Three Ridges Ecological Farm is a diversified farm in Elgin County, southwestern Ontario, Canada near the north shores of Lake Erie. The farm is 50 acres and includes permanent pastures, permaculture fruit and nut tree orchards, native prairie, Carolinian forest and several constructed wetlands. Divided by 20 acres of woodlands that rise up along a bluff, three ridges form a “3” like a fingerprint. To honour the land in this distinct sense of place, we call the farm Three Ridges or 3R.
All the food we produce is grown with organic methods, using manure and compost and without the use of pesticides or herbicides. Even more, we are committed to growing in a way that is beyond organic:
- We use rotational grazing to regenerate our pastures, build soil and grow the highest quality pasture-raised meat & eggs. Rotational gazing produces nutrient-dense, flavourful food and allows animals to express their natural behaviours in a way that is stress-free and ecologically responsible. Along with grazing happily in rotation, our chickens, ducks and pigs eat a diverse mix of grain and seed, most of which is organic and all of which is non-GMO and free of chemical residues. Beef is 100% grass-fed (along with mother’s milk, of course!)
- Our landscape plan is designed on contour and inspired by Keyline Design to capture, sink and store water and build soil.
- Applying principles of permaculture, we incorporate a diversity of perennial polycultures. Biodiversity is critical to a well-functioning and resilient ecosystem. It helps us build soil, manage pests and disease, support pollinators and wildlife, manage risk (from consumer change to climate change), produce nutrient-dense food, and much more.
- Working with the agroecology of the land, we are committed to closing the farm’s energy cycles and closing the cycle of the local system to sustain a vibrant and productive community.
Farm agroecology —high diversity, low input— provides all the nutrition and water resources for crops and livestock in such a way that is economically sustainable and requires reasonable human workloads. Like a stable soil aggregate, our farm is enmeshed in a vibrant local community by providing nutrient-dense food at fair prices, a living wage for all who work on the farm, support for and from other local producers, aesthetic beauty, and spiritual and recreational opportunities.