on the Rogers Reservoir conservation area just north of Newmarket (north of Toronto).
Sharon Creek Farm is run by Sally Shearman, who grew up on a farm in the United Kingdom. They offer an amazing selection of fruit (currants, haskap berries, cherries, plumcots, Asian pears, dessert grapes, apples, European pears, gooseberries), vegetables, eggs, honey, and in the future – Southdown Babydoll lambs and wool.
1. What is the most important thing you want people to know about your farm?
I seek to work in harmony with nature, growing healthy pesticide free food and creating a legacy of rich healthy soil and food trees for the future.
2. What is the most unique item you produce/grow?
Plumcots and chums – varieties of exotic fruit developed for a cold climate.
3. What are some of your customers’ favorites?
Garlic, apple cider, blackcurrant jam, honey and duck and chicken eggs.
4. What have been some of the biggest challenges you have faced?
Probably my biggest challenge is farming in a suburban environment. It is also my greatest opportunity as the surrounding development houses my current and future customers. However, ease of access to farm equipment and supplies is a constant challenge. Another significant challenge is diversified farming on a small acreage. Most government programs and funding opportunities, as well as regulations related to farming, are developed for large scale operations. My farm is based on the European model of the smallholding, not very common in North America where land is not at a premium. I am inspired by the small English farm where I was born and raised, as well as the small farm business models common in Greece, France, Italy, and throughout Europe and Asia.
I love that they are stressing healthy soil. The soil is such an integral part of the growing process. It something that we haven’t as a culture been good at taking care of. Having healthy soil may be more valuable than gold. Agriculture that looks to improve the land and look towards the future is the way to go. Sharon Creek Farm understands this. All the best to them in their business.