Recent interview with EOAN

Recently we were interviewed by the Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network, EOAN, here is the profile that was written about us. 

Circle Path Farm

Circle Path Farm is a recently-established, Ecocert-certified organic vegetable farm and budding retreat centre. It covers two family-owned properties with some 180 acres on County Road 10 and Concession Road 6 in Fournier in the United Counties of Prescott and Russell.

The farm is operated by brother and sister Keith and Karen Pattington and Keith’s partner Gaby Kassas. Each with successful careers off the farm, the trio began Circle Path during the COVID-19 pandemic when, in their eyes, the world seemed to be getting crazier and crazier, and it simply seemed sane to move back to the land.

The farm’s name refers to the fact that Keith and Karen grew up on the farm, which their father Bruce bought in the early 1970s while he was an instrument technician with what was then CP Air.

Circle Path’s motto is “feeding the body, mind and soul” and its stated mission is to grow food that follows the permaculture / organic farming principles of agriculture. They seek to build community through their networks with family, friends, neighbours, volunteers, and mentors that support their principles and pass on the knowledge to successive generations.

In practice, the team cultivates organic crops on some 60 acres of rich, black soil (including a sizable market garden) and also has a budding retreat centre where Karen teaches yoga. The farm currently provides 40 weekly CSA (community-supported agriculture) vegetable boxes to individual customers and families as well as produce to several restaurants in Montreal and Ottawa.

Although the farm is in only its second year of operation, it seems to be going places, thanks to the wide range of talents that its operators bring to the table.

With a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, Keith, 54, has extensive work experience in multi-media. Karen, 52, co-owns and operates Alta Vista Flowers, a successful flower store on Bank Street in Ottawa, and also operates Bloulou, a line of natural beauty care products. Gaby, 44, was born in Lebanon and is fluent in four languages (Arabic, Italian, French and English) thanks to growing up in both Lebanon and Italy and living in Montreal since 1996. She operates Café Sfouf, a trendy successful coffee shop in the east end of Montreal.

In their farm description on the WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) website, the Circle Path team further explains the broad dimensions of their enterprise. Animals are a key component to the land fertility plan. They raise 150 meat chickens in a mobile coop to fertilize the fallow portions of the market garden. The team brings strong skill sets in farming practices, culinary arts, business management, floral design, yoga, meditation, language and engineering.

The farm offers a 2,000 square foot residence 1 km away from the farmhouse to accommodate WWOOFers, volunteers, workshops, and short and long-term stays.

In other words, Circle Path farm presents the kind of young agri-food enterprise that has a promising future in our part of the world

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