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 6th year farming. My wife and I have 3 children, and we have chickens and dogs on a beautiful 40 acre property just outside of St. Thomas.  Our kids work seasonally on the farm; you will often see them running our market stands or helping out at CSA pickups.

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.

Shao-Peng Jin

Shao-Peng Jin

Full-time Farmer

My name is Shao-Peng Jin. I grew up in Taiwan, came to Canada 11 years ago to study and hopelessly fell in love with Canada.

Now I am a 3rd year permanent resident, hoping to be a proud Canadian citizen next year.

I found myself having a healthier, more joyfully, engaging and peaceful lifestyle ever since joining with CGF.  After two years of interning, I just can not image where else I could enjoy working in such a beautiful place and a wonderful team. I am so grateful that Chris offered me employment on the farm and how fortunate person I am to be able stay for the 3rd year with CGF!!

Appreciating the support of our lovely customers, I will keep producing Asian veggies from last year and also trying some new varieties for both our market and weekly boxes.  I just recently moved to Port Stanley, so feel free to say hello and ask for cooking tips/recipes if you bump into me in the neighbourhood!! 

Gabe Fontana

Gabe Fontana

Senior Intern

Originally from London, Ontario I have spent many years traveling and working in different parts of Canada, from Ontario’s far north to the forests of central Alberta over to the coast of Nova Scotia. I aspire to work in an industry that aims to reduce the impacts of climate change, fulfill a social responsibility and lead me on an adventure of continuous learning. I began my internship at Common Ground Farm in March of 2018 and can proudly say I will be continuing on this path for the rest of 2019. I highly recommend visiting the farm sometime to experience first hand the magic that this place has to offer and to try the delicious vegetables that this land can produce. 

Rebecca Minielly

Rebecca Minielly

Part-time farmer

After studying sustainability in university and leading experiential food education programs at Growing Chefs! Ontario, I decided it was time to get my own, hands-on experience in the production of healthy food systems. I joined the Common Ground team in September 2018 for the fall harvest and fell in love with this place, the people, and our plants. I’m so excited to learn about the next phase of a year on the farm! For me, any day spent outdoors is a good day – especially if it involves barefooted lettuce transplanting, sunshine tomato-snacking, or farm dog snuggling. 

Kristen Clark

Intern

Katherine Spilka

Intern

And no family farm is complete without the family!

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*