If you’re ever in doubt about dreams coming true keep moving forward, you never know what opportunities are waiting!
My husband Perry and I have embarked on the adventures of owning a 5 acre hobby farm in the making after selling our urban farm in the city, a modest house on 7,100 square foot lot. The real estate market was in our favour which gave us the opportunity of a lifetime to purchase only 40 minutes away but a world apart. Here, the sounds of whispering leaves in the trees, calls of wildlife, and colours of the night sky sooth my soul. I’m in awe of our new home and sometimes pinch myself for a reality check when watching an owl hunt at dusk or the deer graze among the trees.
The house was built in 1958 and is one of the original homes in the area. It doesn’t stand straight but it’s pretty amazing and has loads of character. There is an inviting porch with wood screen doors to warm your heart. My husband grew up in this neighbourhood at the Iron Mountain Store a mile down the street. His grandparents built, owned and operated the store. Perry’s family lived there for a number of years running the store and gas station; it feels like a full circle living in this neighbourhood. Perry’s mom now lives in the cute little cottage on our farm.
We purchased the farm from a lovely family who loved their home and neighbourhood. They raised many children here and the tales of their kids fun and games on the farm made my step-son wish he had been their kid! There are still some remnants of their childhood here, part of a zipline they had strung across the creek, the ladder for when the water was too high to cross and the remnants of a tree fort still in the tree at the top of the hill overlooking the creek.
The former owners planted 3 acres of Poplar trees as their farm crop years ago but the trees were never harvested. The trees have created a beautiful, serene look and feel to the property but with that comes the limited use of the land and the dreaded task of removing so many trees! I have a constant battle with myself over which trees to remove and which trees to leave because they add such a nice feel to the property. It will be a very selective and careful removal process!
Our barn is a good size allowing us to divide it into 3-4 stalls (the tractor is fighting for the biggest stall). We will have a small undercover paddock for when the weather is really lousy the animals can take shelter. There is also a totally enclosed stall which will be great for birthing if we ever get that far. Of course, every barn comes with a hay loft so naturally there’s a huge, magical loft which Nikkey thinks would make a better yoga studio. She has already taught a candlelit yoga class up there that the owls joined her for.
Our goal is to become as sustainable as possible, growing and selling fresh vegetables, fruit, eggs and meat. We are on well water and have a generator for backup power which will at least run our pump for the well and furnace for heat during power outages.
Our girls (the 31 chickens) are now almost 3 months old and should begin laying late winter/early spring. I’ve purchased four different types of chickens, all very hardy breeds that can easily free range and forage for food. Currently, they are in a very large enclosure until we get some larger animals to protect them and the girls are large enough to not be easy prey.
In the spring, we plan to purchase a couple of alpacas to guard the property, a few goats to eat the blackberries, a couple of sheep for wool, ducks for the numerous slugs and two cows for beef. This will all happen once we get our fencing in order and stalls in the barn- it will be a busy winter!
When we get our feet under us we plan on hosting events for children so they can learn about where their food comes from in a fun, natural and supportive setting. Here we can teach them where eggs come from, how strawberries grow and what a gogi berry is.
I am looking so forward to putting in some adult education programs for organic vegetable gardening where people can come and learn in a hand on approach how to grow their own fruit and vegetables. I love sharing my passion and knowledge of gardening with those who are interested and believe our farm the perfect environment for it.
I’m excited about sharing our adventures as amateur hobby farmers with our readers as we embark on the journey to sustainability and growing healthy organic food. With you, I will share our ups and downs and my knowledge of organic gardening!
Stay tuned for more farm fun…