Fiddlehead Farm started out as our dream and has become our reality. We, Steve and Heather, met in 2011 while interning together on a Biodynamic Farm in Ottawa’s Green Belt. Steve was a student in Fleming College’s Sustainable Agriculture Program and Heather had just completed her Masters in Landscape Ecology. We bonded over a shared passion for food and the environment.
As our internship drew to a close we felt a strong desire to continue in farming. We had both come to the farm for reasons of environmental protection and stewardship. We wanted to do work that connected us with the natural world, that gave us the chance to make a living outdoors, allowed us the luxury of delicious food, and that would contribute to meaningful change in the world. Farming provided us with an opportunity to realize all of these goals.
Finding land, let alone purchasing it, was a challenge. As two freshly graduated students we had minimal means. Steve’s parents stepped in to provide the start up funds needed to purchase the land and the equipment needed to make the farm happen. They remain an active part of the farm business contributing to planning and farm operations. Alan, Steve’s father, provides financial expertise and Ron, Steve’s step-father, takes care of the East Wing Vacation Rentals.
We settled in Prince Edward County because of its unique climate, thriving organic community and geographical location (between family in Toronto and Montreal). Our property has always been a small farm, with a mixture of crops and livestock. The last two owners have been hobby farmers, and we are happy to put the land back to full time use. The land has been free of artificial pesticides and fertilizers for decades and its fields were under organic cultivation at the time of purchase. We saw a lot of potential and in 2012 we started production.
Today the farm boasts five acres of market gardens. We are also a thriving vacation destination. This year we are excited to be “incubating” a pastured pork farmer. We are also continuing our perennial crop plantings, begun with apples and cherries, and now starting some kiwi-grapes and pawpaws. Perennial crops have the potential to provide even more food for our surrounding communities, although they take a few years before they will start to produce! All of this is done with the desire to promote biodiversity, rebuild soils, and enjoy tasty food. We sell our produce directly to customers, which allows us to educate our customers and experience their food delight while being connected to the natural world, making a living outdoors, and doing meaningful work. It is demanding, but incredibly rewarding.
We thank all our customers past, present, and future for supporting our dream as it continues to flourish. You make this possible for us.