The Buehner Farm
Steve and Anita Buehner farm in Norfolk County between Waterford and Simcoe. The farm belonged to Anita's parents - Tony and Gerda Van Den Hurk from 1974 until 1990, when they sold the farm to Steve and Anita. Tobacco had been the primary crop on the farm until 2008, when the Buehner's exited the tobacco industry.
Today the farm produces a variety of crops. Seven different apple varieties are grown on 32 acres, and in 2010 a small vineyard was established with cold hardy wine grapes. A small on-farm winery is planned for the future.
Experimenting with lavender began in 2003. Today the farm is the home of Bonnieheath Lavender, named after the Heath Family, who built the wood framed farmhouse at the turn of the 20th century. Farm records found in the attic of the century farmhouse, indicate that the farm produced various small fruits, as part of the Bonnieheath Fruit Farm. The remaining acreage is planted to grain crops, with the most fragile lands planted to ALUS.
As a member of the Norfolk Land Stewardship Council, Steve was introduced to the ALUS Pilot Project in 2007. His interest grew as he toured Pilot Project sites that were returning to a sustainable state. Problems with soil erosion on several poorly producing gravelled hills led the Buehner's to apply to ALUS to stabilize these areas with native prairie grasses. A treed wildlife corridor was also established to connect their bush lot to a Norfolk County tract of woods. In 2010, a heavily tiled area in the lowest lying part of the farm was reverted to a wetland. This naturalized area is already attracting wildlife and will only continue to add beauty and value to the property.
The Buehner's have found the ALUS program to be a very effective, farmer friendly tool for managing sustainability and encouraging stewardship of their natural environment.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 08 February 2011 17:01 )