The Reesor Farm

A little bit about our history.

Reesors have lived and farmed in the Markham/Stouffville Ontario area since their arrival from Pennsylvania in 1804. Since then, many generations of our family has been growing and providing food for the region. My father was a dairy farmer in Markham who also grew specialty crops like green peas, sweet corn and forage crop seeds. I remember my first farm marketing lessons as a child, picking sweet corn and then selling it at the side of our gravel road.

I began my own farm business career in 1984, five years after completing my crop science degree from the University of Guelph. In that year I had the opportunity to farm my Uncle Harold Heise’s farm at Leslie Street and Elgin Mills Road in Markham. Back in those days I grew wheat, grain corn, soybeans, and sweet corn. This once agriculturally productive farm currently offers a Costco, a Staples, a Home Depot, and a Starbucks.

In 1985 another small farm became available with a house, barn and 22 acres at Ninth Line and Elgin Mills Road in Markham. This is where our current farm market operates. Back in those years I grew strawberries, sweet corn, tomatoes and pumpkins just like today, but I also was raising pigs and laying hens. In the first year we sold all of our produce off a farm wagon at the end of the driveway along an increasingly busy Ninth Line. In 1986 we built a very modest, little shed as a market to keep us out of the wind and dry from the rain. Over the years we have gradually added more space to our market including produce cooler sand bakery preparation facilities to better serve our growing number of loyal customers.

In 1992 my wife Miriam and our daughters Leah and Jessica and I decided to do a three year term of volunteer service in rural Haiti. I was an agronomist working with local farmers to help improve their yields while Miriam helped establish a local cooperative group. Those were great years for our family! While we were away, Reesor Farm Market was still operating with my sister Arlene Reesor and her husband Denis Taylor running the farm. Arlene had an interest in baking so she began offering freshly baked bread and pies at our farm market. When I returned to operate the farm in 1995, Arlene and Denis bowed out of the farm and bakery.

We kept the baking component going at the farm which eventually led to opening Reesor Farm Kitchen on Ringwood Dr. in Stouffville in 2004. In addition to great baking, we also began to offer delicious tasting entrees as well, not just during the Reesor Farm Market’s summer season, but year-round. The little Kitchen grew and in 2013 we moved our retail store from the back streets to 5758 Main Street, renaming it Reesor's Market & Bakery.

My staff and I continue to grow and make good food for our neighbourhood and I am proud and privileged to build on the tradition of my farming family.

Jay Reesor