A young entrepreneur has just opened her second sunflower farm, located in Lindsay

Ursula Kressibucher at her first sunflower farm in Beaverton, called The Sunflower Farm, which she opened in 2020. Building on the success of that operation, the 29-year-old entrepreneur also opened The Little Sunflower Farm in Lindsay. (Photo: Kailey Jane Photography)

When Ursula Kressibucher went looking for a corporate job in Toronto in 2019 and instead encountered “a lot of rejection,” she found herself rethinking the career path her international development and business studies had had. promised.

Born and raised on her grandmother’s poultry farm in Beaverton on Lake Simcoe, Kressibucher was naturally inspired to consider a possible future in agritourism, specifically opening and operating a sunflower farm. This led to a meeting with his family to present his idea.

“There was definitely some skepticism, but I was able to convince them to lease 10 acres (of land) to me in 2020,” Kressibucher recalled, adding, “Long story short, I was looking for a job and didn’t have one. couldn’t find it, so I decided to make one for myself.

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This leap of faith, risky as it may seem, has paid a huge dividend.

Kressibucher, 29, owns and operates not just one but two sunflower farms: a Beaverton operation called, aptly, The Sunflower Farm, made up of two 10-acre fields of thousands and thousands of the flower striking yellow and — just opened Friday, August 26 — a four-acre Lindsay Farm which, of course, is called The Little Sunflower Farm.

Saying “It’s a very short season for sunflowers,” Kressibucher notes that the Beaverton farm closed for the season on August 24, after opening in late July. Meanwhile, Lindsay’s operation, located at 347 Lindsay Street South, just north of Highway 7, will be open to visitors until September 11.

The first sunflower bloom at Ursula Kressibucher's The Little Sunflower Farm in Lindsay, which opened on August 26 and will remain open for the season until September 11, 2022. (Photo: The Sunflower Farm / Instagram)
The first sunflower bloom at Ursula Kressibucher’s The Little Sunflower Farm in Lindsay, which opened on August 26 and will remain open for the season until September 11, 2022. (Photo: The Sunflower Farm / Instagram)

Although there are a number of sunflower farms in southwestern Ontario, Kressibucher saw a void in the area northeast of Toronto and thought “there is definitely a market here. “. She adds that her motivation was, and still is, rooted in a core belief: that people would appreciate an opportunity to connect, or reconnect, with agriculture.

She describes it as “the joy of being able to grow up on a farm and pass that on to people who didn’t have that opportunity or didn’t.”

Certainly, says Kressibucher, opening a new business — let alone one as ambitious as a sunflower farm — was a gamble in 2020, the first year of the pandemic and its associated restrictions. But she persevered and was surprised with the result.

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“I certainly didn’t expect the response we received,” says Kressibucher. “It was quite eye-opening. We had people driving here from Timmins and Montreal.

“The first year, we didn’t have an online booking platform. We were just selling tickets at the door. It created queues and wait times, but it showed that there were people who wanted out. There were so many businesses that people couldn’t visit that were inside. People were looking for these outdoor experiences.

The attraction for visitors, she says, is “the beautiful backdrop” created by thousands of “stunning flowers” in full bloom, describing it “as a very unique experience”.

Ursula Kressibucher (seated in her 1950s truck) with her grandmother and uncle at The Sunflower Farm in Beaverton.  Kressibucher, who was born and raised on her grandmother's poultry farm in Beaverton, decided to pursue agritourism after her initial career goals in Toronto fell through.  (Photo: Sunflower Farm / Instagram)
Ursula Kressibucher (seated in her 1950s truck) with her grandmother and uncle at The Sunflower Farm in Beaverton. Kressibucher, who was born and raised on her grandmother’s poultry farm in Beaverton, decided to pursue agritourism after her initial career goals in Toronto fell through. (Photo: Sunflower Farm / Instagram)

In addition, the Kressibucher sunflower fields are a paradise for photographers.

“For professional photo shoots, we reserve certain nights for private shoots where you can come for that golden hour sunset,” she says.

