Welcome to Maple Ridge Farm. It’s our Family Farm and we are Howard and Jacqueline Johnson.
Neither of us come from a farming background unless you count that Luther Burbank, who developed the Blight resistant russet potato, is located somewhere in Howard’s family tree- but since Luther didn’t have any kids, and Howard’s forebearers managed to get disinherited by the Burbanks who did, we believe that the farming gene started with us.
Howard, however, did have a deep abiding ambition from the time he was knee high to a grasshopper to get himself a farm. He spent summers haying at the farm of friends and generally getting as close to the earth as he could.
Jacqueline harboured no such ambitions. She grew up in Northern Ontario and her experience with gardening and markets amounted to watching her grandfather unload crates of earth worms to break up the clay soil, and intensely disliking blueberry picking because she had to keep an eye open for bears.
She changed her mind about farming at a dance when Howard asked her to dance and when they sat down, he disclosed that one of these days he was going to get himself a farm. Jacqueline decided it was an amazing idea, and although she had just met Howard, decided that her ambition was to marry Howard and join him on the farm.
It took a while , but in 1973, they found their farm which is just up the Silvercreek Extension. The next step was to figure out how to grow vegetables and how to sell them.
Over the years, Howard has honed his farming skills, and is happiest when he is on his tractor or in the field planting and tending to plants. Jacqueline never did master hoeing, but in the absence of bears loves the harvest.
Both of us like being at market knowing that our customers are going to get some pretty tasty vegetables to take home for supper and the rest of the week.
So Welcome to Maple Ridge Farm. We’re glad to see you at the Guelph Farmer’s Market or when you stop in at the farm to pick up your order and maybe take a walk with us around the farm.