Farming seems to be in the genes for the Simmons family. Douglas and Ian are the third generation to farm on the property. Their grandfather founded the 100+ acre farmstead in 1900 and Ian still lives in the original farmhouse. Their father Eldred Simmons was a mixed farmer and Ian recalls his mother _______ selling eggs and plants from the back door when he was growing up. It was as much a social event as a small business in those days.
In 1986, Ian built a 12’x16’ hobby greenhouse on the property. In 1990, he, his father Eldred and brother Douglas started Kool Breeze Farms. With the help of their families, they have grown the business to where it is today. Many expansions over the years include the addition of 15 greenhouses, a 14,000-bird hen barn, bulk products and stone yard, perennial house, two wind turbines, the Farm Market, Ice Cream Barn, and Da Mama’s Kitchen food truck. Every autumn the farm hosts the annual corn maze and Scarecrow Festival and November brings the Christmas Store.
Most of the farmland is now used to grow corn and potatoes. Grain corn is grown for the annual corn maze and then it is harvested for livestock feed. Sweet corn is also grown for human consumption. Tomatoes, peppers, mums, pumpkins and other squashes are also grown on the farm.
There is nearly always a breeze here and to take advantage of that, the farm has two, 50-kilowatt wind turbines, each producing approximately 6000 kilowatts of green energy per month. The first was erected in 2008. All the farm’s energy is produced by these turbines in windy months. The turbines are also used by the Holland College Wind Turbine Program for training purposes.
Kool Breeze Farms is now a four-season operation. The garden centre is in full swing starting in spring. The corn maze opens late August, with a different theme every year. Fall brings the annual Scarecrow Festival, Open Farm Day, pumpkin picking and wagon rides. The Haunted Farm starts in the weeks leading up to Halloween. Snow blowing services and wood pellets are offered during the winter season when the garden centre transforms into a seasonal Christmas Store.
At Kool Breeze Farms in Summerside PEI, they know what it means to garden. The excitement in seeing the first blooms of Spring, the smell of freshly cut grass or the taste of a carrot pulled from the ground. The pride in creating a beautiful landscape and the contentment of a job well done. They’ll tell you what trees grow best, what shrub goes where and how to deal with that problem area. From the smallest seeds to the tallest trees and everything in between, you’ll find them here along with the knowledge it takes to grow them.