2017 is going to be a year of big exciting changes at the farm.
When we first started Honest Field Farms, back in the winter of 2014, we knew that if we made it to our fourth season, 2017 would be a year of big changes. In essence, we'd outgrow our location in Millgrove and we'd need to find a new home in time for our fourth season.
A permanent home for Honest Field Farms would enable us to keep growing sustainably: growing our team, creating an inviting community space and increasing our production so we can feed more folks the best food possible. A new home would allow us to become the farm that we've been planning and dreaming and working towards every single day since we started. It would be the place where we tap maples in the spring, pick strawberries in June, host harvest dinners under the big oak in August, and decorate the pines for Christmas in December. It's the space we'd share with our customers and CSA members; the place that connects our community through good food.
And now we find ourselves two weeks into 2017 and we are excited to announce that after three years of planning, it's all coming together.
1. We're moving!
First, we're moving the farm to a historic 100-acre farm in Erin, Ontario (just about an hour northeast of Hamilton; 20 minutes from Guelph). The farm sits among the rolling hills of the Headwaters regions. There's 30 acres of forest to explore and the soil is as rich and fluffy as chocolate cake. It is exactly where we want to be.
Three years ago we decided after our first visit that this farm would be Honest Field Farm's home. We started investing in the soil immediately, planting hardy cover crops and coming back each year to mow it and then finally till it under. We joined forces with our new (and wonderful) landlords and started preparing for a spring that felt so far off. After three years, it's hard to imagine that that distant spring is now only three months away.
2. We're growing!
We are expanding! One of our biggest needs was the opportunity to grow more food on great soil (adios, hard clay!). In our new space we're expanding from about 2.25 acres to 5 acres of production. That means more delicious food - more CSA memberships available, more markets, more greens, more veggies, more deliciousness all around. In the coming years, it will also mean that we can grow different kinds of food - from fruit and berries to eggs and poultry.
3. We're doing it sustainably.
As our customers know, when we do things, we have an obsessive need to do them well. So over the next few months we'll become one of the first off-grid organic farms in the country (because organic farming isn't hard enough, we thought, "Let's be pioneers in sustainability too!"). The investments we're making will ensure that we go above and beyond growing great food. It's important to us that we show how sustainable, organic farming can be innovative, intentional and profitable.
Over the next few months we'll be sharing the journey to Erin on the blog. It will document the good, the bad and the muddy. It's our hope that it shows the evolution of the farm and gives us a place to reflect. It's going to be a busy year but hey 2017, we're ready for you.