6 SOURCE | Summer 2022
Fysh encourages me to give it a go along the grading line , making sure that no more than one stalk per compartment goes along to the final bundling area . Within seconds , I realize how quick your reflexes must be at this job , missing several that have bunched up in the compartments as the conveyor speeds along toward the finish line .
“ I ’ m gonna have to fire you unfortunately ,” Fysh jokes after my poor performance along the line .
Fysh and one of his custom harvesters being built .
To be sure , it ’ s incredibly manual work that takes great tact and patience for those who are working here day-in and day-out . Fysh says he relies on the line supervisor , who is also part of one of the families working and has been a great partner to Fysh through the harvests .
“ Cornelius not only is a standout here but is also helping custom build harvester equipment out of lawn mowers in his spare time ,” Fysh says gratefully .
Fysh shows me the shop where the custom harvesters are coming together . Since asparagus farming can be a niche field compared to corn or soybean harvest , there just isn ’ t a lot of equipment built specifically to handle the manual nature of the job . So Fysh and Cornelius have spent hours building equipment that ultimately will make the jobs of those in these fields easier .
An asparagus field that quickly got out of control this year .
Just outside of the asparagus fields , Fysh also grows corn and soybeans , along with black beans and white beans , most of which are exported to Mexico . Fysh says he appreciates having a variety of crops since asparagus can be a finicky product to sell on store shelves . Prices aren ’ t great this year in Canada , and that ’ s a problem when most of his asparagus product is showing up on store shelves just a few hours east of here in Toronto and Montreal .
“ A lot of this asparagus goes to Sobeys , which is a popular grocery store chain in Ontario , but our wholesaler also sells to restaurants , and I just don ’ t know that Canadians are totally comfortable eating out in droves again after years of being at home due to the pandemic ,” Fysh adds .
Still Fysh says he can ’ t imagine not farming asparagus , especially since he has so much invested into the production through the years . He jokes that even though he retired