Leader Post – Oct 2009

REGINA — Farming can be a viable source of income, says one couple — all it takes is hard work and determination.  Tim Shultz and his wife Carla are the owners of the market garden called The Green Ranch, which is located near Osage.  “I have always been really passionate about young people (farming),” said Shultz. “I’ve watched all my friends from school, rural friends, just leaving and going away with no thoughts of farming at all. So I was determined to make this work.”

In 2000, Shultz’s father, who was a grain farmer, retired. Then in 2003, the couple moved out to the family farm and began cattle farming. However, mad-cow disease surfaced in Canada, which made it very difficult for beef producers to eke out a living.  Shultz knew that in order to survive his farm would have to diversify.  He and his wife began researching what they would be feasible.  “We started experimenting with market gardens and decided that it could be a good fit for our operation. That was in 2007,” recalled Shultz. “We went in there open-ended, to see what would work and not afraid to try something different.”  He’s glad he entered into the market garden business with no preconceived ideas.  “It’s really kind of taken a life of its own,” said Shultz, about how his business has evolved in two short years.

In 2008, the couple came up with the name The Green Ranch and registered it as a business. They then designed a logo and created a website (www.thegreenranch.ca) as a marketing tool.  The Green Ranch specializes in greens and other exotic produce as well as other root vegetables.  In 2008, the couple diversified their business even further by offering meat products.  “We believe in co-operating with other farmers in the area,” explained Shultz. “We’ve built a network now of producers, so now we’re offering the chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, wild hog and we’re just looking at grains.”

He said everything that they sell is organic or natural.  “We don’t have any certified organic, but everything is grown organically or naturally,” said Shultz.  The couple are pleased with what they have been able to create which is a marketing outlet for local producers.  “For consumers in the city The Green Ranch would mean, basically, a place to find all things locally grown is what we want to be,” said Shultz. “I really like the idea of providing fresh local food to consumers.”  Each week Shultz delivers products to customers in Regina and said it’s great to be able to meet his customers in person.  Throughout the summer The Green Ranch has been a fixture at the Regina Farmer’s Market. Saturday marked the last outdoor market in the city’s downtown area.

 

kbenjoe@leaderpost.canwest.com