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The Not-so-Simple Life
From city-slicker to farm girl
By Alannah O’Neill, Photos courtesy of Everdale Farm When I was given the opportunity to visit a real, working farm for a couple days I had no idea what to expect. Until I visited Everdale Farm in Hillsburg, Ontario I never really gave much thought to where my food came from.
I was invited to Everdale because I had written a profile about the winners of the Yves Rocher Foundation’s
Women of the Earth contest, an annual initiative that celebrates eco crusaders working to make a difference in their communities. Karen Campbell, second place winner and founder of Everdale, graciously invited members of the jury (from Green Living, Coup de Pouces magazine, Yves Rocher and ELLE Canada) to take part in two days of farm activities. Top ten things I learned at Everdale Farm 10. Converse, skinny jeans and a canvas military jacket are not farm-appropriate wear, especially not when working in a field in the rain. 9. Chickens can be cuddled like cats and make happy noises when you pet them (so I’m going to try really hard not to eat them anymore). 8. Cows aren’t very friendly and deserve to be eaten (just kidding, PETA).
7. Beans grow on little tiny plants, and it takes hours of patience to pick a bushel. 6. A day of working outdoors in the fields can cure insomnia for a night. 5. It’s hard not to get really excited about fresh produce—even us Type A city folks were fantasizing about the meals we would make with Everdale grown potatoes, carrots, onions and peppers.
4. The air at Everdale has the power to clean out 25 years worth of pollution from your lungs. 3. Once you get food from the farm, Loblaws is much less appealing. 2. Karen Campbell and her team are some of the kindest, most passionate people I’ve met. They genuinely love what they do. 1. Food tastes a million times better when fresh, organic and bought from the farmer. A special thanks to Christina and Yves Rocher for arranging such an educational trip and putting us up at the lovely Millcroft Inn.