Our Farm's History

Here is where you can learn the 'long story' of how 
we got to where we are today, 
and why it is we farm the way we do.

How did our farm become what it is today? Because of the love we have for our children!
 
When we moved to our farm in 2001, it hadn't been actively farmed since the 1970's. Our original farm property was first  settled in the 1700's. The land was granted to an officer in the army for his service to the Queen. Only 7 other families have owned our land before we got here.
 
There is evidence of the most recent two families. From the farmers that worked the land in the 70's there were traces of old wire fence that kept in their beef cows. Pastures areas were almost visible in spite of the young trees and vegetation growing up in them. There is even an old farm house foundation still present. You can see where they planted fruit trees, as well as lilies, lilacs, and honeysuckle near the house. Our children love to play in that area, and there is indeed a special feeling one gets when over in that area of the farm. There is a real sense of history and nostalgia.
 
 
However, there was a family after those farmers and before we arrived, that did much damage. We found pile after pile of rubbish and refuse that we had to pull out of the brush and swamp. Any mature tree near the house had been taken down for firewood, instead of selectively harvesting out of the woods. Much of the top soil had been scraped off and removed. Things looked very rocky and barren. We put in a few gardens, but nothing ever did very well. So for a time, we turned our focus to raising children and less on the gardens.
 
While anticipating the arrival of our first child, we learned all we could about the natural and healthy process of pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding.  Healthy food and avoiding chemicals became more important to us. After our baby was born safely and quickly at home, we co-slept and breastfed- things we knew were important the the development of an infant.
 
But, before we knew it, this infant was ready for some of Mom and Dads food! So, after all the months of work trying to eat well and healthy, it didn't make sense to us to just open up a box of powdered, processed, refined cereal to feed our young child.
 
We also began to question the use of many commonly used baby products, like the shampoos, lotions, creams, and medications that are marketed with vigor to both parent and child alike. Soon we became much more aware of how our food was produced and what healthy food really was. We began raising more and more of our own food, and making more and more of our own products to use. It wasn't long after that that friends and family began to ask for the things we were producing. Things grew from there.
 
The first type of livestock we raised on our farm were laying hens. After the hens' arrival, we noticed that they had a very positive impact on our land. The gardens grew better thanks to the hens aged manure and their egg shells that we had kept as a soil ammendment. 
 
After a season of hens, we tried broiler chickens. These meaty little birds are raised on pasture, and nothing at the grocery store can touch them when it comes to flavour and nutrition. Raised out on the pasture in portable shelters, the broilers did wonders for the grass. 
 
Then came the pigs. We had stopped eating what we call 'store-pork' years before and frankly, the bacon sabatical was getting old, but we couldn't stomach buying pork products from pigs raised like this. The best part of adding these intelligent sensitive creatures to our workforce was the pigs did to our land in months what had previously taken us years. In return for a woodland home and two bountiful meals a day, our pigs cleared many an acre for us better than any diesel tractor ever could.
 
After adding pigs, it became a necessity to have dairy cows. Besides, the pigs were clearing the land and making lots of new pasture areas, so we needed the cows to mow the pastures and supplement the hogs diets!
 
The next big change to our farm came a few years ago when we stopped using soybeans in our animal feeds. Like 'store-pork' we had stopped eating soy in our home for many years. There are many health problems caused by eating unfermented soybean products, and it's no different for livestock that is fed soy. We feel there will come a time that people will look at soybeans in animal feeds the same way many of us now look at GMO's.
 
In 2011, when the grain and hay prices began to soar to new highs, we knew that we needed to find more land. Having a way to produce our own grain and hay would be crucial to our survival as a farm in the coming years. In this area, there is not much in the way of good fertile land available. We had been halfheartedly looking for years, until a farm property just down the road fell into our laps. It took a large leap of faith and a massive mortgage, but the new land acquisition meant we would be able to harvest all our own hay, and much of our grain, and eventually provide flour for our pantry.
Grave markers in our farm cemetery

The second farm property has had many more families living there over the years. In fact, it even has a small cemetery that holds the remains of those who settled this area years and years ago. And this 'new' land had always been farmed. The soil is deep, and rich. Anyone living in the area knows that it has the best hay lands for miles. We are blessed to be stewards of it. 
 
Now our herds and flocks have expanded to include turkeys, ducks, and lamb in addition to the cows, pigs and chickens we already had, so we started up Canada's first Certified Organic Soybean-free Whole Farm CSA.
 
God has placed us all in a beautiful garden. It's His very
own pharmacy & grocery store that He has given to us. If
we respect and take care of the land and animals that He has
given us dominion over, that very same land and those very same animals will help to take care of us and keep us healthy.
 
 "Eaters must understand that eating takes place inescapably in the world, that it is inescapably an agricultural act, and that how we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used."
              -Wendel Berry