Monika and Andreas Zinn waste no time in getting down to business, and the one they run together is strong like the bond between them as mother and son. While their venture together officially began in 2008 with the inauguration of Zinn Farms, it naturally started long before then, while Andreas was growing up.
When Andreas was just four years old, Monika showed him how to catch chickens using a catching hook, which is simply a long rod with a hook at the end. When Andreas was thirteen years old, he received his first goat and throughout high school it was his responsibility to care for the small herd of the Boer breed that he and Monika then started putting together. The two promoted their goat meat through word of mouth and newspaper ads and soon began a series of regular orders throughout the year for non-family customers. By the time Andreas had was finishing high school in 2008, his mind was set on farming as a livelihood and he chose to enter the Agricultural program at the University of Manitoba that upcoming fall as the farm also went through many changes. Zinn Farms closed the doors of its pullet barn and gave the farm a new direction.
Since then, Andreas and Monika have purchased Berkshire pig breeding stock, improved their free-range chicken facilities, added rabbits to the farm family and purchased a feed mill to start mixing their own feed for their livestock. The mother-son team still only use non-GMO feed for all of their animals, which consists of a combination of wheat, oats, barley and peas they purchase from local farmers.
Geoff and Theresa Dyck moved from Winnipeg to start farming 20 years ago. They started out with the modest goal of living a country lifestyle and providing their family with home grown food. Before long, they were selling produce at local markets and through their CSA. Boundary Creek Farm Vegetable CSA has now been operating for 18 years! All of their produce is grown naturally, without the use of synthetic chemicals. They serve Winnipeg and the Interlake.
Thousand Hills Ranch is a family farm working with livestock to replenish and regenerate the land. They raise their cattle in an ethical and natural manner on rotationally grazed pastures, without chemicals, synthetic fertilizers, growth hormones, or antibiotics in the feed, and without feeding any grain rations. Their grass-fed beef can be found at local markets in Morden, select retailers in Morden, Winkler and Plum Coulee, and at the farm gate (by appointment). You can order a whole or ½ beef, paying by the hanging carcass weight plus butchering costs and delivery. Smaller orders of beef are priced according to cut, easily viewed at their online store.
Dean and Tiina raise primarily Black Angus cattle and have started introducing Devon genetics into the herd for its excellent grass-finishing attributes.
The name Thousand Hills Ranch was inspired by Psalm 50:10, where the Lord says, every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
Jonathan’s Farm was started in 2010 with the goal of providing Winnipegers with vegetables that are fresh, nutritious and sustainably grown. To that end, all our vegetables are grown in accordance with organic regulations as well as ecological farming practices such as cover cropping, nutrient monitoring, and crop rotation. We do our best to maintain the health of the soil because we believe that only the healthiest soils produce the most nutritious crops.
Jonathan’s Farm is located on Mcphillips road in St. Andrews, employs four people during the growing season and provides fresh vegetables for 400 CSA members and the Wolseley and Selkirk Farmers Markets.
Visit the Wolseley Farmer’s Market, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-7pm at the R.A Steen Community Centre. Find the market on Facebook for updates.
Sustainable Aquaculture , Innovative Agriculture
“It’s just crazy enough to work!”
In 2008, in a former implement shed, Manitoba’s Interlake saw the first indoor recirculating aquaculture system built to raise 100 metric tonnes of Steelhead Trout here at Watersong Farms, located 11kms west of Stonewall Manitoba. Using 250,000 gals of water from the aquifer and recycling 98-99%, enough to feed 10 acres of greenhouse, we grow and sell Steelhead Trout products right from our farm gate, through boutique grocery stores, farmers markets, and wholesalers that supply restaurants and major grocery stores in Manitoba. Our Steelhead Trout production is Green Certified, Sea Choice and Ocean Wise Certified.
On farm we have a butcher shop, smokehouse, licensed banquet kitchen, host Chef and Farmer supper events, seating for 40 indoors and up to 125 outdoors, Chef’s Table evenings, Harvest Host Camping Site, and Manitoba’s only licensed fingerling supplier.
We also raise farm gate fresh whole roasting chicken, processing and packaging right on the farm.
Check out our website www.watersongfarms.com for more info as products, prices, farm events, market attendance can change like the weather!
“Slip out to the farm, it’s good for you”
Thanks for visiting, take care!
Wild Earth Farms is run by Jeffrey and Janna Veenstra, located north east of Winnipeg between Oakbank and Bird’s Hill park. All the produce is grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides.
Their CSA season is 20 weeks long from June until the end of October with 5 CSA pick up locations (North Kildonan, St. Boniface, the farm, Springfield, and Wolseley), with a separate winter CSA in November and December. You can also find their vegetables at the Pineridge Hollow Farmer’s Market every Saturday in the summer, Thursdays at the Downtown Farmers Market, and at the Alleyways Market on the First Friday of the month.
Wild Earth Farms also supplies many restaurants in the area.
