We are so fortunate that strawberries are grown and available right here in Algoma. The Thomson family has been growing strawberries on their 55-acre property on the western edge of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. for nearly 50 years.
Wally and Martha Thomson bought the property in the early 70s and began to grow potatoes. Eventually, strawberries were added and they opened the property for customers as a U-pick operation. Their grandson Brad grew up on the farm and learned, while helping with every aspect of running a farm operation.
Today, after skipping a generation, Brad Morley, his wife Michelle, and their two children now live on the property and run the farm. Brad recently left his off-farm job and became a full-time farmer. Now he has more time to grow the business!
In addition to growing 15 acres of strawberries, the farm grows sweet corn, raspberries, and a variety of vegetables. Brad told me that they are in the process of expanding the farm operation with a new commercial kitchen to process value-added products like the many varieties of jams and preserves they sell. In addition, they’re building an on-farm market where they will be offering not only their own products for sale, but those from other area producers, including from Jardin Farms, Marshall Farms and wild blueberries from Algoma Highland Wild Blueberry Farm and Winery.
Not to worry, the pick-your-own strawberries will be staying! In fact, with the new day-neutral strawberries available, the season will run from July to September.