SUE & TIME VANDEN BOSCH – WILLOW CREEK FARMS
1442 Frankford Road, Quinte West
Note: photos taken in 2019, pre-COVID-19.
You can’t help but turn your head at the abundant farm stand on Frankford Road, colourful vegetables like a seasonal billboard inviting you to dig in.
What started as a few baskets of tomatoes at the side of the road has evolved over 25 years into Sue and Tim Vanden Bosch’s farm in Quinte West, plus two satellite locations on Wallbridge-Loyalist Road and the Country Butcher Shop in Foxboro.
Each is bursting with the season’s ripest produce from snappy green beans, juicy berries, sweet corn that tastes like August sunshine, through to squash in late autumn.
The closeness of this farming community becomes immediately apparent at the main farm stand, which houses a freezer of Opoma Farms beef and preserves from other local producers.
The farming lifestyle was already familiar to Susan and Tim: she grew up on a dairy farm in Foxboro, and he was working in farm equipment sales. When their boys were young, the family was living in the outskirts of Ottawa. On a visit home over Thanksgiving one year, they discovered a property for sale, and put in an offer on what would become Willow Creek Farms.
Hands-on, happy and healthy farming is the ethos that drives their business. “We really believe in the product that we sell, and knowing where our food comes from,” says Sue. Clearly locals believe in it too, as the Vanden Boschs are often refilling the farm stands a couple of times each day to keep up with demand.
Sue and Tim have noticed this shift in demand and are encouraged to see growth in Quinte’s local food economy. Their customer base previously consisted of older generations, but it’s broadened to include a younger cohort who are keen to discover who grows their food.