Nestled in a corner of Prince Edward County is the Hudson family farm. Totaling 208-acres, the two farms owned by the Hudsons are OFT’s first easements in Prince Edward County.
The Hudson’s grow organic hay and heritage grains like rye, red fife wheat, and buckwheat on the rich and fertile agricultural soils. In fact, many of the products the Hudson’s produce goes directly into the local food system, which they are passionate about sustaining. The Hudson’s farm is a deep-rooted family business that is currently in its sixth generation, and the Hudson’s are pleased to know that their land is now protected for agriculture and wildlife forever.
In addition to the bounty of food that these farms produce, they also act as a haven for local wildlife. The farm boasts ample natural habitat that many animals call home. Species at risk like Wood Thrushes and Eastern Wood-pewee (both provincially listed as Special Concern) and Butternut (provincially listed as Endangered) make use of the forested and natural areas on the farms. One natural area even has five small Butternut trees growing along a creek, an uplifting sight knowing the species’ critical status!
The family has also set aside three acres of a hay field for grassland species who are at risk to use for nesting. Their dedication to conservation has encouraged Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark (both provincially listed as Threatened), as well as Grasshopper Sparrows (provincially listed as Special Concern) to make this farm their home during the breeding season. A lack of suitable habitat is one of the biggest threats facing these at-risk grassland birds mentioned above.
However, even this idyllic sanctuary for nature and agriculture has been threatened by urban sprawl and development. Development pressure is increasing and threatening farmland all across Ontario and Prince Edward County is no exception. In the past, the family has had to fight to save the rich and fertile soils on their farms from encroaching development, which is why the Hudsons first contacted OFT about protecting their farmland.
The protection of this farm will allow the Hudsons to rest easy with the knowledge that their farms will remain farmland and protected habitat, forever.
“Our farm has produced food for six generations, as well as provided habitat for many species of birds and animals. We want it to remain this way for future generations, and working with the Ontario Farmland Trust ensures that this will happen.”Don and Deborah Hudson, Easement Donor