BACKSTAGE PASS: Nicholyn Farms


An area farming operation has developed an excellent reputation for providing high-quality produce and its humane treatment of animals.

“People want to know where their food comes from,” explains Nicholyn Farms director of vision Lynda Van Casteren.

“They want great quality, produced locally from a source that they trust. We have created a one-stop shop for local food.”

Located at 3088 Horseshoe Valley Rd W. in Phelpston, Nicholyn Farms has become a popular escape for folks looking to get away from the traffic, noise and hustle and bustle of where they live.

“Young families and urban dwellers want to share the farm/country experience with their children,” Van Casteren says. “We are a convenient pit stop on their travels.”

Open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Van Casteren says Nicholyn Farms has become an important piece of the fabric that weaves a community.

“We partner with about 95 other farmers, producers, gardeners, apiaries, maple syrup bushes and the cottage food industry businesses,” she says. “We showcase the makers in our community of wellness products, candles, birdhouses and more.”

Nicholyn Farms is owned by Lynda and her husband Nick along with son Shane and his wife Melissa.

“We are a multigenerational farm and business with Shane’s children also pitching in when time allows from their post-secondary studies.

“We started almost 40 years ago as traditional pork producers,” explains Van Casteren, who started going to farmers’ markets to sell products produced on the farm.

“As the interest in buying local evolved, so did the farm.”

They have had a market on the farm since 1995 with a health-inspected kitchen that produces baked goods, jams, relish, pickles and ready-made meals.

Nicholyn Farms firmly believe in contributing to one’s healthy lifestyle through the humane treatment of its animals and the optimal utilization of Ontario’s nutrient rich soil.

“We grow vegetables using an organic philosophy,” Van Casteren says. “We extend the growing season by using a greenhouse and a geodesic growing dome. We raise pork and beef. We have beehives for pollination and honey production.”

They also conduct farm tours for school groups, environmental groups and the general public.

“We showcase homesteading,” she explains. “Raising, growing and foraging for your own food. We talk about renewable energy.”

And last spring, they added a food hut where they serve hot paninis, cold sandwiches and of course, ice cream while also creating more jobs for students.

“We are fortunate to be able to donate to weekly food programs and the local food banks,” Van Casteren says. “We collaborate with and mentor many entrepreneurs to help them establish successful businesses.”

For more information on Nicholyn Farms, visit