What started as a home garden when a couple moved to Bloomingdale has morphed into a new business that offers online ordering of fresh vegetables and herbs, with plans to set up a market stall in Elmira this spring.
Woolwich Veg is the handiwork of Najla Nureddin and Jacob Schering, who’ll begin selling produce as the growing season kicks off, primarily from their website.
“Jacob and I got really lucky and found a farmhouse to rent just outside Bloomingdale in 2019. The house came with a fairly large garden in the back and we immediately decided to grow our own vegetables and herbs,” noted Nureddin.
The transition from hobby to something larger grew from their passion for the garden, which took on a life of its own.
“Jacob’s really passionate about growing things, and it’s super contagious. We love growing things together. When we first moved to a place that had a garden, we were like, ‘there’s no doubt about it – we’re going to start growing our own veggies.’ Why not? We have the space,” she said.
“After two years of doing that, I really wanted to upgrade a little bit. We wanted to have some more space, see how much else I could grow. So, this December I was like, ‘why not try? What else do I have going on?’ I put some classified ads out, and in February, someone reached out just down the road. I’m like, ‘alright, this is fate – we’ve got to try it,’” said Nureddin in reflecting on the journey to where the couple is at today.
The new business idea is simple: a learning experience growing products that are healthy for both the environment and the community. In keeping with that motto, the seeds have been sourced from Hawthorn Organic Seeds in Palmerston and have been “untreated and open-pollinated.”
Nureddin said that the seed producer was in keeping with the couple’s philosophy, noting that Jacob had been impressed when he heard the owner speak at a conference.
“We’ll be using that to plant because we really want to be sure of our seed source – make sure it’s ethical in terms of the environment where it’s grown.”
Woolwich Veg products can be ordered online for delivery, but the couple is currently only accepting cash payments. The website also features a crop calendar breakdown of each month’s range of veggies and herbs.
In addition to their online platform, the duo will also be opening up a stall at this year’s Elmira Farmers’ Market.
“I checked online, their Facebook page had an email address for Allan Martin, who runs it. And I just reached out asking, ‘Hey, are there any spaces available? Can we chat?’ And he reached out and said, ‘definitely, there’s spaces available.’ He just wanted to learn about us a bit and where we were growing, and once he heard we were outside Bloomingdale, he’s like ‘hop on board!’”
To keep up to date with the farm’s offerings, follow their Instagram account @woolwichveg, where they are documenting their farming journey.