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Vendor Notebook our summer market
Sosnicki Farms

posted on July 2004

Ben and Jessie Sosnicki work a 70-acre farm that was bought by Ben's grandfather in 1954. Jessie comes from six generations of farmers just down the road. They were farming conventionally when their organic dairy farmer neighbour persuaded them to switch. This is their last year of transition: as of September 2004, the farm will be certified organic. But for now Ben and Jessie rent land from their neighbour to grow certified organic wheat, cabbages, corn, potatoes, and tomatoes. They have three large greenhouses and are now ready to branch out into growing other vegetables. Ben is also keen to grow apples, in future.

See the picture galleries from June 2004>>, from September 2004>>, from July 2006>>, from June 2007>>

See a fantastic salad dressing recipe from Teresa Snively (Jessie Sosnicki's mother) on our Recipe page. Look for the Low Calorie Caesar Salad Dressing With Shrimp. Read more >>

From the weekly market notes for September 2, 2004:

posted September 5, 2004

During August there were three farm visits. The last one was on August 29, to Jessie and Ben Sosnicki's, about 2 hours west of here, near the town of Simcoe. Jessie invited the park/ market staff to a barbecue, and she and Ben also set up a tour of their neighbours' organic dairy farm. The neighbours are Karl and Anita Schibli. They're Swiss, also from a long farming background (Jesse and Ben are fourth and fifth generation farmers), and a strong source of inspiration and sound organic advice for Ben and Jessie. There are photos from all the farms we visited recently, in the market pages.

Karl showed us his herd of forty Swiss cows with hides that looked like gray velvet, and his huge bales of hay stacked up so high they were like a hay cathedral. He also grows rye and spelt and soft wheat, and we're scheming how we might get his grain cleaned before it's pooled with all the other grains (from all over Canada, that go to the Tavistock mill) -- so that our park bread could have truly local grain in it.

Ben Sosnicki took us all through the fields, riding on the back of his tractor wagon. We got to hop off and pick what we fancied -- hot peppers, broccoli, cucumbers, eggplants -- and then scrape the deep mud off our shoes and hop back on again. Afterwards Jesse showed us the horses, the giant cold room (like a fridge, only six times the size of our rink house) and the apparatus that cleans the vegetables before market. Jessie's sister Amber Snively, who works with them to harvest, and her mother Teresa Snively, had helped to make an ample, delicious barbecue (with Jessie's cabbage rolls as a side), and we (nine of us from the park) felt like we had ended up at the best party.


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