Getting to know a local farmer — Liz Black

Posted Apr 3rd, 2010 in Eating Niagara

Getting to know a local farmer — Liz Black

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I crossed paths with Liz Black of Goshen Farm many years ago — certainly more than 10 — when she was still living in St. Catharines and I was in the beginning stages of my CSA program.

At that stage, she and husband Dave were growing lots of garlic and had a joint CSA as well with another grower.

Liz has moved beyond the CSA and also has moved out of St. Catharines. She has been a fellow Fleeter (Wainfleet resident) for many years now. She's a person you should get to know and you'll be glad you made the effort.

Liz is first and foremost a straight shooter and all-around good person. Of course, this is not the reason you should buy food from her but it does make for a great visit while you are doing just that. If she says it to be true, it is and I think that is the kind of person you want to do business with, particularly when it comes to buying food to feed your family.

Liz has gotten away from veggie growing for the most part, with her focus being lamb at this point. The lamb is naturally raised, drug and hormone-free, and they are raised with their mothers for the first four to five months of their lives, drinking their mother's milk. Liz says this changes the texture of the meat they produce, making it finer and very tender.

Beyond this beginning, the lambs have the run of the pasture and are fed a hay and grass diet with a small quantity of grain to finish off. No GM corn included. The variety of sheep Liz raises are Romney, an English breed known to be hardy and to do well on grass.

Liz also has true free range chickens, who have the run of the farm. If you have eaten true free range eggs, it is hard to go back to even organic, cage-free or store-bought free range. True free range are eggs the way they were meant to be.

When it comes to produce, Liz is focussing on heirloom potatoes at that this year in her wonderful sandy loam soil. French fingerling, banana fingerlings, all reds and blues — Yum!

Plans for Liz's future include the possibility of an on-farm store, an even larger range of meats, as well as her eggs, potatoes and excess produce from her family's garden.

Meanwhile, you can pop by the Sider Road farm if you are in Wainfleet, but call ahead because she does find herself at a number of local markets and running a bit during market season. Please phone 905-899-2615 or email theblacks17@hotmail.com.

Liz will be at the Grimsby Farmers market again this year (Thursday evening) and the Brock University Market on Fridays. With any luck, she'll be here at Tree and Twig on Saturday mornings for my new on farm market, from 8 a.m. to noon.

She may also head the Hamilton way for a few more markets and she'll also have her products at some fine dining establishments in the Niagara area. Whew!

Please support Liz — a great example of a local hard-working farmer. The best!

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