Jim and Carolyn Lintott were among the first producers in Manitoba to begin direct-marketing 100% grass-fed and -finished beef back in 2004 following the BSE crisis. The couple’s business has been founded on honest relationships that they have worked to develop with their customers over the years. “It has taken us a long time to get the cuts up to the quality that we want,” says Jim. He adds that their Angus beef is dry-aged for 21 days before it is cut, a longer period than the average steak. “This process dramatically improves the flavour and texture. We are going for a higher degree of tenderness in the meat and are able to achieve that by waiting a bit longer.” Jim notes that one of the key reasons for moving to raise 100% grass-fed beef is the health benefits that the product has for the consumer. “According to the research,” Jim starts. “Grass-fed beef is two to four times richer in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, higher in “good” unsaturated fats and lower in “bad” saturated fats, three to five times higher in Linoleic Acid content and loaded with over 400% more of vitamin A and E. When the consumer chooses to eat 100% grass-fed and finished beef, they know they are supporting a humane, health-promoting and environmentally responsible system of agriculture. That’s what makes it so good to be in this business!”
The Lintott’s commitment to producing beef of such caliber reflects in the positive feedback they receive from their customers, who also gain facts about grass-fed beef and cooking tips from Jim. “Customers who are experienced cooks have come up to me at the market and have said ‘I did exactly what you told me to do… and that was the best roast I have made in years!’” Jim smiles. He has been attending the St. Norbert Farmer’s Market for almost 10 years and offers his customers free delivery to Winnipeg and the surrounding area each year from November to April. Aside from fostering individual relationships, the Lintotts also work with chefs of restaurants, weddings and hotels who are looking for speciality items that they can feature in the fall months. Jim’s partnership business, Springfield Cattle Company, keeps him busy with the daily management of over 130 head of cattle to water, rotate and move on a regular basis. The company, which started in 2001 is shared with 5 of the Lintott’s neighbours and has provided the foundation for their endeavours in direct-marketing. In addition to farming full-time, Jim has devoted countless hours as the chair of the Manitoba Forage Council and a founding member of the Manitoba Grass-Fed Beef Association. You can learn more about the Association and its values through its website as well as follow the projects and events organized by the Council, which are on its website. Visit Jim at the St. Norbert Farmer’s Market on any given Saturday during the summer to learn even more.
When it comes to mixed farms, Kurbis Country is pretty close to fitting the ideal description. The farm is literally a one-stop-shop for healthy, organically-grown food, making available to drop-in customers eggs, chicken, beef, pork, baking, preserves and fresh vegetables, you can even pick out some potted plants from their greenhouse or seeds from their store to grow your own! On top of producing all of that food, the farm is also home to a mixed flock of ducks, geese, turkeys and guineas, a couple horses, a family of goats and a peacock!
Rick and Heather Kurbis never really planned on starting a farm, even after both growing up on one and maintaining connections with their farming communities in Dencross and Stead, respectively, both of which are located almost directly south of Grand Beach on the #12. However, after moving onto a piece of land only one mile from the family farm Rick was raised on, the urge to return to their roots was too strong to ignore. Wanting to avoid the long commute to the city and to raise their children at home on a farm, they decided to grow and sell vegetables. Receiving a lot of positive feedback and noticing an obvious demand for farm fresh, quality produce gave them the courage to begin a full-time, year-round adventure.
It has since grown to include producing and selling organically grown vegetables, free run eggs and natural meats. They have also expanded their greenhouse, winterized their animal shelters and constructed an inspected storefront and kitchen in which they make their own sausage, preserves and baking. The produce from their farm is available six days a week from the farm store, along with quality products from other local producers and farmers.
Bee-keeping comes so naturally to Phil Veldhuis, it’s like he entered the world with the skills to do so. Having been born into a bee-keeping family, his talent in handling bees was nurtured at a young age and at 16 years old was already working alongside his uncle kept bees near Treesbank, which is where Phil spent most of his childhood. “I’ve been doing this basically for as long as I can walk – nieces and nephews usually get suckered into it- some stick around and others don’t.” Phil continued to shadow his uncle until he started his own venture in Starbuck, where he has been living and running his business now for over 25 years.
He sells his “ordinary delicious” honey through Bee Maid, a Canadian co-op of prairie bee-keepers, and saves his “super delicious” honey (about the top 5%) for retail sales and for selling at the St. Norbert Farmer’s Market every Saturday, where his son also often busks with his violin.
This year, Phil is maintaining 750 hives in 17 locations in the Starbuck area, although last year had been managing 30 sites. Phil manages an average of 1200 hives every year, and still plans to aim for that amount each summer, but he lost a substantial amount of colonies this past winter, the factors of which he measures by symptoms the colony exhibits. For example, if it looks like there are only drones left in a hive, Phil will take that as a sign that the queen has reduced her fertility; the largest number of cases pertain to hives where Phil said it looks like the bees have “just dwindled away” or are “scattered throughout the hive” which is abnormal for a colony. Anyone who meets Phil understands in a moment that he cares deeply about what he does, yet for him bee-keeping has never been political. “Bee-keeping is for a detailed-oriented person, and so talking about it politically is like a forest for the trees.”