May 17, 2009 the day the world was blessed with the arrival of John Ray. By the time John was 5 days old he had gone by air ambulance from Fergus hospital to Guelph General Hospital and again to McMaster Hospital in Hamilton. John spent the first 2 months of his life in ICU at McMaster Sick kids Hospital. As John was close to 9 lbs he was considered “big” compared to all the other babies, most of who were premature. It didn’t take long for the nursing staff to dub him Big John.
John finally came home in mid July but he wasn’t in the clear, the summer was filled with weekly hospital visits. John was finally diagnosed with Congenital Muscular Dystrophy Merosin Negative or CMDM. In an attempt to raise extra money to help with hospital visits and expensive equipment, we began selling vegetables at a small road side stand. Today that has grown from 1000 vegetable plants to over 400,000 plants, an on farm store and several farmers markets and the addition of beef, lamb, pork and chicken. All naturally grown and local.
There was no hesitation to name the venture “ Big John’s Country Market” since he is the reason for it’s starting. Know that you can buy with confidence in the high quality produce you get at Big John’s and you are supporting one local boy and his family in everyday life.