Farms
Working Group

Our Mission

We are members of Lanark’s agricultural community responding to the climate crisis. We work shoulder to shoulder with farm organizations and local governments, advocating for approaches to soil health and water quality that are useful, ecologically sound and economically viable.

We seek systemic and regenerative changes that will restore a robust carbon cycle, build resilient farms and food systems, address local food security and sovereignty, and raise the nutritional density of our food.

We will be self-critical observers and listeners, carefully asking the important questions, while acting as a farm-minded conscience of the County. 

We are farmers, communicators, educators and storytellers pursuing positive changes in the underlying commercial/industrial farm narratives and climate narratives.

What we are working on

Land Use

 We are currently working with the County to bring the ALUS (Alternative Land Use Services) program to Lanark, which would pay farmers to transform their underused lands into ecologically beneficial habitats and carbon storage zones.

Soil Health

We are running experiments on the use of fungal dominant compost on organic farms.

Food Security

We are exploring infrastructure opportunities for local food processing and storage.

Contact

If you would like to volunteer with the Farms Working Group, please sign up to be part of the network, or email our Working Group Facilitator, Scott Hortop.

Who We Are

Grant Martin
I have been involved in sustainable farming from a young age when my father was a founding member of EFAO. I received BSc (agronomy) at U of G where I also met my wife Pam (BSc agriculture). We had an organic dairy and crop farm.  During this time we were awarded the Dairy Farm Sustainability Award for Ontario and Organic Dairy Farm Award for Ontario.  We also operated a direct-to-consumer pasture raised meat business (beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork etc). We purchased Cedar Hill Christmas tree farm in 2016 and continue to produce trees and organic crops with our family (Todd, Neil, Adam and Graham ).

Hilary Moore
Hilary is an organic farmer in Lanark Highlands.  She and her husband currently raise pigs, vegetables, hay and honey.  Hilary has been farming for a living since 2001 and has been working toward a healthy food system for just as long.  She has been involved in incorporating trees and vegetable gardens into schoolyards and curriculums in Ottawa, she was involved in the working group that formed the Ottawa Food Security Council (renamed Just Food) and is always ready to do what she can to encourage people to grow their own gardens.  Hilary is currently the President of the Almonte Farmer’s Market and a long-time active member of the National Farmers Union.

Gord Harrison
Gord Harrison enjoyed a long career as an environment and climate change educator, working locally, nationally and internationally. He served as the Director of Education programs for the Pembina Institute, and Executive Director of the GreenLearning Canada Foundation. Locally he developed  a state of the environment report for the Stewardship Council and a strategic plan for the County’s Community Forests. Gord is a Director of the Lanark County Stewardship Council. “Connecting with place/the land  infomed my work as an educator, grounds me mentally and spiritually, and is at the heart of CNL.” Gord lives at Indigo Wood (named after the Indigo Buntings that nest there) with two-footed and four-footed family.

Scott Hortop – Group Facilitator
Scott’s background includes 8 years as a Nursing Home Administrator and construction project manager, 12 years in Haiti in TB control and public health vaccination, 6 years with ProWater Group business for thirst world cities and 15 years with ZENON Environmental and GE Water & Process Technologies. A grandfather of 13, he is now retired. He currently produces fungal dominant compost from Almonte’s fallen leaves as an inoculant used in regenerating degraded farmland, facilitating CNL’s Farms Working Group and working with CNL’s Compost and Forestry Working Groups. A Member of Naismith Men’s Shed, he can also be found sawing logs with Woodland Mills sawmill.

Susan Brandum
Before moving to Port Elmsley 25 years ago, Sue was a specialist energy writer and the volunteer manager of the Coalition for a Green Economic Recovery. She co-authored the underground bestseller, Get A Life! She became the general manager of REAL, delivering programs that helped local residents improve their energy efficiency, naturalize their yards and shorelines, manage their wells and septic systems and reuse goods when she established the REAL Deal Reuse Store. Sue grew up mainly in Shawville, Quebec.

Janet Duncan
Janet joined Bruce, her late husband, in their switch to organic agriculture in 1981. Their farm subsequently became certified organic in the mid 90’s and, until their retirement in 2016, remained so. Janet continues her keen interest in the environment particularly in regenerative agriculture and how to win other farmers over to this way of farming. Her time is divided between her duties as President of Almonte Community Coordinators known locally as the Hub and Rebound, her family and her many interests.

Lorne Heslop
Lorne has spent most of his career at the interface of government, industry and the public. He has worked in the agricultural industry and the federal government in agricultural engineering research, industry relations and policy development before taking a management role in science and innovation. Lorne has served on community organizations and not-for-profit corporation boards in several roles. He has developed some experience and expertise in board governance and resource development.  He has had a longstanding interest in land use policy. Lorne is retired and lives in Mississippi Mills with his wife Louise.

Alberto Suarez-Esteban
I am originally from Spain, where helping my grandparents in their farms led me to develope a deep fascination for the natural world. Learning is my favourite thing in life, and I find endless inspiration in Nature. My interest in Nature led me to a career in ecology. During my 10 years in academia, I realized how damaging industrial agriculture is to biodiversity and our climate. I started Nature’s Apprentice Farm to contribute to the vision I have for an agriculture system that regenerates our health, our communities, our ecosystems, and our climate.

 

News

100 Years of Electricity

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Leave them with Scott!

Leave them with Scott!

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Meet Local Climate Leader Sue Brandum

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Sue Brandum is a local climate leader who has been instrumental in creating the Climate Network Lanark (full name Climate Action Network of Lanark County, Smiths Falls and Region). In this month’s column, she talks about her background, how she came to be so involved...

Image © Lindsey Lambden