What happens when ‘retirement’ isn’t quite what you thought it might be

Jeff and Michelle Glass, owners of the Funny Farm, are helping feed Lambton families in a 'respectful' manner

Jeff Glass remembers quite clearly his intent to retire from his job as an operator at Imperial Oil about four years ago.

He and his wife Michelle sold their home in Sarnia and looked east. When an acre and a half of land on Petrolia Line became available, they jumped on the opportunity.

Then Jeff realized he “needed something to do.”

At about the same time, he started hearing about micro-farming and, with the considerable help of Michelle, who had retired about the same time from her job as a dietary aide, the Funny Farm was born.

The couple calls the essence of the operation as “respectful farming” and their attitude about growing vegetables as well providing eggs and poultry to customers throughout the area is contagious.

Indeed, starting with just a handful of “members” in a program known as Community Supported Agriculture, the Funny Farm now has about 35 families receiving a box of fresh vegetables for 18 weeks, with the likelihood that even more will join the program in years to come.

Jeff credits at least two resources for helping build out the Funny Farm operation, one being Curtis Stone, author of the Urban Farmer and owner of Green City Acres, based in Kelowna.

Another “mentor” is Jean-Martin Fortier, who runs an operation out of his home in Quebec. Fortier is the author of The Market Gardener.

It’s that sharing of information that Jeff and Michelle say has fueled much of what they have done with the Funny Farm, which is located at 3327 Petrolia Line, Petrolia.

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