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Supplier Series: Farm Craft Organics
Tucked away in Fergus, Ontario your average KW "tech guy" is farming his first generation family farm for a 40-member CSA along with KW restaurants, grocery stores and now Four All Ice Cream. The farm is called Farm Craft Organics and Brad Moggach is the tech-guy-now-farmer.
Brad began his rural adventure in 2013 when he and his wife aspired to grow clean, nutritious food for their new daughter, Addison. While Brad's wife grew up on a pig farm, Brad was moving from the city for the first time to start Farm Craft Organics on a 160 acre farm. Today, Brad is farming 2 acres of unique crops for the KW community, including Jerusalem artichokes, various potatoes, garlic, tomatoes, less common varieties of greens and herbs, and more. Brad is also managing several grass paddocks, breeding pigs, honey bees, and a new orchard.
The produce from Farm Craft Organics is heading to places such as The Berlin, Red House, Public, Arabella Park, Elora Brewing, as well as J&P and Legacy Greens in the KW area. Just in the past year, the Farm Craft Organics CSA has grown from having just 9 CSA members to 40. Next year, Brad is planning to offer a very limited number of shares for the CSA (less than 20) as they will specialize in more unique varieties of fruits and vegetables.
The name of their farm is a reflection of their strong belief in the organic movement and their choice to grow everything on their farm using organic practices. However, their farm is not certified organic as Brad explains that the time and effort involved in becoming certified doesn't make sense for the farm at this point despite following the organic standard very closely. There are also practices, such as producing their own compost with food waste from their restaurant partners, that prevent them from being able to obtain organic certification.
One of the unique crops that Brad grows is ginger mint, which we use to make our Plum & Ginger Mint sorbet. A happy accident is how Brad recalls coming across the plant; he was picking up seed and supplies and wandered into the greenhouse and found the ginger mint plant. The following year they began propagating the mint (reproducing the plant through cuttings) for their farm and plan to continue growing their crop of it. For now, Brad has been growing and propagating the mint in pots until they find the right spot on their farm for the mint to continue to grow every year.
Partnering with great brands who are producing the highest quality product is key to Farm Craft Organics as much as it is for Four All Ice Cream. Brad expresses excitement about partnering with Four All since he's been following our journey for many months leading up to opening. "It's an incredible feeling seeing our products used in the tastiest ice cream we've ever had the pleasure of enjoying!", says Brad.
After visiting the farm, Brad sent me back to the Four All factory with a handful of his favourite herb on the farm: Lime Basil. He says, "I would LOVE to see our lime basil used in a sorbet. I've always thought it would be a wonderful use for that variety of basil that we grow. After that, I'm hoping in future years once our Saskatoon berries and currants plants are more established, it would be fun to see how those could be used as well!"