I am doing the most fulfilling work I've ever done, and with 100% certainty, never imagined that I would be in year three of my flower farming and homesteading journey after growing up in Brantford, Ontario. I am, what I call, a transplant to Chatham-Kent. I attended University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus to follow my interest in agronomy. I decided, even before I met my husband, that I wanted to call Chatham-Kent home. Career opportunities in agriculture are diverse and abundant in CK.
In 2012, I met my husband Brad Snobelen. He has lived and farmed his whole life in CK. Now, we are raising 4th generation Snobelens while celebrating 150 years of farming in CK. In 2018, we started Snobelen Homestead. We now grow sunflowers, mixed flower bouquets, summer veggies, ruby red popcorn, and 16 different varieties of pumpkins and edible squash.
My drive to grow our business has two sides. One, to diversify the commercial farm operation and two, to build connections to non-farming families. Growing up in the city, I had little opportunity to connect with local producers. I understand the huge disconnect between farmers and city dwellers that think produce and meat just arrives at grocery stores. It makes me proud to be part of CK's agri-tourism, educating and tightening the gap between our urban and rural communities.
At Snobelen Homestead, we are in the final days of harvest. Our fall decorations and produce are stocked at our self-serve farm stand just east of McKay's corners. We are open daily, sun-up to sun-down, until November 1 to pick the perfect pumpkin for a Jack-o'–lantern!