first generation farmer
i was halton region born and bred but when it came to be that i needed to upsize my growing area, i had to look outside of this area. since i am in toronto at markets every week, i had to find somewhere within a *reasonable* driving distance and which could also provide the potential to build something that folks from the city might be interested in visiting. i looked at dozens of places and the common denominator with all of them was that they were all disasters. funnily enough, this farm had been on the market for over a year but was listed as 'commercial' (it is an old supertest gas station) so it never showed up on my radar. out of all the wrecks that were considered as the new vauxhall premises, this property was the most derelict of all yet it ticked the most boxes.
spring 2019 will be our 6th year growing in this location. slowly the farming operation is shaping up but what happened immediately upon moving here is that i fell in love with this little community. part of grimsby borders on lake ontario and i have taken full advantage of living near the water and spend many happy hours on the beaches here. the other part of grimsby huddles around the majestic niagara escarpment providing numerous ways to interact with this amazing unesco designated biosphere reserve. opportunities to connect with the natural world abound ... for example, as i write this in early spring, the niagara peninsula hawk watch is in full effect as raptors of all kinds (owls, hawks, falcons, eagles, vultures, kestrels) soar on the strong updrafts caused by winds hitting the limestone cliffs of the escarpment and thus providing a welcome aid to their formidable migration journey. important data is collected and shared with other bird migrating monitoring sites across north america ... important data collected by citizens like you! a stop at their headquarters at beamer conservation area will get you noticing every flutter that glides by.
rose coloured glasses
our farm sits on a ridge that, on one side, drops down to lake ontario and on the other, slowly drops in grade all the way to wyoming. in the 70's, hundreds of truck loads of soil were dumped where our growing fields now reside so that every year when the fields are tilled, a vast array of 'goodies' are pulled to the top. for the most part though, the soil profile is improving and this is the year that some serious grading happens in order to improve our growing spaces and increase our ability to retain larger volumes of surface water for irrigation.
these pictures are from both the town and our farm and i hope they convey to you the magical settings that can be found here in which to stroll, hike, bike or just be at peace whilst enjoying the ever changing tableau that the seasons and weather bring. if you are ever in this area, may i suggest a scenic drive along the historic ridge road which offers lots of opportunities to get out and immerse yourself in the splendour, or, perhaps an exploratory walk through the grimsby beach area which offers quiet beaches, interesting architecture and a glimpse into the early history of this area. one day, i hope very soon, we will be able to receive guests here at the farm as well.