Baba Link Farm: Linking History with Novelty


By Mary Wales- Patricia Kozowyk and her husband Ernst von der Kall have been farming 10 acres of her parents’ farm since 2002. Her parents purchased the farm, which is in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1954. Together they ran a beef and raspberry farm. Her father worked off the farm and her mother, a big inspiration, was in charge of the raspberries, which she grew organically, meaning without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.

Baba Link Farm has quite the name. It was meant to combine both cultural history, but also reinforce the notion that it is important to be informed about where one is from.  ‘Baba’ is Ukrainian for Grandmother, Patricia is Ukrainian, and ‘Link’ was selected to remind us that we are all connected with each other and that the link between generations is exceedingly important.

The farm was also home to ‘bobolink’ native songbirds while Patricia was growing up. “We felt the name was serious and lighthearted and full of a little chuckle at the same time,” says Patricia, “because, after all, you have to have a little fun doing what you do”.

Today the couple has planted over a 200 trees with a focus on heirloom varieties of European and Asian pears, apples, cherries, plums and hazlenuts. Berries are also spotted throughout the farm: haskaps, red, white and black currants, gooseberries, elderberries, Saskatoon berries and, of course, raspberries. They also grow many edible flowers and herbs which are sold to nearby restaurants and farmers’ markets.

The farm has been certified organic since 2008. “We prefer to be certified so that customers who can’t come to our farm to see what we are doing are assured that we are in fact organic,” says Patricia. “We also do so because some of our buyers are organic as well and need to purchase certified organic items for auditing purposes”.

Pat also harvests many of the farm’s native fruits and herbs, such as wild black raspberry and violets. My advice to new farmers would be to not plan everything out. Observe, and see what nature also gives you”.

Patricia is also an accomplished artist and notes that the farm has been a source of much of her work. Not surprisingly, she has a great eye for and admiration of trees – the subject of much of her paintings. To view some of her work click here.


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