Due to an oversight on my part last week, the intro to Marilyn Giesbrecht’s guest column did not make it in. Marilyn, a long-time Elphinstone resident and friend, wrote about two farms in our community in Part One of this series. Marilyn, who has a beautiful farm along with husband Vern, is the perfect person to write about this topic. Here in part two, she discusses two more of the many wonderful farms in Elphinstone. Marilyn and I encourage everyone to discover your nearest local farm gate; buying from them is not only healthy for your family but also for your community. My thanks to retired teacher Marilyn Giesbrecht for her second column.
Dawn and Paul Meyers purchased Brookbank Farm on Henry Road from Steve and Betty Holland four years ago, when they opened Backyard Bounty market stand to sell the produce they raised, and also began a weekly vegetables, fruits and berries box pickup business for regular customers.
Creative and inventive, Dawn and Paul have made changes for the convenience of all. They now operate the Gibsons Farm Collective, where eight participating farms deliver their produce to them so pre-orders can be boxed for the 475 recipients to pick them up on Thursday afternoons. Paul sends out a newsletter on Saturday morning describing the products for the coming week and customers order only what and how much they want. This helps the farmers with marketing, not needing to keep a farm stand or go to a Farmers’ Market. To join this farm-fresh service, contact gibsonsfarmcollective.com.
The Meyers are passionate about people buying local produce because they get healthier and tastier products grown organically and also support the local economy. Food that doesn’t travel thousands of miles reduces fossil fuel emissions. Dawn and Paul have planted 160 trees on their farm in the last four years, 120 of them fruit or hazelnut-bearing trees. They now produce willow wicker baskets for sale.
Suncreek Farm, along with another business, occupy farmers Michelle Butti and Steve Brewis on Russell Road, where they rent their home on the Giesbrecht’s acreage. Michelle and Steve raise goats, pigs and beef for meat, and create hot sauce and jams from their organically raised peppers, basil, tomatoes, rhubarb and currants. Their products are local, organic and free range. They can be reached at 604-886-7872.
Hard-working Steve says that fencing is a never-ending challenge when you have animals. He also installs gutters on homes as a supplement to their farming activities, and Michelle runs their home office. “I love the lifestyle and the animals, the quietness of the farm, and working from home on the land,” Michelle says. “People want to know where their food comes from and that the animals have a good life.”
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