At its origin, TJ's market garden started out as a vegetable garden and a small greenhouse so the owners, Tim and Jody Johnsey, could supply vegetables to their daughter who has developed many allergies over the years. With vegetables, her allergy is unusual. It was odd because she could eat a vegetable one time and not react to it, but, the next time she would have a full-blown reaction. Her parents didn’t understand this until they paid attention to where the vegetables came from. It wasn’t the vegetables she was reacting to, but the additives that were put on them. TJ's Market Garden grows with no use of herbicides or pesticides, and their daughter greatly benefits by being able to eat some of her favorite foods again.
After many conversations with people around the community, Tim and Jody realized that many people in the area are looking for the same alternative for healthy eating as their daughter. As the demand was present, Tim and Jody began selling locally and participating in some farmers' markets. This, in turn, grew their business to include two greenhouses and almost five acres of the garden! Throughout their years of growing, their biggest challenge has been the weather impacting their outdoor gardens. Faced with this struggle, Tim and Jody adapted by focusing more on the greenhouses and the microgreens that are both indoors.
TJ's Market Garden became Tim’s retirement project. It grew continually with the addition of a food truck "Mustache Bros 2018" as well as a brick and mortar building in Forestburg. The Greens Store has been a great addition to their traditional vegetable line with microgreens that are very nutrient-rich and taste great such as hydroponic lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. They have come to incorporate other Alberta grown produce to the Greens Store such as Alberta made cheese from the Cheese factory and fresh mushrooms from St. Albert.
Tim and Jody feel great pride in their business as they are able to rely on themselves and the community when in the past they were impacted by the turns in the oil and gas industry. With that, owners Tim and Jody agree that what they feel most proud of is to be able to watch the faces of their customers when they come in to get fresh vegetables. A recent success for TJ's Market Garden is that the Stettler Board of Trade has agreed to use their vegetables at the Taste of the Heartland long table dinner.