2022 Farm Family of the Year

The Peterborough County Federation of Agriculture and the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce the Cornish family, 2275 Indian River Line, Indian River as the 2022 Farm Family of the Year. 

This award recognizes a farm family that has demonstrated good farming practices, an interest in the farming community, and interest and participation by the family in the farm’s operation.

In 2010, Kevin Cornish and Janet Dawson purchased their farm in Indian River. Previously the farm was owned and operated by Marg & Allan Dawson (Almar Acres).  In the early days, the farm was a dairy operation, cow/calf operation and finished as a beef & show cattle operation until Marg and Allan decided to retire. 

Loving to grow and eat their own food, Kevin and Janet’s vision for a vegetable farm began.  Indian River Acres is a 93-acre farm where the family grows and sells fresh vegetables and fall décor items. They operate on a 12-month sustainable farming cycle that includes crop rotations, cover crops, and selecting varieties that minimize pest and disease. The farm is open to the public every year from the 1st of July to the end of October and customers can access their produce from their farm gate stand (that is open daily), through their online farm shop, or from local grocers who purchase their produce wholesale.

Each year, the family grows 12 acres of sweet corn, 5 acres of pumpkins, squash & gourds, approx. 15,000 garlic bulbs, and 1.5 acres of other tender vegetables (pickling cucumbers, field cucumbers, beans, asparagus, beets, lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini). Only the sweet corn and pumpkins are planted by machine. Everything else is hand planted, hand weeded, and all produce (including sweet corn and pumpkins) are hand harvested.

The farm operation also includes 99 free range egg-layers, offering eggs to customers who sign up for weekly egg pick up.

Kevin and Janet’s sons, Liam and Lucas, are actively involved in all farm activities. During the pandemic, they started growing and selling fresh-cut flowers – a huge hit and now a regular offering.

Kevin and Janet are active community volunteers, and donate a sizeable portion of their harvest to local food banks and Kawartha Food Share.

Congratulations to the Cornish family on being selected as Peterborough County’s 2022 Farm Family of the Year!

Photo Credit Heather Doughty Photography