News

Local couple fulfills their agricultural and entrepreneurship dreams with Victory Veg, a community-supported agricultural business

By Heather Rivers, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

Lesley and Jeff Lucassen show off their community-supported agriculture box at their massive vegetable patch on Karn Road close to Beachville. HEATHER RIVERS/SENTINEL-REVIEW

Lesley and Jeff Lucassen show off their community-supported agriculture box at their massive vegetable patch on Karn Road close to Beachville. HEATHER RIVERS/SENTINEL-REVIEW

They called it Victory Veg for a reason.

After years of the daily grind in the mainstream workforce, a Beachville couple said they are delighted to be able to return to their farming roots.

Jeff and Lesley Lucassen, who met and married while working Great Northern Insulation in Woodstock, quit their jobs a couple years back to start a market garden and farm stand on land he grew up on.

“We wanted to get outdoors more and work for ourselves and serve the community,” Jeff said. “If we can make a living while people are eating healthy and supporting local (we are happy).”

The roughly 300-acre farm, which Jeff’s parents once operated as a dairy farm, was purchased by his Dutch grandparents who immigrated to the region in the 1940’s.

Some of the Karn Road farm, located near Beachville, is now home to a massive market garden complete with almost every type of seasonal vegetable going.

The couple, both in their thirties, said they love spending their days working on their land instead of toiling for others.

“It doesn’t matter how many hours I work, being able to do what I love to do instead of being in an office is so nice,” Leslie said. “I love being outside and hearing the birds.”

Back in the winter of 2016, after saving up for a long time, they developed their vision and implemented a plan for the garden.

Two years later the garden has grown as they conquer challenges that every farmer faces including getting people to know they are there.

“Getting the word out is really tough,” Lesley said.

This spring hot, dry weather was also a challenge for vegetables that prefer cooler weather.

“We missed spring,” Leslie said.

Eventually they hope to operate year-round with a storefront, as they continue to grow and welcome new clients.

Currently they offer pre-paid community-supported agriculture memberships that provide participants with a weekly large-or-small box of their freshest produce over a 20-week period.

“We focus on seasonal varieties,” Jeff said.

Weekly on-demand boxes are also available complete with veggies, herbs and fruits.

They also accept custom orders and offer free-range brown eggs for purchase on the farm.

You can visit Victory Veg at the Ingersoll Farmers’ Market Saturday morning, stop by their Karn Road location or visit their Facebook page Victory Veg.

HRivers@postmedia.com