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Johann and Magda Kleinsasser, well-known elders in the ecological farming community who ran Whole Circle Farm near Guelph for many years, now live at Neighbourly Farm in Grey County. Johann and Magda have been re-energizing the land with cattle, food growing, and applying their loving attention to the needs of the farm as an organism, as they prepare the farm for the next generation of ecological farmers, craftspersons and food-based entrepreneurs. The land is 228 acres of fields, hedgerows, forests, a spring-fed pond and a creek, all backing onto Mountain Lake wetland. Outbuildings include large-scale barns and workshops, former dairy, sugar shack, studio spaces and more. Neighbourly Farm is only a year old, and already much has been done toward the vision of creating an ecological farm village. There are currently homes for 4 families, with at least one more home ready to occupy in 2024. Also opportunity to build your own, using your natural building expertise. Plans are taking shape to renovate the old dairy in 2024, into commercial food-preparing spaces, such as butcher, bakery, dairy or all of the above, depending on the interests of the people who move to Neighbourly Farm.
Housing will next be available in 2024. Neighbourly Farm is designed for a number of households, living independently of each other in a village setting and carrying out a wide range of land-based enterprises (independently, but operated side-by-side). Some examples, to give a sense of scope: Rotationally pastured livestock Market garden Milling Woodworking/carpentry Beekeeping Cheese-making Butcher Bakery Each family rents (at cost) a home, a portion of the farm buildings, and a portion of the land, for running your independent farm or land-based business. After a trial period, each family will also become a co-owner of your own home (co-ownership instead of mortgage). In some ways it is similar to a rent-to-own arrangement. Neighbourly Farm is the evolution of a co-ownership model created in 2020 by a local individual for the purpose of making farmland accessible to ecological farmers. Practically speaking, land access means: affordable year-round housing, long-term tenure, and a return on money invested in the property. There are now several farms up and running nearby in Grey County and North Wellington under this co-ownership model. Neighbourly is neither a co-op nor an intentional community. There is no major group decision-making or financing. It is a village, where you have a degree of alignment with your neighbours, and may support each other however you wish. For example, there is opportunity to share large equipment. You don't have to be certified organic, but a conservation easement on the property prohibits the application of any chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, etc, on the land, except for those allowed under Canadian organic standards. This opportunity is for village-minded people who have a holistic, regenerative or permaculture approach to working with land, plants and animals, and the products they provide. Please let us know what you have to offer.