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2009 Regional Award Winner
Berry Hill Fruit Farm – Aylmer
MPP for Lambton, Kent, Middlesex Maria Van Bommel, Renee Saarloos, Dick Saarloos
Growing fruits and vegetables that are in demand, selling locally and building brand recognition have meant increased profits for Dick and Renee Saarloos of Elgin County. By selling directly to local retail outlets and increasing the volume of sales, the farm saw a 30 per cent increase in gross farm revenues in 2009. Since 2006, 19 acres of apples have been removed and replaced with sweet corn and tender fruits, and the on-farm fruit stand sells from mid-June strawberry season, to well into the fall. A caricature of ‘Farmer Dick’ is the recognizable brand that local shoppers look and ask for at local retail food outlets.