Kressibucher sunflowers are of the black-oil variety, which are mainly harvested for sunflower oil and birdseed. Its operation focuses on the latter, which is sold on its farms as well as wholesale to specialty feed stores producing seed mixes.

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For all his time and effort to make his business a success, Kressibucher has given back to the community. Last year she created 150 mason jar bouquets and donated them to Lakeview Manor in Beaverton, and did the same this year.

“It’s a way to give back to seniors who had been through all the craziness of COVID and couldn’t get out or have family for a visit,” she explains, adding that the bouquets were a way” to bring them the sunflower farm.”

Additionally, on August 24, Ukraine’s National Independence Day, Kressibucher earmarked 50% of all Beaverton Farm ticket sales for the Canada Ukraine Foundation to support ongoing humanitarian efforts. With the sunflower being Ukraine’s national flower, that was “not a given,” says Kressibucher, noting that visitors also made donations at the door.

For the second year in a row, Ursula Kressibucher and her team at The Sunflower Farm in Beaverton have created 150 mason jar bouquets, with the help of volunteers from the Beaverton Horticultural Club and the Cannington Horticultural Society, to donate to local residents and to seniors in Lakeview.  Mansion in Beaverton.  (Photo: Sunflower Farm / Instagram)
For the second year in a row, Ursula Kressibucher and her team at The Sunflower Farm in Beaverton have created 150 mason jar bouquets, with the help of volunteers from the Beaverton Horticultural Club and the Cannington Horticultural Society, to donate to local residents and to seniors in Lakeview. Mansion in Beaverton. (Photo: Sunflower Farm / Instagram)

When asked if his long-term plans include opening a third sunflower farm, Kressibucher has a practical answer.

“I can’t divide myself in too many ways,” says Kressibucher. “As a new and young business owner, I am still sailing. I have an amazing team behind me, but I want to make sure I don’t take on more than I can chew.

“I am now focusing on how the Lindsay site is doing this year and we hope to bring it back next year, looking at different events and creating more chances for people to come and enjoy the sunflowers. We also hope to have a pumpkin patch here in Lindsay, even though I have never grown pumpkins. I’m waiting to see if I’m really going to have pumpkins for October and not Christmas pumpkins.

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As someone who has taken the path of entrepreneurship and has done so successfully to date, Kressibucher advises those starting their own journey that farming “is a really tough industry for anyone to get their feet wet.” start and do”.

“I had the privilege and the opportunity to grow up on a farm and have access to the resources (needed to start),” she admits. “But in general, for any young business owner, it’s definitely about getting started and trial and error.”

“It’s not the first business I’ve tried. I had many failures, and there were failures that I learned from the sunflower farm – things that I tried that just didn’t work. It’s a go-get-it attitude: see what works and what doesn’t, and keep learning.

Sunset at the Sunflower Farm in Beaverton.  Before harvesting the sunflowers for the birds, Ursula Kressibucher opens her sunflower fields to visitors, including professional photographers.  (Photo: Kailey Jane Photography)
Sunset at the Sunflower Farm in Beaverton. Before harvesting the sunflowers for the birds, Ursula Kressibucher opens her sunflower fields to visitors, including professional photographers. (Photo: Kailey Jane Photography)

The Little Sunflower Farm in Lindsay is open to visitors Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday through Sunday and Labor Day (September 5) from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Admission is $10 for adults 18 and older and $5 for youth 10-17, with free admission for those under 10 and seniors 90 and older.

To order tickets in advance online, visit www.thesunflowerfarm.ca where you can also find information on farm conduct, farm safety rules and photography protocol. You can also follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Ursula Kressibucher of The Sunflower Farm in Beaverton has opened a second sunflower farm at 347 Lindsay Street South in Lindsay, just north of Highway 7. (Photo: Kailey Jane Photography)
Ursula Kressibucher of The Sunflower Farm in Beaverton has opened a second sunflower farm at 347 Lindsay Street South in Lindsay, just north of Highway 7. (Photo: Kailey Jane Photography)

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