Originally published in the Virtual Farmers Market newsletter. December 2020.
The folks at Kendal Hills Farm are a humble bunch. One of the hardest working members of their crew is Elise Dupuis, who joined them just before the pandemic hit Ontario. Elise shares her story below.
"My name is Elise and I am currently the farm assistant at Kendal Hills Farm. I found my way here through my passion for agriculture, and in particular, growing gourmet mushrooms. My fascination for mushrooms began during forest walks at my cottage on the Georgian Bay in Ontario. During these walks I would see many different kinds of mushrooms and try to identify them. Since then I discovered that there are people who cultivate more than just your typical grocery store white button mushrooms.
During 2019 to 2020 I was taking a program at Fleming College for Sustainable Agriculture which required a co-op placement. I decided to search for a farm that grew their own diverse variety of mushrooms and practiced sustainable farming methods, which is how I found my way to this incredible farm. Throughout the summer, my job consisted largely of helping my boss Dave raise chickens in a rotational grazing system as well as the indoor mushroom production. Currently, my main focus is on the cold season mushrooms that are grown at Kendal Hills farm as well as researching and planning projects for this upcoming summer.
Being at the farm during the start of the Virtual Farmers Market made my work here even more meaningful knowing that it would benefit the local community in a real way during stressful times. I love being able to share quality food with others in a community that cares. Thanks to all of you who make it possible for me to pursue my passion while working at Kendal Hills Farm!"
Graze & Gather, formerly the Virtual Farmers Market, was formed by farmers in the early days of the pandemic, out of the tremendous need for collaboration and cooperation between farmers and homes. The GCF Hub increases access to the best, seasonal food from small producers and provides a direct connection to the people growing and making your food.