After four years operating their local organic farm, Merridy Senior and Eben Hancock are finding new ways to grow their business. Theirs is a traditional mixed farm operation, where they grow more than 30 varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers, produce maple syrup, honey, eggs, freezer beef, chicken and will add pork in the next few months. They sell their products at local farmers’ markets and directly from the farm which is located at 541 Glamorgan Rd. just south of Millbrook.
In 2015 they began to offer a Community Supported Agricultural program (CSA), where customers sign up for a weekly basket of fresh vegetables during the growing season. It is a response to the search by consumers to feel comfortable about where their food comes from, a concept Merridy describes as paying a farmer to grow your food.
Despite the challenging weather last year, their CSA program gained some momentum and the enterprising young couple is looking to expand it this season to include more of their farm products. In addition to offering the traditional vegetable CSA, they are planning to offer deluxe options which will include a weekly supply of fresh eggs, a meat portion selected by the customer from the beef, chicken and pork product list, regular honey and maple syrup provisions and the option of fresh cut flowers. While the 18 week program will not allow customers to completely avoid trips to the grocery store, it will supply them with a core basket of goods which are produced locally, without the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and chemical fertilizers. Puddleduck Farm operations also focus on sustainability by taking advantage of their own compost and manure supplies, using cover crops to develop organic matter in their fields and creating natural habitats for pollinators which benefit their bee hives and crops.
The program begins mid-June and runs until late October. To learn more about the farm and their CSA programs, visit www.puddleduckfarm.ca or call (705)931-5794. KG