For those of you who have taken the time to drive out to Eagle Creek Farms or done the famous Bowden Sunmaze, you're already aware of the wonders of that paradise. For those who don't know Eagle Creek, I'm sure you'll make time in your schedule this summer to head to Bowden and lose yourself in a maze of sunflowers, or pick strawberries for later at home. Hopefully, while you're there, you'll John Mills, the farmer.
John Mill’s farm is a fourth generation farm. Founded by his great-grandfather in 1921, the original farm produced “pretty much everything” from wheat, barley and cows to turnips and chickens. This style of farm was continually modified over the years as market demands changed and the population grew, but it continued to stay in the family. It was in 2006 that the farm reincorporated by John, who named farm, Eagle Creek Farms. Under John's guidance, the farm transitioned from a conventional farm to a farm of vegetable production, CSAs, you picks and sunmazes.
John Mill’s is an incredible farmers; YYC Growers is just straight up honored to have such a guy. On his 70 acres of vegetable production, John grows a cornucopia of kohl plants (cabbages, brussel sprouts, kale etc,), squash, radishes, beans, peas, beets and carrots (of which the supply carries us through the winter). Eagle Creek Farms is foremost in spud production for our group, growing around 40 varieties of potatoes, as well as, carrying "the largest selection of seed potatoes coast to coast!" If you're potato knowledge ranges from baked russet potatoes to white scalloped, it may be time you expanded your horizons. Eagle Creek's potatoes are beautiful and there's a variety for every dish, for every color palette.
John's produces all this veg for his own CSA of about 250 customers, for YYC Growers, and for all the others who purchase his outstanding potato varieties and his juicy and flavourful carrots. Clearly not busy enough, John also manages a u-pick operation, which we recommend as the place to go for strawberries, and the Bowden Sunmaze, where you can get lost for a day with the family.
As of this week, John is busy with the numerous tasks that come along with spring: machinery repair and shipping out seed potatoes, but most importantly to us, planting. Our customers will be happy to know that the ground is dry enough to plant; those tasty beets, beans, carrots and potatoes are all being sown this week and will be arriving in your summer Harvest Box in no time.
Although John is a master spud and carrot grower, his favorite thing to do with his vegetables is “eat salads. When spring comes, there is nothing better to eat than a fresh salad, or to put those fresh greens between some fresh bread.” Of course, as the season changes, so do the dinners. For winter, roasted beets, carrots and potatoes replace those salads. And John's veggies make any roast dinner fit for a king.
Insight from a master should never be refused, and thankfully, John has some wisdom for the home gardener: “keep it fun!” Grow fun colors and unique varieties, and importantly, grow what you eat and what makes you happy! Get some colorful swiss chard and some colored potatoes.” There's no point in having a boring garden. And if you’re interested in ordering some seed potatoes from Eagle Creek, or any other seeds and seedlings for your garden, click here: Get Your Garden Started