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Popular family-run farm is committed to supporting local

AgriculturePopular family-run farm is committed to supporting local

Elberta Farms Country Market has grown to become one of the most popular destinations over the last 50 years in the County of Brant.

Andrew Berta, along with Mike and Steve, have continued to build upon the tradition of the farm with their matriarch, Elizabeth, explaining the start of it all.

“My dad liked the outdoor life so one day he thought it was a great way to live and started the farm…my parents, Joe and Elizabeth, bought the farm in 1967 [and] by 1968, they had a roadside table selling vegetables. They slowly got into growing a little bit of everything as they started a family,” Andrew Berta said. “[All six kids] grew up working on the farm and to this day, there is still myself, and my brothers Steve and Mike. All of us work at the farm, along with my mother, Elizabeth.”

Joseph Berta, who has since passed, married Elizabeth and founded what we know today as Elberta Farms Country Market. Photo courtesy Elberta Farms Country Market.

Although the three other siblings would go on to pursue careers outside the farm, all six children spend their early years farming.

“We always had lots to do…growing and picking different types of berries even after school. Our summer holidays, were more like work holidays, but we developed a love for the outdoors [and] a good work ethic,” Berta said. “At end of the day, it’s rewarding, working with family and seeing all of our hard work paying off.”

Andrew, Steve and Mike along with their mother Elizabeth, have continued the multi-decade tradition of providing the Brant community with a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in Ontario. Photo courtesy Elberta Farms Country Market.

Throughout the years, the Berta family has built many strong relationships with other farms in Ontario which provides a rich variety of options for shoppers while supporting local, as Andrew explains.

“The bulk of our vegetables and fruits are from larger, local farms in the area. We bring in fresh every morning [and] we don’t sell anything that’s not local. We have dealt with many of these farms for a long time; some for two generations,” Berta continued. “We have fresh rhubarb which is not available everywhere [and] we have fiddleheads which are only available for a few weeks of the year [and we] have a wide variety of plants…around 50 types of herbs and 50 types of tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. We try hard to get a big variety of local plants for people to grow in their own gardens.”

Along with selling a variety of locally-grown fruits and vegetables, Elberta Farms offers an array of items including flowers, plants (for personal gardens), and high-quality packaged foods and drinks. They also have a popular petting zoo with goats, chickens, ducks, lambs and sheep. Photo courtesy Elberta Farms Country Market.

Along with an assortment of vegetables, Elberta Farms, which is open year-round, is located 353 Governors Road East, Paris, Ontario, and also carries strawberries, raspberries, cherries, and blueberries throughout the year.

However, Elberta’s also boasts a special area for kids and families to enjoy as Andrew Berta notes.

“We have the petting zoo open every day; we’ve got some goats and chickens and roosters and ducks and a couple of lambs as well. People love to come watch and feed the animals. It’s a free service that people enjoy,” said Berta.

Realizing that the family farm needed a home, Joseph decided to name the farm after his wife, Elizabeth. And so it became Elberta Farms. Through the years, they expanded into what the farm is today, with the help of their six children. Photo courtesy Elberta Farms Country Market.

Along with delivering high quality and fresh products which are local, Elberta’s popularity also stems from its focus on community and its family legacy especially with many customers connect with Elizabeth Berta.

“As a family business, there’s a lot of hard days and long days, but we strive to do our best. We enjoy what we do and we love to see a smile on a customer’s faces,” Berta explained. “I don’t know how many customers come in every day asking for my mom, and referring to her as ‘mom.’ Many of our customers are like family. We’re lucky that my parents put a lot of the backbone and hard work into it and now we’re looking at keeping that tradition going.”

As their family grew to six children, the Berta’s made the farm a family business. Although all six children grew up on the farm, being an integral part to its 50-plus year success, only three siblings (Andrew, Mike and Steve), chose to continue in the farm business with their mother. Photo courtesy Elberta Farms Country Market.

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