Runaway Creek Farm
We took an amazing trip this past weekend, to visit our friends at Runaway Creek Farm in Arundel, QC. They have 400 acres of perfectly picturesque farmland...rolling hills, pastures, forest, orchards, and barns. (It so reminded me of where I grew up in Vermont.) And they grow, farm, and forage some incredible products, many of which will be available on our Marketplace throughout the summer and fall.
Michael Rossy gave us a tour of the property, while telling us some stories that we just have to share...
A family venture in organic farming.
Michael first became passionate about gardening through his grandmother, Adbee Shamy. He remembers growing up with her and helping her in the garden. About twenty years ago, he finally achieved his dream, starting his own organic farm in a beautiful region of the Laurentians. He began by raising organic pigs and cattle and later turned his focus to vegetables and fruit. Today, he and his family run the farm, which consists of six acres of vegetable plots, two acres of orchards and berries, 100 acres of pastures, and another 73 acres of woods. His daughter is currently learning the ropes and will eventually take over the farm.
Named after a creek and pond on the property, they built the farm up from nothing, including renovating the old buildings on site, building their own home entirely from wood hewn on the land, and developing the garden plots. They grow a huge variety of vegetables, including 84 heirloom tomato varieties, and manage various berry and orchard crops. They also raise chickens, manage an apiary, and forage a number of native plants, including fiddleheads, cattail hearts, and wild blueberries.
Harvesting wild blueberries on horseback.
To avoid run-ins with bears in the berry patch, Runaway’s team rides horses to go blueberry picking (no kidding). After a couple of close calls, including a bear demolishing part of their apiary a few years back, they decided this was the safer way to go foraging.
The infamous Montreal melon.
A few years ago, there was a big to-do about the revival of the Montreal melon, a local heirloom melon variety grown in abundance back in the farming days of old Montreal. Runaway was an avid part of this movement, and they started growing the variety every summer to the delight of local residents. We’re looking forward to giving it a try...
Spoils of our journey.
We couldn’t leave Runaway without gathering some goodies to take home. We bought some fresh eggs (literally collected from the coop while we were chatting) and and an Asian melon seedling to try out in our greenhouse (can’t wait). We’re incredibly excited to have them as a partner, and we can’t wait for their wonderful products to make an appearance on the Marketplace.
Runaway Creek Farm is open to the public 7 days a week, from 10 am to 5 pm. It’s a beautiful place, and we highly recommend going for a field trip to wander the trails and have a picnic. They also have jerk chicken take-out on Sundays!
Last but not least, Runaway has been selected to participate in the Gold Medal round of the L'Ordre National Du Merite Agricole, which recognizes the very best practices in sustainable agriculture. Michael, Yasmin, and Jessica, keep up the great work!