In spite of the soil type, field size and topography, Dyck and his family have made the most of diversifying their operation, focusing on quality and not just quantity.
“If you focus on quality, success is going to follow you and you’re going to be in business for a long time,” he says. “If you focus on quantity, you’re going to burn through customers and eventually, you’ll run out. And we never stop networking because you never know when the next person you’re talking to will be your next customer — you might have something that somebody can use.”
The road to diversifying their operation has created an environment where they’re open to innovation, as well. Five years ago, Dyck and his family began using mushroom compost on their vegetable fields, with a corresponding boost in yields. Now, many of his neighbours have adopted the practice.
“I think every farmer is an innovator to a certain extent,” he adds. “We’re innovators — maybe not as much as others — but we’re always doing new things, trying new things. We innovate in some ways, but in others, we can still be hard-headed about staying with the old-fashioned way.
If we do try something new, we don’t do it on every acre. And if it works, great. If not, stick to what’s been working for you. I see nothing wrong with trying new things or experimenting or innovating.”