Get to Know the Hospital’s Fresh Market Vendors: Meet Volkar Farm
by Sara Chow
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC)’s Fresh Market is an onsite farmers’ market where staff, patients, volunteers and visitors can access fresh, local produce and products. While market-goers have become familiar with the Fresh Market’s regular vendors, we thought we’d go more in depth with the farmers and ask them a little bit more about their farms and what they do.
Volkar Farm is an 80 acre property in Kakabeka that is owned and operated by Joe and Irene Volkar. Originally from Pennsylvania, Joe bought this piece of property, with intentions of moving to Canada to build his own farm, when he was only 15 years old for a meager $585. Using his skills as a lifetime farmer, Joe eventually moved to Kakabeka with Irene in 1999 and built a house and their farm.
Volkar Farm grows a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, including: swiss chard, kale, beats, cucumbers, cabbage, potato, onions, beans, peas, hot peppers, asparagus strawberries and tomatoes. Additionally, their bountiful farm produce is grown without the use of pesticides.
If you’re looking to add more seasonal spice to your summer menu, Joe recommends trying stuffed hot peppers. You’ll need to use large hot peppers, and then hollow them out and stuff them with a mixture of rice, ground meat, onions and herbs. Once they are prepared, put them in a baking dish and cover them with tomato sauce and bake them in the oven.
You can find Volkar Farm at the Country Market on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings as well as at the TBRHSC Fresh Market on Wednesdays from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and at the Nolalu Market on Friday evenings.
For more information, or to contact Joe or Irene, call (807) 475-4667.