Birchgrove Farms is a small family farm tucked into the Northern Ontario community of Gordon Lake, near Sault Ste. Marie.
In 2007 we purchased our farm from the Bell family who had first cleared the land of forest. Both our house and barn are well over a hundred years old and we feel connected to the history here. Our land is the foundation of our farm. Because everything that we have stems from the land, we strive to sustain and protect it so future generations can continue farming here.
We have an environmental farm plan and work to achieve a balance with the natural environment around us. We have made changes, like fencing the livestock out of creeks, and we have an awareness of the native wildlife that co-inhabits the land. Soil samples influence management decisions with respect to returning nutrients to the land that provides us with hay and grain crops.
Jason grew up on a farm, as well as having farming grandparents. His mom passed on her love of growing things and Jason ended up pursuing a degree in Agriculture and a PhD in Agronomy. He has a deep-rooted need to care for the land and enjoys working with the livestock.
I, Kit, worked on a farm as a teenager, and my mom raised sheep for a number of years. Since purchasing our initial flock of sheep from my mom, I have fallen in love with these special animals and their wool. I spend a lot of time sitting with my flock enjoying their unique personalities. I have also spent much time learning to skirt fleece, prepare fibre, spin, dye, weave and knit, and focus on continually improving the quality of fibre produced by our farm.
We have three children who routinely help on the farm. Although the kids help in all aspects of the farm, they each developed a special connection to different livestock. Aaron, the oldest, loves the ducks and other fowl, and pigs when we have them. Ella, our daughter, is our shepherd in training and enjoys working with fibre and spending time with the sheep. Rory, our youngest, prefers working with the cattle and equipment.
We have a small herd of cattle and a flock of approximately 50 sheep, along with Magpie ducks, a variety of chickens, and some free ranging heritage turkeys. The care of our livestock is our number one concern as farmers. We are continually learning and improving our animal husbandry to ensure the best treatment of our livestock. Our veterinarian, nutritionist and shearer are an integral part of our farm. We are proud of the care we give our animals and the ethical way in which we raise them.