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Sunny Island Farm

Pelee Island, Ontario

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Their Story

 Martha Ndokuo & John DeMarco are the garlic farmers behind Sunny Island Farm. Martha grew up in a village of small farmers in Cameroon, and feels life is not complete unless you sweat sometimes to grow your own food.  Meanwhile, partner John has been ‘owned’ since 1990 by a 60-acre tree farm and nature reserve on Pelee Island in Lake Erie.  The garlic idea started when Martha and John were in the food market in Bamenda, Cameroon, and found that most of the garlic for sale was imported from the other side of the world, just as it is in Canada.  So they set out to learn how to grow their own.  Then in 2017, they decided to make a go of growing garlic organically on patches of land within the forest on Pelee Island.  The mild winters and warm (understatement) summers result in an earlier harvest than most of Ontario.  Their garlic is veganic as well as organic, since no animal products are used.  Long fallows and natural processes renew the soil’s fertility.  Plastic mulch is also unnecessary as long as you are willing to spend a few weeks with a hoe at ‘spring training camp.’

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