Woodleigh Farms is a multi-generational family run business committed to sustainability and offer maple syrup, a large vegetable market garden and greenhouse operation, and a diverse crop production.
Multi-Generational Cavan Farm Growing Sound Practices
The rolling hills of Cavan are home to Woodleigh Farms Limited, a multi-generational family-run business that traces its roots back to 1902. Don and Margaret Winslow took over the operation in the late 1970s and have since guided the 500-acre farm with both diversity and sustainability front of mind. Current farm activity sees corn, soybean, wheat, oat, straw, and hay crops grown and harvested, complemented by a greenhouse, a vegetable market garden, and maple syrup production.
Woodleigh Farms was already a thriving agricultural operation in July 2018 when a devastating fire destroyed five barns totalling 30,000 square feet. But from the ashes, a renewed determination to succeed was born, culminating in the construction of three new buildings, including one that houses maple syrup production and a solar greenhouse.
That pivot was rooted in Norm Lamothe’s conviction that one “can’t find a more adaptive group than farmers.” Married to the Winslows’ daughter Emily and raising their three children on the farm, Lamothe turned to overseeing the farm’s day-to-day operations after a 15-year aviation industry career.
The fire setback, he says, “gave us carte blanche to re-innovate what we were doing and create the vision we wanted moving forward.” Now Woodleigh Farms is a model example of what a successful farm looks like.
“We’re successfully growing more food per acre than we ever have,” says Lamothe, noting genetics, science, and best management practices have played a part in that upward trend.
Front of mind, says Lamothe, remains adherence to strong, sustainable practices, such as more crop rotations, reduced use of commercial fertilizers, and clean energy implementation.
“We’re always looking at what we can do to make sure the farm is in better hands for the next generation. Building our organic matter and caring more about things happening in soil contribute to good plant health and ensure the farm is going to be here for the next generation.”
To learn more about Woodleigh Farms Limited, visit http://www.cavanfresh.ca.