Nestled in a corner of Prince Edward County, Ontario is a picturesque, 210-acre family farm in its sixth generation.
The organic farm grows hay and heritage grains like rye, red fife wheat, and buckwheat. The grains are sold to a bakery in Toronto that uses them to bake fresh bread. This helps to support a strong local food system, which the family is passionate about helping to sustain.
Not only is this farm a valuable resource to Ontario’s agricultural community, but it is also a haven for wildlife. The farm boasts ample natural habitat that many species at risk call home. Species like wood thrushes, Eastern wood-pewees, and butternut trees make use of the forested and natural areas on the farm. The family has set aside three acres of hay land for species at risk reliant on grasslands for nesting. Because of their practices, bobolinks, grasshopper sparrows, and Eastern meadowlarks have found a home on this farm.
However, even this idyllic sanctuary for nature and agriculture has been threatened twice in the past by urban sprawl and development. Increasing development pressures are threatening farmland across all of Ontario, and Prince Edward County is no exception. The family has had to fight hard to prevent the rich and fertile soils on the farm from being destroyed, a fate which has not been easy to fend off.
Soon, this farm will be protected forever by a farmland conservation easement with the Ontario Farmland Trust. This legal agreement that is placed on the title land will ensure that the farmland remains farmland, and the natural areas remain natural, forever. This way, the species at risk on the farm will always have a home, and the agricultural soil will always be available for future generations. The protection of this farm will cement the family’s wishes to see their property remain in agriculture, and will enable them to rest easy with the knowledge that their farm will remain farmland and protected habitat, forever.