For Jaime and Matt, starting Cornerstone Organics was something that sprouted out of necessity. As a baby, their son was diagnosed with a unique syndrome and intolerances to certain foods, compelling the couple to follow a more natural dietary path. However, purchasing healthier, organic food from Big Box stores was more challenging – and expensive – than it should have been. So the couple decided to explore another option.

During their search for wholesome ingredients, Jaime and Matt quickly discovered there was a demand for locally-grown, organic food in the Cornwall region, including SDG Counties (Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry). Embracing their passion for healthy living and their love of the outdoors, the couple took matters into their own hands and began growing their own food. 

What started as a small garden grew into a fertile business (pun intended). Cornerstone Organics now offers: 

  • Seasonal CSA boxes, with two different memberships to choose from along with an option to have the vegetables delivered directly to your home
  • Sales of seedlings, pre-made meals, homemade teas, and honey, which can be purchased on-site or through the CSA memberships
  • Workshops that take place in a large yurt on the farm and range from yoga classes, how-to seminars, and even psychic readings 

Cornerstone also attends the Long Sault Farmers’ Market on occasion, where all their produce and products are offered to local residents and tourists traveling through South Eastern Ontario.  

Learning As You Grow, From One Season To The Next   

Jaime and Matt started their journey in 2010 and officially launched Cornerstone Organics in 2014. “We kind of learned on the go,” admits Jaime. “We did a lot of farm tours and courses and went through plenty of trial and error.”

Of course, the couple had a lot of support, getting advice and encouragement from many of the growers in the region. In fact, the mentorship from other producers was the most valuable education.

“Farmers, especially in the organic world, are very eager to pass on knowledge to keep younger generations involved in producing food. With all of the courses and books and everything we’ve done, the most beneficial lessons came from other farmers.” 

In the beginning, Jaime and Matt operated the business while continuing to manage their other careers – Matt is a plumber and Jaime is a massage therapist. This was possible as Cornerstone started off by attending one small farmers’ market and delivering five CSA boxes. And given the seasonality of farming, it allowed Jaime to pursue her trade in the winter months before focusing on the family business during the peak growing season. 

Cornerstone has grown significantly since then, so Jaime now dedicates herself full-time on the farm. Matt still works as a plumber and helps out with the business on the weekend. “He’s my weekend labourer,” Jaime jokes affectionately. 

Matt is also responsible for beekeeping on the farm, having been stung with an interest in the practice since first purchasing the property. Originally, the location was a bee farm, and the remaining bee boxes and honey tins gave him the idea to start producing honey. It’s a small portion of the business, but it lends itself to the holistic personality of Cornerstone, with the bees acting as the farm’s pollinators. 

Vegetable sales are definitely the primary source of revenue on the farm, but we like to try a lot of different things and diversify.

Jaime and Matt are constantly learning, challenging themselves to grow and keeping an eye out for ways to expand the business. And an opportunity came knocking a few months ago. After learning a nearby aquaponics farm was up for sale, the couple decided to take the next step in their entrepreneurial adventure. 

It’s a big step, too – one that requires more time and more education. Jaime explains aquaponics being similar to hydroponics: growing plants in water in a soilless environment. The difference is fish are used for the main fertilizing component. 

In its most basic form, aquaponics is like a circulatory system. The fish fertilize the plants, the plants filter the water and the water goes back to the fish.  

Unsurprisingly, the couple looks forward to what the future has in store for their business.  Currently, Cornerstone is supported by a loyal clientele, but Jaime and Matt are only able to provide fresh food for four or five months each year. The expansion to aquaponics opens the door to serving a much larger market and will transform the seasonal farm into a year-round operation. 

“An Obsessive Passion That’s Always Exciting” 

Neither Jaime nor Matt come from farming families, but they have always been drawn to the lifestyle of working outside, growing their own food, and being an important part of their local community. And despite the many hardships of running a farm, the couple can’t imagine doing anything else. “It’s become an obsessive passion, I guess,” confesses Jaime, “but it’s like there’s no other option. It’s a calling.”   

A calling every grower hears all too well, especially those within South Eastern Ontario. Being a farmer offers an opportunity to be part of something special – something they share with one another and their customers alike. Jaime and Matt rave about how lucky they are to live in an area with so many producers who are eager to support each other. And the residents in the region are just as enthusiastic about healthy, locally-grown food as those who grow it are.    

We love that people have become more interested in agriculture and want to see where their food comes from!

Jaime and Matt are happy to explain the ins and outs of their farm to those who show interest. If you want to learn more, you’re encouraged to follow the farm on Facebook and Instagram, where you can stay updated about upcoming workshops, CSA membership availability and more. Product sales are also available through their Facebook store.

For more about Cornerstone Organics, visit their website at