Blue Lagoon Organics began when Lori Ann and Rene decided to take a lead role in what went into their food. “It’s so important to know what you are eating,” says Lori Ann, a retired elementary teacher who became allergic to penicillin during her career. After altering her diet to avoid conventionally-produced meats and dairy, she was inspired to help others find better alternatives as well. The couple bought the family farm, located just across the road from their home, in 2000. The plan? To build an organic farm from the ground up amidst a vast expansion of conventional fields, one that would remain viable and resistant for generations to come. They started by planting vegetables and herbs such as echinacea, eventually opening up their farm as a U-pick. In 2003, Blue Lagoon was officially certified as the first organic vegetable farm in Manitoba.
Stefan, Lori Ann and Renee’s son, became involved with the farm in 2004. As a chef, Stefan was energized by the freshness of the food produced on the farm. “He had never seen a cabbage the way it looked in the garden,” Lori laughs. The food pushes me to work harder, says Stefan. My whole love is harvesting and bringing that food back to the kitchen – but you have to do all of the other jobs to get to that point.
Blue Lagoon has been a CSA since 2005 and has been a home to many WWOOFers who have helped it grow over the years. The Regniers also raise chickens, turkeys and ducks that are fed organic grains purchased from DeRuyck’s Top of the Hill Farm and mixed on-farm. Thanks to Stefan’s passion for wholesome food, the farm now produces a wide range of value-added products as well, all made with the freshest organic ingredients in the province!