Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
It could happen to you: one afternoon you’re sitting on your back step with a cup of tea, perusing the tangle of overgrown weeds and neglected fruit trees on your rented backyard acreage and ruefully contemplating just how long it’s going to take to mow that much grass. Why couldn’t you have leased one of those row houses across the street? Then the yard would be a postage stamp, no need to mow at all. A snip of two with the kitchen scissors would probably be enough.
It happened to me that way, anyway. It was such a warm day, and the plum tree was buzzing with wild bees so hypnotically that the idea of noisy, sweaty grass-cutting labour simply drifted away from my mind. Instead, after that initial bolting upright when the idea of farming struck, I just leaned back into my vision and dreamed, eyeing just how much land was available to me, realizing perhaps for the first time in 8 years of living on a three-acre waste of scrub trees and blackberries, just what the possibilities were. To my dismay, developers had been encroaching for months on all sides: gas stations, supermarkets, fast-food joints and townhouses were my new neighbours. Here, at last, could be my effort to halt them in their tracks: a local, sustainable farm plunked smack in the middle of a suburban sea. I could grow vegetables. Produce eggs and honey. Raise sheep and goats, and maybe even—dream of dreams—use small scale horse drawn equipment as on the small family farms of old.
Thus began the idea for Horse Drawn Farms.
PHOTO BY JENNIFER NYBERG