Explore Local Regional Producer Profiles: Anthem Hills Family Farm

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Jenny & Sean Robinson and Floyd & Barbara Snyder run Anthem Hills Family Farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) on a quarter section of land south of the village of Sangudo. 2016 was their first year of production offering 20 community supported agriculture (CSA) shares for 12 weeks.

They grow a stunning variety of crops on their small plot. In fact, when choosing what to grow they struggled to pare their list down from 60 to 35 varieties of vegetables. From crops they love growing and eating to new and interesting experiments, their veggies range from red kuri squash to lettuce mix to pea shoots, lavender, parsnips, broccoli, beans, radishes and everything in between. To learn more about Anthem Hills, follow their beautiful Instagram feed.

How Anthem Hills Family Farm began:

In 2014, Sean and Jenny apprenticed at Sundog Organic Farm and spent a season learning the ropes of vegetable farming. Knowing they wanted to take the lessons they learned to their own property one day, they recently moved from Edmonton to live on the land full time. Co-owners Barbara and Floyd (Jenny’s parents) live on the property part time but come out for CSA harvest delivery day each week.

They spent their spring this year preparing the land for growing and that included erecting an impressively tall fence that hems in the garden to deter the plentiful deer in the area from decimating their crops. Being their first year, they’ve learned a lot by trial and error and this flexibility has allowed them to adapt many of their practices to suit the specific needs of the land and climate they’re growing in.

They also have a growing flock of pastured heritage chickens who enjoy the past prime fruit from the small orchard on the land in addition to their regular diet. Once their flock begins to lay eggs in the fall, they hope to include eggs among their products.

How they Grow:

While they’re in the process of pursuing their organic certification, appreciating and respecting the beauty and flavour of the vegetables is at the heart of their operation. They want their customers to love and appreciate the vegetables as much as they do and it’s palpable in the care they put in when harvesting, cleaning and packing their produce. This respect for their crops begins with focusing on caring for their plants and making sure they’re healthy and ensuring the soil is at its best.

Their connection with their customers and community:

Being new to the county, they’re really enjoying getting to know their neighbors and the community around Sangudo. In an area dominated by cattle and hay, Anthem Hills is doing farming a little differently and they’re eager to engage with their community to share how and why they do what they do.

They host a CSA volunteer work day each month and they’ve seen many of their 20 share recipients (mostly based in Edmonton) come out to get to know the land and work alongside them. They chose the CSA model because it naturally fosters a supportive and engaged community around the farm and the food they grow. The most rewarding part of growing for Sean, Jenny, Floyd and Barbara is delivery day. Interacting with their customers and seeing the produce they grow light up the faces of their supporters makes it all worthwhile.

Their vision for Anthem Hills Family Farm:

One of their long term goals is to be a learning farm. The skills Jenny and Sean learned during their apprenticeship really affects the way they view farming and they’d love Anthem Hills to be a space where they can share knowledge with people who are interested in growing food. They want to be able to provide learning opportunities for people to engage with the land and the food.

In the near future, they hope to diversify their operation to include pastured pork and grass fed beef as well as expanding their CSA next year to meet the demand and interest they’ve seen this season. They also hope to implement new practices that continue to take care of the land and soil in sustainable, responsible ways.

“Anthem means ‘a song of rejoicing’ and we want the land and the people and animals on our farm to rejoice and for it to be a joyful and healthy, vibrant place of growing.” – Jenny Robinson

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Mimi Lee.
This document is maintained by Delores Serafin.
This information published to the web on January 20, 2017.
Last Reviewed/Revised on June 29, 2017.