The Jakob family relocated to Canada in 2012
By Diego Flammini
A German farm family has traveled more than 5,000 km across the Atlantic Ocean to build on their farming passion.
Maic and Silke Jakob, along with their four sons, made the decision to leave their homeland in favour of New Brunswick. They did so after realizing that expanding their farm in Germany wouldn’t be an option.
“Maic was a full-time (grape) grower (with) a company,” Silke told Atlantic Farm Focus on Tuesday. “It was his dream to have a farm but, in (Germany), it was not enough to live on. There was not enough land to expand (on).
“We wanted to have a big farm so we came to Canada.”
As with any move to a new community, there’s a learning curve.
Silke (in blue) and Maic Jakob harvest some of their wine grapes.
Photo: Atlantic Farm Focus
“The first winter here was awful,” Silke said. “There was so much snow and it went on for months. In Canada, there’s no spring. It’s just winter, then summer.”
The couple moved to Canada in 2012 and purchased a 50-acre farm in Shemogue, NB. At the time, they grew grapes as they settled into their new life in Canada.
They’ve since added a variety of fruits and vegetables to their crop rotation.
The Jakobs have also purchased another 50-acre plot in Petit-Cap, N.B., half of which is used to produce grapes for wineries.
When first farming in Canada, the family harvested their grapes by hand. But that’s in the past thanks to their recent purchase of a harvester.
And that’s a sign the family is well on its way to having a successful farm business in New Brunswick after a few difficult years, Silke said.
“We just put so much (effort) into the farm, you put back, put back, put back…so much money…and work,” she told Atlantic Farm Focus. “It was a hard time, but now it pays back.”
Leaving Germany behind was a tough decision, Silke said. But they would do it all over again, she added.
Top photo: Marquette grapes are one of the varieties the Jakobs grow on their farm.
Photo: University of Minnesota