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Chris Blanchard of Purple Pitchfork
Chris Blanchard provides consulting and education for farming, food, and business through Flying Rutabaga Works. As the owner and operator of Rock Spring Farm since 1999, Chris raised twenty acres of vegetables, herbs, and greenhouse crops, marketed through a 200-member year-round CSA, food stores, and farmers markets. Prior to 1999, Chris managed student farms, worked as an intern, packing house manager, plant breeding assistant, and farm manager, and provided consulting for a major organic processor, in California, Wisconsin, Maine, and Washington state. His workshops, writing, and consulting throughout the country about farm business concepts, food safety, organic vegetable production, and scaling-up have gained a reputation for fresh approaches, down-to-earth information, and honesty.
Graham Corbett of Fiddle Foot Farm
Graham Corbett graduated from the University of Guelph in 2003 with a degree in Environmental Science. His interest in sustainable agriculture led him to working with small-scale indigenous producers in southern Mexico. Graham has found in Biodynamic farming a way in which he can practice a pro-active form of environmentalism. He currently co-manages Fiddle Foot Farm in Mansfield, Ontario with his partner Amy Ouchterlony. Fiddle Foot Farm is a 66 acre biodynamic farm that produces pastured pork, pastured chicken, eggs, and 5.5 acres of vegetables. The farm supports an 80-member Community Supported Agriculture Program, 40-member Winter CSA, and sells produce at the Orangeville and Creemore Farmers Markets.
Farms are capital intensive business, and James is proud his job entails helping farms position themselves for credit success. Always looking to solve problems, James has a formal education in policy and economics. His farm background is from his family’s dairy farm and now small cow-calf and crop operation.
Joe Grootenboer of River Bell Market Garden
Joe Grootenboer lives in Dresden, and grows organic vegetables at River Bell Market Garden. He started the farm three years ago and we now offer a 22-week box program of fresh organic vegetables plus a winter box program spanning the rest of the year. They deliver to Chatham and Wallaceburg as well as offering from the farm. He is married to Eraina, a native of Dresden. He grew up in Thunder Bay, on a dairy farm, and did all his schooling up there.
An engineering education at Thunder Bay’s Lakehead University led to a first career in project management for a structural steel company in Edmonton. After about 12 years of that, his interest in construction had waned and he found that he much more enjoyed gardening. After witnessing a friend make a decent living off a 9 acre organic garden, a seed of possibility was planted. He decided to spend one growing season working at his friend’s farm in Edmonton, learning the ins and outs of the business, before he and Eraina moved to Dresden in October 2011 and purchased twenty acres of rich Chatham-Kent land.
Chris Knight of Clear Creek Farms
Chris Knight is a Certified Organic Angus beef farmer located near Highgate Ontario and is a partner in Clear Creek Farms Inc.. He is also a husband and father of two boys. Along with his brother, mother and father, they direct market all of their beef to customers in Southern Ontario.
Allison Muckle of Rowantree Farms
Despite growing up in the suburbs, Allison had been wanting to “live on a farm” since she was 10 years old. After completing a degree in Biology at Queen’s University, Allison decided to spend the summer doing a CRAFT internship at Ignatius Farm and began to consider farming as a career for the first time. It took seven years after that fateful summer before her farm dreams became a reality. In the meantime Allison worked in the non-profit sector and helped establish the Eat Local Sudbury Co-operative and get the co-op’s first downtown storefront up and running. Allison was fortunate to qualify for the Ontario Self Employment Benefits program, which allowed her to take an intensive 6 week business development course with Sudbury Learning Initiative to create a business plan for her farm. Allison now owns and operates Rowantree Farms in Sudbury where she has run a vegetable CSA for 4 years and sells free-range, heritage pork. She also works part-time for FarmStart on a project to support new farmers in the northeast and returned to Sudbury Learning Initiative as a Business Plan Coach for new entrepreneurs in 2013 & 2014.
Tarrah Young of Green Being Farm
Vegetable production on the farm is devoted to supplying members of their Community Supported Agriculture program, which operates in the winter only. Green Being Farm also produces and direct markets pastured pork, poultry, eggs, and grassfed lamb and beef, with a mandate of raising animals in a way that does not compromise their dignity of that of the environment. Green Being is one of the only breeders of the rare Kune Kune pig in the country.
Tarrah holds a degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Guelph, and teaches Livestock Husbandry for Fleming Colleges Sustainable Agriculture program.
Richard Wiswall and his wife Sally Colman own and operate Cate Farm in East Montpelier, Vermont. Richard has been farming there for 35 years, growing and selling organic produce, seedlings and medicinal herbs.
Richard likes to share his knowledge with other farmers, and often gives talks and workshops on the often neglected business side of farming. He consults with farms to increase profitability, and also wrote The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook to help farmers with the business end of farming.
One of Richard’s main goals is to see more happy, less stressed out, and prosperous farmers. Check out the Workshop Page for the popular workshop topics that Richard offers. Workshops can also be tailored to fit your group’s needs.
In addition to workshops, Richard offers consulting services, either in person or via phone and email. Click on the Farm Consulting Page for more info. For more info about Cate Farm and Richard, visit http://catefarm.com/