Earth Haven Farm, a Demeter-certified farm in Eastern Ontario, was purchased by Kathryn Aunger in 2006.The property had sat vacant for about six years prior to her purchase, making it ideal for organic certification. In 2008 Kathryn’s son, Aric Aguonie, joined her and together they worked to obtain Organic Certification through Demeter, which is the certification body for biodynamic agricultural practices.
It All Started With the Cattle . . .
In the fall of 2008 we purchased ten purebred Scottish Highland Cattle and in 2009 we purchased a breeding bull. Many thanks to Joan Wort of Tweed, Ontario for her mentorship and assistance with this breed. Joan has been a breeder and member of the Canadian Scottish Highland Cattle Society for over 25 years and we are indebted to her for her incredible knowledge and tremendous heart.
2010 saw us growing in our skill with the gardens and watching our herd acclimate and happily multiply.
2011 we added solar panels and several other energy-independent additions to the home and farm.
2013 we added additional solar panels to the roof of the house to supply off-grid living.
2014 garnered us a grant that allowed us to extend our existing ponds and put in an irrigation system to supply water to our market garden acreage.
2015 was our first year producing shitake and oyster mushrooms in our forest near one of our ponds. More permaculture, fruit and nut trees were planted for future food offerings.
Aric is the main farmer, general manager and market manager.
After earning his college degree and spending some time in the beautiful mountains of British Columbia, Aric interned through the WWOOF program at a biodynamic farm in southwestern Ontario. It was there that he was mentored by a wonderful, hardworking family and he became inspired to farm. The biodynamic principals of meditation, awareness, and quiet observation fit perfectly with his natural, gentle instinct for plants and cultivation.
Working with biodynamic practices and Demeter Certification, the entire farm, all 200 acres including the woodlot and pastures, is considered as one integral unit that is all connected. Thus, everything that happens within Earth Haven Farm must be factored in and therefore Aric is kept busy managing the bigger picture.
In 2010, Aric and his mother Kathryn began working with Indian Agriculture of Ontario (IAPO) to help promote and mentor small farming and agricultural practices to other aboriginal farmers. This is something that Aric has become pationate about and it has lead to a number of wonderful working relationships, shared knowledge and products which he is able to make available at his farmers markets.
Aric continues to learn new things every year about farming and is always looking to improve improve the lives of all who live here. Anyone interested in coming to the farm to lend a hand, or to make purchases should contact Aric directly. (contact us)
Kathryn’s background is in sales,marketing and graphic design. She is the farm’s business administrator. She says seeing her son take charge of the farm, and handle all the responsibilities that come with such a job has been her greatest reward to date.
Kathryn is just as committed to the success of Earth Haven Farm as is Aric, and she makes herself available to whatever task Aric needs her to do, from driving the tractor, feeding livestock, planting, weeding, harvesting and working farmers markets.
Kathryn attributes her love of gardening and animals to her parents’ and grandparents’ influences. Leaving the city and the suburbs to live a simple life has not been easy, but it is certainly a most rewarding experience.
Along with her very dear friend and collegue, Rosemary Tayler, she co-teaches an introductory course in biodynamic farming and gardening practices in Eastern Ontario. Rosemary and Kathryn are also the originators of the annual Celestial Planting Calendar.
This website is Kathryn’s passion and it was created to bring awareness and help educate people who are concerned about the quality of the food that they eat and where it comes from. She loves to promote biodynamic agriculture and the simple lifestyle that she believes can sustain the future.
Mother Teresa once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
We started with nothing but a dream and ambition to take all that we had learned over the years from reading, studying, internships, visiting farms, and soul searching, and turn it into something tangible and viable for ourselves and the community. We have certainly endured hardships and disappointments, but the rewards and small miracles that occur along the way keep us true to our path. Each year we get better at what we do.
Over the years we have become associated with some great organizations and people that are just as committed to organic agricultural practices, sustainability and living simple lives with purpose as we are. We have seen our farm blossom in so many ways. Knowing that there are others out there with the same drive brings us strength and peace for the journey ahead, wherever that might take us!
A recent video of Earth Haven Farm shares their passion of biodynamic agriculture: