The Birdseed Man of Safari Road

Back in 1874 Barry Bogle’s ancestors farmed the land of Safari Road just to get by. Now a sixth generation does the same to keep the birds of Hamilton thriving through the winter. High in the rafters of Barry Bogle’s wild birdseed barn is an old rack lifter. It’s a hand-built platform used to raise wagons […]

Back in 1874 Barry Bogle’s ancestors farmed the land of Safari Road just to get by. Now a sixth generation does the same to keep the birds of Hamilton thriving through the winter.

Barry Bogle

High in the rafters of Barry Bogle’s wild birdseed barn is an old rack lifter. It’s a hand-built platform used to raise wagons full of hay overhead so the field hands who worked the farm of Barry’s grandfather could pack the hay barn to the roof. Barry’s still working that same land, just off of a Highway Six on Safari Road in Hamilton, Ontario.

A few scenes from the early days on the Bogle farm (including the rack lifter, far right).

But, these days the barn is packed with oats, corn, millet and sunflower seeds. Barry Bogle now runs Bogle Seeds, the largest sunflower seed farm in Ontario. He also provides wild bird seed to Hamiltonians who need to keep their backyard feeders charged. “I would say 98 per cent of are sales are direct from the barn here,” says Bogle. He and his family also do a bit of wholesaling of corn and oats for geese, ducks and horses. “When we first started doing this we were the only game in town,” he says. “Now every corner store sells wild birdseed.” Bogle thinks his mix, which he hand blends using old school machines that haven’t let him down in decades, is better. “A lot of mixes out there have wheat and milo in them. Birds don’t eat wheat and milo. It’s put in as a filler,” he explains. On a recent Saturday afternoon Bogle was selling his mixes to a steady stream of customers who backed their cars up to the barn, took delivery of heavy bags of seeds and headed home with winter fodder for the sparrows, jays, waxwings and warblers of Hamilton. All of them, probably, praising Barry Bogle to the rafters.

Wayne MacPhail
Wayne MacPhail

Wayne is a digital strategist with extensive experience in traditional, online and communication strategy development. He has assisted clients like Random House (where he helped establish digital outreach programs), the Association of Science and Technology Centers, McMaster Family Medicine, rabble.ca, University of Toronto, Engineering reimagine their communications strategies for an emerging media landscape and new audiences. Wayne brings three decades of rich media content creation, a background in journalism and the ability to creatively understand brand and messaging and create new platforms and opportunities for Moongate’s clients. He has taught and developed online content creation and communications for a variety of colleges and universities in Ontario.

www.w8nc.com

Posted on Sunday, November 15th, 2015
Filed under Ontario

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