MEET THE FARMER
Eternal optimist. Tireless worker. Compassionate human being.
I'm Katrina Anderson, farmer at Kinburn Farms.
Like some farm kids, I couldn’t wait to get off the farm. I left my home when I was 19 to start university. I was free, I could come and go as I pleased – no more rules and no more 3 hour grass cutting Saturdays!
After graduating my first degree in 1997 a girlfriend and I backpacked Europe for three months. I became addicted to travelling. I would work my butt off for 8 months and then hop on a plane to somewhere warm for the winter months with only a toothbrush and a smile. What a life!
I wasn’t ready to settle down and get a full time year round job after my first trip abroad, so I went back to school. I completed my Horticulture Diploma in 2000. It really had me clear the cobwebs as I had to learn everything from cellular division to identifying a tree variety from a single 6” twig with no leaves, be able to describe its soil types, micronutrient requirements and best growing conditions. Please don’t ever think “plant people” are unintelligent.
I started a government job with Agriculture Canada in 2004 working in the Ornamental Gardens at the Central Experimental Farm. By this time I had met the love of my life and his two amazing children and we had a couple of our own babies 15 months apart. We were also running a landscaping company on top of our full time jobs. It was a lot to juggle, but we are not people who enjoy idle hands. Then the worst and the best thing happened.
I lost my Mom December 16, 2008. Life stood still for at least a year. I would go through the motions of going to work, groceries, laundry… but I wasn’t really living. Losing her made me soon realize to be truly happy I had to live in the moment and never take anything for granted – a lesson I am so very thankful for. It changed how I lived my life – the little things didn’t matter anymore. I realized you get out of life what you put into it – so do what you love and the rest will fall into place.
We bought our family farm from my Father and I moved back to my homestead in 2010. By this time I really wasn’t happy with my government job, I was just another number. In 2012 I quit. Everybody thought – and perhaps still thinks I was crazy to leave, but for the first time in years I felt alive again.
We had a plan – get a bunch of animals, build some barns, a big garden and get back to my roots. It has been a very challenging few years, but I have never regretted my decision. I am learning and growing every day, sharing with my children and others what Mother Nature has to offer if you work with her and don’t try to control her – because she will always win. One of my biggest rewards is through teaching others about agriculture and horticulture and how they can be self-sufficient themselves.