Despite the fact that more than one million people call York Region home, the area remains an important agricultural centre. Farms of all sorts dot the region – with many of them developing programs that connect them directly with the end consumer.
While many farms across the region participate in the many farmers’ markets that are held weekly in the region’s more urbran areas, many farmers are opening up their properties to showcase ‘grown local’ and ‘shop local’ initiatives and solutions. Over the next few weeks, experienceyorkregion.com is going to introduce you to some of the folks who are taking ag-tourism to the next level.
By Shelly Khushal
The origin of Marques Family Farm started in the early 60’s when Antonio Estacio, a hard-working man, left the island of Flores, Portugal in hopes of providing a better life for his young family. He had various jobs. His first farming job didn’t even pay enough for a room to live in – so he lived in a barn with the animals. His second farming job brought him to the Holland Marsh where he worked for the Visser family. After a few years of hard work he ended up purchasing his own field and started his own farm.
Fast forward to the present day where his Grandson Robert and his wife Shannon, own and operate Marques Family Farm – third-generation farmers who maintain the traditions set by their grandfather.
With three rambunctious children in tow, The Marques Family farm on five acres of mineral-rich soil. This soil allows us them grow and harvest incredible produce, while introducing their customers to the Holland Marsh by education and experiences.
Marques has an array of activities, plus a rustic barn and farm market. During the spring and summer months, their focus shifts to the field, where they plant and harvest for their Harvest box program, their Farm Market and Pick your Own. Recently, they added a sunflower field and pick your own pumpkins. The latest edition – and our family favorite – was the interaction with their chicks and bunnies.
Owners Rob and Shannon say, “While our family enjoys providing fresh produce for our community, we are very committed to education regarding the agricultural sector and the marsh lands. It is important to us that our customers know their farmer and where their food comes from.”
The Marques Family Farm is located at 365 King Street, Newmarket.
Shelly Khushal is a busy mother of two and an active member of the York Region community, always keeping abreast of the social scene, latest trends and products; highlighting fun events in and around York Region.
Main photo: Just in time for Mother’s Day – Marques Family Farm is offering Mom cookies.
Photo row, from left: Marques Family Farm offers a variety of programs and products from their Newmarket location.