The allure of manure: Growing numbers of young urbanites drawn to farming
For Toronto native Amy Ouchterlony, it was her childhood dream to become a farmer. She even remembers writing a speech about it in Grade 6. Memories of a farm visit when she was 11 are still fresh in the now 33-year-old’s mind.
“I was just captivated,” she says. “Farms are all over kids’ story books. But then to actually be on one and see that people lived there and they weren’t in a book and they weren’t in a movie, they were real… It stuck with me.”
Ms. Ouchterlony may have started off with an idyllic image of farming in her head, but she now knows the learning curve is steep. She and her partner run Fiddle Foot Farm, a 66-acre property north of Orangeville, owned by her partner’s parents. She says “mentor farmers” in the community have helped out and it’s been a benefit to not have to rent the land. “We’re in a very fortunate position,” she says.
Tom Pate, a 58-year-old from Brantford whose farm has been in his family since 1891, says aspiring farmers should make sure they know what they’re in for.
“If you’re going to get into farming to have a leisurely life and make lots of money, I don’t think that’s a reality,” he says. “It’s certainly not an idyllic, relaxed, slow-paced life.” (Tyler Anderson/National Post)