by MIKE MULHERN
While there may be herb farmers out there who are keeping their light under a bushel, you can’t say that about Tom and Deb Benner, owners of Heritage Line Herbs. What makes the Benners special is the range of things they do and the visibility of their business.
Ten years ago, they decided to stop growing tobacco on their 200-acre farm, east of Aylmer, and instead concentrate on culinary herbs. At first, they grew greenhouse herbs and sold them wholesale in pots. However, they found the competition was stiff and margins slim, so they gradually moved into agritourism and direct-to-consumer marketing. They dry and blend the herbs they grow and sell them in their own store on the farm and through outlets right across Ontario.