Wellspring Gardens is an organic market garden located in the Upper Ottawa Valley. It is owned and operated by me, Sheila Selby, and my husband Joe Renaud, both of us long-time residents of the area. I’m the gardener and Joe is the invaluable infrastructure guy.
We live, work and play on 150 acres of mixed forest and field, only 3 acres of which is currently under cultivation. We raise pastured meat chickens and turkeys, pastured pork, and eggs in addition to our vegetables.
We are entering our fourth year of operations offering a 30-member CSA program, a booth at the biweekly Deep River Farmers’ Market (DRFM), and possibly a weekly roadside stand or farm-gate sales this year.
Our mission is to provide fresh, locally grown produce using sustainable agricultural practices and promote farmland as a community resource through ecotourism and education. Because our long-term goal is to integrate the present organic vegetable production into the larger framework of a farm B&B and other related agritourism components, we feel the time is ripe to explore an incubatorship. This will not only give a potential farmer/producer a chance to try their wings, but it will also allow us to build expertise on multi-component operations and our future hope for an intentional community.
We are registered with Corocoro Farmstay as a host farm for Japanese international students seeking a language immersion experience in a rural setting. We also support the local high school by offering co-op placements to interested students.
Applicants are asked to submit a detailed project proposal. We will consider either an individual, who would barter three days of labour on the farm for use of the facilities, room and board, or a couple, who would barter a total of four days for use of the facilities, room and board. It is expected that you will keep the revenues from your own project. Of particular interest to us is the construction and operation of an outdoor bread and pizza oven. Raw materials are supplied and we have a local source for organic grains.
You will have access to cultivation equipment (two tractors, flail mower, 5-foot tiller, disks, flat harrow), irrigation, greenhouse, garage with power tools, gardening materials and a client base provided by our CSA membership, the Deep River Farmers’ Market and the Ottawa Valley Food Co-op. We anticipate your participation from May to October, however we are open to alternate arrangements.
Accommodations are a square timber outbuilding, the Milkhouse, which is equipped for sleeping, lounging and light cooking. Laundry, bathroom and shower facilities are in the main house. We also own a family cottage nearby on the Ottawa River where you can spend free time swimming, canoeing or fishing. Driver’s license and vehicle an asset, but not required.
If you would like to discuss the project in more detail before submitting a proposal, or any other aspect of your stay at Wellspring Gardens, please feel free to email, call or arrange a visit.