Windhover Farm is a family owned and operated farm in beautiful Dove Creek located in the Comox Valley. John and Andrea moved to the Comox Valley in 1999 with the intention and hope of farming. We are as passionate about agriculture as we were when we first arrived---maybe even more inspired. Although both of us grew up in the city, we had dirt under our nails all our working years. John, Andrea, Gilbert and Patti, 5 and 2 at the time, purchased and moved to the 22 acre farm in the summer of 2006. Everett was born on the farm in 2007 and Laura in 2009. Farm labour now complete(!) And there has been much labour happening since we spent the first month tenting on the property while renovating the 100 yr. old farm house. Clearing, fencing, irrigation system, barn renovations, roads, bridge, barn building, and planting thousands of berries to name some of it. It's all in a days work or an evenings work as the case is. John works full-time off the farm to support our farming habit.
Besides growing berries and a large garden, we keep 80 laying hens and have raised cattle, pigs and pastured chickens. In September 2010 we started growing broilers on a larger scale and now reap the benefits of a steady supply of chicken and even more valuable, their manure. Making this all possible by protecting the crops and livestock is our dog, True, who was a most welcome addition to the farm in 2010. The farm is an ever evolving adventure and when we're not dealing with farm crisis', we reflect, plan and put our hands, heads and hearts to the fulfilling work of growing food for ourselves and the community.
The farm name comes from the title of the poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Windhover. A Windhover is an alternate name for a bird of prey, most likely a Kestrel. The line that captured our farming vision and led us to name the farm is "sheer plod makes plough down scillion shine" or in plain 'ole street english; hard work and sacrifice produces beauty. We are daily discovering the truth in these words.
I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing, 5
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion 10
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)
And for even more information, including everything you never wanted to know about the farm, here is a link to a video the Ministry of Agriculture filmed 2 years ago about the how and why of starting our farm: