Lennox Farm: Discover their family-owned operation | Written by: Camila C.

On the road leading to Melancthon in Ontario, just north of Toronto, lies Lennox Farm, a family-owned operation that resembles the perfect country paradise. Lennox Farm has been supplying Dufferin County with an abundance of fresh, nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables for the past five generations since 1887. But it is a whole lot more than your usual supplier of fresh produce – it’s a beacon of sustainability, a source of learning and community.

At the heart of Lennox Farm lies a deep-rooted passion for agriculture and a commitment to protecting the land they call home. Jeannette and Brian French, who officially took over the farm’s operations in 2020, but have been working the fields since they were in high school, emphasize their mission: To keep their farming practices as sustainable as possible and look after the health of their soil, their food, and their local community.

Access to healthy food is a core pillar of healthy communities to the French family, so one of the farm’s main goals is to contribute to the well-being of Dufferin County by ensuring access to nutrient-rich, locally grown food. Through on-farm sales, fundraiser food boxes, and donations to local food programs, they continuously make a tangible difference in the community’s nutritional landscape.

Education plays a central role in local health for Lennox Farm as well. Jeannette French is a former teacher who feels that ‘the more people know about the food they’re eating and how it was grown, the better off they are’. With this in mind, Lennox Farm provides tours, workshops, classroom visits, and social media outreach, as part of the educational arm of the business.

Collaboration is also a core value at Lennox Farm. The family works closely with other local farms and businesses, sharing resources, sourcing materials, and hiring locally. One of the farm’s most impactful initiatives is their monthly “Give Back” campaign; where community members are invited to nominate local organizations that make a positive impact in Dufferin County, and each month a portion of Lennox Farm’s sales is donated to the selected organization. Over the past three years, this campaign has raised over $40,000 and raised awareness for many local causes. Not only this, but the farm also hosts a community market the first Saturday of every month from June to September, where local growers, producers, and artisans can showcase and sell their wares.

Along with working with the community, the farm is set up to be as sustainable and regenerative as possible. No synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides are sprayed on it: there’s just landscape fabric for weed suppression, nutrient-rich compost made on the premises, and soil-friendly practices. Today, the bounty of 20-plus crops is a testament to what can be produced with responsible stewardship of the land. Family is also deeply involved in the farm. Most of Jeannette and Brian’s relatives help, supplemented by a team of Trinidadian and Tobagonian crews who come every year; and, in the summers, students as well. Everything is hand-harvested.

This farm a rare example of what can be achieved not only by a family committed to the ethics of sustainable farming, engaged and responsive to the community they live in, but also what we as a society risk, when we become disconnected from our cultural heritage as an agricultural nation. With each harvest, Lennox Farm reminds us of the nourishment that comes from embracing our connection to the land we take from, and to one another.

Learn more about Lennox Farm.