Ontario asparagus farm tweets from the field
Mazak Farms is featured in #fromthefield spotlight series
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
As farmers continue to tweet from the field, Farms.com would like to shine a spotlight on those growers who have transformed into self-reporters. We will feature producers and farm businesses who have been using the #fromthefield hashtag to provide our readers with a glimpse into the diversity of crops and farm operations across Canada and the United States.
Our first spotlight is Mazak Farms, an Ontario asparagus grower who has been active since the call –to-action was sent out to farmers. I hope you will take the time to read their profile!
Farm name:Mazak Farms
Twitter handle: @mazakfarms
Location (i.e. state, province or region): St. Thomas, Ontario
Types of crops grown:
• Certified organic green and white asparagus
• Certified organic garlic
• Certified organic rhubarb
How has using Twitter enhanced your farming business?
Twitter is new to us this year, and it has had a surprising positive impact on our business. Due to twitter we have made great connections, including a contact from the Toronto Star who wrote an article about our white asparagus. While we don't have a huge number of followers (just over 100) the ones we do have are supporters of both organic and local movements.
What is an interesting fact about your farming operation?
Our farm used to be a thoroughbred racehorse farm where we raised and trained race horses that raced across the province. We planted our first asparagus on what used to be a race track.
What makes you proud to farm?
So much! We are always proud to tell people we farm, but we are especially proud to be certified organic farmers. We are always thrilled when people come to the farm to tell us how much they enjoy our asparagus. We even have people who have bought our product in stores in the GTA and then drive to the farm to buy our asparagus direct. When people appreciate your product enough to drive 2hrs to get it that makes us proud!
What is the growing season for asparagus?
Asparagus is typically a six-week harvest season. In an ideal season we will start harvest the first week of May and finish mid-June. The last few years there have been earlier starts with the continued changing climate. Although the harvest season only lasts 6 weeks we work year round in order to make those six-weeks as successful as possible.
What type of soil is most ideal for growing asparagus?
Sandy loam is ideal.
How do you harvest asparagus?
One spear at a time, all by hand! Yes, for real! It is a very labour intensive crop. We do have a 'picker' which our staffs sit on as they go through the field, which is very low to the ground.