About Hendry Farms
It Started as a Joke.
Several summers ago, my wife, Connie, proudly showed me the 16 quarts of salsas she had made from produce grown in our small backyard garden. I jokingly and without thinking said "You should go into business and sell the stuff."
A few weeks later, my words came back to haunt me when she said "Ian, I've been thinking..." I probably should have run as soon as she said that, but I didn't. As a result, I now know more about drip irrigation, heirloom varieties of tomatoes and the Scoville Scale of pepper hotness than I ever really wanted to know and we are the proud owners of Hendry Farms, growing organic herbs and vegetables and producing salsas.
I didn't grow up on a farm, but my dad was an agricultural journalist, so I spent many a summer vacation touring farms. I did attend the University of Guelph, but not as an "Aggie" although I did take one course in soil science. My 35 year career as a teacher in outdoor and environmental education did include taking students from Toronto on tours of farms in Murmur township. (Ask me about the bull in the storage cabinet some time.)
So what are my qualifications to be a farmer? They're probably similar to those that made me a good environmental educator:
- I love to work in and with the natural environment,
- I care deeply about our role in the food chain,
- I don't mind getting dirty,
- I have a sense of humour.
Connie enjoys growing food for market and family use. She was born and raised in Southern Ontario, where she comes from a long line of progressive farmers. She grew up helping with gardening and family farm chores and selling eggs and apples at market. Childhood highlights include learning to drive a tractor at age five and discovering wild strawberries and other fruit in an abandoned field across from her home. After spending a year in Mexico as a Rotary Exchange Student, Connie became enamoured with Mexican food and began to search for the unique ingredients of this flavourful cuisine. As the ingredients were not always easy to find, she began to grow them for herself. She enjoys researching new varieties to grow and is particularly interested in heirloom vegetables and growing organically for health and environmental reasons. Connie holds a Bachelor of Education degree from Brock University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Christianity and Culture from University of Toronto. She is pleased to introduce her children to the Ontario farm tradition as well.