Steven and Heather Welland wanted to return to their farming roots, but the price of land was prohibitive and there wasn’t much available to purchase where they used to live.
That’s what prompted a move in 2013 from Bracebridge, Ontario, to Garland, Manitoba, after purchasing a 160-acre farm here. The couple, who has four children, Samantha, Mary, Robert and Hunter, then established Welland Farm, comprised of growing organic market garden produce, strawberries, wheat, and oats. They acquired and began to raise sheep and chickens, selling their farm product to local consumers.
The Wellands use only organic inputs and natural fertilizers, and a crop and pasture rotation to improve and conserve their soil’s health. They have planted trees and shelterbelts to protect their property and further reduce wind erosion.
Future plans include constructing a greenhouse, increasing the size of their sheep flock while expanding their strawberry and market garden fields to meet local demand. They are eyeing adding Christmas trees to their operation in future.
The Intermountain Conservation District recognized the Wellands’ work ethic and environmental stewardship practices during the Manitoba Conservation Districts Association (MCDA) banquet December 10 when it presented the family with its annual award.