Orchard Hill Farm

We have an online store called Killdeer Food Co. – Shop the Store – where you can pre-order and pay for your organic vegetables from our farm. Online store will be open for the season on May 3rd – it is stocked on Tuesday mornings at 8am, and orders are closed for the week on Wednesday evening each week for the rest of the season. Pick up on the farm Fridays 3-7pm or at the Covent Garden Outdoor Farmers Market 8:30-1pm.

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Orchard Hill Farm is a 93 acre organic farm powered by Suffolk Punch draft horses, established in 1979 by Ken and Martha Laing. Orchard Hill Farm is blessed with excellent soils and a spectacular view. It is located on a ridge northwest of the village of Sparta (Ontario, Canada), near the north shore of Lake Erie. Recently, their daughter Ellen Laing has moved back to the farm with her family – husband Aaron Berg and their two daughters.

The farm is tended to by Ken, Ellen and Martha Laing. Ellen is the seventh generation of her family to steward this land. Currently, the farm produces organically grown vegetables for market, grain and hay for five Suffolks, and we offer custom grazing for a herd of cattle that is here seasonally. We reduce our carbon footprint on the farm by the use of the Draft Horse (also called Work Horse or Heavy Horse).

We acknowledge that Orchard Hill Farm is located on the traditional territory of the Attawandaron, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinabek and Leni-Lunaape People. This territory is covered under the McKee Purchase, signed May 19, 1790, Treaty #2 of Upper Canada Land Surrenders. We recognize and respect the traditional stewards of this land and by living, working and continuing to steward this land we try to honour them. As we move forward we continue to ask how we can be good guests here and how we can better support indigenous self-determination in the longer term.

Ken and Martha Laing

Both Ken and Martha grew up with connections to farming. Ken grew up on a farm near the town of St. Mary’s, while Martha spent the summers of her childhood on the family farm. When they studied at the University of Guelph, Ken’s passion for agriculture led him to earn a degree in horticulture. After completing their studies they moved to Martha’s family farm and established Orchard Hill Farm. Martha has retired from the ‘front end’ of the business, but is still very much involved in almost everything.

Ellen Laing and Aaron Berg

Ellen grew up on the farm and developed her love of food and a table full of people among wwoofers, apprentices and lots of vegetables. She got a degree in English and History at Trent University, and met Aaron in Homer, Alaska in 2002 while working at a remote fishing lodge. She moved with him to Portland, Oregon in 2003 and they lived together there for 12 years. Ellen worked in the food service industry – first in coffee at Stumptown Coffee, and then at a few fine dining restaurants (most recently Beast) before feeling the pull back to the farm in 2015. Her last project before leaving Portland was working on the cookbook ‘Taste and Technique’ with Naomi Pomeroy.

Aaron Berg grew up in River Falls, Wisconsin with a healthy love of football and graduated with a B of A in Business Management and Accounting from the University of St Thomas. After working as an accountant for a short time, he escaped to Alaska, which satisfied his love of the outdoors and his desire for a life outside the boundaries. Since, he has worked in fish packing, construction, tax accounting and started his own consulting company specializing in clean energy finance. He still loves football, but now he also knows how to drive a four-horse team.

IMG_5391For more information about us or our farm please contact us at:

Vegetables & Ellen – info@orchardhillfarm.ca   (519) 200-1403

Suffolk Punch Horses & Ken and Martha Laing – kmlaing@orchardhillfarm.ca  (519) 775-2670