Meeting Place Organic Farm
LIFE ON THE FARM
Katrina McQuail was born on the farm, travelled the world, completed a degree in business and not-for-profit management, did a stint working in the public/NFP world and became a certified scuba instructor before circling back to her roots at Meeting Place Organic Farm.
Katrina is the second generation of McQuails to farm at Meeting Place Organic Farm. She manages the small 100-acre mixed meat farm alongside her parents, Tony and Fran McQuail, who started the farm in the early 1970s and who continue to work on the farm in a supportive role today.
The farm offers a wide range of organic meats, eggs, fruits and vegetables that are produced with a small herd of cows, a few sows as well as some meat and laying hens, a large vegetable garden and an apple orchard.
Katrina also keeps a few goats on hand to be milked for use in the family kitchen and who provide a great deal of entertainment on the farm!
The most impressive animals on the farm, and not just for their large stature, are the Suffolk Punch and Belgian draft horses. These animals are a big part of how Katrina and her family maintain a sustainable farm.
Despite their friendly demeanor and quiet personalities, these horses aren’t pets, they’re full time labourers who do most of the heavy pulling and provide a good amount of fresh fertilizer on the farm. Katrina explains that they have a tractor but they only use it when absolutely necessary.
By using horse power rather than relying on a tractor the farm is able to substantially reduce its carbon footprint. The farm also makes use of solar panels, avoids the use of plastics in their packaging, and employs multiple techniques to conserve water and electricity where ever possible.
Meeting Place Organic sells directly to the consumer through on-line orders that are either picked up at the farm or delivered. Many of the farm’s clients reside locally as well as in the greater Toronto area, London, K-W and Guelph.
In addition to on-line sales the farm sometimes sells at the local farmers’ market or winter makers’ market in Goderich.
When Katrina is asked about what she loves most about life on the farm, she smiles and proudly says, “There’s something incredibly gratifying about creating a meal where every item on the table is something that we’ve grown or made ourselves and we love being able to share that experience with our customers.”
The farm is open to the public each year at their annual Mother’s Day weekend Open House. On this day you can tour the farm, see baby animals, go on a horse drawn wagon ride and meet the farmers.
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Interesting FactTony and Fran started Meeting Place Organic Farm in 1973