What a difference a few weeks make.
When first contacting Postmedia in early March, Andreas and Mary Ellen Grueneberg of Green Eggs and Ham Family Farm were struggling to recover from a hostile takeover of their business in 2015. Now, like the rest of us, they’re dealing with the implications of a pandemic that threatens to destroy it forever.
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“I saw a Facebook post recently where someone wrote ‘everything is shutting down, glad the farmers aren’t.’ Well, think again,” says Mary Ellen over the phone from the farm, which counts Why Not Cafe and High Level Diner among their many customers. “Restaurants are closing or considering closing, and while they’re taking a beating so is everyone who is supplying them.”
It’s been a hard few years for the couple, who started the operation over a decade ago in Leduc County. Using a sustainable approach and best practices philosophy when it comes to pesticides, they built up a business supplying some of the finest restaurants in Alberta, all clamouring for their produce, ducks, eggs, turkey, game hens, and more. They became known for healthy, additive-free foods that people who were immunocompromised could count on. Things were onward and upward for the farm, but they still struggled to find capital.