Who We Are
Ben has a Culinary diploma from Niagara College. He also has 5 years experience working as a chef at high end restaurants in southern Ontario. Ben has worked on farms throughout northern Europe.
Devin has spent the last 3 years working on various farms. This includes an internship at an off-grid farm in New Zealand and 3 seasons at an organic farm in Peterborough. He completed a two week intensive permaculture design training course. Devin studied applied- and astro- physics in university.
Anna has experience working in both greenhouses and high-end food stores and is a wealth of knowledge regarding cut flowers, and fine foods. Her university focus was in Classics.
Dorothea is a graduate student and currently is involved with performance art, cultural studies, and critical theory. She is a yoga teacher, a labour doula, and the Millbrook Figure Skating Club president. Her planning and scheduling expertise is invaluable to the farming operation.
We are Devin, Ben, Dorothea, and Anna, and we run Rhyzosphere: a farm in Cavan, Ontario. We have many goals for the farm, and here they are in a nice bulleted list:
- Produce the highest quality (healthy, tasty, pretty) food
- Mimic nature to improve and regenerate local ecosystem health
- Encourage and provide community food education
- Improve local food security
- Add to the alternative food market
We like the term regenerative farming to encapsulate these points.
Our land is a ½ acre ‘residential’ plot at 237 Bland Line. We are also leasing an acre of land for growing from a neighbour down the road. We are certified permaculturists and have designed our sites with those principles in mind.
We are forgoing the organic certification as it is an expensive registration, and we do not believe it guarantees that the most regenerative and healthy farming practises are employed. Instead, we maintain customer trust and our own integrity by 1) having an open farm, which you can come visit anytime to see our practices and 2) encouraging our customers to think about their relationships with food and those who produce it by questioning the methods by which it is produced – this includes questioning our methods and holding us accountable to your standards.
At Rhyzosphere, we will be selling and delivering a weekly share of vegetables right to your door, in the style of a CSA.
Hey, what’s a CSA? CSA stands for Community Shared Agriculture. It is a business model for farms which centers around the idea that the community is invested in the production of food, not just the consumption of it. It works by having customers purchase a “share” of the farm at the beginning of the season and sharing in the yield for the rest of the year. This is a very helpful model for the farmer because there is an influx of funds at the beginning of the year, when it is needed most. The farmer is also assured a market for the produce, rather than hoping to gather enough interest at weekend markets. CSAs reduce waste because the farmer knows ahead of time how much can be sold and therefore how much needs to be grown. The farmer doesn’t need to recoup losses and that means the customer pays less for their food. This model also mitigates risk for the farmer. A crop failure due to drought doesn’t necessarily mean a lean winter for the family, since the risk is shared amongst the community. The customer can also have input into what the farm is doing, since they have purchased their share. Sometimes requests for certain vegetables can be accommodated, or at least ‘more of this and less of that’ arrangements can be made. Most importantly, the customer has a relationship with their food that conventional markets don’t provide. If a crop fails, you will know the reasons; if it succeeds, you know what went into it (both labour wise and physically what the plant used to construct itself).
We hope you choose us to be your farmers, and look forward to building a relationship with you.