How did you go from city dwellers in Ontario to farmers in PEI? A question Jeff, Carey and Olivia Wood have become accustom to answering.
It was during a holiday in PEI when Carey and Jeff fell in love with the Island and decided that someday they would return to raise a family. In the meantime, back in Ontario they were becoming heavily involved with the CSA veggie box “Working Share” option, a program that offers the opportunity for a discounted veggie box in exchange for working hours on the farm. Four years later and countless hours spent laboring away they were hooked on vegetable farming. They loved watching the growing process from start to finish and in 2010 they decided it was time to follow their passion, pursue their dreams and do what they loved. So they packed up their life and moved 2218Km from Ontario to PEI and broke ground on the Olde MacKenzie Farm.
As a small first generation family run farm, Carey, Jeff and their daughter Olivia have over 15 years of growing experience. They love pushing the limits on of what they grow and are constantly experimenting with new produce not typically grown on the island. They offer a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and with the help of their greenhouses are able to provide fresh naturally grown produce year round.
All the produce grown on The Olde MacKenzie Farm is naturally grown without the use of conventional pesticides. They also practice sustainable agriculture and biodiversity. While they are not currently Certified Organic, they follow all the practices to ensure that the crops they yield follow organic growing methods.
Educating individuals on the importance of naturally grown food and sustainable farming is also an important part of why the Wood family does what they do. They work closely with the Culinary Institute of Canada and allow students to come out to the farm for a few days to learn about their farming practices and growing techniques.
In addition to her work on the farm, Carey is the VP of PEI Young farmers, www.peiyoungfarmers.ca as well as a board member on the PEI Agricultural Sector Council. www.PEIagsc.ca . In the past she has also participated as a board member on the Canadian Young Farmers Forum (CYFF) board www.cyff.ca. She is often asked to speak to various organizations about her families farming journey and farming methods and has travelled across Canada doing so.