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The knowledge worker

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The Newman's
The Newman's

D&H Newman is a business and a lifestyle (D is for Dan, Heather’s husband, who was also born and raised in the area and a control technician for Bruce Power). It’s a business in that they are both farmers and pioneers in integrating modern living with local eating. They help other farmers connect to consumers, and build the bond of shared ownership in what gets produced. On the lifestyle side, she and Dan made the decision that she’d trade employment outside the home for producing food on her 12.5 acres, raising their four children (age 7-15) and bridging the knowledge gaps between what we grow, how we grow it and the nutrition that is available to our families.

“I understand farmers because I am one and have been all my life. I also understand the science and the practical challenges of growing healthier food – just as well as I understand the challenges of making food and nutrition a priority at home. There are knowledge gaps and an even wider gap in skills that were common place just 2 generations ago; there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. We fill those gaps as a trusted source of information for everyone in the local food chain.”

We are blessed...
We are blessed...

Heather believes we’ve had a few generations now to determine the impact of large-scale and feed-only farming, and that rebalancing is imminent. Smaller-scale farms and localized food production serve as a buffer to the all-or-nothing scenario.

“We’re blessed here in Huron-Kinloss – not just with amazing soil, but also a full gamut of lifestyle choices. You may not want to raise your own chickens, but you do want to can your own tomato sauce. You may want to learn to grow your own food and you may also want to share the joy from planting to harvest. This is where you can think outside the box, and the best thing is, the expertise is here to help you bring that choice to life.”

Heather, among others in the area, is growing a network of experts who have experimented and pioneered new ideas between farm and table for years. Organic growing, CSAs, sourcing local and making nutrition affordable are not passing trends. This is a way of life here and it works.

Knowing food...
Knowing food...

“Knowing where your food comes from is the starting point. A friend of mine struggled to get her children to eat vegetables. We produced a bean crop together, but she only wanted a quart or two – thinking her kids would take a pass. She was back the next day for more – because her children could taste the difference and loved it.”

The H in D&H Newman is changing lives, perhaps one bean at a time, but more often than not, by connecting people and knowledge to create a more powerful connection between farms and consumers.

“The more we become aware of what is happening to our food, the more interest everyone will take in finding better sources and learning more about how growing methods affect nutrition. Then we can create scale by bringing groups of people together, and you do that by building trust. When a family farm is the source of the knowledge and the experience, trust follows naturally.”

Learn more about Heather and connect at dandhnewman.ca.