Yukon Grain Farm is located about 25 minutes north of Whitehorse, just off of the North Klondike Highway. It is owned and operated by Steve and Bonnie MacKenzie-Grieve.
Steve and Bonnie came to Yukon for the first time in 1994 for a holiday and fell in love with it. They purchased their farm in 1999, and for the next four years travelled from southern Alberta to Yukon for the summer growing seasons. They moved here permanently in 2004.
In the beginning, they started producing grain. Next they planted a test plot of potatoes and it thrived. One day Steve made inquiries at the local food store about providing local potatoes. The potato market quickly became a success so they decided to try carrots which became another success, and things evolved from there!
"The cooler Yukon temperatures are great for cool weather crops", said Steve.
Today, Yukon Grain Farm cultivates about 300 acres and produces a variety of crops including grain, barley, oats, wheat, potatoes, carrots, beets, cabbages, and parsnips. They continue to test out other root vegetables.
The Yukon Grain Farm does a lot of hand weeding to avoid using too many chemicals. The farm is not totally chemical free but uses a fraction of what a producer would use in warmer climates.
As Steve says, "I don't like eating any more chemicals than anybody else."
In 2012 the MacKenzie-Grieves were certified under the CanGAP (Canada Good Agricultural Practices) program which is a food safety certification that monitors the production, packing and storing of their vegetables.
Steve adds that "The best thing about being a farmer is that you are working on your own place on your own time. Being able to work in your own back yard and being able to produce something that people enjoy is very rewarding."
In 2012, Steve and Bonnie MacKenzie-Grieve were named Yukon Farmers of the Year. Steve and Bonnie have been involved with From The Ground Up Yukon Healthy Choice Fundraiser since it began in 2012 and have been instrumental in the success of the program.