How it gets in

It’s a bit of a fantasy.   A stock broker gets laid off, realizes how unhappy he was, finds an unused tract of land, then resurrects a farm.   I’d like to introduce you to Ramsey, owner of Ferme Carya in Senneville who had the courage to start over again as an organic urban farmer in 2005.

In some of the best agricultural land in Canada and possibly the world, Ramsey nurtures his 28-acre farm with care, using organic compost and the most natural, sustainable herbicide out there: human hands.

An 8 year old volunteer weeds between rows of dinosaur kale
An 8 year-old volunteer weeds between rows of dinosaur kale

“The world’s cultures have always been directly connected to the soil.   When our bare hands work in the soil, our brain receives serotonin.   It’s like therapy,” said Ramsey.

Ferme Carya (a type of hickory tree that is very populous on the farm) is one of the farms that makes a weekly pilgrimage to the Sainte Anne de Bellevue farmer’s market.   They also host a market at their farm, run a community supported agriculture program, delivering fresh organic produce to drop-off locations in Montreal.

One of the most exciting things about Ferme Carya is a spontaneously organized weekly community gardening and BBQ.

Ramsey teaches kids how playing in the dirt can feed you

Ramsey said that people just started showing up.   Every Wednesday from 9:30 am to noon families and individuals began arriving at the farm to get a little taste of the farm life.   “It has taken on a life of its own. Lots of families come from the neighborhood and we have ages from 3 to 80 that help,” said Ramsey.

At noon, everyone gathers at the barn for a feast of vegetarian and non-veg treats.   The BBQ is fired up, salads made from ingredients picked right from the farm are mixed and the conversation flows from plate to plate as eclectically as the people who come and volunteer their time.

The weekly farming activity will continue until the end of the farming season.   If you’re itching to take a break and gets your hands dirty, Ferme Carya can be found at 39 Chemin Phillips in Senneville, by phone at 514-312-7175 or via for more information.

Being charitable with your time will not only give you some time to play in the dirt and have fun in the sun, it will also invigorate your awareness of how your food ends up on your plate.   It gets from field to fork because people work very hard to make sure you like it enough to get more.

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