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Old River Farm - Ontario - Canada

Old River Farm’s goal is to increase community self-sufficiency and strengthen rural economies. As an ALUS (Alternative Land Use Strategies) demonstration farm they seek to inspire other farmers in the area to be environmental stewards. Cattle are moved daily through a rotational grazing system which will be enhanced with silvopasture plantings. Grazing in particular fields does not occur until after ground nesting birds have left their nests. This design is by Lead Designer Jessica Robertson, and the broadscale water management has been designed and implemented with the guidance of the United Designers team. 

Old River Farm has taken the lowland fields next to the Thames River out of production and installed 4 ponds for wildlife habitat and flood mitigation. Native prairie grasses and wildflowers have been seeded in this area. Through restricted access to the treed slope above the ponds, they have been able to regenerate the understory layers that were overgrazed in the past. 

Two berm and basins (swales) were installed in 2022 to spread water out and stop erosion from occurring at the edge of the field. The berms are also being used to grow fodder and produce shade for the cattle. Secondary crops of berries, nuts and propagation material will be available to harvest in the future if so desired. 


Climate: Dfb Humid Continental Climate 
Annual Precipitation:  993 mm
Country: Canada
Function:  Farm and habitat restoration
Size: 130 acres

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