On Saturday, September 1st a number of Peace Country farmers and friends gathered together at Wildwood Farm near Pouce Coupe, BC.
…coming down the fairly long driveway the journey of Tim and Linda’s farm began. The vehicles were left on top of the hill and everyone found their way to gather in front of one of the most beautiful log homes you could imagine.
While touring the farm with Linda on foot one discovery was followed by another. Linda showed us her annual and perennial gardens, the wood stove heated greenhouse, the rootcellar tucked within an earthen mound on the side of one of the dugouts, the solar shower and gravity watering systems, and so on. In the meantime, Tim took another group from field to field on the horse wagon. Babe and Bess, the Percheron team of two, gave us a demonstration of the grain mill which, of course, operates on literal horse power.
Tim and Linda did not only open their farm gates, they also opened a door to a very warm and loving home. The couple has created a unique farm over the years and, along with many other farmers in the same shoes, are imagining what the future might look like at Wildwood Farm.
After some homemade cookies and hot coffee, it was nearly forgotten that the afternoon started with dark clouds emptying their wet contents above our heads. It was now time to split up into groups and discuss certain topics around community farming and farm succession.
With much gratitude on our parts, almost everyone stayed to join in the afternoon discussion (or maybe it was due to the famous YA potluck drawing nearer!). No matter people’s intentions for sticking around, it struck us that though not everyone had considered personally joining or creating a co-operative farm, the idea held appeal for a wide range of people present. The various social, financial, and legal challenges this could pose were not ignored, but both young and old, experienced and inexperienced, established and aspiring agrarians were able to articulate and share how a co-operative farming model could be one way of bridging our elder agrarians with a new generation of farmers. Succession is not only the transferring of land but of experience and skills as well, and this could offer a way for aging farmers to slowly transition a farm to the next generation, while being given financial and emotional security.
While the potluck was being prepped, we went for a hike through the forest and meandered our way down to the natural spring that runs year-round. We each had a celebratory drink of spring water before rounding out the night with eating and being merry. A big thank you to Tim and Linda for opening their farm and home for a Young Agrarians tour, hosting stimulating conversation, and embodying an agrarian life. We’ll be keeping in touch as they move toward the future of collective farming at Wildwood Farm.