“I’ll trade you my recording company for your manure spreader”

debcripps Lorenz2

From a farmer to you – a series of real stories about real people

deb cripps Lorenz the love of food

Life is unpredictable. Several decades ago, Lorenz Eppinger lived in Toronto and operated his own recording company, AMOK.  It was a successful small record label that produced fifteen albums annually with world-wide distribution.

record deb crippsLorenz was a one-man operation, who was either on the road chasing new business or organizing music tours. On occasion, he would meet with his buddy Hugo Rampen, a farmer from Fergus, and the pair often spent their time together talking about their lives, family and the challenges of their work. Hugo was intrigued by the music industry and the opportunity Lorenz had connecting with artists. It was an exciting world that couldn’t compare to his days of sitting on a tractor making nice straight rows.

Ironically, the opposite was also true. Lorenz envied Hugo’s lifestyle and days he spent outdoors in the sun with hands in the soil. This work seemed to offer a peacefulness that was missing from Lorenz’s life.    

On one afternoon during their visit, Lorenz took fate into his own hands and brazenly offered Hugo a deal that changed the course of both of their lives. [Read more...]

Little girl: YOU CAN’T be a farmer. You have to marry one!

theloveoffood ann slater

From a farmer to you – a series of real stories about real people.

Deb Cripps the love of food 5

theloveoffood ann slaterStrolling through ‘Organic Ann’s’ vegetable garden is like stepping into a gigantic salad of greens. The aroma of lettuce, radishes and onions permeates the air. Filtered sunlight dances through the field of oversized spinach, baby bok choy, and other jewel-like emerald vegetables.

Gardeners from novice to pro, and a loyal following of discriminating buyers seek out Ann’s knowledge and her produce. The attraction is obvious. She has the giggle of a young girl, the wisdom of a master gardener, and is passionate about growing vegetables – organically.

Ann Slater was raised on a farm in southern Ontario by parents who instilled a sense of environmentalism.

“I took over the family garden when I was only 15, and even then my produce was organic, just not certified. I don’t know how to grow with chemicals – I never learned. My dad stopped using pesticides on the farm in the mid 1970’s. When I realized there was a demand for great-tasting fresh vegetables, I set up a card table on a main street in town, and sold whatever I had grown that week.”

As a young girl in the early 90’s, Ann’s aspiration to farm was not met with enthusiasm. Public perception of the average farmer at that time just didn’t include an energetic, forward-thinking young female.

“My biggest challenge wasn’t being the ‘rebel organic market gardener’; it was gaining acceptance as a female in farming,” she says. “People would tell me, ‘You can’t be a farmer. You have to marry a farmer.’”  [Read more...]

White Lightning and the Blues

carl hiebert organic popcorn

From a farmer to you – a series of real stories about real people.

carl hiebert organic popcornIn Ormstown Quebec, Steve and Loraine Lalonde are pioneers in the field of organic popcorn. Their popcorn White Lightning has three necessary ingredients that constitute great popcorn – fantastic taste, a high popability rate, and it melts in your mouth.

Steve knew they had a great product when they bought commercial popcorn and did their own taste test. “White Lightning’s creamy, nutty-texture sets it apart. And our Tullochgorum Blues is a unique, blue-kernelled corn that really catches people’s eyes. It’s blue when you put it in the pot, then it pops up white.”

The Lalonde’s motivation to take on the organic challenge was [Read more...]

From a farmer to you – a series of real stories about real people

deb cripps the love of food3

Go Blue or go home: Blue Antioxidants.

Can you imagine strolling through luscious wild blueberry bushes with millions of honeybees buzzing all around you? the love of food bees

 

Visit Russ and Donna Hawkins at their blueberry farm this spring in Pennfield, New Brunswick and you’ll discover fields that are ‘just a buzzin!’  [Read more...]

A Young Dairy Farmer’s Perspective

deb cripps the love of food

From a farmer to you – a series of real stories about real people.

carl hiebert theloveoffood dairy88

Alex Anstice is 28 years old with a degree in Agriculture from Guelph University. He enjoys biking, playing the guitar and drums, and is a full-time dairy farmer in partnership with his parents, Dorothy and Jim Anstice on a 275 acre farm in Tehkummah, Ontario

If you ask Alex why he farms, he smiles, and will tell you that his love of farming started when he was a little boy who often fell asleep on the back of his dad’s tractor. “By nine years-old I was driving the tractor myself and by 12, I was helping with the milking.

[Read more...]