Bob & Sheila Burkinshaw

In July 2015 we moved from Abbotsford, BC, to 60 acres in the historic Morrison Point area of Prince Edward County, Ontario. We are working to develop a sustainable farm with our two sons and their families – one living immediately adjacent to the farm and one coming out on some weekends and holidays from Toronto.

Morrison Point stone fence with fall colours
Historic stone fence along Morrison Point Road in front of our property

Why would a couple who were both born in BC and enjoyed living on the west coast almost their whole lives pull up stakes in their early 60’s and move to Ontario? Why trade the beautiful, lush Fraser Valley with its spectacular mountain views for the cold winters and humid heat of central Canada?

Admittedly, it was not easy for us to leave  the west coast and a home which had been in the family for 48 years and has a park-like backyard that had been lovingly created and tended over two generations. Or to leave friends, connections and meaningful ministry involvements that had developed over many years.

But we feel that God has led us into this new venture of developing a farm in Prince Edward County along with our two sons and their families. A number of factors have pointed us in this direction.

our grandchildren
our grandchildren
    • Grandchildren! It would be very difficult for us to live in BC with all of our grandchildren in Ontario.
      • The older of our two sons and his wife and two children have lived for years in the Toronto area. Even though we made every effort to see those grandchildren several times a year, it was difficult not to be able to spend significant amounts of time with them. The enthusiasm of that family for the farm has led to a good number of farm visits thus far.

       

      • Our younger son and his wife and five children have now moved to the Morrison Point area in eastern Ontario so that they can be closer to his wife’s parents in upstate New York and be able to develop a farm where land is affordable. He is a beekeeper and land is too expensive for them to purchase in the Fraser Valley. Within a year of our buying the 60 acres, they were able to purchase a house immediately adjacent and moved into it in June, 2016.

 

    • Farming. Growing enthusiasm, shared with both sons, for farming, especially farming that follows some sustainable principles along the lines of some of the permaculture thinking. (see a number of posts on farming, including Farming plans #2)

 

    • Inheritance now. A growing belief that it would be wise to use our home equity now to develop a multi-generational family farm, rather than wait for our family to inherit our equity later when we have passed away.

 

  • Timing. A sense that we should do this while we are still young enough to be able to invest time with the grand children when they are young and we are able to work at helping to develop the farm

 

  • Opportunity. The ability for Sheila to take retirement from her part time work and for Bob to step back from a heavy administrative load at TWU and return to teaching part time with TWU via internet and once or twice a month commutes to Ottawa at the University’s Laurentian Leadership Centre (LLC) three hours away.

And so the adventure has begun! We made the move to Ontario in mid July, 2015,  and into our new house in late November of the same year. We have chronicled much of that in many blog entries and plan to continue to provide updates on the blog.