The household enterprise has developed into an necessary salad provider for Northern Ontario
North Bay –
Ferme Ojalammi in Warren, Ontario is a large producer of fresh vegetables, especially lettuce.
Farmer Matt Ojalammi constantly takes care of around 3,000 heads of lettuce in his greenhouse. The farm is owned by Ojalammi and his young family. The salad is shipped to Smith’s Markets in Greater Sudbury as well as a local restaurant.
“It was a real adventure and a lot of fun,” said Ojalammi. “Who knows where it will take us? But that is the main goal – what can we create for ourselves in our later years? “
Ojalammi and his young family moved from the bright lights of Sudbury to a quiet, rustic landscape in Warren just four years ago. Starting with chickens and a garden, they added two large greenhouses that focus on hydroponically growing tomatoes and lettuce.
“This seemed like such a viable operation,” said Renee Germain, Matt’s wife and partner on the farm. “We knew it would work in Northern Ontario. We had to learn a lot, of course – and we are still learning a lot. “
The family learned about a farm in North Bay that also produces hydroponic vegetables, picked them up quickly and now harvests lettuce for Kate’s Kountry Kitchen, a restaurant in Warren.
“They are a great couple to work with. It’s great to say to customers ‘hey this grew on the street’ “said owner Kate Kuepfer?”
Ferme Ojalammi in Warren, Ontario is a large producer of fresh vegetables, especially lettuce. (Eric Taschner / CTV News)
In addition to farming, both Germain and Ojalammi work full-time. They are still relatively new to agriculture and can still find opportunities to combine working life, farming and caring for their three young children.
“We get up early and work quite late,” said Ojalammi. “We work on our day jobs Monday through Friday, doing things we can or must do in the morning, like checking the greenhouses.”
This summer, through the Canada Summer Jobs application program, the family was able to win two summer students for a decisive helping hand on everything to do with the farm. The family has a tip for anyone interested in farming.
“Do it as a partnership – don’t do it alone. Have a good balance, ”said Germain. “Classes can be very tough, so you want someone to help you make up for that.”
The family plans to expand their greenhouses in hopes of quadrupling the amount of product they can produce.