It is on a mild Saturday afternoon that I visit Jessy Wysmyk and Charles Ryan’s Wysmykal Farm. As I arrive their two kids, Oliver and Merryn, are getting dressed to go sledding. Where do you slide I asked? Oh, just on the compost pile. Sure enough, across the road, where fields and greenhouses are, there is just enough of a compost hill covered in snow to slide from. It doesn’t take much when you are three and six to have the best of times.
The reason for my visit is to promote local foods in Cumberland County. Grow the directory on the Eat Local Cumberland website, and encourage residents and visitors to shop locally. It is easy to forget that this beautiful county of ours produces prime goods all year around, and way too easy to support outside economies. A recent visit at Costco made my head spin. What am I doing here I thought, where are my dollars going, who am I supporting?
Back to the farm, entering a warm greenhouse, my eyes marvel at the sea of greens. This time of year Charles and Jess grow and sell mostly fresh spinach. I do spot various lettuces and young kale but they are not quite ready to pick. To keep up with the demand for fresh greens in the winter they are thinking about investing in another greenhouse and increase production.
Wysmykal Farm will be celebrating it’s tenth year of operation this summer. Ten years of hard, steady labor, ten years of learning and improving. Ten years of building their soil, learning about pest control, about ways to increase yield. Ten years of good services and delivery of prime organic produce. Isn’t it beautiful? In these challenging times of climate change, and food insecurity I see them as food warriors. Doing what is right for the land, putting in the time and care that will enable the next generation, and the ones following, to feed and be fed.
I feel you want in, your mouth is watering for fresh local spinach and you are dreaming about next summer’s bounty. Maybe you’ve had it with produce from far far away, lacking nutrients, grown in depleted soil, harvested too soon, sitting on shelves too long, and worst of all: tasteless! Here is what you can do; visit your local farmers market, sign up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) basket next summer. How does it work? You sign up, pay your farmer at the beginning of the season (when they most need your support), and you get beautiful organic produce as the summer and fall rolls along. Best. Thing. Ever.
Over the year Wysmykal Farm has seen its CSA membership grow from 30 weekly baskets to 90. Their seasonal organic produce can be purchased all year long on Saturday from 9am to 12pm at the Sackville Farmers Market, and be tasted in several local restaurants such as Le Chat Bleu, and The Black Duck.
To find out more about this lovely team or sign up for their CSA basket visit their website at http://wysmykalfarm.ca/
Better yet, go see them next Saturday!