The Evolution of Fiddle Foot Farm
After 14 years of growing vegetables (11 years at FFF and 3 years at Whole Village), and after careful consideration, we have identified the need to make a shift in how we operate Fiddle Foot Farm. For several years, we have been managing slow and steady growth in our business resulting in higher production levels, more diversity of products for sale, season extension and offering more points of sale including the development of our online store. This growth has required an increasing number of staff to handle the complexity of our operation and the overlapping seasonal work schedule that results. This has been very exciting and promising for us and has inspired us to continue in our dedication to producing fresh, local and organic food. We are grateful for the success we have experienced and all that we have learned. However, we have become increasingly aware that we have been operating beyond our capacity as farm managers. We recognize that we can (and need to) build a more balanced and resilient farm that is more sustainable for us.
Our goals and commitments will remain the same:
- To be an active example of biodynamic and regenerative agriculture
- To provide meaningful connection to nature and where our food comes from
- To operate a manageable (and therefore resilient & sustainable) farm business
- To provide high quality plants and food to our community
In the spirit of balance, we will be taking the following steps starting Spring 2022. We will be focussing our efforts on the elements of our farm that have shown the most potential and have become the most meaningful for us:
- Seedling Sale in the Spring
- Fall & Winter Vegetable Production
- Value-Added Prepared Foods
By limiting our summer production and sales, we will create the space and time to reassess our business and invest in capital infrastructure improvements. We will be delaying the start of our CSA program until the fall and we will not be attending the Orangeville Farmers Market (after May’s seedling season). These decisions have been difficult, as we have been selling produce through our Summer CSA and at the Orangeville Farmers Market since the very beginning of our farming careers in 2008!
What will these changes look like?
SEEDLING SALE: Seedling Sales will remain as we have done it in 2020 & 2021 – with online pre-orders mid-April, on-site shopping and order pick-up in mid/late May and selection at the Orangeville Market in May.
FALL & WINTER VEGETABLES:
- FALL CSA – Our CSA offering will begin in September. We will offer shares on a weekly basis in the fall (likely 8 weeks), freshly harvested from the field (ie. cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, beets, bok choy, radish, turnip, kale, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, Swiss Chard, celery, onions, garlic, etc). We will also offer our popular Greens Share in the Fall.
- WINTER CSA – In November, we will shift to a bi-weekly schedule of shares of a variety of winter vegetables (ie. carrots, beets, squash, spinach, napa cabbage, onions, garlic, parsnip, sweet potatoes, turnip, watermelon radish, celeriac, etc.) that will take us through until the end of February (likely 8 pick-ups over 16 weeks).
- ONLINE ORDERS – Our Online Store will operate from September until early March and will offer an opportunity to order our vegetables, other organic foods we source, and our prepared foods. Our prepared foods include hot sauce, cilantro chutney, garlic scape pesto, sauerkraut, kimchee, etc.
- Pick-up Options will continue in Orangeville, Shelburne and at the farm in Mulmur.
We like to farm. We want to continue farming. We are committed to producing seedlings for your gardens and a diversity of local, organic vegetables throughout the fall and winter months. By removing summer vegetable sales, we will be able to focus our efforts on preparing an even greater offering through the fall and winter months. We envision that these changes will help us continue in a positive direction with our farm business.
These may be temporary changes or they may be permanent. Regardless, we feel we need to run this experiment. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.