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Ian Graham & Old 99 Farm!

ian graham with lamb(Article originally published 2012)

By Kelly Graham


My dad is Ian Graham, and his farm is called Old 99 Farm, in Copetown, just off Governor’s Road in Dundas. This growing season I will have the opportunity to work with him one or two days a week, and I will chronicle some of our adventures for you.



ian graham old 99 farmOld 99 Farm is a mixed organic farm and permaculture demonstration site on 22 acres of greenbelt land. Ian has been there 5 years now, and he has done an incredible amount in that time. Before he arrived, it had been growing GM roundup-ready soybeans. Today, the majority of the land is in pasture for animals and for making hay. He has a herd of heritage breed lineback cattle, as well as a flock of sheep, which has recently more than doubled in size to 25!  He also has chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and honeybees. It’s a lively place! There is about a 1-acre vegetable garden in the front, as well as three greenhouses, and a young orchard. It is a very impressive undertaking, and he is always coming up with new exciting projects.


Some of the projects for this season include:

  • ian graham cowsPoultry breeding and incubation
     
  • Work on implementing the “Pattern Language” of Permaculture from Peter Bane’s Permaculture Handbook.
     
  • Tree planting, transplanting, learning about woody plant propagation, and the cultivation of an “Edible Forest Garden”.
     
  • Development of chinampas around the pond to cultivate marsh plants and stock with fish, taking advantage of the permaculture principle of “Mind the Edge”.
     
  • Many more TBD


In my next post I will tell you a little more about my dad, Ian, and how he came to farm. For now, you can check out this feature in Hamilton magazine (note the source list of local farms for direct buying of antibiotic-free meat).

Looking forward to good things growing!
 


kelly grahamAbout contributor Kelly Graham:

My own experience with farming is fairly limited. In the past I have popped in on isolated moments in time at Old 99 Farm, so I am looking forward to seeing the progression of a whole growing season. I hope to take part in some of these projects, and also to come up with a few of my own! I spent the summer after I graduated university “WOOFing” on organic farms in Europe (see my blog). In my opinion, it was a perfect way to see Europe and get to know people. We had 4 different farmstays for 2 weeks or more at a time, and we backpacked around Europe in between. This past January, I attended the Guelph Organic Conference, and it got me really excited about food and environmental issues.