A small community farm called Ploughshares lies just outside of Beausejour. After a recent visit, my family and I came away refreshed to see how they are making sustainability work for them.
The small homestead houses several families and a number of animals. Receptive and friendly to visitors, the families are close friends, and have been there since about 2006. Not all of them had farming background initially, but have been enjoying learning about it. They had their hands full of chickens being slaughtered upon our arrival. I have seen this done but never had a chance to participate. I jumped in and helped pluck. We chatted about living in community and what they were doing to make it work for them.
They do homeschooling and send teenagers to town for high school. About one adult per family has a job outside of the farm. They are busy in the summer, but not so busy in the winter. Their structure is unique, but not so much that it’s uncommon.
Chickens, goats, pigs and cows are raised on the farm, and a few are slaughtered for meat. Gardens are large enough to stock a root cellar for the winter. They have also had a presence at the St Norbert Farmers market in the past. This past summer they started building a new barn for straw bales. Running water, internet and Netflix are present.
I find Ploughshares embodies a very different pace and style of life. The feel I got there was one of home, happiness and joy, and it was great to visit, even if for just a couple hours. I hope my family can find more of this in our journey.