Greenshire Eco-Farm - Lindsay, Ontario
Welcome to Greenshire Eco Farms! We are a fun, functional, educational, and inspirational cooperatively owned farm.
We grow community, partnership, compassion, self-awareness, connections to nature, ourselves and each other...
We also grow vegetables, fruit, nuts, and mushrooms using Permaculture methods and provide healthy, fresh, beyond-organic produce to our local community in the Kawartha Lakes region of Ontario, Canada. We offer tours, presentations, workshops, volunteer and internship opportunities to the public in our award-winning, unique Permaculture gardens. (Haven't heard of Permaculture? ... Please read on to learn more!)
Greenshire is also a sanctuary for neglected, abused and unwanted animals including horses, pigs, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks and turtles. Our critters love to mingle with our visitors and they help to foster a strong connection to the natural world. Greenshire is also the proud home to the Healing Horse Centre - a place where horses and humans heal!
Our Healing Horse Centre offers rescue and rehabilitation services for unwanted and special-needs horses. The horses then partner with us to offer Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning or FEEL to humans in our community. The non-riding FEEL workshops offer life-changing lessons and personal insights for teens to seniors, at-risk youth, survivors of abuse, and anyone else looking to make positive changes in their lives. The rescue horses are powerful teachers who also benefit immensely from this work as it gives them a renewed purpose in life.
We founded Greenshire Eco Farms in 2009 with a group of 12 people who all had the same vision... to create a working farm to share with the members of our community. We believe strongly that a connection to the natural world and our food source is a vital and often missing part of a healthy, loving, fulfilled life. We are here for the greater community to come and make that connection, learn, grow and share!
In the three and a half years we have been together, from not knowing much about farming and living in close-community we have learned many lessons and the most important lesson we have coming forward is one of PARTNERSHIP! To continue to grow and evolve in this exciting new era we need to support each other. We have put our hearts and souls (and every last penny) into this venture and it's time that we open up our hearts and reach out further to the community.
If you'd like to learn more about us and what we do please read on, or visit us on our website and blog:
Meet our animals and check out our garden tours on our youtube channel:
Follow us on facebook:
Healing Horse Centre: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Healing-Horse-Centre/163121147054203?ref=hl
More about us...
Our farm is a 100-acre property made up of about 70 acres of fields, 25 acres of young forest, and 5 acres of wetland.
Greenshire is first and foremost a Permaculture farm.
"Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive systems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of the landscape with people providing their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way."
Graham Bell, The Permaculture Way
Using Permaculture philosophy and methods, we have created 3 acres of food-producing gardens with a mix of vegetables, herbs, trees and shrubs, planted 3 acres of nut trees, and 1500 asparagus plants.
Modern methods of farming have largely scraped natural ecosystems off the map to grow monocultures (large areas with only one type of plant) using huge amounts of chemicals which further degrade the environment. Modern farming practices have resulted in huge losses of topsoil, and biodiversity. We are part of a movement seeking to change these practices so that our society does not crumble under food shortages as most cultures of the past have done.
Using nature as a model and inspiration, we at Greenshire grow food using no-tillage cultivation, organic pest/disease control, and mixed crop planting. The goal is to have as little negative impact on the land as possible while still obtaining a substantial yield.
At Greenshire, we love animals and treat them as we would like to be treated. We take in unwanted animals of many different species and encourage the public to come and connect with these beautiful creatures, fostering compassion and empathy.
We are also passionate about holistic animal-keeping and we strive to provide the most biologically appropriate and naturalized environment for all of our animals.We offer classes and workshops on these topics as we feel education is the key to eliminating animal homelessness, neglect, and abuse.
We have plans to expand the sanctuary to take in a wider variety of species which we hope will include a Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (one of our farm members has a background in Wildlife Rehab).
Healing Horse Centre:
The Healing Horse Centre is our soon-to-be registered non-profit arm of Greenshire.
We take in unwanted, special-needs equines (horses and donkeys) and spend tremendous amounts of time, energy, and money healing them.
Our equines come from many different backgrounds; some have emotional scars, some physical. The same goes for our clients in the Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning or FEEL sessions and workshops. The humans who participate in these workshops come from all backgrounds and all stages of life. No matter what our story is, we all tend to have baggage that we carry from living in our broken society. Horses are powerful, non-judgemental creatures who live in the moment and are always congruent in their emotions. They tend to very easily let go of past wrongs and learn to trust and thrive given the right conditions. As humans we can learn alot from their way of life and because the lessons are experienced, instead of being read from a book, they are immensely life-changing!
Here's what one of our participants had to say:
“Enlightening, powerful and transformative are the words I would use to describe my experience with the horses.
It was like the horses could see past all the walls and boundaries that a person puts up to cope with all those difficult life moments. It was like the horses could see through the emotional baggage and the personal obstacles right into your core where they reached out and touched you with their gentleness.
Before I went through the experience myself I was skeptical and unsure but the workshop opened me to a new way of learning about myself. I did not expect to be so moved and to gain so much insight into myself.
I left the workshop, after the discussions and the exercises with the horses, with a peaceful feeling that somehow I was more centred and grounded.
Kaileen and Cindy were supportive and skilful facilitators who guided me through the process. They made it a safe place to open up on an emotional level so that I could truly experience the energy and connection with the horses.
I would personally recommend you to try this wonderful experience – there is nothing like it anywhere!!!!”
Julie E., Toronto, Ontario
You can read more of our touching testimonials here:
The other side of Permaculture is the fostering of culture and community. Greenshire is a multi-family intentional community with 13 members, 6 of whom live on the farm. We are always open to considering new members. Greenshire operates as a co-op, where all major decisions are voted on democratically.
At Greenshire we are very passionate about expanding public awareness. We actively engage with the local community through presentations at public events, and our farm tours which are open to the general public, schools, and special interest groups. The tours showcase the Healing Horse Centre and our demonstration gardens that give examples of what people can do in their own backyards.
We have many people come to the farm from as close as down the road, to as far as Europe and the Middle East, to volunteer and gain new skills and experiences. Some stay for a few days to a week, while others stay for the better part of a year. In the future we plan to offer a multitude of interesting and educational courses and events such as an introduction to permaculture, yoga, meditation, wildlife observation, birding, music, visual arts, dance, shamanism, and astronomy, among others.
We also aspire to build a large Earthship house which will be our central dwelling with multiple units for current and future residents, as well as various styles of environmentally sound cottages which would be available to non-resident co-op members, the general public, and volunteers.