The Story

A 20-minute introduction to our farm, its history and what we endeavor to do.

Established in 1860

We are the 4th, 5th and 6th generations of Zettels here on this farm.  We have inherited a great legacy and believe it is our responsibility to hand on to future generations what those brave souls handed to us;  the option of a life on the farm, caring for the earth, making a living and feeding people.

Englbert Zettel and his family, the first Zettels to farm this land.

The Zettel family has been making its living on this piece of land since 1860.  That was the time when many farms in Southern Bruce County were settled.  Our ancestors came here from Germany, bringing with them centuries old knowledge of livestock and crop husbandry, horse-powered fieldwork and building with timber.  The land was covered with forest.  They cleared it with axes and hand-saws and shovels and teams of horses, using the mighty Oaks, Elms and Maples to construct their houses, and raising the magnificent bank barns which were to be the backbone of farming for another 100 years.

What Has Happened To Farming?

The modern farm is nothing like those of the past.  The use of new technologies has allowed farming to become an industry.  Most animals never go outside the confinement facility.  The entire regime of management is fine-tuned to maximizing production. Almost all crops are the result of Genetic Engineering, and require routine use of pesticides and applications of chemical fertilizers. The increases in production are staggering!  But at what cost? Is this the best food we can eat?

We are part of a growing global movement of farmers who have decided to work alongside Nature, embracing Organic Farming Methods.  We see our farm through the lens of ecology.  We know that the quality of food grown here depends on the many intimately related parts of the system.  We nourish soil biology using compost and rely on nitrogen fixing clovers and alfalfa to sustain the cycle.  We stay away from any toxins that could threaten soil and crop health or compromise the purity of our food.  Our animals are where they belong in summer – out in the field – grazing.  We select the animals we use for hardiness, disease resistance and quality of the food that goes to our customers.  Finally, by connecting directly with families, we offer them the best food money can buy, at an affordable price.

We see the farm of the future as one that is people-intensive, diversified, organic and connected to the customer.  We want our customers to come to the farm and see what we do and understand how this farming resolves many of the issues facing the children of the future.  We want to partner with the people who choose our products to spread the word that this is a better way, that we are on solid ground, building for the future.