Abbey-Mill Farm

Palmer Rapids, Ontario, Canada

50 acres or more


  • Opportunity available:
  • On-farm employment
  • Available facilities and equipment:
  • Fencing
  • Preferred arrangement model:
  • Partnership
  • Available acreage:
  • 50 acres or more
  • Soil type on farm:
  • Unknown
  • Current farming practices:
  • Biodynamic
  • Current land use:
  • Not in use
  • Woodlot
  • Preferred farming experience for farmer:
  • No preference
  • Desired farming practices by a new farmer:
  • Biodynamic
  • Agricultural products I am interested being cultivated on my property:
  • Flowers
  • Field crops (grains or beans)
  • Fruit/berries/grapes
  • Herbs
  • Hay or forage
  • Livestock
  • Seeds, seedlings or nursery stock
  • Vegetables
  • No preference
  • Years experience of new farmer:
  • No preference

Farm description

Hello!  My name is Robin Butler, and my husband’s name is Ted Fong, and we own Abbey-Mill Farm, located in Palmer Rapids, Ontario (about 30 minutes outside Bancroft).  It is 96 acres of rolling hills and forest, has absolutely stunning views, but is woefully neglected.  We are not farmers, but dream of reducing our footprint, living off the land, and eating what we grow.  Like so many people out there, it's a struggle paying to live nowadays.  We happened upon this farm and bought it sight unseen.  She sure needs work, as she's a dilapidated mess, but from the ashes, we see an amazing opportunity.     A place not just for us, and not just our vacationers (AirBNB rentals that we will build, producing the main income to pay for the property and builds).  We also saw an opportunity to meet and coexist with other like-minded people who just need a place to park their wheels and live off the land. A bit about our farm.  Right now, she's not a pretty girl, but she has potential.  The 1800's farmhouse is in a sad state and will have to be demolished (we were told it would be more expensive to repair the foundation than to rebuild the entire building - basically there's a stream running through it).  The beautiful century old barn sadly burned down last year, and there are multiple smaller barns onsite that will likewise have to be removed for safety.  However, what we do see is potential.  There are large, fenced sections of pasture, and lots and lots of acreage for farming.  There is a well with a working hand pump, as well as about 40 acres of forest.  There are stunning views of the highlands and a lake, and it is very quiet and private.  Palmer Rapids is a very small village with only a grocery store and community center, but nearby is Bancroft with lots of shops and restaurants.

Farm opportunity

We are looking for enthusiastic, hardworking people who can live on the farm rent-free, and help us build the farm back up from its neglected state.  Different people have different skills, and we're interested in all kinds, whether it's cleaning the rentals for new tenants, looking after the animals, helping build bunkies , or clearing the land of debris and weeds, there's something for everyone.  We want to give people the opportunity to grow their own vegetables, raise communal chickens, or maybe even try making their own goat cheese or have a hand at bee keeping!  We're open to ideas!  We would just ask that anyone considering moving to the farm be able to live as self-sufficiently as possible.  There is electricity on the farm, and water from the well, but we are not equipped to run electricity and water to each tiny house.    A bit about us!  We are a small family, with our two young boys.  My husband works in IT, and I'm an Educational Assistant.  We are not ready to completely up sticks and move out to the farm, as my father has suffered a stroke and I need to stay closer to him, as well as my mom who now lives alone.  Ted's mother lives with us, and has Alzheimer's, so I'm sure some people would think us completely insane to be taking a giant project like a run down old farm on top of caring for 5 other people.  But, as we get older we have realized that we only get one shot at this life, and we don't want to waste this second half of our lives living with any regrets.  Our new motto has become, "It's now or never, so let's do it!" A bit about our vision!  We are passionate about recycling, reducing waste, and moving away from our “use it once and throw it away” society.  There has to be a better way, one that we can be proud to leave behind for our children.  We strongly believe in the biodynamic concept of farming (see Alan York), creating diversity on the land and in the livestock.  We are committed to this concept, and it is our goal to find a way to support those who choose to stay on the farm so that we can farm organically, finding the balance to sustainable living.   We're very excited to meet like-minded people who are interested in living off the land, working as a team, collaborating on solutions and sharing each other's knowledge and experience with the goal of carving out a nice life, living harmoniously with nature. If Abbey-Mill Farm sounds like it might be like just the adventure you’ve been looking for, please contact us so we can talk! Please note that we are having difficulty posting pictures. Msg us and we can send some to you, or come out and see it for yourself. Cheers!