Honoured at Organic Connections 2016
Don and Donna Kizlyk operate D&D Market Garden, a small certified organic market garden located in the Wadena–Kelvington area, 220 km east of Saskatoon. After they married, they worked in Regina for several years and moved to the farm in April, 1989. They had been travelling back and forth every weekend and found they liked being on the farm far more than living in the city.
They started growing vegetables in 1995 and became certified with the OCIA Chapter 5 in 2001 and transferred to TCO Cert in 2015. They grow about 12 acres of vegetables while the rest of the 480 acres are in wild hay and wild life habitat.
Don and Donna have been very active in the organic community for many years. They have been board members of Chapter 5 since 1998, hosting a number of board meetings for chapter 5 and 3, as well as organizing crop tours for local chapters. Don and Donna are members of the North East Local Food Association, as well as the Saskatchewan Vegetable Growers Association. Don was involved with Dining with the Stars events in 2010 and 2011. He was the SOD Board Executive as both chapter representative and president. Don has spoken at various events, tradeshows and conferences over the years. He has held various positions on the local Chapter 5 board. Donna has sat on the board of OCIA Canada R&E, and she is currently on the board of The Farmers’ Table. Donna has volunteered at the Organic Connections Conference in the past, and still volunteers at Chapter 5 meetings. In addition, they both are continuously promoting local and organic food to grocery stores, restaurants, and the general population.
Don and Donna believe in a live and let live philosophy. Don plants things where they want to grow, as he doesn't believe in forcing things. Nothing goes into the garden but seeds, labour and his loving care. The plants grow to maturity in the soil, under Don's watchful eye. He knows each row of vegetables intimately. Don loves to grow plants, and consequently he is very hands-on and personal with his garden. Don is also extremely inventive and has made many small, automated pieces of machinery from unrelated pieces of equipment. These inventions take most of the back breaking labour out of looking after their gardens. Don and Donna are also very community minded, donating vegetables and their time to many local groups.
They have really enjoyed their time on the farm and plan to garden together full-time once they retire.