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  • Norfolk Farms

Hand Picked Tradition Continues for SamGra Acres

It’s very common here in Norfolk County to see second, third and even fourth generations of farmers stepping forward to carry on with the family tradition.

SamGra Acres
Sam Edwards; Cheryl Simpson; Clarissa Buck

For Sam Edwards it just seemed to be the natural progression when his Dad, Grant decided it was time to retire and pass the asparagus fields on to Sam and SamGra Acres was born. In 2005 Grant earned a Diploma in Agriculture, two year program, from the University of Guelph.

“I was in the last class to go through that program. It has come in handy in running the business”. The fourth generation of the Edwards farming family has been a huge success and is a testament to their hard work and dedication to succeeding.

Dad operated the asparagus farm, after switching over from tobacco, from 2003 until 2012 when he made the decision to take a step back and hand the reins over to his son, Sam who is now the fourth generation working the farm. Like many farmers it can be hard to step completely away from the day-to-day workings of the farm so Dad, Grant, is Sam’s go to person for expert advice when needed and can often be found doing any number of jobs around the farm. Mom, Colleen Stratford, keeps the office running like clock work as the Office Manager.

SamGra Acres is located at the intersection of Windham Rd.5 and Windham West Quarter Line, Teeterville. The 36 acre operation is all hand harvested with 4 machines, 3 persons each, running 8 to 12 hours a day during the harvest. “The growth is so fast that it can be cut once or twice a day, depending on the heat and ideal growing conditions. We have a hard working seasonal crew that get here the second week of April and are here until early July. We get the same group every year and some of them worked with Dad in tobacco. We’re really lucky. They’re all like family and always have a big smile on their faces”, adds Sam.

“When asparagus is done some go to other farms to work while others go home”.

Asparagus cutting crew out in full force

After harvest is done the asparagus begins to ‘fern out’. That’s when energy is being stored into the roots to facilitate new growth for the next year. It means the asparagus is storing its nutrients. “Each year we spread rye on our fields as a cover crop. It prevents the sand from blowing away or ‘blasting’ the asparagus spears.” explains Edwards.

Edwards’ appreciates the help from his family during asparagus season at SamGra Acres. These include Dad Grant, Mom Colleen, brother Brock and his son, Mason, and sister Melanie Mueller. His life partner Cheryl and her daughter, Clarissa are in charge of all advertising, Facebook “stuff” and anything, as Sam puts it, “techy”. Each has their special areas of expertise to keep the operation running smoothly and their sales shack open from 8 am to 8 pm every day of the season. They also can be found at the Delhi German Home Farmer’s Market as well as Woodstock Market.

The season runs from April through July – weather permitting – in any amount needed. “You can stop by the stand to purchase our farm-fresh asparagus whenever its in season.” adds Edwards. “If you want to place a large order you can contact us and we can have it ready for you”.

Lot 17 Maple Syrup products on display

During the off-season Grant and his family work jointly in a new maple syrup production. Last year was the first season for Lot 17 Ontario Maple Syrup and it proved to be a success. Dad, Grant was introduced to tapping a few trees with his Grandpa and began researching the process. It was ‘talked about’ over the years and in the Fall of 2020 Lot 17 was born. They also lay claim to their original Bourbon Maple Syrup. The Lot 17 Maple Syrup business is a joint venture with his Dad, sister Melanie and brother Brock.

Their Lot 17 products are sold at their asparagus hut, as well as Vanessa Meats; Market By The Falls, Otterville; Harvest Tyme, Waterford; Meuse Market/ Brewery, Scotland; Delhi German Hall Market and Woodstock Market. “We’re happy with the success of our first crop in our first season last year” adds Edwards.

Edwards is keeping his fingers crossed that Mother Nature is a little more co-operative this year. “We’re hoping this asparagus season is a better yielding crop. We’ve had two back -to- back years of bad weather…it was a little worse than we’d like”.

If you would like to keep abreast of their season opening you can look them up at If you would like to speak to them you can call them at 519-427-7125.

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