For Fritz and Linda Laepple, organic farming is much more than a job.
It’s a lifestyle.
“We’ve been on this farm since 1998. We celebrated 21 years in May. Before that we had an organic farm in Germany,” says Linda Laepple. “Farming has been in my family for generations.”
It obviously runs in the blood and continues to flow through her six grown children who lend a hand in sharing their parents’ commitment to farming in a sustainable way.
Laepple Organic Farm is located at 2298 Bleams Rd. in Petersburg.
Established by the Jutzi family in 1848, the farm produces natural, organic foods including grass-fed beef, grains, potatoes, vegetables and eggs.
The original two-storey barn and farmhouse, with original pine beams, are still in use today.
“We have beef compost for the fertility of the soil, and we also sell our live animals. We grow the forage and sometimes sell the hay too. We have different greens to feed chickens and pigs and we grow spelt and wheat which we mill right here,” Laepple said.
The farm is certified organic by Pro-Cert Organic and the general principles, the family says, are to protect the environment, minimize soil degradation and erosion, optimize conditions for biological productivity and promote a sound state of health.
No chemical fertilizer, pesticides or herbicides are used and all animals are raised drug free, without hormone implants and are fed grass, hay and grain – all grown on the farm.
“When you walk on our farm, you can pick anything up and eat it,” Laepple says. “Kids don’t have to worry about spray.”
For the Laepple Family, eating local foods that are in season, helps foster environmental health, enhances economic well-being and strengthens the social fabric.
And their mission is to grow what they eat and share it, ‘from field and stable to your table’.
“We provide clean food.” Laepple says. “People come see us with so many questions and are worried about their health.”
Their customers come from near and far with those interests in mind.
Laepple says that many of her customers are often recent immigrants from Europe who appreciate Laepple’s natural ways – farming methods that they remember.
“We overlook our ability to adapt,” she says. “It took three generations for our cows to adapt to a grass-fed system. Humans are the same.”
Her breed of cattle has become stronger and healthier with every generation and for people today, Laepple says, a modern diet comes from many different sources which in turn causes stress to the human body because it is constantly trying to adapt.
“People years ago, had to adapt to where they live.”
Through the years, Laepple has been an advocate for many farming organizations including the Ontario Farmland Trust and she was past president for the Waterloo Wellington National Farmers Union.
She has also taken part in renewable energy initiatives. “We have so much wind energy here and we started a renewable energy coop, a local initiative for future energy with other local farmers,” Laepple said.
“There are so many different opportunities in farming today.”
The Laepple Family Farm invites everyone to share in their love of fresh, wholesome, natural foods which is why volunteers are always happy to take part and help out.
It’s clear that Linda and Fritz are passionate about farming in a way that supports the environment, the health of their animals and in turn, supports the health of their customers.
“Serving people who seek this kind of food is so rewarding,” Laepple said.
The farm is open Tuesdays from 2 pm – 6 pm, Fridays from 2 pm – 6 pm and Saturdays from 10 am until 6 pm.
For more information, visit: laeppleorganic.ca