After working several years at a local market garden operation, Harmony Evans decided to go out on her own.
Recognizing the growing appetite for local food, last year she took the plunge on a small farm on the edge of town. She was raised on a farm outside of Lindsay, so she was well acquainted with the hard work associated with growing food, and was eager to turn a vegetable growing hobby into a business.
Now in its second year of operation, her business called Wild Ginger Farmstead has stabilized the demand for her products with fifteen Community Supported Agriculture customers whose first produce pick-up date is this week. On Tuesdays these customers will come to the farm at the corner of Fallis Line and County Rd. 10 to pick up their weekly allotment of fresh, organically-grown produce. The contents will vary as the season progresses, but succession planting of the most popular items including lettuces, onions and cilantro will make these items staples through the season. Extra produce will also be sold at the farm on Tuesdays from 3pm to 7pm. In addition, Harmony operates a stall in the downtown Farmers’ Market in Peterborough and last week began to sell at the monthly Millbrook market.
Harmony is working half an acre of land which was tilled once and then treated with compost from a local landscape supply company to further enhance the soil. In the plot she has planted 900 tomato plants (not kidding), garlic, onions, beets, kale, carrots, green and purple snap peas, and lots more. She takes her cues for produce selection by watching what sells at other market stalls, but based on her experience, customers are eager to purchase any produce that is fresh, organic and local.
In addition to vegetables, Wild Ginger Farmstead raises a mixed flock of heritage breed laying hens providing fresh eggs, and there will be three flocks of broiler chickens over the course of the season providing fresh meat during the summer and fall.
Over the last few weeks, the drought has increased the water requirements of the garden, and a hose will not suffice. Harmony has been bringing in four water containers per day filled up at the township water tower and gravity-fed by drip hoses to the plants to keep the plants flourishing.
Pride of ownership is apparent in the straight rows of weeded plants, which Harmony tends primarily on her own with the help of a few friends and moral support by her constant companion, a German Shepherd called Meekin.
A recent visitor told her that previous owners of her current location also operated a market garden there, and she is happy to continue that tradition. She hopes to secure a permanent home for her fledgling business on a small piece of land in the countryside where she can expand her operations with a greenhouse of her own. In the meantime, she is happy to welcome customers and visitors to Wild Ginger Farmstead at 963 County Rd. 10. For more information, visit www.wildgingerfarmstead.com. KG