When you think about local beef or free-run eggs in Thunder Bay, you think about Tarrymore Farms. Since 1970, Tarrymore Farms, located in the South Gilles, has built a strong reputation for their high-quality, local cattle farm and the beef that is produced.
For Tarrymore Farms owners, Jenny and Bill Groenheide, farming has always been part of their lives. The land that Tarrymore Farms occupies was originally homesteaded in 1906, and was eventually bought by Jenny’s parents who raised their family there. Later, Jenny and her husband Bill, who spent a lot of time on his uncle’s farm, took the farm into their hands. “Having both been raised on farms, it was and remains a way of life, not just a job. Our kids, who are all adults now, also seem to have the same way of thinking,” says Jenny about her passion for farming.
While local food has a proven reputation for better taste and freshness, buying local foods is also a more sustainable practice for our food system and environment. For Jenny and Bill, sustainability is very important, and it has a strong influence on their farming practices. “We strive to be sustainable. Bill and I believe that we are stewards of the land we farm for the time that we are here,” says Jenny. “Our primary crop is beef, and the cattle supply us with the fertilizer that we use on our garden. We also plan our crops and cattle grazing so that the land benefits, which in turn, helps us to grow better crops.”
In addition to their mouthwatering beef cuts and vibrant, flavourful free-run eggs, Tarrymore Farms has expanded their garden and what they sell to the public. “This year, the garden was expanded as a response to the increasing demand for local produce. Susan and Angela, Tarrymore’s main gardeners, grow a large variety of produce, including everything from cabbage and zucchini to beans, potatoes and beets. These are available at the markets we attend,” explains Jenny.
With more products now available, Tarrymore Farms has been able to commit to selling their food at more local markets, including the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre’s Fresh Market. The Health Sciences Centre’s Fresh Market is an onsite Farmer’s Market, open to the public, on Wednesdays from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in the Cafeteria Courtyard. This market is an extra location in addition to their regular attendance at the Thunder Bay Country Market on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. They also showcase their products at local restaurants like Bight and Pinetree Catering, which includes Local Motion Food Truck.
For more information about Tarrymore Farms, you can visit their website at www.tarrymorefarms.com. They also share photos, ideas and recipes on their Facebook page and on Instagram; search for ‘Tarrymore Farms’.