Supplier Series: Barrie's Asparagus Farm
Tucked just outside of Kitchener in North Dumfries is a small generational farm that has been connected to the KW community for many years. Tim Barrie is the current and fourth generation farmer at Barrie's Asparagus Farm where he devotes his work to the local food movement and instilling a sense of family in everything he does.
Tim grows asparagus that has been at the farm since he was a teenager and heritage strawberry rhubarb that has been growing since he was a kid around 50 years ago. Despite not being certified organic, Tim explains that his produce sees no chemicals (and hasn't for the time it has existed), and the soil is a mix of straw, leaves and wood chips. The Barrie's have also been early-adopters for renewable technology on their farm, being one of the first farms to install rooftop solar panels and investing in a new electric harvester that allows them to harvest without burning any fossil fuels. Looking to the future, Tim also hopes to expand in his production of natural soaps, calling attention to the harm that conventional soaps can have on our water ecosystems.
Barrie's Asparagus Farm is also community-driven; Tim cares deeply about his customers, he hires all local labour (who continue to come back every season to work alongside him), and he fosters Ontario-based food partnerships that bring new, local food products for the community. Four All Ice Cream is honoured to be one of these special partners with Tim and his farm by using his beautiful rhubarb to make our Rhubarb Sorbet. You can find pints of Four All Rhubarb Sorbet and many of his other collaborative food products at the Barrie's Asparagus Country Market farm store, including pasta, salsa, chips, pickles, and much more.
Tim says his favourite part of the day is first thing in the morning when he puts the coffee on and he can listen to the birds making their many morning calls. However, he loves seeing community members come to his farm happy to shop knowing there is goodness if everything you can buy there, rather than feeling stressed.