NORTH AUGUSTA - April and Stuart Pratt are following a dream to give their blended family a healthy, farm upbringing while working together to build a business.
They purchased the century-plus farm at 9501 Kyle Road 8 years ago, starting off with cattle, pigs and hens while keeping their day jobs. After April's Lupus and Fibromyalgia diagnosis, the couple got out of beef farming and April started a 30x100-foot produce garden. It was a game changer. The couple quickly learned there is demand for locally-grown produce so they doubled the size of their garden. And it continues to expand.
"We just couldn't grow enough," says April. "It blows me away how much people support local produce." Today the farm has grown to include three acres of gardens and they've added a commercial-sized greenhouse. The extensive list of Augusta Farms vegetables includes leaf lettuces, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli, peas and root vegetables. They've also added berries to their list of fresh offerings. Early in the season, they sell "started" herbs and veggies. Later in the season, they have cantaloupe, watermelon, large onions and sweet corn. Farm-fresh eggs are also a big seller.
"Every year we get a little better at it," says Stuart, who comes from a cattle farming background and is a Kemptville College of Agricultural Technology (KCAT) grad.
Despite the weather, April, Stuart and their kids have been able to build their customer CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) basket list up to 55. These vegetable baskets are delivered to the customer's door. "People are loving it and that makes us feel good," says April.
They offer baskets to the Augusta, Athens, Prescott and Brockville area. How does the CSA basket work? You sign up to receive a $35 basket to be delivered to your door. Vegetables are picked the same day or the day before delivery.
Augusta Farms operates a market booth at
The Butcher Shop
at 595 Stewart Boulevard in Brockville (County Road 29) each Wednesday (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and Saturday (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.).
Another part of the business is preserves, jams, jellies, chutney, relish, sauces and pickles, which are available at the booth and The Butcher Shop.
Learn more about this area family farm by visiting their
, calling them at 613-803-9782 or sending them an
. Customers have given Augusta Farms five-star ratings. The business is a proud member of Ontario Fresh and CSA Farms.