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Organic Farming on St. Joseph Island

Salamander Ridge Farm

September 27, 2019 By Sandra Trainor

Back in 1989 Peter and Kris Stinnisson purchased a little piece of paradise on beautiful St. Joseph Island Ontario.  At that time, they were working and living in Wawa, Ontario and spent their summer vacations on the island.  A few years later, they decided to make the move permanently to their nearly ninety acres of property on the Island, just outside of Richards Landing.

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Photo Credit: Greg Cull

They told me that they both have a passion for nature and sustaining wildlife habitats. Their passions are demonstrated in their farming practices, where their market garden follows organic practices, using certified organic seeds, no spraying of chemicals on their plantings and using organic fertilizer.

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Photo Credit: Greg Cull

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Photo Credit: Greg Cull

“Our birds, (chickens, ducks and geese) are fed certified organic feed along with allowing them to roam free range on the farm.” said Peter.    

I met up with Peter and Kris on a Sunday afternoon (their day off) and they talked about their farm and what they have to offer their customers.  They told me “our ducks and geese only lay their eggs for a few months of the year, but our chickens are layers year-round.” Our customers really appreciate the taste and diversity of our eggs for certain foods.  For example, our goose and duck eggs are excellent in fresh egg pasta recipes.”

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Photo Credit: Greg Cull

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Photo Credit: Greg Cull

Peter’s grandfather was a successful market gardener in Holland, so when both Kris and Peter retired in 1999, market gardening on their property on St. Joe, became the natural thing to do. Named after the salamanders on the property and the ridge, found in the back of their property, they decided to call their farm Salamander Ridge Farm.  They grow a large variety of vegetables including tomatoes, squash, greens, peas, beans, cucumber, zucchini and much more.  For a full list of what they grow, check out the website here:  www.salamanderridgefarm.ca

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Photo Credit: Greg Cull

In addition to the fresh eggs from their birds and fresh vegetables from their garden, Kris is kept busy with value-added products with many of the ingredients taken directly from the farm like; preserves, jams, pickles and jellies as well as fresh baking like scones, fresh bread and cookies.  “We do special orders for our customers who need a quantity of baking for special occasions.  They just need to give me at least a day’s notice”, said Kris.

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Photo Credit: Salamander Ridge Farms

Salamander Ridge Farms has been a staple at the Algoma Farmers Market for over 20 years now and they also do the Hilton Beach Farmers’ Market  in the summer.

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Photo Credit: Salamander Ridge Farms

“We also take part in the annual St. Joseph Island Country Road Open House, which happens the weekend before the Thanksgiving weekend.” The Open House is a self-guided agricultural tourism event and it’s an opportunity for everyone to get out and enjoy the fall colours on the scenic country roads of the island, where you can drive from place to place like farms, rural studios, and village shops. Visitors can shop for fall produce, preserves, baking, quilting, woodworking, knitting, artwork and a lot more. For more information go to their website or on Facebook

It was a pleasure meeting with Kris and Peter and learning from them.  They have a wide body of knowledge of how their farm works and all the living things on and in it.  Their respect for nature is inspiring.

Find some recipes on the web site here, including goose egg pasta;

Salamander Ridge Farm

1345 C Line (highway 548) St. Joseph Island, ON

Find them at the Algoma Farmers’ Market and Hilton Beach Farmers’ Market

On farm sales, by appointment: 705 246-3019

Find Salamander Ridge Farm on Facebook

About Sandra Trainor

Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Sandra is a Freelance Marketing Consultant. Sandra recently returned to her hometown and believes that food brings people together, no matter what their background and that food grown and produced close to us should be not only supported, but celebrated.

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