Welcome to Emma’s Garden.
Located on the North Shore of Bird River, Manitoba, is 85 acres of boreal forest and grassland called Emma’s Garden. The gardens are named after our beloved Grandmother Emma, who was born, educated, raised her family, and is buried at Bird River. Her story is tied to our desire, as her living family, to return to this place and create a place that honours her respect for the forest, the water, and the community.
Our desire is to preserve the beauty of the riverbank land which has been passed down through three generations, and work with the ecosystem in creating a farm that is bountiful, marketable, and can be shared with others.
Emma’s Garden includes 0.9 km of riverbank, 2 creek beds, 7 acres of field, and 78 wooded acres. The natural terrain is predominantly clay, but the forest has created rich soils on the property. The healthy mixed boreal forest is primarily poplar, ash, and spruce trees.
A traditional farm is not conducive to the area as it would mean clearing nearly 80 acres of natural boreal forest to get the land back to its original farm state. And so we are designing the farm around what is here now rather than changing the area to meet a traditional farmer’s need.
Living a sustainable, happy life in harmony with nature is a desire we have for everyone. When this is in balance it brings healthy longevity to our lives and maintains a vibrant community that remains for future generations.
To grow farm products for the local community is our primary mission. We aim to organize the farm in such a way that is functional, visually attractive, and sustainable – which has led us to adapting new sustainable organic techniques, biodynamic techniques, restoration agriculture, and Permaculture design.
Sustainability begins with a nourishing food source and Emma’s Garden creates a space that grows organic food in three ways:
- A food forest
- Under-cover (greenhouse or geo-dome structure)
- Gardens that include row plantings, raised beds, and compatible groupings
The old buildings have returned to the earth; all that’s left are photographs, and so we are starting from scratch like our ancestors did over a hundred years ago when they arrived to this place. Our evolving story is our effort to achieve all this while creating enough income to make it sustainable for the years to come, and this website is a place we can share it with you as we continue our journey.