At Floreren Farm we grow medicinal herbs, nursery trees, shrubs, and herbal starts for our local communities in Southwestern Ontario.
This is our way of pursuing what we love: growing plants to create beauty and life. The farm is born of a deep need to contribute to a resurgence of health, justice, beauty and connection between people and the land.
Floreren is a Dutch word that means to grow or evolve under favourable circumstances; to flourish, to bloom.
Our farm products are available in 2020 by mail order and to our surrounding communities in Grey-Bruce and Wellington Counties, Three Fires Confederacy Territory.
Floreren is a small and blooming, ecological, medicinal herb farm founded in 2018 by ilana and Paul.
Co-Farmer of Floreren Farm
Herbalist & New Farmer
B.A., Dip. Phytotherapy
After completing a BA in human-environment relations, I was motivated by a desire to pursue practical strategies for integrating individual and environmental health. So, I began my study of herbalism. I believe the complexity of relationships between ourselves, others and the earth are deeply interwoven.
I choose to farm because I think it is the best way for me to connect to place, and to find reverence for livings things in a way that may contribute to the healing of our personal and social ecologies. I recognize this choice is an incredible privilege that requires ongoing reflection and commitment to work for social and ecological justice.
My training as an herbalist includes a three year diploma in western herbal medicine at Pacific Rim College where I was fortunate to learn from the extensive experience of many brilliant herbalists. My studies include over 500 hours of clinical practice.
Co-Farmer of Floreren Farm
New Farmer, Facilitator & Educator
I grew up lucky and privileged to be surrounded by gardens and forests, with families who cherish them. I also had the tragic chronic experience of being part of sprawling development contributing to mass deforestation of Southwest Ontario--one piece of ongoing colonization of Turtle Island.
Learning from the ongoing mistakes and lessons of a society I live in, I'm dedicated to reconnecting, regrowing, and reconciling with the land, water, air, and people. I work within community to design spaces and systems that help everyone to meet their needs in ways that are people and land-based, interdependent, and restorative in nature.
I've had the pleasure of growing food with food banks, research organizations, urban farms, CSA farms, and in home gardens for the past 10 years. My formal education is in regenerative agriculture and community engagement from the University of Guelph (B. Sc (H) 2012, and M.Sc 2015). Outside of university I am certified in Permaculture Design (2010) and as a Permaculture Teacher (2015), as well as being trained in Transition Town Initiatives and Creative Facilitation. Really huge appreciation to all of my teachers, mentors, and friends who help me to learn!
Organic, permaculture principles - we recognize that the health of the land, air and water is directly related to the health of all communities.
Practices we use on the farm to improve community health and the quality of the soil, water, and air include:
- Prioritizing and using local and renewable sources of compost and nutrients
- Planting cover crops and perennials to protect the soil from erosion and to help keep waterways clear of runoff
- Working with a diversity of native and non-native plants to build resilience into our farming systems
- Growing habitats to support small animals who aid us in balancing 'pest' pressures so we don't need to rely on synthetic pesticides
- Observing landscape microclimates and growing appropriate crops to optimize inputs
- Valuing everyone regardless of socio-economic class by providing channels of access to our farm products
- Collaborating with local businesses to improve rural livelihoods
Beauty - a deep sense of alignment in someone, something, or some place; a blossoming of awe, connection.
Justice - an ongoing activity as opposed to a static state or resting place; a fair livelihood not just for ourselves but for every human that does not compromise the rich diversity of communities local or global; action and reflection that grow from a multiplicity of perspectives.
Land Acknowledgement - Floreren Farm is currently located near Neustadt, Ontario, on Three Fires Confederacy (Niswi-mishkodewin) Traditional Territory made up of the Odawa, Potawatomi, and Ojibwe Nations.
As settlers who are aware of the historical and ongoing violence of colonialism in this area and who work for the creation of a diverse community that benefits all people, we reflect on the following questions to guide our actions:
- What are our obligations to the people who first inhabited this land?
- How do settlers on this land figure out what their responsibilities are?
- How can we be good guests here?
- How can we support existing local struggles?
- How can we support Indigenous self-determination?
*Credit to Tahia and Fairfield Gonzales Community Association for dialogue.