Hi, I’m Marilyn. My family and I live in Northern Alberta, where the winters are cold and the growing season short. We live on a small sheep and grain farm, with our five children. In the summer you’ll find us taking on too many projects, and enjoying the weather.
My husband and I both come from a long line of farmers. Some of our ancestors were grain farmers, while others raised farm animals.
When we got married, farming was in our blood as well. However, it did not take us long to realize that starting a farm from scratch was near impossible.
In order for a conventional farm to be profitable, it needs to be a very large operation. We had no inheritance that was being handed down from either parent.
We also had very little money.
That farming dream was put on hold until 2014 when we were finally able to buy 160 acres of bushland.
While we got the land for a good price, we still had to put in a lot of cash to clear the land before we would be able to put in our first cash crop.
This near impossibility to become farmers caused me to realize that there has to be a way to make a living on little land, with little assets to buy equipment.
I was convinced that there had to be a way to be more profitable, with fewer expenses than what conventional farming was offering us.
That’s where organic farming came in. The lack of input costs was a huge appeal for us, and we dove right in.
However, we still had no tractor, no combine, no auger, and no grain bins. This alone was supposed to cost us close to $100,000. Not looking for (more) debt, this seemed like an insurmountable problem.
I started thinking. Not willing to accept that this was just the way farming was, I started researching for other sources of income that our farm could provide.
Through this, I stumbled upon Regenerative Farming.
Growing our own produce has always been important to me for the nutritional food that helps our family.
As I learned more and more about regenerative and organic agriculture, I realized that these same principles could be applied to our garden.
Managing a small farm and garden in the healthiest way possible, while still being profitable, is our aim at High Country Farms.
In 2021, we are still struggling to run a profitable farm.
Our farming income still needs to be supplemented by outside sources, but we are getting closer to achieving our dream every year.
This year we are raising 60+ sheep, have started a small strawberry U-Pick, and have 80 acres of organic crop land.
Join us as we learn together how to make a small farm profitable.