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Pandemic forces Sault farmer to modernize operations

For nearly 40 years, the pioneer style of Mockingbird Hill Farm in Sault Ste. Marie has served as a reminder of more peaceful times.

Owner and Founder Robert Cuerrier goes by "Farmer Bob."

He's now 76 and his farm has become a staple for locals when they want fresh produce, a relaxing farm experience or a trip down memory lane.

"We know every kid in town," Cuerrier told CTV News in an interview.

"We’re now seeing grandmothers who came on school tours here when they were in kindergarten. Our clientele has grown with us."

Brenda Marshall said she recently brought her granddaughter to pick up some fresh produce, something that's become a tradition.

"Farmer Bob’s been doing this for as long as almost anybody in this city can remember. So you just come and support local," Marshall said.

The farm is known for its century-old style of work using plough horses and the hard work of Cuerrier and his summer student assistant.

While the pandemic didn't deal a significant blow to his business, it did speed up change.

The 76-year-old sold his plough horses and bought tractors to lighten the workload.

"We were going through transition anyway, as I changed what we do to conform with my age and my health," Cuerrier said.

"The pandemic forced me to move a little faster than I think I would have."

The farm hosts wedding ceremonies, school trips and many visit for his tours of the grounds to see the spectacle that is the "Goat Walk" -- where visitors send grain up a pulley system for the goats that trot along a narrow walkway two-storeys high for the treat.

While the transition will take some time, Cuerrier assures the public that the usual seasonal activities will still be available at the farm. Top Stories

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