Karen Della Campbell came to agriculture from a non-traditional path. During the course of her travels and studies to become a midwife, she and her then-boyfriend, now-husband lived in Eugene, Ore., and were surrounded by farms and market gardens – which she had never seen in southern Ontario in the 1990s. When they returned to Ontario, they opened their own market garden, selling through the Guelph Farmers Market, which led them to Hillsburgh, Ont.'s Everdale Farm, a former free school, once the land they were farming traded hands.
Since then, Campbell and her team have developed Everdale into a community hub, with a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, harvest parties, food security projects, connections with local food banks and youth groups, internships to educate others on sustainable agriculture, sharing the space with Indigenous and LGBTQ groups, and much more. Over the past 25+ years, Everdale – and Campbell – have become an example of ethos in practice: embodying and spreading the type of agriculture, social values, programs and charitable initiatives they want to see in the world.
In this episode of the 2023 IWCA podcast series, Campbell chats with AgAnnex editor Alex Barnard about pacing yourself, building connections and relationships, and letting your values guide your actions.