A Way of Life
Far out into the scenic, quiet countryside of Neebing Township lies the 150 acres of rolling property where Walkabout Farm is situated on. For young farm owners Rob and Janice Groenheide and their family, it’s become a way of life. A way of life they were both raised on and have chosen to continue with today.
Rob grew up very close to where he and Janice now farm. His parents own and manage Tarrymore Farms, located in nearby South Gillies, where they still continue to farm today. Rob grew up helping out and working on the family farm with his brothers before attending the University of Guelph where he obtained a diploma in Agriculture. Similarly, Janice was also actively involved on her family’s sheep farm growing up. She took part in 4-H and became involved in her local agricultural society. Janice also continued in agricultural studies by attending the University of Guelph for a diploma in Agriculture, but also followed through with the Paramedics Program at Conestoga College. Both Rob and Janice are presently involved in the daily tasks of running the farm, while raising a young family. They consider it a great asset to be able to share the love of their rural lifestyle with their two daughters.
Rob and Janice first began Walkabout Farm in August of 2011 after deciding to move and manage a part of the livestock herd of his parents’ farm, Tarrymore Farms. Since then, pork and lamb production has become their main objective. They’ve been able to provide various types of both these products at the market, where they’ve been vendors since 2011. While they continue to work closely with Tarrymore Farms, Rob and Janice have specialized in the pork and lamb specialties they offer through the types of pigs and sheep they raise. Walkabout began breeding their own Berkshire pigs in 2014 and pasture-raise all of their pigs on their own property. Originally a heritage breed from England, Berkshires are known to do well out on pastures, recognized for their juicy, flavourful meat. The sheep of Walkabout are also pasture-raised during warmer months, while winter sees them sheltered and fed hay. A recent addition to their herd has been the East Friesian Ram, a breed of Western Europe, in hopes to increase milk production within the flock. Lambing season usually takes place in March, so you can expect Rob and Janice are presently in one of their busiest times. They are very excited about the future prospects for their flock.
Walkabout Farm offers various quality cuts of both their pasture-raised pork and lamb. One of the products that has become quite popular is their bacon, thanks to the excellent meat quality of their Berkshire pigs. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t try any other delectable cuts. Rob and Janice take pride in their local, quality products, and are also happy to take any custom orders their customers may have for them. Besides offering their products at the market, you can also find them at Belluz Farms’ on-site store during the summer months. They also have their products on the menus of a few local restaurants, off and on.
Walkabout Farm has become a way of life for this young family, and they’d be happy to answer any further questions you might have on their pigs and lambs. Visit them at the market at the booth they share with Tarrymore Farms, just around the corner from the main entrances.