It All Started With the Cattle . . .
We purchased Earth Haven Farm in 2006. A 200 acre farm located at the end of a dead end road in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. The property had sat vacant for over six years and had no chemicals used on it for at least 4-6 more years previous. This made it perfect for our plans of organic and biodynamic farming.
Over the next couple of years we would work and prepare the farm to bring forth our vision.
In the fall of 2008 we purchased ten purebred Scottish Highland Cattle and in 2009 we purchased a breeding bull. Many thanks to Joan Wort of Tweed, Ontario for mentoring and assisting us with this breed. Joan has been a breeder and member of the Canadian Scottish Highland Cattle Society for over 25 years and we are indebted to her for her incredible knowledge and tremendous heart.
2006, we purchased the farm. Aric was driving transport across Canada. Kathryn moved to the farm and got things started.
2007, we purchased our initial core herd of purebred Scottish Highland Cattle in the fall. Aric started working part-time off the farm, while Kathryn continued working full-time to save money for farm equipment and construction of the greenhouse.
2008, Aric became a full time farmer. We purchased our tractor and a few pieces of equipment to get started with hay and tilling the garden. We became Demeter Certified and Aric became a market manager for Quinte Organic Farmers Co-op at Evergreen Brickworks Market in Toronto.
2009, saw us growing in our skills with biodynamic practices. We expanded the garden and the orchard.
In 2010, Aric began working with Indian Agriculture of Ontario (IAPO) to help promote and mentor small farming and agricultural practices to other aboriginal farmers. This is something that Aric has become passionate about and it has lead to a number of wonderful working relationships, shared knowledge and products which he is able to make available at his farmers markets
2011, we added solar panels and several other energy-independent additions to the home and farm. Kathryn and Rosemary started teaching introduction to biodynamics in Eastern Ontario.
2012, Qunite Organic Farmers Co-op folds and Aric takes over exclusivity at Evergreen Brickworks Market in Toronto and The Village Market in Richmond Hill.
2013, we added additional solar panels to the roof of the house to supply off-grid living.
2014, garnered us a grant that allowed us to extend our existing ponds and put in an irrigation system to supply water to our market garden acreage.
2015, was our first year producing shitake and oyster mushrooms in our forest near one of our ponds. More permaculture, fruit and nut trees were planted for future food offerings.
2016, has seen us take off in a big way. With the help of a full time intern for the entire growing season from April through October we have been able to expand our market garden to almost double its size. We built a cold room which allows us to keep produce fresh during the hot summer months. We added a CSA program and started selling to local restaurants.
Over the years we have become associated with some great organizations and people that are just as committed to organic agricultural practices, sustainability and living simple lives with purpose as we are. We have seen our farm blossom in so many ways. Knowing that there are others out there with the same drive brings us strength and peace for the journey ahead, wherever that might take us!