To future generations,
We came to the Peace River region (near Pouce Coupe) with our baby and toddler in 1974. We took on an agricultural lease, which required us to clear land, and prepare fields for seeding before we were able to purchase the land. We are still here on our 160-acre farm with fields, forest, hand-built buildings, fences, ponds etc.
We have worked over the years to realize our dream of using draft horses for as much of the mechanized work as possible. We have used our horses for cutting, raking and hauling hay; field preparation; ploughing, discing, harrowing, seeding and compost spreading, as well as milling and elevating grain and skidding logs.
We still maintain large vegetable and flower gardens, milk a cow (make cheese, butter, yogurt, etc.) and raise some beef cattle and hogs for our own use as well as for a small local market. We keep a small flock of laying hens, and we raise some meat birds for our own use. We now have honey bees on the farm again.
Our farm was certified organic until 2013, when we decided to slow our production of vegetables and pork. We gave up land that we rented for extra grain production and now we garden for ourselves, and only sell beef and pork to local customers. We did sell veggies at the local farmers’ market, as well as through our CSA program. We had customers for our beef and pork in the Lower Mainland.
Some of our strongest memories of the farm include “work days” with our then community—doing big jobs that required many hands, kids playing, great potluck suppers. Some of the events that stand out for us are field days that we have hosted, as well as our annual summer and winter solstice gatherings. We have beautiful memories of good grain crops, lush hayfields and gardens, watching a team on a wagon bring in loads of beautiful green hay bales! Some of our strongest memories come from learning to work with draft horses.
Some of the sights, smells, sounds, touches and tastes are: the low winter sun on the snow when we ski at sundown, the sight and sound of our creek and waterfall in spring, song birds, happy conversation and home made music, the feel of a tiny baby pig, and the soft ‘kiss’ from a big horse, the smells of fresh bread baking in the wood stove, The tastes of the first really ripe strawberry, and all the wonderful food grown and prepared on the farm.
Our goal for our farm is that it should remain a farm that feeds and nurtures all its inhabitants—human, animal, insect, microbial—and that it continues to produce nutrient dense products for a local market.
We wish to provide an opportunity for new farmers to join us on the farm, to build community, to provide us with the opportunity to ‘retire’ in place, while sharing the knowledge that we have gained over the last several decades.
We wish for our farm to be managed in a holistic fashion, so that both cultivated and wild areas can flourish. It is important to us that we maintain as small a ‘footprint’ as possible. That would mean that the farm continues to be off grid (we are solar powered), That buildings be built small, simply and with local materials, as much as possible, that we drive less (share vehicles, and vehicle trips).
Thirty years from now we would like people to know that this farm was loved and cared for in the best way we knew how. For a livable future we need more farms that are loved and nurtured by their farmers. We need to build human communities that will care for the land and for each other.
Linda and Tim Ewert
Wildwood Farm, Pouce Coupe BC
Read Legacy Letters from other farmers and write your own letter to future generations here: youngagrarians.org/legacy-letters