Putting the Culture back in Agriculture
Lunar Rhythm Gardens has been a lifetime in the making. I grew up on the family farm working with my dad, since I could walk. I knew as a little girl that I was going to be a farmer. My parents raised pigs from farrow to finish, and shipped cream on our home farm, at 253 Gray Rd. until I was about 9 years old. However, with the introduction of the quota system, Dad choose to get out of dairy, rather than invest in quota and major renovations in the barn. I was one mad little girl, cows were my first love especially the black and white ones, but I was too young to take over! Anyhow, we changed over to a cow calf operation, raised market hogs, and I started my own business with 25 laying hens.
I kept the chickens till I went to college, and was introduced to horse logging at sixteen. We had our bush logged by a gentlemen named Art Shannon who practices sustainable forestry with horses, Arbor North and I loved it. I was familiar with horses, having grown up riding and owning one myself, and had no problems learning how to drive the gentle giants. I logged for 4 years, I loved it but knew it didn’t jive with farming. I was never home and travelled a lot. I wanted to farm with horses instead, people thought I was nuts! Around that time I was convinced by some friends to attend a ploughing workshop in St.Thomas, Ontario, with Ken Laing. Once I had visited Orchard Hill Farm, and saw their CSA vegetable operation I knew that was the kind of operation I was going to have. After logging, I spent six years working in dairy, part-time while going to college, then full-time as a herdsperson in Guelph for 2.5 years; during which time I attended Ken Laings three day draft horse workshop, and purchased Torque, my first draft horse.
In the spring of 2008 I quit my job at the dairy farm in Guelph, took a farm business management course, a 3 month internship at Orchard Hill Farms, travelled to Europe (I knew the vacations were few and far between when you had your own farming operation), and purchased my second draft horse (Calvin, 4 years old and untrained.) I had a business plan in hand and I knew what I wanted, but still didn’t know were, or with whom I was going to be farming. I headed home after my internship and rented 10 acres of land from a neighbour, and in 2008 Lunar Rhythm Gardens prepared the land for spring planting.
Winter 2008/2009 saw us training our team of draft horses Calvin, Peg, and Torque, delving into business planning, and ordering seeds. Summer 2009 saw us sell our first CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) basket and attend a local start up market in Port Perry, Ontario.
Fast forward to 2016 and we are purchasing the family farm and growing 10 acres of certified vegetables. Every growing season I am even more passionate about the endeavours at Lunar Rhythm Gardens. As the farm has grown, so has the community surrounding it. Growing vegetables has a funny way of expanding your family!
As we enter each growing season, I am even more passionate about Lunar Rhythm Gardens and how far we have grown since those early days.