About Us

My name is Chris DeVries. Having studied at Waterloo and lived for a time in Ottawa, I’m thrilled to return to my hometown and to be in my 5th year farming. My wife and I have 3 children, and we have chickens, dogs, on a beautiful 40 acre property just outside of St. Thomas.  Our kids play a big role on the farm; from collecting eggs to growing those giant pumpkins.

Chris DeVries

Chris DeVries

Owner

Of course, you can’t farm 6 acres all by yourself. Here’s our team:

Michael Hoke

Michael Hoke

Full-Time Farmer

Raised in the country, my family was closely connected to the land, growing and preserving most of vegetables we needed for the year. I met Chris in the spring of 2014 at a farmer’s market where he convinced me to try a bag of Common Ground greens. I was so impressed by the amazing flavour and freshness that I wanted both to know where he got the seeds, and to come and see the place that grew it! After a quick farm tour midsummer, I knew I wanted to get involved. My opportunity came at the end of August that year when the farm needed some extra help. Ever since then being part of an awesome team sustainably producing nutritious food for our csa members and the wider local community has been the joy of my existence.

Cynthia Snyder

Cynthia Snyder

Part-time farmer

I’m originally from Stratford Ontario, and now live in Elgin County. I work at Forest Park Public School as well as here on Common Ground Farm. Over the last 10 years I’ve been very involved in the community specifically relating to food sustainability, seed to table concepts and in educating children how to grow and cook organic food. On days off I enjoy bike rides, cliff climbing and dance parties with my children.

Shao-Peng Jin

Shao-Peng Jin

Senior Intern

My name is Shao-Peng Jin. I grew up in Taiwan, came to Canada 10 years ago to study and hopelessly fell in love with Canada. Now I am a 2nd year permanent resident, working hard to be a proud Canadian citizen.

Although starting my early career in bubble tea business, I have been fascinated by the idea of small scale organic farming.  Starting my farming adventure last year with CGF, I’ve had lots of good veggies and fun, and I am becoming back this year for more!

Other than enhancing my knowledge and experience in organic farming, I am planning to produce some of my favourite Asian greens and veggies this season for our market and CSA. You are welcome to say hello if seeing me at Western Fair market or CSA pick up. I will gladly share my cooking idea and recipes!

Gabe Fontana

Gabe Fontana

Intern

I am originally from London, Ontario and graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University several years ago. For the past seven years, I have spent my springs and summers in various tree planting camps across the country as both a planter and a crew boss. I have tree planting to credit for my strong will and love for working outdoors.

 

Aly Kassam

Aly Kassam

Intern

I was born and raised in Mississauga and went to McGill for my undergrad in neuroscience. Worked for the family business, retail, and tutoring for a few years before going to McMaster for my masters in global health. I worked in health research at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto before travelling across Canada for a few months. I joined the farm to get a better understanding of small-scale food production, with the goal of working for an NGO or governmental organization to reduce food insecurity.

We’d love to know more about you; why you seek about locally-grown produce; what brought you here; maybe we can even trade some recipes! Please drop us a line!

*pig photo credit: Zeina Bardaji*