Certified Organic Vineyard and Orchards

Our mentors

Johanne Klensasser of Whole Circle Farm

In 1994 Laura Sabourin began the transition from city to farming and supporting her little family through organic farming. This was a tall order given there were only a handful of organic farmers in all of Ontario and no Internet. Through membership with Canadian Organic Growers and attending the annual Guelph Organic Conference , Laura met the people who would encourage and teach her.

Paying it Forward

After joinging the Ontario Biodynamic Society for Farming and Gardening, Laura met Johanne Kleinhausser of Whole Cirlce Farm and Uli Hack of Hack family farm. Uli was a font of knowledge and support within the Certification process while Johanne became a hands in the soil mentor. Johanne and Uli suggested reading material and loaned books. When Laura found the farm of her dreams, Johanne came and dowsed the property.... then taught her how to plow.

Moving forward from 1996

Many people helped along the way and Internet in every kitchen became a reality. Laura believes in life long learning so every winter since becoming involved with the joy of growing good energetic food she reads voraciously and attends as many conferences as possible. The farm has grown from the first vineyard planted in 1996 accompanied only by a few fruit trees and raspberry patch to a vibrant diverse ecosystem producing over twenty types of fruit. Grateful for the freely given assistance from her mentors Laura began to pay it forward by helping her friend Tom Ball run the Niagara chapter of the Canadian Organic Growers. While COG provided useful information to organic consumers, Laura saw the need for more certified farmers so she began giving her time to new farms instead.

Organic grower mentoring program

The path to a fully certified organic farm and the vibrate healthy soil it requires is complex. If you feel that you have the commitment to this path then please apply. Each year Laura will work with one farmer with the goal of achieving first year organic transitional status.

By that time the new farmer will have learned :

The cost of mentoring

The new farmers time, commitment and dedication is the cost. Most mentoring will occur by email with telephone calls and onsite meetings as required. The first year is totally free. At the end of the year, the new farmer should have all the knowledge required to move forward. In some cases farmers have decided that certified organic if not for them and we understand this too. Please think through the time and commitment required before applying.

The application process

Ready to start ? Send an email outlining your plan, the prep work you've done so far (reading, business plan, courses, other mentoring)and why you think that this is for you.
Laura is working with a farmer for the 2014/2015 growing season but will review applications for the 2016 season now.

A few success stories

Laura has offered support and shared knowledge with many growers who are now certified and producing great products for the Ontario consumers. This assistance has ranged from a simple BD prep making session,information sharing, product sourcing right up to on farm work and support through the certification process to marketing the crops.

copyright Laura Sabourin/Feast of Fields Farm 2013 no material maybe copied in full or in part, without permission