Good clean food grown close to home
Fat Chance Farmstead is a small-scale fruit and vegetable farm operated by Josh Suppan and Jen Valberg. Established in 2012, we are certified organic and offer high quality healthy food to our customers through our Food Box program. We are committed to supporting our local economy and are proud members of the National Farmers Union.
In 2017, after years of farming on rented land in two separate locations, we finally bought a farm. The only catch is that it didn't come with a house! (If you have two hours and want to hear the story of how we got a house, ask Josh at the pick up some time)
The farm totals roughly 92 acres (30 is forested), while we currently have 15 acres in cultivation for fruit and vegetables. Having enough space to grow allows us to properly manage our soil fertility and have a robust crop rotation, which helps minimize pest, weed and disease pressure. Our new farm received organic certification in 2017 and is renewed annually.
As of 2018, we host our Food Box pick up on-farm, which gives our members a chance to get up close and personal with the food they take home.
Little did Josh know that in landing his first job at the ripe young age of 13, he would be foreshadowing his future career path. The only place that would hire him? A peach, plum, and kiwi farm in Niagara on the lake. At the time this was just a way to earn some extra spending money and pass the summer hours outside. Fast forward to the summer of 2009 in the Okanagan valley of BC where Josh spent the summer and fall picking, thinning, packing, and tractoring on a unique and innovative fruit farm. The experience inspired Josh to set his sights once again on agriculture. While much of his experience comes from cultivating fruit, he has spent many seasons on vegetable farms ranging from small-scale organic to large-scale conventional operations. He has a passion for raising animals and in some parts he is known as a chicken whisperer. His hands are always dirty, whether it’s from soil, tractor grease, or bread dough.
Jen aka The Boss
Jen had slightly different plans when she was a teenager. If you look under her graduating picture in her yearbook it reads “Most likely to be a rich businesswoman.” As such, Jen attended Queen’s University and studied Commerce. She started two clothing businesses (Ghetto Tees and Donkey in a Basket) but never went to Toronto to work for a big company. Instead she went on a cycling tour through northern Ontario that led her to work in the non-profit sector. By 2011 Jen had a 1,000 sq. foot community garden plot, a pantry full of her own preserves and soon became a part-time farmer. Jen manages the shiitake mushroom production and helps with strawberry picking on the weekends.
When the kids aren't napping on the farm, or eating all of our strawberries, they perform many important tasks. They are in charge of marketing, taste-testing, and (scribbling in) the books.