Dolway Organic Garden
20569 Franks Lane, London, Ontario
Perhaps the most beautiful working farm in Southwestern Ontario, there a few things more enjoyable than rolling down John Wilson's lane on an early summer morning and seeing rows of abundant organic diversity. From the beginning John has been a great ally and source of advice as we've gone through the ups and downs of starting and growing a small business.
How Did You Get Your Start in Farming?
We were fortunate enough to have inherited the ideal organic farm. 132 acres. 60 acres woodlot, 40 acres pasture and 32 suitable for organic horticulture. It just seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. I had been working as an electrical engineer and was not particularly happy with the work. When we came back from our travels it was the perfect time. Newly married, no kids and the ideal location.
Why is organic important to us?
Agriculture is a very enjoyable vocation. I enjoy the work and I think my employees do as well. Organic agriculture just makes it safer. I don’t want to spray synthetic neurotoxins, nor do my workers. As far as sustainability goes organic is as good as it gets. Our land looks better today than when we took it over 20 years ago.
What is the most challenging aspect of farming organically?
I think the most challenging aspect of any farming endeavour is marketing. Growing is easy aside from a few pest problems and the vagaries of weather. I spend a lot of my time making sure that I have customers for our produce the moment the veggie is ready. But that said, sales are the most challenging aspect of any business.
What is your favorite vegetable?
Well, the basis for that decision is not the flavour, but its growing characteristics and profitability. So my favourite is either basil or rhubarb. For taste, I eat just about everything fresh in the field. I wipe the dirt off and eat it. I like everything that we grow. Christine is an amazing cook, so all food is prepared with awesome flavour and imagination!